Recipes to Remember: Banana Bread

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I’ll admit — I kind of think of banana bread as a southern thing. I know people make it in the north too, but as I’m allergic to tree nuts I pretty much write it off as something I shouldn’t eat, since walnuts often make an appearance. But Korey loves it — sans walnuts — so I learned to make it the way his grandma does.

The recipe is fairly easy and straightforward. It calls for:

– two cups self-rising flour
– one cup sugar
– two eggs
– one stick melted butter
– three ripe bananas (I’ve added more before)
– one teaspoon of vanilla
– a pinch of salt

Mash that all together and bake for about forty minutes at 375°. I always cover mine with tin foil but I don’t think that’s truly necessary.

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Although I have never actually tasted my own banana bread (the horror, I know, what a bad cook!) the kids seem to love it just as much as Korey. Izzy told me last night to make sure daddy didn’t eat it all. I replied that I had made two so there was no way he could eat it all. She replied “next time make three — one for the babies, one for daddy, and one for me!” Ha! The prospect of having to share at all is apparently too much for her. 😉

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But I guess she knows what she’s talking about because between desert yesterday and whatever Korey ate for breakfast and took to work with him, there was only one left this morning! I don’t think I’ll be making three though. Some people just need to learn to portion better. 😛

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Izzy turns four!

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Izzy’s fourth birthday was Tuesday and today we had a birthday party for her! I totally have put off having real birthdays since her first because I was pregnant and overwhelmed with the twins and I honestly think they’re kind of dumb. (So I aged another year — woo….) But knowing how much Izzy loves people and parties and being the center of attention right now I felt she deserved a day to celebrate her after how much she put up with over the past two years.

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I wanted to keep it small but given the size of our combined families that way pretty much impossible. 😛 Thankfully I feel good enough now that I totally spent a week cleaning and organizing most of the downstairs. (Since we got a new dining room table it really motivated me. I took down old baby gates and touched up paint and bought long overdue curtains for the living room and everything.)

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Izzy was so excited she counted down the days every day, helped me clean, repeated the list of the all the grandmas and grandpas that were going to be there over and over again, and made sure to tell everyone she could about it. 😉 It totally made it worth it to me even without having had the actual party yet. But the day of was even better!

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Although I don’t have many pictures of her, she was beyond excited, running to the door wherever someone came and announcing to everyone who they were. Her excitement was infectious! I immediately knew all that cleaning and prep work had paid off.

The best moment for me though was after everyone sang happy birthday — which she totally basked in — and she blew out her candle, she ran up to my and gave me a huge hug and said “thank you momma!!” as if I had given her the best day of her life. I nearly cried. I don’t know how I got so lucky with her — she is so affectionate and gentle-hearted and thoughtful. Truly the best child I could’ve ever asked for.

Of course she also got a lot of wonderful gifts that she was thrilled to open, but I definitely think the best part for her was just having everyone over and getting to have a special day all of her own. And I wouldn’t say that about most kids but right from the get go, as soon as I told her about my plan to have a party, the first thing she asked was “and everyone is going to come to my house?” So she got her ultimate wish. 😂

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I cannot even believe it’s been four years. Sometimes, before having kids, I wondered if I was really cut out to be a mom (sometimes afterward too — ha!) But looking at Izzy and what a sweet, happy, wonderful little girl she is makes me feel like maybe I was cut out for her. ❤

Nostalgia

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Today I have been painting our master bedroom in anticipation of our new furniture to be delivered Monday. I’m so excited! I haven’t owned a bedframe in my entire adult life. 😱 I’m taking a bit of a gamble with this paint job though because I didn’t warn Korey before hand. I’m hoping the fact that I only have trim left to do this weekend will make up for the unexpected project… 😂

But as I was painting I was thinking about how when we finally finally got the keys to this house (over five years ago now!) we were so excited to spend the night in “our home” that instead of going back to the townhouse we were renting we brought over an air mattress and set it up in the middle of the master bedroom. It looked so tiny in that huge empty room — hell, honestly most of our lives seemed so tiny for so long in this huge empty house with rooms we never went into and space we never utilized.

Yesterday I was talking to my sister and we were talking about nostalgia and I confessed that I’m not a very nostalgic person. I tend to always be looking to the future, only glancing back to make predictions about what to expect. And I don’t know if it’s because of that conversation or what but I’ve been thinking a lot today about these past five years and how I have put so much of myself into this house piece by little piece.

It’s taken me a long time — so long in fact that Behr totally redid their paint wall at Home Depot and no longer advertises the swatch of paint that is the foundation for my whole palette. 😂But each room that has been completed has had my full attention and care from the very beginning, tailored specifically to its purpose.

So even though it’s taken me an unreasonably long time to complete, I’ll always remember stenciling delicate pink cherry blossoms along Izzy’s wall, feeling her kick as I brought her nursery to life. I’ll always remember the panic we felt as we rushed to finish up the twin’s nursery after my water broke, Korey putting together cribs as I touched up the paint on their wall and hung new blinds. I’ll always remember sitting up with him as we built a thousand Ikea bookshelves after the kids were all asleep to set up their new playroom for them. And even though I’m not an inherently nostalgic person, I also don’t feel like I have to be, because those memories are there with me constantly every time I love through a room. ❤

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