using everything he gave me… this is my creative life to live.

26.2: Training South of the Border March 13, 2013

Hola! We’ve been on an incredible journey this last week to Puerto Vallarta and back. It was such a blessing to escape the chilly temperatures of good old Spokane, WA and bask in the glow of the sunshine on a beautiful beach. Not only did we warm up our toes but we rejuvenated our spirits. You just have to get away every so often!

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 We swam with dolphins, saw a mother whale and escort whale teaching a baby whale to breach the waters and even tried to save some darling baby turtles left behind on the beach.  I even read a book – en entire book (can’t remember the last time that happened)!

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We mostly hiked, swam and carried around our 21 month old sun for cross training but I was able to work in some light training jogs on the sandy beaches:

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 But as all goods these do, our trip had to come to an end.  The following day my training run wasn’t quite so warm and wonderful…

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I was so grateful to return home to donations in my mail box and appreciate all the love and support you’ve all provided so far. I’m over half way to my goal and with your continued support I know we can make some miracles happen!

Please consider a donation of any size – every step, every mile and every single dollar helps!

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The Perfect No Bake Cookie – Step by Step July 4, 2012



These are the perfect treat for the 4th of July!  These tasty chocolate cookies don’t sport the typical red, white and blue flare that you might expect from a 4th of July snack but I never forget to make these the night before because if frozen – they are ideal to pack in your picnic basket before heading out to the lake, pool or park!  I freeze mine in a Costco size cream cheese container in advance and grab them on our way out the door.  They are delicious frozen and don’t melt  into a puddle of chocolate oatmeal sauce while you play on the water. 

Many of my friends have asked for step by step directions for my No Bake Cookies – Enjoy!

In a medium size saucepan melt 3 tbls cocoa, 2 c sugar, 1/2 c milk and 1/2 c butter.  Stir occasionally until  it reaches a gentle boil.  Boil gently for 1 minute then remove from heat.

Stir for 30 -60 seconds allowing your chocolate mixture to cool slightly

then add 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 c peanut butter. 

This step is the make or break it step!  Be sure NOT to add the peanut butter while the mixture is to hot.  This is the most common mistake.  If the temperature is too hot, your peanut butter will break down and your cookies will not set up and remain a shiny, gooey mess. 

Stir until the peanut butter is completely combined and your chocolate

mixture is smooth and creamy. 

Add 3 cups Quaker Quick Oats and stir until well combined.

4) Drop by heaping tablespoon on to wax or parchment paper and allow to set for about 30 minutes.  Most often I use a 1″ cookie scoop but sometimes I vary the scoop size for larger cookies all the way to a full size ice cream scoop.  If you use a larger scoop, gently press the top center of the heap with the rounded underside of the scoop to flatten each one as you go.

Ta-da!  The perfect No Bake Cookie!  Ready to eat or freeze. 

They freeze well up to 2 months in an airtight container. 

*Tip from my kitchen to yours:  If you make cookies in the quantity that I do as you’ve seen in previous posts then I recommend you pre-portion your dry ingredients into ziplock baggies.  In my cupboards I keep a 2 gallon ziplock that has 3 sandwich ziplock bags with the 3 c oatmeal in each one and 3 sandwich ziplock bags with the 2 c sugar and 3 tbls cocoa.  All I need to do in a pinch is grab one bag of each and add the milk, butter, vanilla and peanut butter. 


My First Happy Birthday Drawing May 2, 2012

Filed under: about me,Birthdays,motherhood — cyurik @ 12:47 am

My sweet little man (with the assistance of his fabulous teacher) made me his first drawing for my birthday!  What a love!  My birthday wish came true – I’m a proud momma of the MOST adorable boy ever.



Our First Easter with Ethan April 9, 2012

You are more loved than you will ever know, by someone who died to know you.
 ~Romans 5:8
Ethan awoke to some gifts from the Easter Bunny!
Lovely spring weather, a fabulous brunch with our loved ones and Ethan’s first Easter egg hunt all contributed to making this a day worth remembering for a lifetime.  Miles really showed Ethan how to round up those eggs and was so sweet when saying his goodbyes.  He made sure to give a hug and kiss to everyone.  He is such a sweet boy and will be a wonderful big brother!  Our little lovey was happy to spend time with Grandma and Neil, Uncle Paul, his godmother Alicia and family and enjoyed a little of our Easter ham and homemade bread. 

