Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sweet as Pie

I am enjoying some decaf coffee as I write this :)  all by myself :(.  That's right.  It's 9:03 pm and Caleb is still at work.  He has been enjoying his new job so far, but the longer hours have been an adjustment for both of us.  Apparently he jumped in at a really busy time for his company and has been putting in lots of hours.  Last week he was there one night until midnight and he might be there as long tonight.  His boss says it should slow down this next month.  But Caleb will be going out of town for a few days next week and I will have to stay here all by my lonesome!  I believe it is my first time to be left since we've been married!  Little Emerson and I miss Caleb when he is gone all day!  But it makes us cherish our weekends and time together as a family more. 

Emerson is doing well.  We had his two month appointment last week and Emerson had to get three shots in his little legs!  Poor little guy.  But he took it like a man... kind of.  And we found out that he weighs almost 14 pounds!  Which is the 90th percentile, mind you!  His length (23 inches) is only the 50th.  But it's crazy because he doesn't really look that chubby yet!  I'm sure it must be all muscle :)  He is still just continuing to learn and grow.  He is learning to reach out and touch (and sometimes grab) objects.  He's an expert at grabbing and pulling mommy's hair.  But he also reaches out to touch books and toys when we are playing.  He is getting pretty good head control and he also likes to stand up these days.  This boy still has mommy's heart and I don't think he's giving it back anytime soon!

Now, I have been having quite the lemon craving lately, which is slightly unusual for me because I'm typically a chocolate kinda girl.  But this lemon desire has stuck around for several weeks, so I decided to try my hand at a lemon meringue pie and it was DElish.  I decided to document it.  Here is the recipe (which is from my Better Homes & Gardens cookbook). 

Lemon Meringue Pie:
1 refrigerated pie crust
3 eggs
1 1/2 C sugar
3 T. flour
3 T. cornstarch
2 T. butter
1/2 C lemon juice
1/2 t. vanilla
1/4 t. cream of tartar
6 T. sugar

As you can see I'm a fan of a Great Value
1. Prepare crust according to package directions.  Set aside.  Separate egg yolks from whites; set whites aside for meringue.  Allow egg whites to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before begging meringue portion.
2.  For filling, in a saucepan combine 1.5 C. sugar, flour, cornstarch, and dash of salt.  Gradually stir in 1.5 C. water.  Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture is thickened and bubbly: reduce heat.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Slightly beat egg yolks with fork.  Gradually stir yolks into mixture.  Bring to a gentle boil.  Reduce heat: cook and stir 2 minutes more.  Remove from heat.  Stir in butter.  Gently stir in lemon juice.  Keep filling warm.
3.  For meringue, combine egg whites, vanilla, and cream of tartar.  Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl).  Gradually add sugar 1 T at a time, beating on high 4 minutes or more until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks (tips stand straight up) and sugar dissolves. 

4.  Pour warm filling into crust.  Spread meringue over warm filling, sealing to edge. 

5.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. 
6.  Lick utensils while you wait.

 7. Cool on wire rack for 1 hour.  Chill for 3-6 hours.
8.  Wait patiently.
9.  And Enjoy!!

This was my first time making lemon meringue pie, so it wasn't perfect, but it definitely hit the spot.  I would definitely do this recipe again. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Unique Love

I haven't been able to post since the tornado, because who really knows what to say?  Monday was just a depressing day.  I just felt heavy and close to tears for much of the day.  Then Tuesday we had a storm scare of our own.  Today feels more like a normal day.  I have just heard so many horror stories and seen so many scarring videos that I just feel like no human should ever have to go through such an experience.  No parent should ever have to identify their child at a morgue. 

I never understood what people meant when they spoke about the unique love a parent has for their child; well, until I had Emerson.  I can't even explain the love... it's deep down and protective and you just hurt for them when they hurt and you love every smile.  It's cute when they cry and even when they pee on you.  And you are so proud of them... I LOVE showing Emerson off.  I love watching him learn.  And I love it when Emerson interacts with us.  It really feels like he's a part of me.  He is one of the biggest blessings ever given to me and he brings me joy :)

This love is protective and since having Emerson (even before the tornado) I have been extra scared and cautious during storms.  Emerson won't even act scared during them, but I just have to hold him in order to feel safe.  If he was ever taken away from me... it would feel like my heart was ripped out.  It is the stories about parents losing their children during the tornado that make me want to cry most.  Now I understand the strong parental love.  Now I know why my mom had empty nest when we went to college. 

