“Melt In Your Mouth” Chicken

I’ve been eating carb free for four weeks now. It’s not easy but I’ve lost fifteen pounds so it’s worth it. However, today I wanted something good. I found this recipe on Pinterest and the comments said it was better than fried chicken. I don’t think I would go that far but it was definitely yummy and the kid liked it. That makes it a winner in my book. Plus, it was super easy.

Ingredients:

chicken breasts

1 cup of Greek yogurt

1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 1/2 teaspoon of seasoning salt

1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

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Combine everything together in a bowl. Lay your chicken breasts in a casserole dish and coat them with the mixture. They don’t look very pretty at this point.image

Bake them at 375 for 45-60 minutes and viola. That’s it. We paired the chicken with green beans and Mac n cheese (for the boys). I didn’t get a picture of the full plate. I started cooking late so we were all starving by the time it finished but you get the idea.

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Sawyer’s Butterfly Release Ceremony 6/18/16

For Sawyer’s memorial, I wanted to do something kid friendly and I wanted everyone to enjoy themselves. I didn’t want everyone crying and all of the kids asking questions, etc. We wanted to  thank everyone for all of their support and love through all of this. We decided to do a butterfly release in a local park. We chose Tilly K. Fowler park because of the pavilion we could rent that was right next to a big playground for the kids. I ordered sandwich platters from Publix and the butterflies from www.butterflyreleasecompany.com. They came via FedEx in a regular box with ice packs.

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When butterflies are below a certain temperature, they become dormant and sleep. Once they arrived, I had to keep ice packs in the box to keep them sleeping.

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We chose to have them put in individual envelopes. We were able to chose the color of the envelopes and an inscription. “In loving memory of Sawyer Elmore. 4/24/16 Taken too soon but loved for eternity.”

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The day before the release, there was an 80% chance of rain. Luckily, the weather was absolutely beautiful. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

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I would venture to guess that thirty people showed up. Once everyone had arrived, we passed out the envelopes. I stood on a bench in front of everyone and said the following…

” Thank you everybody for coming. As you all know we lost Sawyer at 37 weeks The day after our baby shower. They have ruled it a cord accident. Although it is a terrible situation that we never thought we would go through, we have been so overwhelmed by all of the support and love we received from our friends and family. We truly could not have gotten through this without you. We just wanted to get everyone together to acknowledge what we’ve lost and celebrate what we have. Does everyone have a butterfly? I’m going to read a poem and at the end please join us in the release of your butterfly.

As you release this butterfly in honor of me, know that I am with you and will always be. Hold a hand, say a prayer, close your eyes and see me there. Although you may feel a bit torn a part, please know that I’ll be forever in your heart. Now fly away butterfly as high as you can go, I’m right there with you more than you know.”

Everone opened their envelopes and to our relief, they all flew away. Some were a little lazy and hung around on people’s hand or shirt before flying away. That made for great photo opportunities.

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In order to keep Sawyer’s memory close, I made a shadow box. It includes pictures, a sonogram, a blanket with his name, the hat he wore in the hospital and the onesie he was suppose to wear home. I also added the chorus to Wagon Wheel by Derius Rucker. Whenever I sang out loud, Sawyer would move. When I sang that song, he moved a lot! Every time. I will forever think of him when I hear that song.

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Sawyer’s Photos

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While we were in the hospital, we were asked multiple times if we wanted pictures taken of Sawyer. For whatever reason, I refused them. I think I was thinking that if there were no pictures, it never happened. I think that was how my traumatized mind was processing it. After refusing them for the third time, our nurse Kelly came to me and whispered, “I’m sorry to keep pushing this on you and I know you are upset with me for doing it but I really must insist you agree to the pictures. You can have them done and never look at them. But if one day you want them and don’t have them, you will regret it”. I remember snapping at her, “Fine, but I don’t want any of us holding him. Just of him”. I owe Kelly the biggest thank you possible. During those few weeks after the delivery, I longed to see his face. I couldn’t remember what he looked like and God I tried to. Having the pictures makes it all real. He really did exist and he was beautiful. The photographer that took his pictures was Amy Mooney. She is apart of an organization called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. It’s made up of photographers all around the country that volunteer their time for these situations. She came in and spent a lot of time positioning him and getting the lighting just right. Then, she spent her personal time at home editing them. I am beyond grateful for this. Thanks to her (and nurse Kelly) I have beautiful pictures to put in the shadow box I’m making.

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Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep: www.nilmdts.org

Amy Mooney’s photography site: www.photogracejax.com

 

Look who’s four!

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Well, he will be in two days but we had his party today. Anyone who knows Aiden is well aware of his love for Transformers so that was his theme this year. I use to stay up all night, cutting things out, gluing them together and making decorations but I realized that Aiden didn’t even notice it. I realized that it was more for the other adults to say how crafty and clever I was. Truth be told, everything I made, I had seen on Pinterest. So now, I just buy the themed plates, cups, and decorations and call it a day. Aiden couldn’t be happier with it!

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We are very lucky to have a pool in the back yard so all of Aiden’s parties are pool parties. Free entertainment! I typically decorate the Florida room and have food in there since it’s cooler. It’s not much to look at but it works perfectly for parties.

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The cool thing about this banner is you can personalize it.

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Instead of goodie bags I like to fill reusable cups with candy, pencils, bubbles, tattoos, etc. I also found these Optimus Prime and Bumblebee masks.

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This was the calm before the storm, before all of the kids showed up.

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The Transformer cake that Publix could do was kind of lame so I had them make me a plain one and I got an edible sheet from etsy. It turned out ok. Aiden loved it!

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He got lots of presents. Some Transformers, dinosaurs, and water guns.

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Aiden didn’t get out of the pool until 5pm (his party was at noon)! Needless to say, he is out like a light and it’s only 7pm! I just hope he stays asleep all night.

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