The Slow Cooker :: A Mother’s Best Friend

Before I start in on my Ode to the Slow Cooker, I will check in with you all and let you know that I am, in fact, still running. NOT as often as I would like, but I am doing it nonetheless. It is still hard, but getting a touch easier every time. And I *think* I am going a little faster, but to be honest I don’t really care too much about speed, considering when I run I am pushing what feels like 75 pounds of baby and stroller.

On to my latest best friend : The Slow Cooker.

I have an older slow cooker. Crock Pot brand. Given to me by a friend when hers was upgraded. It is revolutionizing dinner in our house, especially now that it’s hot and River is a wild 11 month old man.

I honestly can’t remember the last time we picked up Jorge’s instead of making dinner at home. But now that I mention it, I could really go for a crispy beef taco and soup.

My favorite thing about the slow cooker is that you do all the prep work HOURS before you eat. Which means that even when you are slaving away over dinner, you don’t have hungry people or a grumbly belly staring at you, waiting to be fed. Victory!

I tend to gravitate toward slow cooker recipes that still require a little legwork, but not too much. I find things end up tasting a lot better when you do more prep/sauteeing before putting it all into the giant pot.

Here are a few recipes I have made recently and been very pleased with. As I type, I have some salisbury-steak meatballs cooking in there, but I haven’t tasted them yet so I will have to wait to tell you if they are good. 🙂 Let me know if you have others I should try!

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili

Copycat Chipotle Barbacoa

Moroccan Chickpea and Turkey Stew


Proverbs 31:15 “She gets up while it is still night, she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.”


Running :: Two Babies & A Few Croissants Later

This morning, yes, as in about an hour and a half ago, I went for a run. As many of you know, I have been a runner for some time now, but since getting pregnant with Branch, running has been put on the back burner. A few months after he passed away, I started running again. I was slower than I had been, and my body and bones were soft & fragile from pregnancy followed by surgery.  I did it, though, and it was empowering to some degree, as running often is.  As soon as I was getting more comfortable as a post-baby runner…..I found out I was pregnant with River.  I told myself, for about a millisecond, that I would run for months and months during this second pregnancy, but then I realized that was dumb and not at all what I wanted to do. So I hiked and walked and took a lot of naps and ate croissants, because naps and croissants are both delicious, and hikes and walks are much more fun when pregnant than running is.

I say all of this to help you understand exactly where I was at physically when I decided to download a “zero to 5k” app and go out for my first walk/run interval this morning. First off, this app is super cool. It’s called Fitness 22 5K Runner, and a couple of my friends have used it before so I knew what to expect. It has various “badges” you unlock by completing different runs, and the very first one is called the Lionheart Badge. Umm, hello.

Back to my morning run.  I drove the 5 minutes it takes to get to the coast (#humblebrag), loaded River into the stroller (#bob), started the app (#5krunner), did the warm-up and first walk/run interval (#ivegotthis), and then almost died (#seriouslyithoughtiwasgoingtopassout). PEOPLE. Running is hard!!!!!!!!!!


SOMEHOW I managed to scrape my motivation off the sidewalk and make it through the entire thing. And of course, when I was finished, I felt amazing and so proud of myself. This does not, however, change the fact that RUNNING IS HARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At least, it’s hard for me. River had a great time and giggled the faster I went.

Until the next one,


Isaiah 40:31  “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not grow faint.”

Nap Time

I am trying to get myself back into the habit of blogging, even if that means just writing a paragraph about something we do every day ……. NAPS.

I do not nap every day, though for a few months I did. (Newborn-induced sleep deprivation is no joke). River, however, takes mandatory naps two {recently down from three} times a day. Duh. He is a tiny baby. He needs lots of sleep.

