Monthly Archives: August 2016

Tomato Ranch Salad


My apologies I don’t have a picture of the salad. I didn’t intend on writing a blog post with this recipe. I only intended to use up some of the many tomatoes my Dad sent me from his garden. I threw stuff into a bowl and served it to people on a whim. But after everyone raved about it I figured, maybe I should write down what I did. Because (as usual) it was quite easy. Here’s all I used:

3 tomatoes

1 zucchini

1 cucumber

1/2 onion

1/2 tablespoon minced garlic

1/3 cup Ranch dressing

Parmesan Cheese

Cube the zucchini and boil it for a few minutes so that it’s not as hard. I didn’t cook it completely. Cube tomato, cucumber and onion. Combine all ingredients in a serving bowl and mix them together. Leave salad in the fridge for 1 hour. Then it’s ready to serve!

Naming Lennon Wallace

It’s only fair that I do a post about how Lennon came to be named, since I did one for his sister. However, boy names proved to be much more difficult for us… Here’s some names we discussed.


Trey: I love this name. I know it can be a standalone name, but something about it seems more nicknamey to me. Maybe because I know a lot of the men that go by Trey are actually “the third”. Though we love Trey, we didn’t love a longer version and as a standalone it just didn’t feel right.


Wilson: If you read my post about Lucille’s name, you know I’m a huge name nerd. So Peter and I have been talking baby names since shortly after we started dating. We used to love the name Wilson. Actually, we still love the name Wilson. However, 4 months before we got married I started working at a new company and befriended someone who has Wilson as a last name. I’m fine with last names as first names, but I don’t like them if I’m close to someone with the last name…


Dylan: We both love Dylan! But we’re both weird people who form assocations with names and can’t overcome them. We’ve both known a Dylan. Neither of us were close to anyone with this name, neither of us had strongly positive or negative feelings regarding the people we knew. But it didn’t seem like our kid because we both pictured the Dylan we knew. About a month ago we named our cat that instead.


Theodore: I love the name Theodore. I love the nickname Theo and both Ted and Teddy have grown on me in recent years too. I suggested this name to Peter and he seemed hesitant. I thought in time he’d grow to love it… instead he grew to dislike it more and more. Theodore will probably forever be my favorite name that I will never use.


Franklin: We love Franklin, we love Frankie, we aren’t crazy about Frank. And I feel like he’d want to go by Frank when he’s older and sees Frankie as childish. While pregnant with Lennon we learned Peter’s grandfather’s middle name was Franklin. I thought this would make Peter want to use it after all, but he still didn’t think it felt right. And I agreed.


Crosby: I fell in love with this name watching Parenthood and Peter loved it instantly too. But it doesn’t sound great with our last name. And we weren’t sure it would age well. Sure, on Parenthood it was the name of a grown man, but a grown man who owned a recording studio, lived in the moment and didn’t stress about many adult responsibilities. My son may not be the same personality type and it might not fit a driven lawyer type as well. (Wouldn’t it be great if we could see the kind of people out babies were going to turn into when naming them?)

So there’s our list. With Lucille’s list, they were all very much top contenders for her name. We went back and forth for weeks with each name on the list. This list though, not so much. They were ideas we threw around but none stuck more than 5 minutes… boy names are hard!


So how’d we fall for the name Lennon?

More than 3 years before Lennon was born I was working at a festival and met a little boy named Lennon. I thought it was a sweet name and told Peter when I came home. He immediately wanted it to be our future son’s name. Peter plays guitar and is a big fan of John Lennon. Additionally Peter’s grandfather’s name was Glenn, so he loved that Lennon sounded similar, while still giving our son his own name. And he loved it’s Gaelic roots, as Peter’s ancestors are from Ireland and Scotland.

I loved it for all the reasons Peter loved the name. I loved seeing how excited he got about the name. I later realized it’s also similar to Leona, the name of my great grandmother and the middle name of my grandmother (Beatrice, the one Lucille is named after). I also discovered it’s meaning in Scotland is little dear/ sweetheart… basically a term of endearment for a small child. I love this as Lennon is the snuggliest little love I’ve ever met. And to me he will always be a little sweetheart and my baby.

His middle name Wallace is Peter’s mother’s middle name. We wanted to honor Peter’s grandfather but obviously didn’t want to name our child Lennon Glenn, so we chose his surname. It still honors Glenn but now it also honors Peter’s mother, grandmother, aunt’s, uncles, and cousins.

Since having Lennon I’ve had to do a lot of digging to come up with boy name possibilities for if baby #3 is another boy. I think we’ve found some good ones, but I’ll wait to release that list. 😉

Naming Lucille Beatrice

I’m a big name nerd. I always have been. My Mom got me my first book of baby names when I was about 7. I talk to my husband about what we will name our 3rd baby daily, even though we’re probably a year away from even trying to conceive this hypothetical 3rd baby.

Lucille and Lennon are both names we agreed on way back when we were dating. But of course when I became pregnant, name nerd that I am, I made a whole list of other boy and girl possibilities anyway. In the end, we chose to stick with our original selection of Lucille, but I thought it would be fun to share the other names that Peter and I considered for our first born.

