I am up too late. My eyes are so heavy that the lids could fall shut at any time. I am in Austin, Pflugerville to be exact. I'm visiting my cousin Mhari, her husband James, and their new baby, Andrew. He's tiny and sweet and passes some incredible gas. He loves his mom and dad, likes to be in motion, enjoys bath time, is getting over some reflux issues, likes being sung to, has a seriously stubborn streak (which I already admire), and in my very humble opinion, looks just like his grandpa Kim most of the time.

I spoke with Jake for a little over two hours tonight as I put Cora to bed. Our conversations keep getting longer, and tonight I couldn't quite get to sleep after we hung up. I came out in to the living room to take my prenatal vitamin and some tums (I was love-hatingly introduced to Chuy's jalapeno ranch today). Everyone had gone to bed, and I couldn't pass up some email checking time. Really quick. And because I wasn't ready for bed just yet. I've never before thought about the variety of things that can end up in one person's inbox.

I always save emails from Jake for last. More love letters. I had several things from a church group, one of which contained absolutely heartbreaking news. The daughter of a sweet couple in our ward passed away today. I sat here for a good ten minutes trying to figure out what to write in terms of what had happened. Anything having to do with death doesn't seem appropriate, especially when a child is involved. Lost, parted, passed, died - they all seem so permanent.

Sometimes, there are no right words.

I believe that life is eternal. I'm sure this family will be reunited and have the chance to grow together someday. I haven't known them for very long, but I consider them friends. They brought me dinner when I was throwing my guts up, even with their daughter in the hospital. They are a wonderful example of service and faith, and I hope that anyone who reads this will say a prayer for them.

And as I sit here, up even later, with Magnolia moving all about under the partial weight of this borrowed computer, I can't help but feel grateful and know that too often times my greatest treasures are taken forgranted.

Today's Joy and Pizza Dough

Joy is sparkly shoes. Today I got some sequined sandals. They are lovely. I didn't even wait for them to go on sale like I'd originally planned. Jake was with me, he talked me into it. He also decided I needed a pair of grey heels with a sweet ruffle trim.

Joy is food. I've been enjoying a lot more of it lately. One of my all-time favorite things is homemade pizza. I could eat it all day every day. The possibilities are endless. This is my favorite pizza dough recipe [I've tried quite a few]:

1 package active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water
1 Tbl kosher salt
2 Tbl olive oil
2 1/2 C flour - I use unbleached all-purpose.

In a medium bowl, combine yeast, water, and sugar. Leave it there to work its magic for 5-10 minutes until it looks foamy.
Add salt, olive oil, and flour
[I usually start with 2 cups of flour and add small amounts from there based on how the dough looks. It usually ends up with 2.5-3 cups all together.]
Mix it all together until it makes a ball-like formation.
Give it a few kneads until dough [ball-like formation] is smooth and elastic.
Rub it lightly with olive oil and put it in a bowl covered with plastic wrap/towel.
Let it rise in a warm place for about an hour.

When it's done rising, split dough into three [You are so lucky you get three crusts out of this!].
Roll it out until it's nice and thin [about 1/8 inch].
Place it on pan.
Brush top light coat of olive oil.
Add whatever toppings float your boat.
Bake at 500 for 12-15 minutes

My current favorite toppings are ricotta [in place of pizza sauce], mozzarella or Monterrey jack [if you've never tried MJ cheese on a pizza, please do], and artichokes. I also love a classic Margherita [mozzarella, basil, fresh tomatoes - thinly sliced, and always with a thin layer of ricotta under the mozzarella].

Joy is my little family. Have I ever said how amazing my husband is? Jake is amazing. Joy is knowing God created two spirits so complimentary to one another and then made a way for them to find one another.

I'm off to make pizza dough in my ruffle-y heels and vintage tablecloth apron.

The Answer to the Question.

When I saw these...
I secretly hoped I was having another girl. I love felt flowers. LOVE them. You should see my collection of felt. I was browsing Etsy for headbands one day, and these beauties came up, and I couldn't help but have to have one, and actually have a reason to use it.

Well, I am in luck. Indee shall now be known as -

Magnolia Jane McInnes Johnson.

Do you love her already, too?

PS: The headbands are by Lou and Lee. You can find their etsy shop by clicking on the pictures or This Link.

And. I love the name Magnolia. Jane is my Grammy's middle name. McInnes is her maiden name. [Betty Jane McInnes (Lund Lee).] Now you know.

And Lastly. Even though it was pretty apparent she's a girl, I still always wonder. The doctor didn't zoom (Yes, a doctor rather than a sonographer scanned me because I'm being seen by my OB as well as another set of doctors/nurses who keep track of high risk pregnancies). It made me really miss Rachel, Jake's cousins wife, who was my personal scanner for Cora. She and her husband are due within days of us with a little boy. It is so exciting.

Boy or Girl?

Yesterday I had a doctor appointment, and we scheduled "the" ultrasound. It's next Thursday (1/21). Just for fun, I want to know if you think Indee is a boy or girl. I've put a poll at the top of my blog.