I saw a shirt the other day that said “Mom Life is the Best Life”. I agree, but I think if I were to wear a shirt talking about my life as a full-time Mom it would say “Nap Time is the Best Time”. Are you with me?!? I feel like just that little bit of baby-sleeping-I-can-get-dressed-or-eat-or-meal-prep-or-read-or-whatever-I-want is refreshing to the body and the soul. And I am ALL ABOUT things that are refreshing to the body and soul.

I have been using nap time to do a little picking-up around the house, or to make myself breakfast and do a little reading. Today I decided to eat breakfast with River (though I did not have pureed peaches and brown rice cereal like he did…) and use nap time to brush my hair and put on a dress. Oh heeeeeey. Yep, sometimes I wear dresses.

There you have it on this Thursday morning. An ode to naps.

Until next week. When he decides he doesn’t want to nap at all anymore. 🙂

All my love,


Psalm 4:8 “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.”

Here We Are

I never know how to start a post when it’s been a while. I really don’t know how to start a post when it’s been a loooong while, but oh well, here we are.

Last time I wrote, River had just been born. I will spare you the excruciatingly long details of my excruciatingly long labor, and just tell you the important parts: I did it!!! Thanks to the grace of God, an incredible doctor, nursing staff, and doula (heeeey Briana!!!), and a lot of personal determination – I had a successful VBAC and out popped the monstrosity of a child named River Righteousness Murdock. A few days after giving birth, I wrote out every single part of my labor and delivery, and I am so glad I did. I may never read it again, but just in case, it’s cool to know I have it.

Today, River is seven months old and so much fun. His life has brought so much joy, and so many giggles. <side note, I just spent 20 minutes trying to upload a photo of him but I’m having trouble… so that will have to wait until next time!>

With Branch, parenting is so different :: holding love and loss, curating his memory, doing our best to ensure he is not forgotten and his name is spoken regularly. With River, I don’t have to express love and grief at the same time. I get to snuggle him every day, I get to watch him grow instead of imagining what he would look like, and I get to be the person who knows and sees his little personality developing every day. I am oh so grateful for the precious boys God has given me.

A few months before giving birth, I somehow convinced my mother-in-law to train for a half marathon with me. She has never done one, and anytime I had asked in the past she was *very* un-interested. Maybe I was less intimidating this time, maybe she was sick of me asking, or maybe she realized spending every Saturday morning with me would actually be pretty darn fun… whatever it was, she said YES and we signed up for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon, taking place May 8th. We have been training since the end of July, and we are SO ready. I am excited for her to experience the thrill of a big race, and excited for us to finish this thing together.  It is honestly a huge accomplishment for both of us – this is her first time doing this type of distance, and my first race since having River. Also, we are going to wear matching tutu’s, so there’s that.

That’s it for today, but I will leave you with this little tidbit :: I drink iced Americano’s now. Black.

That’s right. No cream. No sugar. Just espresso, water, and ice. I think this is what people refer to as “growing up.”

Talk to you soon, my little raccoons!

A New Baby Boy and A Video for Branch

It. Has. Been. So. Long.

Did you think I forgot I had a blog?! I didn’t. It was just super hot and I was super pregnant, and then {as you will already know if we are friends on Facebook or Instagram} I went into the eternal labor, and then I had a baby, and now I’m figuring out what life is like with a tiny human I am solely responsible for. {hint: it’s pretty fun.}

BEFORE I went into labor, I had wanted to share a video with you all. We were privileged to share some of Branch’s story, as well as some of our own story, with our church family several weeks ago. The video team came to our house on a super hot day (as can be seen by our glistening faces) with loads of equipment and asked all sorts of deep questions. We talked for HOURS, and our friend Brad edited it all down to these few awesome minutes. We are really proud of the final product and so honored at all of the kind words people have said, and the ways Branch continues to inspire and encourage others.

The video was used as part of what our church called the Onward Campaign, as we are starting a new campus in Encinitas (really close to where we currently live!}. If you haven’t already, please watch it!

The Murdock’s Story – Branch Lionheart from FloodSanDiego on Vimeo.

