Sunday, December 30, 2007

Trust

As the end of 2007 draws near, it's time for that natural feeling of reflection of the past 12 months. This year has definitely been one of learning, trials, and lessons. For the Ulrich family, this included setting personal running records (yah!), meeting anniversaries and birthdays with gusto, watching our precocious toddler reach numerous milestones, taking trips to various fun places, accepting the deaths that crossed our paths, hurting from ruined relationships...and, in the end, learning to trust God's sovereign hand over each and every step we took and event that came down our path.

Probably the biggest lesson in trust that the Lord gave us was toward the end of 2007. In November, we learned that I'm pregnant with number two. :o) While such news is happily accepted by the average person, people like me, (who like to know when things are happening and enjoy planning out the big happenings in life), tend to feel blind-sided, shocked, and panicked. Yes, deep down I felt a sense of happiness and excitement, but I'll be honest: my selfishness and lack of God-trust embarrassingly overshadowed those good feelings. Both Curt and I are self-employed, meaning we pay for our health insurance. To top it off, our current health insurance plan does not have maternity coverage, and I was supposed to start a different plan in January that did have maternity coverage. (Needless to say, the new health insurance company ousted me when they found out about the good news.) So, that left me pregnant, without insurance coverage, and anxious over the whole dilemma.

At any rate, through the unnecessary worry and panic, Curt and I saw God's hand in the whole thing. We learned of a local birth center and that we DO have options that ARE affordable. We learned that having peace in the midst of of a bit of chaos is SO much better (and smarter!) than being anxious. Above all, we learned that trusting in God is what we are supposed to be doing as Christians, not planning every aspect of our lives and expecting things to go our way all the time.
So, as I learn to put aside my controlling/planning ways, I'll keep you posted on how this new chapter in life goes. We're on this journey for a reason, and I'm truly looking forward to the growth that can take place. Keep checking back as I update you on my bigger belly, all-day-long sickness, and life as a pregnant mom of a 2-year-old. Oh, this is going to be fun! :o)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Big Girl Bed

Well, the time has come for our Little Miss to move from her crib to a big girl bed. While we weren't sure if a just-turned-2-year-old would be ready for a bed, but we mentioned the idea to her a month or two ago, and she was excited about it from the get-go. Curt and I found a great bed on eBay, got it home, and painted it Ballerina Pink. We bought wooden letters for her name and painted them lavender, then added a princess crown to the outside of the footboard.
Nana then bought the Disney Princess bedding (Danae's choice, of course), and the Christmas gift bed from Mommy and Daddy-O was complete!
Her first night in it was Christmas Eve, and she did rather well. After laying down and then opening and closing the door a few times, she finally stayed in bed and slept the entire night. I know we'll have lots more nights and mornings of her getting up by herself! :o)
Oh, and a belated Merry Christmas to all!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas (Round One)

We had Christmas with my side of the family this weekend. With family members living in 4 different states, it's difficult to coordinate schedules and get everyone together for Christmas Day each year. So, we all got together at my sister's in VA and had a great weekend of playing, shopping, and eating. Here are some pics of the family. To see more, click on "Our Online Albums".

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Prayer Request - UPDATED

Friends and Family, please keep the family of Leah Hickman in your prayers. Her body was discovered last night, and the family is hurting. Be praying that God would do big things in the midst of this tragedy.

Police Find Body Believed to be Missing Marshall University Student

***********************************************************************************

12/19/07 - I just received this article link from my sister in VA. Please keep this missing young woman in your prayers. She is the niece of a dear friend of my sister's. I just can't imagine how horribly worried their family must be.

Missing West Virginia College Student

In my mind, the more prayer warriors the better! Thank you!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ice Age

Today we are iced in. No going outside, no drive to the store...just a cozy, somewhat relaxing day at home, staying in our pj's all day. Yum.

Hope you are staying safe in this weather! :o)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

SNOW!

We had our first real, sticking-to-the-ground snowfall yesterday, so Danae and I decided to try out her snowsuit (a hand-me-down from cousin Maddie) and play outside this morning. I really thought it would be a little big, but the girl's bigger than I thought! The suit just fits!

This pic reminds me of the boy from "A Christmas Story" who can barely move in his snowsuit. Danae got stuck in this position and couldn't get herself up. Too cute!

Oh, yum...tasting the snow. (Don't worry, mom...I checked first to make sure it wasn't yellow.)

Win a Prize Pack from Parents Toys!