I have been in love with vegetables for the last few days. Vegetables combined with my love for side dishes set the perfect stage for eating the same meal for dinner two nights in a row. We made it when some friends came over on Monday night, and then I needed it again on Tuesday. I call it vegging and wanted to share it with you.

I LOVE roasted vegetable. Here are the players, minus one of the two potatoes. I was using russet potatoes, but if I would have had new/red potatoes, I would have left the skin on.

I've only had brussel sprouts once before in my life. I hated them. They were bitter and soggy. I decided I'd be brave and try them again. I sliced up all the veggies. The brussel sprouts were cut in two. The potatoes and eggplant were diced.

How I diced up the eggplant.

I drizzled* it all with olive oil and sprinkled some kosher salt and ground some pepper on.
*Drizzle the olive oil BEFORE you add the eggplant. Eggplant is a big sponge and soaks up olive oil on contact. It's much easier to just toss the eggplant in with the other veggies after the others are evenly coated.
Throw it into a 425 degree oven for 35-40 minutes, stirring the whole gang after about 20 minutes.

All roasted up. YUM!

We ate it with some salad tossed with olive oil and a bit of kosher salt and some brown rice.

Snow Day

I finally got Cora some snow boots. They were on clearance. It was a happy surprise.
She's decked out and cute.
It was a good time, until the end when she face planted in the snow. When I went to pick her up, the camera swung into her face. I hope she won't be traumatized forever.
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A Tale of Two Toes

I finally threw these socks away.

And I will remove the polish as soon as I find the nail polish remover I know is hiding around here somewhere.


Cora loves letters and numbers. She recently started lining them up to form "words."

She also likes to eat them.

Wouldn't this be so funny if it was right under her nose?


Cora loves this necklace.

I love her pony tail.A lot.
Even more than she likes looking out at the 'now [snow].


Ski Jumping.

When we moved to Chicago, we picked up an extra digital channel by NBC, Universal Sports. I love it. It first caught my attention when it played old Ironman triathlons. I can't help myself, I like seeing a place I've been, and watching people push it to the limit in extreme conditions. I also enjoy the lovely narration, just like during marathons.

Then it took a turn of cycling races. I love watching the pack move together in unison around curves. I also like seeing how bikes and helmets have evolved over the years.

Lately, Ski jumping has been on, though I believe it's officially called ski flying at this level. I used to love watching it as a kid too, most likely because I've always been obsessed with flying.
There isn't a lot of variation between each jumper, but the slightest alteration in technique, wind, etc., makes such a huge difference. Such is life?

Side Dishes.

Jake told me I don't want real food, I just want side dishes. I scoffed at first, but it's true. Last night I made some Mexican Cornbread because I thought it might taste good. It wasn't.

For lunch (it's still sitting next to me), I had saltines with a tuna concoction on them. It wasn't tuna salad officially because I don't like onions or pickles right now. It did have some mayo and salt and pepper. But it wasn't Hellman's, and that was unfortunate. I don't know what I was thinking when I strayed from my course. I secretly called it pate, though if you gave me real pate, I would most likely spew. Minus the fact that I ate almost an entire can of spam in the early weeks of this pregnancy, and I didn't throw it up for a while. And throwing it up wasn't that bad, maybe it was a relief.

I've also really been wanting some queso. Nothing fancy, just normal velveeta and rotel, but I never add as much Velveeta as the box says. Eww. So side dishes it is.

PS: I took Cora to the doctor today for a follow up appointment to see how some allergy medicine was working. She's had a runny nose for the past few days, but no fever, so I asked if the doctor could check her ears since she is prone to ear infections. Definitely an ear infection. When we got home the fever kicked in, but it could also be from her immunization. Sweet girl. It was supposed to be an easy visit.

Check this out.

Jake's mom, Tracey, recently started a blog that celebrates her love of home and junk. That's right, junk. And she does the most amazing things with it. They also brought home a new puppy yesterday, and there are pictures of her. Be prepared to drool a little.

Whimsical Cottage


Not today.

I was talking to my cousin Kiersty the other day, and we were discussing a lack of updates. I told her I didn't want to bore anyone with the gory details of this pregnancy, but I did let her in on my grand idea. I thought it would be fun if I took a picture of my puke and had people guess what I'd eaten. Lucky for you, I still have a few ounces of restraint.

Christmas week was a little lighter on the vomit. This week has been lighter on the constant nausea but heavier on the barf. (I hope you've noted that I've included puke, vomit, and barf so far. You were keeping track? Good.) Today I threw up in my hair for the first time. One hand was pushing the door open, the other was lifting the lid on the toilet. My hair swung in front of my face, and that was that.

And tonight I hurled some tortilla soup. It left me with some wicked heartburn that tums have yet to take care of.

I'm currently watching a PBS special on Garrison Keillor (Prairie Home Companion) and missing the buzz of our holiday visitors. And missing Oklahoma. And wondering what this new year will hold. I'll be way cooler soon, and post some pictures of my growing daughter...and my growing belly. I've been feeling Indee move for the last few days. The first big move I felt with Cora was at 15 weeks at an OCU wind-phil concert during a Martin Mailman piece. It was magical. And this is no less so.

[I'm 14 weeks 2 days today - just in case you're keeping track of that too.]


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