A couple of weeks after the above video was shown at church, WE HAD A BABY!

He is perfect! I seriously can’t even believe he is here — and we are now toting all sorts of baby things with us wherever we go. His name is River Righteousness Murdock, an intense name I know… did you expect anything less from the couple who chose Branch Lionheart for their firstborn son’s name?

I’ll blog about how we came up with his name sometime soon, but for now I wanted to share with anyone who wasn’t already aware – that yes, baby boy #2 came and is alive and healthy!


Much love to all of you. I’ll try to keep it to less than 3 months between posts next time. 🙂


Lately : July 2015

Last weekend we celebrated Independence Day on both the 3rd and the 4th. Double celebration!! We had ribs and watched fireworks with some lovely family and friends on the 3rd, then spent all day Saturday at the beach with this fun crew. SUPER fun. It was overcast all day, which April didn’t like one bit, but I happened to love it. What’s better than being at the beach without any sun?!?! San Diego at its finest! 🙂



I have had a few ice cream cravings lately. Lucky for me, we had an ice cream social at work to celebrate the holiday weekend. A few days later, Glenn and I stopped by Baskin Robbins and I got a DOUBLE SCOOP. It was my 2nd time IN LIFE getting a double scoop. Glenn was shocked at that fact and promptly informed me that he “has been getting double scoops since he could walk.” Goofball. The double scoop was delicious, but it was a little intense. My body may or may not have had a negative reaction to all that lactose. Oopsie!




My beloved car, The Camry, hit 250,000 miles. I am pretty sure that in car years this is 250. Does that sound right? So my car is a dinosaur?


I LOVE my car. We have had some issues in the past, but we’ve worked through all of those and it has only cost a few limb’s worth of $$$ to get us to where we are today. I had the interior super-cleaned and Camry and I have made a commitment to stay together for at least another year, if not another 50, 000 miles. It’s going to be the perfect first car to take our baby around in, and I am so grateful to have it! 1999 Camry’s Forever!


Finally, HAVE YOU SEEN THESE?! I happened upon them while looking up prenatal yoga DVD’s on Amazon. You have got to be kidding me. There are not cuter shoes in this entire world. I just added them to my order.



Happy Tuesday, everyone! Hope today brings a little rain, or sun, whatever you so desire. xoxo

Psalm 28:7
“The LORD is my strength and my shield, my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.”


A Few Pregnancy Favorites :: The Style Edition

I only have a couple of months of pregnancy left {!!!!!!!!!}, so I thought it would be fun to share some of the things I have been wearing and enjoying during this pregnancy. Before I go on, however, did I ever show you guys the Pinterest cake I attempted, which is how we told our parents the baby is a boy?? It did not turn out as cute as on Pinterest, HOWEVER, I still thought it was pretty clever.



Back to styling the bump.

At this point the most difficult things have been sleep and finding clothes that I both like and fit me well. I have wondered whether my belly itself is a little larger with this baby than it was with Branch. The rest of my body is virtually the same as during my last pregnancy, but I think because Branch was on the smaller side, my prego belly *might* get bigger this time, especially these last couple of months. We will see. I also realized that the last couple of months of my pregnancy with Branch were in the winter, whereas we are clearly nowhere near winter now… so I have had to basically buy myself an entirely  new wardrobe. 🙂

I have found most of my maternity clothes at Target, A Pea In the Pod, and Anthropologie. No, Anthro does not sell maternity clothes, however everything there is super flowy so most of it works with “the bump”. A Pea In the Pod is INSANELY overpriced, but I do love it. Their clothes are just a million times cuter and more flattering on me than any other maternity shops I have been to, and I try to shop their sale rack when possible to make it at least within the realm of affordability. Target has great end-of-pregnancy dresses and shirts, in my opinion. Their stuff is a little too big for early pregnancy, but now that I am growing growing growing I find their dresses are very belly-flattering!