Here's a great giveaway to get in on! The ladies over at 5 Minutes for Mom are giving away an awesome assortment of infant-to-preschool toys from the award winning Parents® Magazine toy line. The prize pack they're giving away includes toys for a range of ages from baby to toddler to preschooler as well as the Mom & Baby Fitness DVD and three different CDs.

Here’s a complete list of all the goodies in the prize pack:
Mom & Baby Fitness DVD
Rockin Sing-Alongs CD
Now I Know My ABC’s CD
Sleep Sounds for Mom CD
Garden Counting 1-5 Puzzle
Fruits & Vegetables A-Z
My MP3: Classical Music
Bee Bop Band
Pop Beads
Water Works
Bristle Blocks
Rev & Roll Bus
Petite Painter

So, click on over to 5 Minutes for Mom and enter! But hurry...they pick a winner on Sunday, December 9th! Have a happy Thursday, and for those of you in snowy PA, NJ, MD, and VA: have fun outside! :o)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Update

Hi there! So sorry for being neglectful of my blog for an entire week! "Busyness" overtook me once again, and I'm now climbing out of the pit of procrastination. Yes me, the non-lazy, continuously on-the-go, high-energy girl has gotten a bit lazy and slacked a bit. But I'm back! :o)

I'll give you a quick update and then write a better quality post later this week. So, Danae has had this scaly rash on her body for about a month, and our suspicion of eczema was confirmed today. Now we have to turn Danae into a greased pig two times a day for the next two weeks, using a prescription combo of Hydrocortisone and Eucerin. I already rub her down with a thick cream every time I bathe her, and we use as little Aveeno soap as possible. As long as the prescription cream helps, I think we can put up with a slick kid for two weeks. :o)

On another note: no, there is no deer here in our household. Hunting did not yield a dead animal as of yet, but Curt still has this Saturday, so we'll see what happens! Will I have a dead deer head on my wall in a year? God only knows...and I pray He has my best interest in the outcome! :o)

That's all for now from here! I hope you are having a wonderful week, and enjoy today!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hunting Season

It's officially deer season, and Curt's out there on a quest to get the buck of Tioga County. :o) Danae and I went with him to his parent's cabin to keep him company in-between his hunting excursions. So far, it's been rain, rain, rain...and then some! It makes for a difficult time of hunting, but we had some other adventures.

First, within an hour of arriving at the cabin, we decided to go for a walk. As we passed the shed, Curt and I heard a waterfall-like noise...and then discovered that a water heater pipe had burst in the shed, and water was flowing out of the side of the shed. Lovely. A few hardware store parts and supplies, and it was back to normal...but without hot water. So, yes...smelliness abounded for a few days.

Our second adventure was a bit more exciting. So, it rained a TON Monday night into Tuesday, turning the creek behind the cabin (that also runs along the unpaved road to the cabin) into a mini whitewater rapids of sorts. As we drove Curt out to his hunting spot on Tuesday morning, we went by a spot where there's a road across the creek that is usually crossable...only to find two men standing in the back of a pickup, halfway submerged in the water. Oh boy. I checked to see of anyone was already helping them. Nope. We were the first sign of life they had seen, (mind you, it was a little after 7am), and they had already been there almost an hour! Danae and I sped back to the cabin, called 911, and hurried back to the men. Poor guys. They were safe, but the truck seemed to be a goner. Within 10-15 minutes, an ambulance, fire squad, police, health personnel, and fire police were all on the little dirt road, getting the men to safety.

All in all, it was a good time away, even though a buck did not end up in the back of our truck. Let's see what this coming weekend brings for the hunting hubby! :o)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday

We had a PACKED house for Thanksgiving dinner! All of my immediate family and Curt's immediate family came to our house for dinner. We had a total of 16 people in our little townhouse...craziness! In the end, the food was GREAT and I really enjoyed being around lots of family. (I hope you guys enjoyed it, too!) Also, thanks to Aimee for letting me borrow her trifle dish...Meagan and I had a ball making it! Unfortunately, I was too busy to remember to take pics of everyone at dinner...sorry for my forgetfulness! :o(

So, after much discussion, my siblings, brother-in-law Tim, Meagan, and I decided to hit up Target and a few other stores this morning for the Black Friday sale. Boy oh boy, I don't think any of us will do that again! We left the house at 5:30ish and got to Target to find the parking lot full and the line wrapped around the side of the building. Pure madness. Seriously, how do people make it from one store to another on this particular morning??

After attempting to use a cart and realizing that wouldn't work (waaaay too many people, lots of cart-smashing), we started carrying what we were going to buy. Nope, my brother James didn't get the awesome camera that was on sale, but I think we had a fun time seeing each other before the sun came up and got a few other deals in the end. More pics can be seen by clicking on "Our Online Albums" to the left.