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Gwendolyn: This was probably our 2nd favorite name. We wanted to use the nickname Wynnie. What we didn’t like about the name is the nickname Gwen seemed more natural and we weren’t as crazy about it. (Strangely, the name Gwen has now grown on me since then.) I also love the nickname Dolly. And though we wouldn’t use Wendy because Peter has an aunt with that name, it’s another cute option. Our last hesitation was my niece’s name ends in Lyn, so I didn’t know if it was too close.


Cecilia: This is a lovely name and after it made our list my mom told me my great great grandmother was named Cecelia. Ultimately, it just didn’t seem like our daughter’s name… maybe because I don’t love the nickname Cece due to a past association. I now think I love Celia even more than Cecilia.


Penelope: I love this name. I prefer nicknames Poppy and Nelly over Penny. However, my sister’s kids call their grandpa Poppy, so I thought it’d be weird for us personally.


Phoebe: I think Phoebe is spunky and cute on a child but still elegant on an adult. This name would have fit out little ball of energy perfectly, but I don’t think it flows well our last name. And Peter hates the show FRIENDS so didn’t like the idea of people associating our daughter with the show. (For the record I had no problem with the association, I love FRIENDS!)


Olive: I love this sweet name. My 2 problems with it are when I say a middle name (Beatrice for example) after Olive it sounds like I love Beatrice instead of Olive Beatrice. Also I hate the food olives so I didn’t know if it was weird for my daughter to share a name with a despised food.

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Willow: I still love this name, so delicate but spunky at the same time. I do think it’s a name that fits certain personalities and appearances much better than others. Since we didn’t know what our daughter would grow up to be like, I kept this as a guilty pleasure name.

I still genuinely love all these names, and so does Peter. At the time that we chose to stick with Lucille I thought it would be nice to come back to this list if we ever have a 2nd daughter. But now I just feel like, even though they are all lovely, they’re Lucille’s backup names and I don’t want my 2nd daughter to have a “backup name”. Totally ridiculous, I know…. but it gives me an excuse to find more names! Which is thrilling for me. (Again, I know I’m ridiculous.)

So anyways, I figured I’d release this list of Lucille’s almost names into the universe and perhaps I can inspire others.

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I suppose, since I included our reasons for loving each name above I should also include why we love Lucille’s name.

I’ve always thought Lucille was a beautiful, classic and elegant name. It’s been a top contender on my list of future daughter’s names since I was in middle school… Besides loving Lucille, I’ve always loved the nickname Lucy. To me it’s always been the happiest sounding name. Perhaps because of it’s upbeat meaning (light) or associations I have such as watching the Peanuts, I Love Lucy and listening to Hanson’s Middle of Nowhere album (The song Lucy was my favorite because it’s sung by Zac, who I wanted to marry. Actually a sad song…. but happy to me because I have happy memories listening to it). Back when we were dating I told Peter about my love for the name and he fell for it too. He loved the Lucille Ball association, agreeing with me that she was not only phenomenally talented, but paved the way for many other successful women.

We called Lucille Lucy most of our pregnancy. We planned on calling her Lucy as a child and figured she’d grow into the name Lucille. The day she was born both Peter and I started calling her Lucille. We never discussed why (until recently) but we ended up never call her Lucy. Lucille just seemed to come more naturally.

Months ago we started calling her Lulu from time to time, thinking that would be an easy name for her brother to say. This is now the name she identifies with most. She introduces herself as Lulu or Lulu Bea. Once in awhile she’ll even correct people who call her Lucy. (She’s a spit fire, that one.)

Her middle name, Beatrice, is after my grandmother. I want to write a post about her soon, so I’m not going to say any more about that right now.

On another note, Lucille is so full of energy, determination and laughter that we sometimes joke Lucille Ball has been reincarnated into our daughter.

What are your favorite girl names? Any from this list you hadn’t considered but are now?

Love Your Spouse Challenge

After I did the ordinary life challenge I couldn’t say no to the love your spouse challenge. Every day I am so grateful that Peter came into my life, so how could I pass up an opportunity to look back through old pictures and send some loving thoughts to him? So here’s my 7 days of love notes and memories with Peter:

Day 1: This picture is one of Peter’s favorites. Taken at the Chamber of Commerce dinner that we attended back when I first started working at the radio station! We never take pictures together so it was a pleasant surprise when Carlson’s was there taking pictures of everyone as they walked in. Peter’s not usually a fan of fancy dinners with strangers. But he was proud to come to this one with me as I started my new career. Always my biggest supporter whatever I decide to do!


Day 2: I wanted to start with this picture… but I had no idea where to find it. So I had to go back to the pictures that were tagged of me in 2010. This is the first picture of me and Peter together! It’s Thanksgiving Eve and Peter and I had been dating about a month. We went to a bar and I met many of his friends that night. The next day we we went and celebrated Thanksgiving separately with our own families. We said Thanksgiving wasn’t a big holiday and didn’t see the point in dragging each other to our own celebrations. Thanksgiving night I remember going to bed and missing him. I realized for the first time that night that I loved him and that I wanted to spend every holiday and every normal day with him.

