Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Let it Snow....

(outside our window)


I never thought I would say this, but I love the snow.
Here, in Heidelberg.
I don't know why, but I think it's the fact that I have never been in Europe in places that it actually snows. It feels magical.
Life with Bear and Smith is great. It is so funny because I am constantly looking for signs of any sort of diffrence with Bear. I will tell Bryce, "He hasn't looked at me today...do you think he is alright?" and Bryce always reassures me everything is fine. Bear has been different than Smith. But since Smith has had newborn qualities his whole life, I think Bear and Smith are similar. Only time will tell. But so far, Bear can lift his head, he is not hypotonic, he opens his eyes, looks at me and around, and he can track things with his eyes. All I know, is that when I look at Smith, Bear and my Bryce, it is proof that God loves me. They are my gifts from Heavenly father. Life is a lot harder with two kids that can't walk, can't talk, need diaper changes, need baths everyday, need to be fed by me, and carried by me, but life is a lot fuller and happier too. Life always gets easier and always gets harder. I think I will focus on the easier things today.
Oh and by the way, yep, by many requests, The Kitchen Chronicles are back! I am cooking and blogging again yay!!!

This was so cool, Sarah Muller, a former investigator who got baptized from Bryce's mission, came to visit us. Her daughter was so cute and they were fun to have over. Do you like how blurry I am?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy 5th my Bryce!







Happy Anniversary to me and my Bryce!!
The week of my due date, (which was November 16) I had a dream that I gave birth to our little Bear on our anniversary (which is November 18).
When I awoke from the dream, I was mad. I didn't want to share that date with anyone but Bryce. Even my unborn child, (at the time). I am a little obsessed with my husband and I look forward to our anniversary more than any other holiday in the year, because we have always stayed the night somewhere no matter what.
1st Anniversary- The Homestead Restort, Midway Utah, I LOVE MIDWAY!!
2nd Anniversary- The Marriot, Salt Lake City Utah, apparently the cleanest city in the world
3rd Anniversary- A private cabin above Heber, thanks to one of Bryce's students families
4th Anniversary- The Johnson Mill Bed & Breakfast, Midway Utah!!
5th Anniversary- Salem Hospital, Heidelberg Germany
What I thought would be bittersweet, turned out to be nothing but sweet. I loved giving birth on our anniversary. Two very special days of my life occurred on that blessed day. How lucky we are to share it with Bear, and Bear with us.
So, that being said, we finally actually celebrated our anniversary! Yeah.
We went out to eat at a thai restaurant on the main street that runs through old town. Then,
Bryce writes me a song every year and then puts on what he calls, "his favorite concert of the year," where he sings all of them for me. I cried and felt oh so special, then we watched a movie. Notting Hill. I love that movie. It was a night dipped in chocolate with a cherry on top. I love when all you are thinking about is that person you are with and how much they have changed your life for the better. And of course, always eating delicious food is a must on your anniversary.
Yeah for Awesome Husbands!!!


Me waiting with my buddies for the bus to come whisk us away to thai food...






Love him.



Now I understand people taking pictures at restaurants. It is a HUGE deal to get out with kids!!!!








the camera made this look so gross!!!!! but it was DELICIOUS! Pork satay


And if any of you want a delicious and easy holiday treat that will go over oh-so-well with any holiday feast. Try my freezer pumpkin cheesecake recipe. You can add a cup of chopped chocolate and make it freezer pumpkin chocolate chip cheesecake, you can add whipped cream and caramel topping and make it caramel pumpkin cheesecake, anyway you eat it it is a crowd pleaser. The best thing about this recipe is you don't bake it! Yes, so easy.



this recipe was adapted and created for my sister Lauras birthday. She wanted a cake with no eggs and little to no gluten. But the crust has a bit of gluten, that's okay, it's still a rich and delicious thing.

FREEZER PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE have mercy!

  • FOR THE CRUST

    • 1-1/2 cups finely ground gram crackers
      1-1/2 cups toasted pecans, finely ground
      1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
      1/4 cup butter, melted


FOR THE FILLING

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese (1/2 cup), room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (1/2 cup), room temperature
  • 2 ounces soft fresh goat cheese (1/4 cup), room temperature
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Directions

  1. Make the crust: Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray; line bottom with a round of parchment. Stir together cookies, butter, sugar, and nuts, press evenly into bottom of pan. Refrigerate while making filling.
  2. Make the filling: Beat pumpkin puree, 1/3 cup sugar, the cheeses, and pumpkin pie spice with a mixer on medium speed until very smooth, about 4 minutes. Whisk heavy cream and remaining 1/3 cup sugar until medium peaks form; fold into filling mixture, and spread evenly onto crust. Smooth top, and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours. Refrigerate for 45 minutes before serving. Place a cinnamon stick on top to garnish if desired.
  3. Run a knife around edge of cake; release sides to remove from pan, and transfer cake to a serving platter.








Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Market














Boy do they know how to celebrate Christmas in Heidelberg!!
The Christmas market in old town Heidelberg is BOOMING with Christmas goodies. They even flooded part of the street and made it into an ice skating rink.
After our first pediatrician appointment we decided to stop by the Christmas market, and I was dazzled. It was so cute to see Bryce pushing our babies. I love having two. Having multiple children is so fulfilling. I thought it would be stressful, (it is), but it is not the over riding emotion attached to multiples, there is a stronger sense of family, and a stronger desire for me to better. I don't know why, but I guess with these 3 amazing men in my life I have a lot to live up to. We had to come home from the Christmas market a little early... I am still recovering, and by the way, putting lavender essential oil in your bath water does wonders after birth, just so you know. Well, again, merry Christmas as I take you on a highlighted journey of the CHristmas market in old town Heidelberg.


I started out buying these delicious beauties, They were hot and singing to me.


Ready for the pediatrician? Europe is always fun for the trips we take using public transportation, never a dull moment.



They have delicious stands that sell brats, steak brochen, french fries....and so much more!



Fruit skewered and dipped in chocolate yumm, yes please.



Beautiful paper.


Germans know their Candy and Chocolate.


A Christmas MErry Go Round? Are you serious? This is so cool.


Loved these trinkets.


Hey Buddy! I'm sorry you got tired, your missing out!

boy number two, down.


I could just gobble these three boys up...yum yum yum. I love them so so much!!


This ceramic is made in Poland I think, anyway, my grandma is a huge fan of this particular ceramic and I think it is pretty awesome too. They had a huge stand of this beautiful ceramic and it made me miss my Grandma Smith!



Can I get that baking dish on the shelf please?


walking back to our bus stop....





























Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Countdown Jar

I love love love love love love love....did I say LOVE? CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This time of year is nostalgic and full of life. You would think the end of the year would be a little dreary and kinda sad, but it is the opposite.
So I decided to make a Countdown to Christmas Jar. Every little piece of paper has something to do until Christmas. Not anything huge, examples; make cookies, drink hot chocolate etc.... there are 24 days until Christmas and I am geared up to have a great time until then.
Ho! Ho! Ho!
Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Birth in Germany







Some of you have already seen pictures of me in the hospital and commented saying I looked beautiful right after I had my baby, well, during the birth I was not a beauty. It was a gird your loins and throw your sweaty hair in a rubberband affair.
The German Midwives were beautiful and magnificent. They were dedicated to me having a vaginal birth. My first birth was a C-Section and I was determined to have a natural birth this time. My midwives were on board with me as we worked together.
When I walked into the hospital going through contractions with Smith about 3 years ago, I was dialated to an 8 and quickly was a 9. I was violent and moaning and groaning, they opted for an epidural to calm me down so the baby would drop. No luck, what ended up dropping was Smiths heart rate and in I went for an emergency c-section. It was not planned and unexpected. Bryce was sad he couldn't be in the operating room for very long, he got to hold my hand for a little bit and then leave as soon as the baby was out. Even though Smith is amazing, and we did feel God's presence in the operating room that day, there was a sense of a missing experience that we were looking for and didn't find.
I walked into the hospital dialated at a 2 this time with Bear. And not too different than with Smith, with in 45 minutes I was at a 7, and after getting out of their birthing tub, I was at a 9. But the baby's head would not drop. Just like Smith. I was stuck birthing at a 9 for hours, screaming, and moaning and groaning. It wasn't too long until the midwife came in and said I needed an epidural to calm me down so the baby could drop (I was also screaming for one, so don't think I was an angel, I recall clawing the nurses legs and yelling "I am going to die!"). I got the epidural and when I was in the united states and got the epidural for Smith it was so powerful that you could just watch your contraction pass you by. But they did a more local epidural on me so I could feel everything, I was still walking around the room and feeling pain during contractions so I could push. Just dialed down a notch so I could think. But no luck, the baby's head would not drop. This is where the nurse looked me in straight in the face, ( I had my eyes closed for most of my birth) and said, "Beth you need to push as hard as you can or you will have to have a c-section, we are going to use the vacuum on you okay?" Now, I think in the U.S. using vacuum extraction is ancient history, but in europe it is very common.
There were about 5 midwives at the other end, one yelling in German, the others in english, to PUSH!!!!
After a double episiotomy and about 10 minutes of pushing my brains out, little Baron Bryce Taylor was BORN! I did it! A long sigh of relief came out of my mouth and my sweet wonderful Bryce was overwhelmed with joy as he hugged all the midwives, cut his son's cord, and wept with ecstasy. Bryce later told me it looked like a land mine went off down there.
Having experienced both kinds of births, having a vaginal birth is, in my opinion is the way to go. I loved the feeling of pushing him out. I loved knowing Bear and I worked hard together and we did it. We did it buddy. You and I. Me and you. I know we will continue to work together in life and be best friends. I love you Bear and Smith, you two are the apples of my eye.

