Meagan Musing: July 2012

Meagan Musing


Olympic Celebration

Our house is a little summer Olympics crazy.

Brian is a swimmer. He swam competitively his whole life - all the way through his four years at SMU.

We started dating our senior year, and I loved dating a swimmer.

I'd never before been to swim meet and even though I always left with terrible hair, I loved cheering him and the rest of the team on.

Well, the summer Olympics is like a giant swim meet for Brian. He's watched every single race - qualifying rounds and everything. I love it.

And I like swimming too, but I also love the gymnastics and the beach volleyball and the basketball. Even the rowing is cool!

So to help get Andrew just as excited as we were for the games we made Olympic ring cupcakes and a banner for the mantel.

It's a party!

{I'd like for you to note the state of my living room floor in the fireplace door reflection. It's not a party unless every toy you own is scattered about!}

So I'm trying really hard to avoid hearing any results during the day so that I can watch the primetime coverage with the proper suspense and excitement. But it's hard, y'all! I'm staying off Twitter and not opening any news sites online.

It shouldn't be this tricky!

So are you waiting to watch the events on TV? Or do you want to know what happens in real time?

And if you know what happened with our girl gymnasts today, please don't tell me!! I'll have to cover my ears and hum a catchy tune. :)

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Caroline's Pool Time

Well, the summer heat seems to be here to stay. We're going to be in the 100s for the next ten days or so.

So we can either stay inside in the a/c or we can swim. Those are pretty much our only two options.

And this weekend we chose swimming!

I'm going to overload you with the cutest baby girl you've ever seen in a swimsuit. (I can say that - I'm her mama. Ha!)

Baby girl outfits totally rock.

I couldn't believe we got her to keep the hat on her head. I think she was just so overwhelmed by the blazing sun that she couldn't think straight to rip it off.

Oh, wait...

She did remember it was there after all. :)

I feel like I keep saying this, but her birthday has totally snuck up on me.

It's like I think she's still this tiny little baby but she can say mama and dog and waves and plays peek-a-boo like a champ.

She can spot her lovey across the room and squeal. She climbs all the way to the top of our stairs - fast. And can turn around and climb off the couch without falling over.

She eats great quantities of chicken and turkey and cheese and grapes. She walks around with a sippy full of water and looks for Andrew first thing in the morning.

She's just such a grown up baby.

But I swear I just met her yesterday.

{Linking up:}

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Margherita Pizza with Basil Pesto

I spent six weeks of the summer between my sophomore and junior year in Italy with the SMU in Italy program. It's hard to pinpoint my favorite part of the experience.

But high on the list was the pizza.

That thin, crispy crust, the salty cheese. And the fresh tomatoes...oh my. I didn't have a bad pizza the entire time I was there.

I've been trying to find the perfect pizza dough recipe for years, and I don't think I've found it yet, but now that I have a stand mixer it's a whole lot easier to try them out.

So last week I used The Pioneer Woman's recipe, substituting one cup of whole wheat flour for regular.

Other than that, I followed it to a tee.

This recipe makes enough for two pizzas easily, and it freezes well so you can have pizza again soon!

Roll out your pizza dough as flat as you can get it.

(Tip: I like to roll it out on floured parchment paper. It makes it super easy to transfer to my pizza stone when I'm ready to pop it in the hot oven.)

Cover your dough in a thin layer of pesto, leaving a bit pesto-free if you have a three year old who "doesn't like presto!"

Now, you can make your own pesto, but I didn't have any ready so I used a Buitoni pesto and it was excellent.

Next, add thinly sliced fresh mozzarella and roma tomatoes.

(The name of the game here is thin.)

Sprinkle just a bit of pizza cheese (or Parmesan would be good too) on top of your tomatoes.

And it's ready for the oven.

Bake at 450 degrees for about 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust starts to brown on the edges.

Slice and serve!

I love that you can make the crust ahead of time and be ready for pizza night in advance. Anything that makes it easier to get dinner on the table makes me happy these days. :)


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A Video for Y'all

Do you have a big goal (or even a little goal) you want to accomplish?

Well, I'm vlogging about mine! Thanks for the fun prompt Ashley and Lindsay.

I so wanted to do this during the day when I had real lighting, but Andrew just wasn't interested in joining me today.

And I couldn't get him to stay off camera and not interrupt me to remind me that I promised him we could sit in my car after the baby was in bed and pretend we were in a dinosaur race.

So here you have it - my video with dark lighting, and I'm chewing gum. Ack! I don't know what I was thinking, but I'll never do that again. I promise.