Sunday afternoon Caleb and I actually drove through Joplin on our way home from KC (where we were tremendously blessed by Caleb's family and friends with a shower).  After stopping for a visit with my family, we hit the road again and continued our drive to Fayetteville.  I drove this leg of the trip.  About 15 minutes into it, this inattentive, bad driver literally started to change lanes into our car (she was beside us).  I slammed the breaks and laid (and I mean laid) on the horn (for several seconds).  Thank the Lord, we were not hit.  I don't know how we weren't hit, but we weren't.  So I honked again.  Just in case she didn't realize I was angry.  Even telling this story again makes me well up with anger towards the other driver.  Now, I'm not the road rage driver.  I'm a fairly calm driver.  But when I have precious cargo, like Emerson, I will get aggressive (apparently)!  This driver did have an Arkansas license plate so we were with her for the most of the trip... but I wouldn't get too close!  I realized that it makes my blood boil more than anything when something threatens my baby.  Let's hope I don't deck the doctor tomorrow when he gives Emerson his two month shots!

I guess the point of this post is to say that  a parent's love is unique and is so great.  It helps me better understand the type of love that God has for his children.  And it helps me better grasp what a sacrifice it was for God when his one and only Son was sacrificed.  Our God is good, even when a massive tornado rips through a town resulting in over 1,500 people missing.  Our God is good, because even though he doesn't save every physical life, he has provided a way for our spirits to be saved eternally.  God is good and God is compassionate, even though at first glance we might not think this storm reflects those attributes.  I pray the Lord is glorified through this situation.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


What is Fenugreek you ask?  It is an herbal supplement which is known to increase your milk supply when you are breastfeeding.  I was recently given some to try out so I have been taking it the past few days and decided to google it today to read a little more about it.  Well, according to this website this is the fix-all supplement!  Apparently this herb contains chemicals which are similar to estrogen.  The site said this little pill will not only increase your milk supply, but it will also enlarge one's breasts, increase one's sexual desire, aids the "thinking process", and EVEN has antioxidants that slow aging and help prevent disease!  Apparently it is high in fiber and even helps lower your cholesterol!  Why has no one other than breastfeeding women ever heard of this supplement?  Don't ask me.  Watch out y'all... next time you see me, I'll be one heck of a woman :) 

Ok, ok.. enough about Fenugreek.  I will now talk about things you actually want to read about (maybe).  Caleb and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary on Monday!  We went on a date last week to celebrate.  We went to the restaurant Savor in Fayetteville.  It was great and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is planning a fancy date.  My warning, however, is that it is expensive.  But we all need a fancy meal every now and again.  The food was good, but we definitely loved the environment.  Caleb and I are suckers for a fun environment.  This place was pretty neat on the inside.  Our bill ended up being $63 with the tip, but we did splurge.  We didn't deny ourselves anything :)  It was worth it.  After Savor we went to a movie.  I have absolutely loved the past two years with my man and look forward to the years to come, knowing they will just keep getting better.  We are so blessed. 

Caleb graduated with his Master's on Saturday.  Emerson and I were so proud.  He also started his job on Monday and has been enjoying it so far!  We miss him since he usually leaves before Emerson wakes up and gets home a couple hours before Emerson goes to sleep.  I know it's hard for Caleb to be away from Emerson so much, but he definitely cherishes the time he has with him.  And he will get Friday afternoons off with the summer schedule!

Now, about Emerson, he's still as cute as a button!  He is just learning so much.  My favorite things are to watch him learn new things and also to interact with him.  He is so smiley and talky when he is rested and feeling good :)  I can never get enough!  Just a little bit ago he was playing with his little play mat and was batting at the dangling objects above him.  He was also smiling and cooing at the baby in the mirror.  So cute!  This is my view as I am writing this:
reading books
I don't want to paint the picture that our lives are always perfect with warm fuzzies and butterflies, because that would be untrue.  Little E has his fussy days and I have to try everything in the book to figure out how to make him happy.  But despite the hard days, we have a very blessed life and enjoy our little family tremendously!  Until next time! 

-The Gutshall Fam

Monday, May 9, 2011

Doormat Daisies

Hola Amigas!  I say amigas because I figure 99% of my readers are female (Caleb being the other 1%- of course that would assume I have 100 readers which is probably a stretch!).  Anyway, I hope you are all doing well!  I feel like I have a lot to update you on.  So, I will try to be concise in my storytelling :)  Maybe I will even categorize my topics...

Mother's Day/Baby Dedication:
I celebrated my first Mother's Day as a mother yesterday.  It was a good day :)  We had Emerson dedicated at church, which was pretty fun since it landed on Mother's Day.  My family was able to come down to see it and we went out to eat afterwards.  It was fun to celebrate with everybody.  Then our little family came home and rested during the afternoon.  One of my favorite parts of the day was when Emerson and I took a nap together, him lying on my chest.  He seems to take his best naps when sleeping on top of Caleb or me.  It is always so sweet.  Here are some pics of our Mother's Day.

