Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE BABIES! I know that while I love my job and bust my butt for my company, my hearts desire is to be a wonderful wife and a mom one day, but while that may be my hearts desire, I honestly cannot remember a time, even through all of the births in my family and all of the little ones I adore so much, I dont recall a single time since my baby brother being at the hospital right after the baby was born until today.
Today, I met my beautiful niece, Robyn Marie Hall, 8lbs, 10oz, 19.5 inches long and absolutely gorgeous! I was the first one to hold her after Rebekah and Nathan (her mom and dad) and it brought tears to my eyes to see this beautiful little girl who God so perfectly made and already has a wonderful plan for her life (thats why she has the wonderful parents she does).
Rebekah is truly the sister I never had growing up. She was the first family member I met and the one I became closest to the fastest, when things go crazy, I call her, when I needed to just cry before the wedding, I would call her, she has been the most wonderful blessing and the sweetest sister I could have ever asked for. I was blessed enough to know about Robyn before anyone else in the family (outside of parents of Rebekah and Nathan), because Rebekah was feeling sick before a crafts festival, I was sworn to keep it a secret and I felt so special in knowing, especially since Michael and I werent engaged yet, it showed Rebekah’s love and trust in me in such a short time. That meant so much to me when she told me, and then today that feeling was multiplied, when she looked at me first and asked me if I wanted to hold my new niece! 🙂
I couldnt help all day today running around work and showing off the pictures of this beautiful little girl, but even more than that, I couldnt help but look at how beautifully and wonderfully made we all are. It truly brought me to such a standstill of awe and grace for my Savior. He made this little miracle I was holding in His image and to hold her just an hour old, knowing a little over an hour ago she wasnt here, was such a humbling experience.
Before I was born, God knew my parents were going to have a rollercoaster ride of a daughter, someone who would try their patience and sanctify them daily, but end the end, would be their baby girl. Before I was born, God knew the perfect man for me was Michael Frank Ross, and while it may take time to find him, He was going to work on both of us during that time of searching, bringing us together and both of our families to allow me to be so blessed by my own family, but be brought into his like I had always been a part of it. More than anything, God allowed me to see this morning that before I was even thought of by my parents, God was going to call me to this beautiful and wonderful life that I am blessed enough to live, and call me His own.
Its amazing what a wonderful sister (I cannot even begin to call her my sister-in-law because she has truly been a sister) and her sweet little addition to her already precious family can show you at 10:30 in the morning. God can even use a newborn baby to make you see so much of His grace, love, and absolute majesty, and I am so humbled by it!
Looking back at this picture, I have so many wonderful memories!!! My baby brother was back from Paris and meeting this guy I really liked, Alli was stuck riding in the care back home with me and Michael and our slightly goofy still honeymoonesq relationship, we were all celebrating my dads birthday, and Michael and I knew we wanted to start a relationship, BUT he had to do one little thing, ask my dad permission.
After years of dating/liking guys that my dad was able to call from the moment he met them, I finally came to the conclusion that the next guy I date has to talk to him first, because he has been able to pick them out fast than I ever could and I dont want anymore heartbreak.
When I met Michael it was butterflies from the getgo. He made me laugh, nonstop, and if you have spent more than 5 seconds with him, you know this isnt something I am just saying, he is seriously hilarious! I really liked him and just wanted to be with him all the time… I guess he felt the same because when he asked about making everything official, I told him he had to go through one person first, and that was my dad.
Most guys at this point ran away and said no thank you, Michael said, “parents love me…” and in a slight bit of pressure from me, asked my dad permission to date me after his birthday dinner once we got home. I am so thankful for all the questions and requests my dad had for Michael because from that day on, he made sure that he led me, and really strived to make sure that God was at the forefront of our relationship! I am so blessed looking back at this time last year, because in the month before it, God had done so much in my life to prepare me for th extremely fun/quick rollercoaster I was stepping on.
Exactly one year later, I have been married to this man for one month and 8 days, my baby brother is moving to Africa in less than 2 months and I had the privledge of growing close to Alli and having her sing in our wedding one of the most gorgeous songs that truly represented the communion we were taking. I am so blessed for the wonderful things that have happened in the past year and cant help but look at this and say that it was truly the beginning of such a beautiful journey, that becomes more and more fun everyday.
I thank God daily for His beautiful and perfect timing and am so grateful He never gave me what I desired, but made me wait for the things He desired for me.
Now one year later, we were able to celebrate that night by me surprising him in a trip to Berns in Tampa and having a wonderful date night and looking back at where we were and the wonderful place that we are along with the beautiful journey ahead! I love you Michael Frank!
So I havent had a chance to post a lot because of so many things going on, but here is a new recipe that I decided to try with Michael… and a few people from work. Needless to say it was a hit and is so yummy!!!
Date Night Surprises for the Hubby!
I handed him a letter that said When in Rome… With that we watched the movie, corny, maybe but I thought sweet! To go along with the theme I made chicken marsala with garlic potatoes and green beans in a balsamic glaze.
A little wine, a couple candles and it was a super cheap and really sweet date night with my wonderful husband! Enjoy!
1/4 cup all-purpose flour for coating
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – pounded 1/4 inch thick
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1/4 cup cooking sherry
In a shallow dish or bowl, mix together the flour, salt, pepper and oregano. Coat chicken pieces in flour mixture.
In a large skillet, melt butter in oil over medium heat. Place chicken in the pan, and lightly brown.
Turn over chicken pieces, and add mushrooms. Pour in wine and sherry. Cover skillet; simmer chicken 10 minutes, turning once, until no longer pink and juices run clear.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes:
4 large potatoes (peeled or not)
1/2 cup of butter
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of pepper
1 clove of garlic
milk added depending on how creamy you want potatoes
Boil potatoes in a deep pot until they are tender. Mash by hand to make sure that as many lumps are out as you can. Add cup of butter and some milk while mashing.
Begin blending potatoes with blender, slowly adding in milk, salt and pepper to desired taste. After they have reached they desired “fluffiness” add in garlic and blend again.
Green Beans in a Balsalmic Glaze
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 shallot, cut into one-quarter-inch disks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup water (more if needed)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 tablespoon sliced almonds, toasted
Combine 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar with sugar in a small bowl and mix well; set aside.
Turn on exhaust fan and heat a heavy 12-inch skillet or large wok over high heat for 2 minutes. When pan is hot, pour in oil and a few seconds later, add green beans, garlic and shallot. Season beans well with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until they brown and shrivel slightly, 3 to 4 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium-low, carefully add water (it will steam) and a few seconds later add vinegar mixture. Stir beans and cover pan, leaving lid ajar. Cook until beans are tender but still have a slight crunch, about 4 minutes. (If water evaporates before beans are done, add more, 1 tablespoon at a time.)
Stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar. Add butter and almonds and swirl pan just until butter is melted.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
One year ago today, I went on my first date with the man that would be my husband 11 months later! The picture was from two days later at the fireworks in Alachua, with my lil cousin Jackson. Who knew that a year later we would be married, planning our lives together, getting ready to move into our first house with our little family! God has blessed up so much and we are forever grateful for all He has done! What a wonderful day to start actually using the blog I planned on starting 2 years ago when I wanted to study abroad. Thank goodness for plans falling through the cracks and God using those disappointments to prepare me to meet my future husband July 2, 2011. I am so beyond grateful for this past year, the growth I have made in both my walk with my Savior and the wife I am becoming. I cannot wait for this beautiful journey that we are starting on and I am so grateful for Gods perfect timing!