Sunday, February 28, 2010

March Happiness at the McCollams

Who are the McCollams? They are very special people to me and my family. David grew up with Bill (the daddy) and introduced me to Michelle (the mommy)on May 31, 2003, the day of their wedding. Michelle and I have been friends since. She has taught me more than anyone else the skill of parenting. No, she never sat me down and gave me lessons, but she modeled patience, endurance, love, gentleness, discipline, and many other important attributes/skills with her children while I watched and took mental notes. Michelle had two girls, Brooke Elizabeth and Madeline Day, before I was pregnant with Parker. I had the privilege of babysitting Brooke two days a week for her first two years of life before Michelle was able to be a full-time SAHM and bring two more beautiful children, Isaac Cade and Lydia Kate, into the world. Yes, folks, you did the math correct. She has had four children in the past 4 years. She knows I think she's crazy, but if anyone should/can do it, it's Michelle. Her children are incredibly well-behaved and sweet (yes, even Madeline, Michelle), so I say more power to her! Excluding sheer numbers, Michelle Duggar has nothing on Michelle McCollam.

Why am I writing about this family besides the fact that I love them and have mounds of respect for them? Well, Brooke, who will always have a special place in my heart because of our bonding early on, is turning 5! I almost had a coronary writing that. I can't believe it-it doesn't seem possible. Also, kiddo number 3, Isaac, is turning 2. He is precious. I was with Michelle the day he was born and I watched her fall in love with the second man in her life-a very special day that I will never forget. Thanks Michelle for letting me be a part of such a big event in your life.

Happy Birthday Brooke and Isaac. I love you both so much and so does the rest of my family. Here's a few pics of these ridiculously cute kids.

Brooke Elizabeth in 2005
 She's grown up to be a beautiful little girl... inside and out! This was taken by Heidi Mitchell a few months ago.
Baby Isaac on his birthday. He was soooooooo cute.

The handsome little guy with his pretty momma on Valentines Day.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


I know I've already done a blog on David's birthday, but we had a surprise party for him yesterday and I just had to share some of the fun and yummy food with you all. My cheapo camera (still trying to save up for a nicer one) failed when he walked through the door (luckily we have it on video), so I don't have the shocked face picture to show...but believe was a super fun moment!

Here's me and the birthday boy. We would have had on nicer clothes and I would have done my hair, but we "were on our way to Krogers." It's not exactly a place you dress up for. I think David might have thought something was up if I would have been all fancy and cute to strut through the grocery isles. (It's not my style to shop in stiletto's like some of these crazy ladies I see. Props to you if you're one of them.)

A group shot of everyone (minus Bill, Michelle, and Lydia who came a few minutes after this was taken) at Annyssa's house. Annyssa, thanks soooooo much again for letting us crash your pad!

I would be doing all of you spinach dip lovers out there an injustice if I didn't share this ridiculously good recipe. I served it with the option of rye biscotti chips or blue Tostitos. YUM!

Spinach and Artichoke Dip


1 cup thawed, chopped frozen spinach
11/2 cups artichoke hearts (canned or frozen will work)
8 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (can add more for stronger flavor)


Boil spinach and artichokes in 1 cup of water until tender and drain. Discard liquid. Heat cream cheese in microwave for 1 minute or until hot and soft. Stir in rest of ingredients and serve hot. I add a little more Parmesan cheese on top because I think it the finest cheese out there. Simple and perfect.

In honor of David's sever obsession/ love affair with peanut butter, I chose to make chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter cream cheese frosting. This recipe was inspired by a post I saw on A Dash of Sass blog (one of my favorite food blogs). Here's my version:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

For the cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1 cup weak coffee
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate bar (this is optional, but highly recommended!)
chopped peanuts (optional)
chocolate sprinkles (optional)

For the frosting:
10 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups confectioner’s sugar


- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin trays with cupcake liners.
- Turn on the coffee maker and make a cup of WEAK coffee.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add the sour cream and oil. Stir.
- Slowly add the coffee and water. Stir to combine. Blend in the vanilla.
- Add the eggs and mix (with blender)completely.
-Heat chocolate bar until completely melted and stir in batter.
- Pour into prepared muffin tins. Fill each tin about 3/4 of the way full.
- Bake for 23-25 minutes.
- Let cupcakes cool a few minutes in the trays and then completely on wire racks before frosting.
- To prepare the frosting, use a mixer to beat the cream cheese and butter together until thoroughly combined and light. (about 3 minutes)
- Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time.
- Beat until the frosting is a smooth fluffy texture and then add the peanut butter. Mix until completely combined.
- Frost and top with peanuts and sprinkles.

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Man is 30!