Tgiving Eve 2010

Day 3: I’m not sure if I’m allowed to use pictures with other people so I’m including pictures of us alone that night as well as a group picture… because the whole group is what made this a truly special memory for us as a couple. Peter and I met at a Halloween party. By the next Halloween he was so much a part of my family that he was asked to be Peter Pan in my sister’s family Halloween group costume and I was Wendy. It makes me so happy that not only did I fall for Peter quickly but so did my family. Thank you to my family for seeing how happy Peter made me, believing in our relationship and including him as part of our crazy family from the very beginning. Peter, thank you for knowing that being with me means being with my family and taking the time to get to know them so that you could love them as much as I do.

1469625547259Day 4: This picture was taken at the CPP Year End Party in 2011. Peter and I had been dating about 3 months. This is the night of our first fight. I remember it very clearly because when we were arguing I asked if he wanted to break up. It didn’t seem like a silly question to me because every man/boy in my life up to that point has left at the very first sign of trouble. But it seemed like a silly question to Peter, he laughed in my face. And that ended the fight. And not once since then has there even been any mention of us not being a couple. In that moment that Peter laughed at me, I felt so safe and so loved. And I’ve felt that way every moment of every day since then.
CPP2011Day 5: Peter is the best travel buddy I’ve ever had!! Together we’ve gone to Cleveland, Washington DC, Connecticut, Ocean City (MD), Dominican Republic, Florida and Chicago (and probably more). If you’re thinking to yourself I had no idea they took all those trips, that’s because I always bring a camera on our trips but then I never remember to take pictures. But it’s because we’re too busy having fun! Thank you Peter for coming along with me as I try to see as much of the world as possible. I know you’d probably rather stay at home and brew some beer, but you know travel is important to me and you’re always a good sport about it!
This picture is us on our way to Chicago for our honeymoon! We went by train…. which was… interesting! But, we LOOOVED Chicago, we agree it’s our favorite US city. We went there on our honeymoon because we both wanted to see it but thought once we had kids it wasn’t a place we’d want to bring them to. We loved it so much we can’t wait to go back and bring the kids! Haha


Day 6: I figured maybe I should include a picture of the day Peter became my spouse! I can’t believe it’s been over 3 years since Peter and I got married. It seems like just yesterday but also like forever ago all at the same time. Our wedding day was so much fun and I feel so blessed to have been surrounded by so many of our loved ones. But mostly I feel so glad that we chose to take this journey together and spend our lives as husband and wife. I’ve dreamed of my wedding day since I was a little girl, but never did I imagine one as perfect as the one we had! Because I got to marry this man, and I could have never imagined a love so great!
Oh and Peter, even though you’re the world’s worst dancer (seriously, though) I’m happy to dance all my dances with you!


Day 7 of Love Your Spouse: I thoroughly enjoyed the walk down memory lane these last 6 days. Though I appreciate Peter every day, it was good to take the time to write down some of the reasons. The memories are priceless and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. But even more than the past, I love where Peter and I are in the present! This picture is us last night with our 2 babies. Peter is the best Dad I could have chosen for my little loves. He is fun, kind, patient and so much more! We are having such a blast raising these babies, they make us laugh every day as they grow and learn and develop their own personalities. They are the most loving babies I know and I like to think it’s because they are being raised in a home with tons of love surrounding them. I am so grateful and proud of the life we’ve built and so excited to see what the future has in store for us!



Because Who Needs Peace and Quiet

With a 2 year old, a 1 year old and Chihuahua Yorkshire Terrier mix… I often feel as though our home couldn’t get more chaotic. Until now… introducing the newest member of our family: Dylan Meow!


We had 2 cats until September when my cat Cotton Eyed Joe, who I’ve had since middle school, passed away. Then in May, our 2nd cat Jack-o-lantern also passed. I’ve always said I never wanted just one pet because they need playmates. But at the time that Jack died I was heartbroken from losing 2 cats and overwhelmed by my current life. I couldn’t imagine adding another animal to the mix. So Santana Banana has been lonesome for a few months now.

I can tell Santana misses her friends and having no animals to play with she has decided to start wrestling with Lucille… which doesn’t go well as Lucille is a wee bit dramatic and acts like the 7 pound dog is eating her alive!

Additionally, Lucille still looks for Jack. When she can’t find him she starts crying “kitty gone!” It breaks my heart. Last Monday when she did it I told Peter I’ve had enough, we’re getting a kitten.

Luckily my aunt had a very handsome loving kitten she needed to find a home for. He was ours by Thursday night.

Though he was living primarily outside at my aunt’s, he seems quite comfy inside our house and only goes outside when we go outside.

The kids are obsessed with him. Seriously, OBSESSED!! It’s adorable to watch them follow him around and snuggle him. And he’s so sweet to them in return… though he does occasionally bite playfully, which we are working on.

Santana took a few days to warm up to him, but now they are best friends!

Honestly, I think he’s exactly what this family needed!!