This is me bout 3 weeks before my birth with my sister and her family, Laura came out to Germany to be my Doula, she was amazing, she had drinks with straws, frozen maxipads for after birth and essential oils and teas. She is amazing.





This picture is perfect because we had Bear on our anniversary....









Sunday, October 30, 2011

Gak





Does anyone remember Gak?
The older kids play dough. This post has nothing to do gak, but I did run into some yaks the other day and it made me think of gak and how silly that stuff is.....anyway, Smith and I were on an explorers walk when we heard cowbells in the distance, me, thinking it was cows got excited and told Smith "we are going to see some cows Smith!" And then we turned the corner and it turned out to be Yaks! I just had to laugh because seeing a yak on a walk is the last thing to expect. Smith liked them, I put Smith really close to one to see if Smith would get scared but he just smiled and laughed.
Also I got some knew head shots for America's Top next Model. I am going to be submitting them of Bryce. Which one do you think is the best?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My Friend


I have a little friend named Smith.
He is cute and fun.
Sometimes I get caught up in the "care" of Smith and tend to neglect the "play" with him. We had the best day today.
After finishing Anna Karenina, I put the book down and made a resolution to play with Smith the rest of the day. He loved it, I loved it. He truely is an Angel, really, I don't know anyone with as many celestial trates as my little Smith. I am hoping on getting him into a german pre-school soon, I hope he learns German so that when I scold him or tell him to do something he can say, "Nein Mutter!"
That would be great.


video

Friday, October 14, 2011

My Season


Everyone and everything has a season.
What is this season of mine?
What is there to learn right now in my life?
I decided that my season right now is being a mother. At home (u.s.a) I was lucky enough to have friends and family close, (which is wonderful). But here I will not have that everyday. I am living pretty much in the woods while Bryce is studying all day long. So what does my day consist of? What did it used to consist of? I used to plan a day date with a friend or family member, bring Smith along and shoot the breeze. I can make friends, I think that I have proven that to Heavenly Father, but now I think I need to focus on being a mom. A real mom. Not that SMith does not provide the opportunity to be a mother, he does in a different way. But now that I am going to have another little boy in my little home in Deutchland, I think I need to hone my motherly skills and not try to do things to get away from being a mother.
When I was younger I used to play house....actually not that much younger,, I think I stopped playing house when I was fourteen. I was a late bloomer in life. Anyway, whenever we were deciding who would be the mom, the sister, the baby, the dog, you know the normal domestic beings. I never wanted to be the mom. Never. I thought that sounded like the most boring roll to pretend to be, I always wanted to be the teenager or the baby or maybe the annoying dog, but never the mother. Now I find myself sometimes feeling the same way. Except, that it's not pretend anymore. I cannot escape motherhood like I could when I played house.
Motherhood didn't choose me, I chose motherhood.
And I am going to choose motherhood while I am here in Germany. I remember when I went visiting teaching before I came out here and I was talking to a lady from my ward and I asked her,"how are your kids so good." And she said,"they better be! I gave up so many day dates with my girlfriends because of naps and rides and sports." That really hit me, because I feel like I have never given up that stuff. It is time, my season to learn about motherhood. So any advice from all you mothers would be appreciated.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Discovery

I love to discover things.
I love to explore.
I even dare say, I love to travel.
Today we did all three. We walked down a beautiful street right in the heart of Heidelberg, that has a million shops, and when I say a million....I might be exagerating, but when you are there it feels like a million. With street perfmormers, old buildings, restaurants, clothing, books, Heidelberg University, You name it they got it! So I took random pictures of things that caught my eye.
Smith loved his adventure too. He is eagerly anticipating his baby brother, I think that we have telekaneses and he is excited for him to come. There is a part of me that is nervous, Bryce and I were talking on the train on our way to down town, and we are both excited for a new baby, but not expecting everything to be normal. I mean, it is so hard for me to imagine normal....that seems totally NOT normal for us.
We went to our first prenatal visit today and it was so nice. We actually got a 3-D image of our little boy. ANd I fell even more in love with him! I am so excited for everything! The birth, the baby, the adventure of being a mother of two here in this beautiful country! Yeah!

I love all the bikes in Heidelberg! MOst of them have cute carriers and baskets on them.


A cute stool out of a little shop that I thought was quite creative. It was cover in shells and buttons and random art.


Me and my two boys....one inside the tummy and one outside.



I know I have posted another picture of the bridge and castle, but this picture was so clear, and it was just too beautiful not to post.


So many fancy scarves! I just love it....



I have no idea what these would have tasted like, but they looked delicious.



It's hard to tell, but the flower design on the ceiling of the cathedral was breath-taking


Bryce and SMithy in the Cathedral.



I loved the colors nd design of this window in the Cathedral.



And last but not least I FINALLY had a duner. That is not how you spell it in German, but it is close to how you say it, and it was absolutely delicious! Was not dispointed in the slightest. I feel sorry to all who will not have an authentic Turkish Duner in their lifetime. IT was truely magnificence in my mouth.