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My two days of cooking and preparing our brunch was worth it as the meal and desserts were all well received.  My first Easter brunch menu included cranberry glazed ham, honey bacon, quiche brownies, orange cream french toast, lemon cream pancakes with blueberry orange sauce, fresh fruits with sauces, deviled eggs, cheesy wheat spirals, cocunut cream pie, sugar cookies, chocolate mint brownies, chocolate pudding cupcakes, “peep”-tinis and David’s Kool-aid creation.  I even attempted homemade bread in the shape of a bunny but he looked a bit more like a turtle.  He was a tasty loaf none-the-less. 

I’m quite pleased with my centerpiece and have even prepared a condensed version of it to take to work and share some left-over Easter treats with my work “peeps.”  

As usual I didn’t get to photograph my entire buffet before the digging in commenced but I will try to post recipes with pictures very soon. 

I can’t think of a better way to have spent an afternoon than to look to God with gratitude for his love, sacrifice and many gifts, to warm our spirits, hearts and tummy’s with laughter and joy and to watch our son learn and grow before our very eyes. 


Shrimp/Kipper Graduate March 28, 2012

Filed under: about me,ethan,motherhood,swimming — cyurik @ 1:51 pm

Yes, I’m a proud momma!  Our little guy did so wonderful in this four week series.  We sang, splashed, danced, bounced, tried to learn blowing bubbles (while not drinking the pool-that will take some time still) and we even rocked that water slide too!

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I grew up afraid of the water, not 100% sure why but I attribute it to my childhood obsession with sharks.  Yes, I am a child of the JAWS era-LOL!  I actaully am more afraid of the heights than the water.  When floating on the surface it’s a long ways to the bottom… and in the lake – you can’t even see the bottom!  I too take private swim lessons and am proud to report that I can now swim under water and jump in the without holding my nose!  It’s a miracle!  These lessons are step one in preparation for a triathalon that I intend to rock within the next two years!  The running is no problem, the biking I’ll figure out (another thing I don’t love cause I’m elevated from the ground-haha) but the swimming I will continue to master thanks to a great swim coach!


First Hair Cut – Poor Momma March 26, 2012

Filed under: about me,ethan,faith,family,motherhood — cyurik @ 10:06 pm
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Yes – if this were to be a headline in the newspaper it would read:


Child’s First Hair Cut Traumatized Mother!”


You see, I had been putting off cutting Ethan’s hair.  I looove his baby hair.  It’s thick and lush and furry around his ears.  He is just too cute. 

And everyone warns “when you cut his hair he’ll look so much older…”  I kept telling my husband and our friends this who would often proclaim – “Geesh, it’s time to cut that hair!”  I was all to content to let it grow and grow, he was going to be my little surfer dude.  But then a couple Saturday mornings back as I kept sweeping his hair out of his eyes so that he could see I realized I may have let go of some of his golden locks. Off to the salon we went.  Maybe I could part with some of his hair but I certainly would not be the one to do it!  That’s way to much pressure for me.  So we called on a professional to help us through this first hair cut process. 

We really only intended for a trim but Ethan truly is the most patient and adaptable little guy.  The stylist was able to give him a full on cut and the hair just kept falling!  I held Ethan in my lap with him facing me for the big event.  Daddy was on photographer duty.  A tough job since we were moving around so much! 

This experience really is testament to the fact that our little man is such an easy-going baby.  He didn’t mind a bit.  Not like his momma – I cried almost the entire time.  I can’t even say that I really know why except at one particular moment that is:





At one point Ethan glanced at Ehtan and I swear I was holding the 1-year-old version of my husband.  Having scrapbooked all of David’s childhood photos Ihad a flash back to his baby pictures and just started crying. What a surreal moment – sitting in the barber chair, holding my baby that I could have sworn had morphed into my husband!  I always said before I was pregnant that I hoped God would bless me with a beautiful little toe head like his papa!  Thanks be to God, I got one!


Here is David getting his hair cut at age 3.



Well, I survived the 1st haircut ordeal and was so excited to see my little guy sporting his new do:


 Ethan – 8 Months Old – Feb 2012


Swimming Lessons with my Little Man March 14, 2012

Filed under: family,motherhood,swimming — cyurik @ 11:21 pm

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