So, did you have a good Thanksgiving? Any shopping adventures? :o)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Kitchen Table

Curt and I have been mulling over the possibility of getting a new kitchen table and chairs for the past few months. In early October, Curt and our friend, Joel Bare, decided to trade labor hours: Curt would help him with a house project, and Joel would build us a table. It was finished this past weekend and delivered yesterday! Oh, the joy I felt!


I don't think this picture give it any justice, but at least it's something for you to see! :o)

I am floored by Joel's work...it's amazing! We are so happy with the way the table turned out, the paint color, and the stain color for the top. The other plus is that it's ready for the Markey/Ulrich Thanksgiving Feast, and with the four leaves in the table, we can fit up to 12 or 13 people around it! Seriously, if you need a piece of furniture made, check out Joel Bare Woodworking on Millcreek Road in Bird-in-Hand, PA. High-quality, hand-made furniture by someone who knows what he's doing...what else could you ask for? :o)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Mountains Weekend

This past weekend we went up to Curt's parent's cabin in Tioga County for one last time this year. We had a fun time, full of game-playing, Play-Doh sculpting, food eating, and...snow! The snow showers came down later Saturday and all Sunday morning. Good thing we didn't stay until Monday...we later saw that the area was supposed to get up to 5 inches by Monday morning, and the road where the cabin is does not get plowed! :o)

Here are some pics of our mountains adventures. Click on "Our Online Albums" to see more.

Grandpa and Danae playing with Play-Doh

Daddy and Danae

Derek and ShilaMommy and DanaeSNOW!

Enjoy today!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Danae-isms

Well, it's been a fun and interesting week! :o) Our Little Miss averaged an accident a day, which is great...it could have been much worse! So, we'll keep trucking on this weekend!

Here's a little "Danae-ism" for you to start your weekend...enjoy!


Danae: Mommy, Danae mad at puppy.

Me: Where's your puppy?

Danae: In the corner.

Me: Okay...why are you mad at your puppy?

Danae: My puppy spilled Danae's goldfish...not nice, puppy.

Me: Oh...your puppy spilled your goldfish on the floor? Hmmm...why don't you go over and talk with your puppy.

Danae (to the puppy in timeout, while hugging it): I'm sorry...puppy say I'm sorry. I love you, puppy.
(As you can see, it's a stuffed puppy, not a real one.) :o)

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Week of The Potty

As you probably guessed by the title, we are tackling all-out potty-training this week. Little Miss has shown interest in the potty since June or July, and she would go on it sporadically since then. However, for the past few days, she has been telling Curt or me when she needs to go, instead of us constantly asking her if she needs to and hearing, "No, I'm fine." (Not kidding, she really does tell us that. What a character!) So, it's off with the diaper and on with the Dora underwear!

So far so good today. She stayed dry for most of the morning, and there's no pee on my floors, so that's a plus! We figure, if she has an accident, that's okay...she's a newbie at this get-rid-of-the-diaper thing, and she'll eventually learn. The only thing is that we've been giving her Smarties (a.k.a. Farties) as a reward when she goes, and today she's racked up at least 10 so far. Hmmm...time to change the strategy.

She's now waking from her nap, so I better run and get the Dora's on. :o) Pray that this week goes well!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Happy Birthday, Curt!

Today is my hubby's 28th birthday! Happy Birthday to him! :o)


We were just talking last night about a person who is around 20 years old, and the comment came out of my mouth, "He's around 20 or so, not much younger than us." Then it hit us: we are both much closer to 30 than we thought! What in the world are we talking about, "not much younger than us"??? And where in the world did the years in-between 20 and 30 go? Oh, boy...

At any rate, Danae and I will be taking the Birthday Boy out to dinner and then have some cake at home. Our little Peanut wished her Daddy-O a happy birthday (very clearly, I might add) on the phone while he was at work this morning. So, now that she knows it's Daddy's special day, she's been talking about it a lot...reminding me when I made the cake, when I mention his name, etc. She's my little helper all right!

So, again, Happy Birthday, Curt, and many more!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Holiday baking and the such

FYI: The Lady of the House over at Three Men and a Lady gave me the tip of googling how to get music on my blog. So, for those of you who have asked...sorry! The only advice I can give is to research it. It's the best way to learn.

Now that I've finally remembered to post that bit of information, let's get on to the real purpose of this post: HOLIDAY BAKING! YUM!