I just love this girl behind the blog series:


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Lately in iPhone Photos

I feel like we've just been plugging through the summer these last few weeks.

I'm starting to think about back to school and football though so I know we're on the back side. We'd had the nicest weather all summer up until this last week when we hit the 100s and stayed there.

But do you know what's coming up this week?

The Olympics!

I'm looking forward to introducing Andrew to the excitement that surrounds the Olympics: the National Anthem when our athletes are up on the podium. And the swimmers - he's going to love cheering along with his dad watching Team USA swim. And I really hope he likes watching the gymnasts with me.

I have such fun memories of the Olympics from my childhood.

But that's coming up.

What have we been doing lately? Here are the last two weeks in iPhone photos.


Mostly, I've been baking.

I've had my new (wonderful, awesome, super pretty!) mixer for a little over a week, and I've already made cookies, a cake, muffins and pizza dough. I think we're going to enjoy it.


Also, Caroline's little party is coming up soon and I'm getting ready.

I've decided to keep it small with just family, but I still want it to be pretty and girly and a party.

This wild baby is worth celebrating.


She's climbing up stuff, grabbing things off the kitchen counters when I'm looking the other way, playing peek-a-boo in my drapes.

I think I'm going to have my hands full with her.


I got my big camera out today for the first time in almost a week. I don't know how all that time can go by with it just sitting on my counter, but it does sometimes.

And then I feel its heavy weight in my hands, and I remember how much I love what we can do together - me and my third baby. :)

I'll have some pretty pictures to share with y'all later this week.

{Linking up with Life on Leroy and The Weekend File for Life Lately}.


{Simple as That for The Simple Things}

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A New Day

Yesterday was a really tough mothering day around here. Thankfully, even one day removed it doesn't seem as bad as it did last night when I finally crawled in to bed, but still. Ugh.

We all woke up grouchy. Caroline is back to waking up twice a night, and both kids were up earlier than normal so I was tired, and I couldn't get my Keurig to brew my iced coffee. I was hoping for a do-over by 8AM.

And, oh my word, Andrew has run head first into the back-talk sassy attitude phase and it totally caught me off guard.

I needed a warning or something. And an instruction manual.


And he's really so sweet and funny most of the time, so when he's not it's really hard on me.


I feel like surely I'm affecting this behavior - is he needing more attention? More freedom? More boundaries? More activities? More structure?

I have no idea!

I know I went to bed last night feeling like I'd totally failed as a mother that day.

But today was an all new day.

New attitudes, more grace, more patience.

And today we thrived.


He sat in his chair while we ate breakfast and dinner. When he asked for another cookie, and I said no, he said okay. Whoa. He was sweet and loving with his sister and his cousin.

He still had his moments, but his overall attitude was a million times better.

But so was mine.

I'm the grown-up here. I can't expect him to have a positive happy attitude if I'm grumbling and grouching all day.

Just my mood, the way I choose to face my day, has such a major impact on these two little ones who trust me with their whole hearts.

What an awesome responsibility this motherhood thing is.

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Birthday Cake Practice

I made a cake on Sunday.

For the first time ever.


I was up feeding the baby Saturday night, and my mind wandered to her birthday party. I got it in my head that I was going to make her cake, and then I couldn't go back to sleep - ahhhh! I had in idea, and I needed to make it happen.

But I'd never made a cake so I needed to practice.



I'm so happy with it.

It's adorable, and it's pretty tasty too.

I was more worried about the icing and the decorating than the actual cake baking so I used a box mix, following this tip from Tidy Mom, using melted butter instead of the oil.

I also used these tips from i am baker for the butter cream frosting and the decorating.

She's so talented and makes it look SO easy. It wasn't that easy for me, but I think for my first try it turned out pretty well.


And surely I'll do better when I make another for her actual party.

I'm kind of in love with the cake flags.


These are the same papers I created to use for the rest of her party - the invitations, the birthday banner, the labels.

I cut them into rectangles, folded them in half, cut them into triangles and glued down over bakers twine. I tied my twine on to bamboo skewers and topped the cake.


I think for the party I'll do another layer so it's a little taller and more substantial. And try really hard to make the icing smoother.

So, whoa! my baby girl is going to have a homemade birthday cake.

Never would have thought that would happen! But I'm happy I'm doing it. I can cross make a pretty cake off my list. :)

{Linking up for Wordless Wednesday: The Paper MamaNaptime Momtog, & Project Alicia}

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Loving: My kitchen. I've been in there doing tons of baking - I know! Cookies, cupcakes, and I've even decided to make Caroline's birthday cake. I made my first ever layered cake today to practice for her party. It's my new mixer. I'm totally in love.