Tulips from my boys
 This was the outfit Emerson wore for the baby dedication.  Handsome little guy, huh?  Nana's grandchildren will always dress cute if she has anything to do with it!

Awhile back I posted about planting some seeds in an attempt to grow flowers this year!  Well, here is the flower update.  When we had Emerson, the sprouts definitely became second (or 10th) priority.  I just about killed off all my daisies and cypress vines :(  But the zinnias have proved to be hearty plants!  They are planted by our mailbox and are growing taller everyday.  I look forward to seeing our first bud.

We also have a rose bush which was planted here before we moved in and it was developed giant, beautiful flowers all over it!

We were also surprised by another plant that has taken root in our territory.  I thought it was a weed at first so I was about to pull it out, but I realized that there was a familiar looking seed attached to it, which the plant must have sprouted from.  I looked up online and sure enough, we have a pumpkin plant!  I'm excited to see whether any pumpkins grow!
Finally, as I was walking inside our house I noticed dozens of sprouts growing from our door mat!  It seems that somehow the daisies which I have killed have scattered their little seeds onto my wet door mat.  Thus I have daisy sprouts in my door mat.  However, I am sure they will all die when they realize their roots won't go deeper than 1/4 inch.

I went on my first post pregnancy run this morning.  I ran until I was 8 months pregnant, but then began walking at that point.  So I figured this run was going to be dreadful and painful.  But I was wrong!  We ran two miles (Emerson in the jogging stroller) and only had to walk for a minute halfway through!  My next goal will be to run a 5K on June 11th (my dad's Boomtown Days run).  Because we ran this morning, we didn't have to feel so guilty about eating breakfast at the Rolling Pin.

The Rolling Pin:
It was our first time there... the down home, country type cooking.  I got the menu item called "The Rolling Pin".  It was a biscuit with a fried egg, cheese, sausage, and gravy all piled on it!  Sounds crazy huh?  I think I got all my calories for the day on that thing.  But it was worth it.

Emerson update:
Emerson has been doing well.  He's weighing in at 10 lb 4 oz now.  He has been more fussy lately which I have attributed to him being tired.  Babies need about 16 hours of sleep a day.  And Emerson has gotten to the point where he fights sleep during the day.  We are learning little tricks and techniques to foster nap taking in his daily schedule.  He was pretty fussy this morning, but we were able to get him to take a 2.5 hour nap this afternoon!  He was a new man after he woke up!  He was friendly and happy and we had some good play time and a good bath.  He has started enjoying books more (especially the animal noise ones).  He will squeal and goo throughout them.  It's pretty fun.  I just love this little guy so much!  Here are some recent pics:

Does he not look like such a boy in this pic?


Emerson's new friend

Well, so much for a concise post.  I told you I had a lot to update you on!  Who knows if you even made it this far!  If you did, thanks for reading!  Adios!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Greetings, friends!  I recently changed my career title on facebook to read stay at home mom and wife.  This is my new career which I will probably be doing for the next several years.  I am grateful to say that I love my new job!  I love spending each day with Emerson and think he is the cutest thing ever.  However, I am also a stay at home wife, aka a homemaker.  I guess that means I make home... I am supposed to make our home feel like a home.  So, in order to create a more organized system of my making home, I created a cleaning schedule for myself.  It is a two week cycle that looks like this:

Week 1
Monday: laundry, change sheets, bills
Wednesday: bathroom, water plants
Friday: dust, kitchen countertops/sink

Week 2
Monday: laundry, grocery shopping
Wednesday: sweep, mop, water plants
Friday: vacuum

I think having a clean house feels good and makes it feel more like a home.  It will be nice to feel like my house is generally clean.  I also plan on continuing my ritual of cooking about 5 meals every 2 weeks.  This past week Caleb requested quiche for dinner.  So we made my mother-in-law's recipe for her quiche.  It was delish.  Here is a pic.

On another note, Caleb has successfully defended his thesis!  I learned something new about my husband this week and it is that he is a good presenter.  He practiced his defense presentation with me the night before and I was very impressed with his professionalism and presentation skills (not to mention the masculine jawline that repeatedly caught my attention/distracted me).  Needless to say, he soared through his defense and received very positive, encouraging feedback.  So proud of my honey :)  

On a rather sad note, we recently took a trip up to KC to attend Caleb's great uncle's funeral.  It was a good celebration of his life.  But a neat thing happened while we were there too.  I got to meet Caleb's great, great aunt Esther (Emerson's great, great, great).  She is 99 years old!  So we got a picture of 5 generations in Caleb's family.  I bet that rarely happens!  Check it out:

Talk about longevity.  Well, it is getting past my bed time so I must leave you now :) So long,

Amber, the homemaker