Thanksgiving Day may resemble something close to a circus in our house, with both sides of the family coming. So, I'm after some of your best, tried and true, delicious (and maybe slightly healthy?) cookie, pie, bread, cake, and turkey (YES, turkey!) recipes. Is there anything that you love to eat or bake during the holidays? I LOVE to make pumpkin pie and have already made 3 or 4 of them in the past month or so. Here's my Pumpkin Pie recipe:

- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup instant biscuit baking mix (Bisquick, etc.)
- 2 Tbsp. margarine
- 1 can evaporated skim milk
- 1/2 cup Eggbeaters (or 2 eggs, whichever you prefer)
- 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
- 2 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 9-inch deep dish pie crust

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put all ingredients into blender. Blend on high for 1 minute. Pour into pie crust. Bake for 1 hour, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.


It's really that simple!

So, if you have a recipe you want to share, go ahead and post it on your blog. If you don't have a blog, e-mail the recipe to me and I'll post it on here for all to see. Happy sharing! :o)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Applesauce-O-Rama!

Saturday was applesauce-making and canning day at Sarah's house. Boy, what a project! We had 8 or 9 people helping out to make applesauce for 5 people. After working from around 9am until a little after 6pm, all of the over 200 pounds of apples were made into their saucy counterpart. (With around 40 quarts of applesauce now in my basement, guess what the gift of choice is for this Christmas!) :o) I must say, though...applesauce-o-rama day is much better spent doing it with others than by yourself. Thanks, friends, for a fun day!



Friday, November 2, 2007

2-Year-Old Portraits

So, I took Danae to JC Penny last week for her 2-year-old pictures, and I'm sharing the preview with you! (The package comes in next week.) Here are four of my favorites. Given that Danae kept telling the man to "stop it" and that she was "all done", I'm glad for at least one photo of her smiling! :o)



















Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Exercise and Productivity

After a several-day hiatus from running, Curt and I mustered the strength and energy to brave the cold and go for a late evening run last night. With the cold weather and the soon-to-be time change upon us, evening runs are getting harder to do together. So, we did a circuit-type workout last night. Curt ran hard on our 1-mile loop around the corner while I stayed home with Danae. When he returned, I headed out on the same loop. While waiting for the other person to return, the at-home person did our usual sets of sit-ups. Then, when I returned, Curt headed out for a second mile, and vice versa. When we were both home, the leg lift exercises began, along with push-ups (not my favorite). Boy, it's definitely hard to get back into the groove after a few days off. Plus, I've been feeling rather fatigued lately, so that definitely didn't help. (To answer the question that is now gaining strength in your head...no, I am NOT pregnant.) :o)
In the end, it was a much-needed workout that led to better sleep and more productivity the next day. Now THAT'S what I needed!

Speaking of productivity, today is...

Tackle It Tuesday Meme
So far, Danae and I have tackled breakfast and painting, followed by hand, floor, and face-cleaning. :o) Now I think I'll go and organize our television/living room that seems to have blown up with toys and Cheerios. Welcome to life with a two year old!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Weekend of Travel - Part 2

After completing Part 1 of the weekend of travel, Danae and I tackled Part 2: getting to Emmaus, PA for a baby shower. After morning rain showers, (and cleaning up my little lipstick maiden)...
...the weather cleared up, and we had a terrific ride up! (Danae slept the entire way...adding to the terrificness of it.)
It was great to see my long lost friend, Janelle, again. We haven't seen each other in 4 years, so reconnecting was a lot of fun. And, of course, Danae made herself right at home, sitting with Janelle's sisters and their kids for most of the party.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Weekend of Travel - Part 1

This weekend is full of travel adventures for the Ulrich family! Curt flew one-way to Texas yesterday morning, only to meet up with a friend and start driving home right away. From there, Danae and I drove another hour (with Maryland/VA traffic, 2 hours) to visit my dear friend and old college roommate, Stephanie, and her family. This was the first time I met Will, Steph and Josh's 15-month-old son. I was told he's a big boy, but man! Pictures don't do any justice! Not only is he a cute little ham in person, but he's also 3 pounds heavier and almost 2 inches taller than Danae! Can you believe it?!

Handsome William!

Mr. William's parents, Josh & Stephanie

Danae & Will playing...or maybe fighting

Trying to get a decent picture with the kids

Despite the rain, we had a great time hanging out, playing, talking, laughing, and eating! It was wonderful to just sit, relax, and catch up with deeply missed friends. :o)

Today holds another trip for Danae and Mommy! While Curt is still driving home, Danae and I will drive a little over an hour (close to Allentown) to attend a baby shower for a friend I haven't seen in over 4 years. Hmm....maybe I'll just drive another hour north of the baby shower and go to The Office Convention in Scranton this weekend! ;)