Reading: Ahhh...Not much. I currently have The Night Circus on my Kindle and Einstein Never Used Flash Cardson my nightstand. I'm really enjoying both, it's just a matter of making time to get to them.

Watching: The last season of The Closer. I'm so sad it's coming to an end, but I'm going to enjoy every bit of these next six episodes. Brian and I have watched The Closer together since the very beginning, and he's totally making time to watch this last season with me. Time with Brian and one of my favorite shows? Awesome! Also, I hear Project Runway is starting a new season this week. I'm going to have to check out the designers. I'm hopeful for a really good group this time!


Anticipating: August. Caroline's first birthday, birthdays for my mom and my mother-in-law, dog-sitting for 10 days, Andrew back at home for a few weeks before official preschool, Brian having a week off of school. All good stuff.


Listening: The Avett Brothers, Fresh Beat Band and Gotye. These and the Foster the People Pandora station are pretty standard on our Apple TV right now. Andrew's babysitter is getting married this fall and when he hears January Wedding he says, "This is Hope's song!" It's cute. :)


Planning: So Caroline's turning ONE in a month. I thought I'd just have a small family get-together and then I decided to invite a few friends and now I'm kind of going all out. I decided on a Lemonade theme and I'm running with it. There's just so much you can do and it's all so cute.

Working on: I took photos of two sweet baby girls for friends last month, and I'm still trying to finish them up. Ugh. I feel so bad that I'm so slow to finish up a photo shoot. It's a really good thing I'm not planning on being a pro photographer any time soon. There's just a lot on my plate right now.

So that's where we are in the middle of July.

What are y'all up to?

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Our Night at Peter Pan

Andrew and I went on our Peter Pan date Tuesday night, and it was a huge success! He was so excited and had the best time.

I had to get a picture before we left. He asked all day if it was time to go yet. Finally! We were on our way.

He turned on his serious grown-up face as soon as we got there.

We arrived a little early and Andrew waited so patiently.

He settled in to read his Playbill. :)

The set was very pretty!

I hadn't seen Peter Pan in a long time, and I really enjoyed this show.

Cathy Rigby was so much fun! I kept thinking there's no way she's 59, but she is. She bounced and tumbled and flew all over the stage sprinkling sparkly fairy dust as she went.

I loved Captain Hook - very handsome and charming for a bad guy. And Tiger Lilly was amazing. She was beautiful and really made me wish I were six feet tall and could dance. :)

Andrew sat on my lap through most of the show and did a good job of being quiet. He didn't get scared until the end when Tinkerbell drank the poisoned medicine and started to fade. Andrew turned to me and said, "Let's go home!" It was sad, but I assured him that she would be fine and he helped us clap her back to brightness.

The show was a little over two hours with the 15 minute intermission. I was afraid it would be too long for him, but it kept his attention, and I certainly didn't have to worry about him falling asleep - he was wide awake!

And then yesterday he built the Jolly Roger out of his TRIO blocks. I think it made an impression on him!

If you're in Dallas and looking for a cool, indoor activity for your family this month I'd definitely recommend Peter Pan. There were so many kids there! It was a wonderful way to introduce Andrew to the magic of a Broadway show.

Check out this cute review video from the show on Tuesday:

Peter Pan At Dallas Summer Musicals from Dallas Summer Musicals on Vimeo.

Peter Pan will be at Fair Park now through July 22nd. You can find more information and buy tickets at Dallas Summer Musicals.

Local friends - you'll have to let me know if you go!


Disclosure: DSM provided our family with two tickets to see Peter Pan, but all opinions here are mine.

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July Ten on Ten

It's time for Ten on Ten again!

Last month I was at home with the kids all day.

Today Andrew had Mother's Day Out, Caroline was with our sitter and I went to the office to work.


We are so fun and let Andrew have chocolate and peanut butter Cheerios for breakfast. This is so, so good.


Dropped Andrew off at school and I'm off to the office with my caffeine.


Lots of paper on my desk.


This little turtle paperweight was my nanas. And now he's at my office.


I remembered to wear earrings today.


The prints my sister picked out for our office.


Whew...out of the office. Time to pick up this silly guy!


I have failed my girl mom job. She will NOT keep a bow in her hair anymore. If someone says the word bow, she immediately reaches for her hair and pulls. Awesome.


I won the snack battle today.


I did not win with this one. He was supposed to be riding his tricycle. Hmmm...

I love finding little moments of our day to photograph. You should join in next month!


Linking up:

ten on ten button

{Also linking up for Wordless Wednesday: The Paper MamaNaptime Momtog, & Project Alicia}

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