I can't believe it. My husband cracks the big 3-0 today! He was only 18 when I decided I was going to marry him. There was one major problem with that decision; I was only 13 :) It took me 4 years to catch his eye, but once I graduated high school we were a Dunn deal! (Cheesy, I know. I can't help it.) We've been married over 6 years now, and it would take more than a few words on a blog post for me to ever express what an awesome man, husband, and father he is. Just for the fun of it, I'll try to summarize. Here are thirty words (positive, of course, since it IS his birthday) that describe my husband:

In no certain order...
  1. intelligent
  2. happy
  3. honorable
  4. truthful
  5. optimistic
  6. encouraging
  7. family-man
  8. athletic
  9. handsome
  10. faithful
  11. hard-worker
  12. intense
  13. godly
  14. personable
  15. perservering
  16. excited
  17. determined
  18. charitable
  19. funny (in a corny sort of way)
  20. sincere
  21. giving
  22. cheesy
  23. dedicated
  24. complimenting
  25. helpful
  26. teachable
  27. healthy
  28. adventurer
  29. forgiving
  30. crazy*

*I just thought I'd share this funny moment. I was struggling to come up with the last few words, so I asked Parker what he thought of when I said "Daddy". His response: "huh?" Then I elaborated. "Parker, what's a word that describes Daddy?" I really didn't think he knew what the word describe meant. To my surprise, his response was "busy". It kind of made me sad. I mean, yes, David is a super busy guy. He's began managing an assisted living facility while taking care of me and two babies. (I guess I could have just said he's taking care of three babies-ha!) Despite all of his "duties" he always figures out a way to fit in quality time for all of us. Anyway, I then asked Parker, " What is Daddy busy with?" No lie. His response was, "being crazy." I died laughing. This is why I am able to tolerate all of Parker's energy and misbehaving. He IS David's son after all.

I hope this made you smile David. I love you, babe and ALWAYS will. Happy Birthday-you're my favorite!

Here are some great pictures of my hubby from the past few years.

Love Day

Happy Valentines Day!!!

As I'm writing this post, I am feeling incredibly thankful for the amount of love in my life. I have an amazing Savior who gave the ultimate sacrifice because of his love for me, wonderful parents who always tell me they are proud of me and that they love me, great in-laws who go out of there way to show love to me, a husband who couldn't be more affectionate, a two year old who tells me at least 5 times a day "Mommy, I love you," and a 6 month old who insist on giving me wet sloppy kisses on the mouth.

I am one lucky girl. This year, I added to my valentine collection. Graham makes #3...and he's a lover.

For fun last week, a few of us crazy mother's got together and had a little Valentines Party for the kids despite the snow...I mean blizzard. We had a blast in spite of Lynsey's chaotic bead craft. (j/k Lyn, it was perfect.) Here's a few pictures from our Party with 6 boys under the age of three!

Puzzle time.

Enjoying some super festive food.

Lyn and Charlie Brown.

Parker and his mastepiece. Yes, we had all our boys make necklaces. Don't judge. And yes, Parker's shirt says "My whole family is this cute." What? It's the truth. :)

All of the boys from left to right: Dylan, Parker with Graham, Griffin with Grant, and Andrew. Good times. Thanks for the fun!

Tonight, David took me out and we ate at Bridge Road Bistro-one of my favs. Such yummy food. We both got the surf and turf special of the night and it was a great choice! When we were leaving, I asked a lady to take our picture (knowing good and well it wouldn't turn out well because people always cut off your head or don't wait for the camera to focus). It's alright though- we are super good at self-portraits. Anyway, she asked us if it was out first Valentines together. It really thrills me to shock them when I reveal that's it's our 7th! 7 years ago tonight, David asked me to marry him on Charleston's Fort Hill. That lucky dog...I said, "Yes!"

Monday, February 8, 2010


So here it goes! The Dunn family has decided to join the blog world...finally. I have been wanting to start this blog for a while, but haven't been able to find the time. (Imagine that. A stay at home mom that's busy. Don't we just sit around and watch TV all day?) Anyway, I was hesitant about starting because I wasn't sure how often I would actually be able to contribute and I worried that I wouldn't have anything interesting to read about. That's when I realized that there are a lot of bloggers that are total slackers and I should just go ahead and join them. Also, I think there might be enough people out there who find my wild little family just intriguing enough to check in on us. I mean, just look at those cute little faces. When lacking substantial material in a post, I promise to include at least one picture of these cutie pies to make your viewing worth while. To all of you future followers, thanks for being slightly entertained by my world of motherhood, DIY projects, trying-to-fix-up-a-really-old-house-for-really-cheap mania, and anything else I deem Three Boys & a Girl worthy.