For working out, I haven’t purchased any maternity specific workout clothes. I already had a good amount of Lulu taking over my closet, so I have just been wearing all my same stuff from right before I got pregnant. The shorts don’t work anymore, but the pants, tanks, and sports bras are all still great. Stretchy material is my friend!!!!

Without further adieu, here are a few photos of outfits I have worn the past few months.




Yes that is a cover-up that says “Beach Bump”. I couldn’t resist!


This was about 2 months ago when my belly was still a little smaller! 🙂



As far as shoes are concerned, so far I have been able to wear all of my same shoes I wore before getting pregnant. Just this past week I noticed a little bit of swelling in my feet {I blame this INSANELY HOT and muggy weather San Diego is having!}, so I am sure I will have to say goodbye to some of my shoes shortly. I ordered my first pair of Tieks ballet flats, and am planning on wearing those almost daily until this child comes. So far I really like them and would say they are hands down the most supportive ballet flat I have ever worn. Highly recommend, especially for pregnant ladies who have to wear somewhat dressy shoes to work!


Finally, a word about jewelry. I know plenty of pregnant gals who do not have to stop wearing their wedding rings, even when hugely pregnant. I made it to about 7 months with no problems, but then my fingers started to swell up a little bit, and so I decided to say goodbye to my wedding rings for a few months. I didn’t like the idea of not wearing anything on my ring finger, so I found this simple gold band with crystals at Nordstrom! I love it, and it’s nice that I don’t have to worry about losing it or ruining it since it isn’t the “real deal”.


That’s all for today! Hope you enjoyed this fun little afternoon post.

Happy holiday weekend, all! Yay America! Yay Independence Day! Yay an extra day off work!


We Went to Hawaii!

Last month, we went to Hawaii! Glenn took me to Hawaii, if you really want to be exact. It wasn’t a surprise, but it was a gift. A generous one I might add. {!!!!!!! to say the least !!!!!!!!} We flew to the Big Island – a new island for us – the day before Mother’s Day. This year, Mother’s Day also happened to fall on the 10th of the month, which is always a more sensitive day for both Glenn and I, so it was extra special to get to be on a fancy-pants vacation together on such a tender holiday.

I came down with a horrible, horrible, horrible cold a few days before we left. Needless to say, flying with severe congestion is not exactly ideal.


We made it through the flight, however, and were SO glad to land in Kona!

Since this was our first time to the Big Island, we had a lot of fun exploring and finding our favorite spots. We stayed at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and LOVED it. We have heard about this place from our dear friends for years, and were thrilled to finally get to experience it ourselves. We felt like it was laid back and Hawaiian, but still quite nice. We explored several other resorts on the island and decided we would choose Mauna Lani again in a heartbeat, unless the Four Seasons somehow became an option. {ummm… hello. it likely will not. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$}

There were lots of spots to walk or bike on the property, and we had a blast doing both.



Our favorite restaurant was The Beach Tree, which is actually on the Four Seasons property.  We went twice, once for lunch and once for dinner, and both were spectacular. Relaxed, delicious, fun, and gorgeous views — exactly the vibe we were looking for. At dinner they have live music, which is always such a treat!


This pictures was not taken at The Beach Tree, this is at The Canoe House, which was the restaurant on our hotel property which was also delicious, but not our favorite. 🙂

Our favorite beach was our beach at the Mauna Lani – the snorkeling was good {Glenn saw two turtles!!} and there is a nice calm bay so ocean wimps like me don’t have to fear for their lives.




The final thing I will share with you was our favorite adventure. This trip was more about the relaxing/vacationing than adventuring, but we both really wanted to see the volcano, since The Big Island is the only Hawaiian island that still has an ACTIVE volcano on it. You guys — it was soooooooooo cool! It is a serious drive from the resort areas to the volcano, but so worth it. We saw LAVA SPEW. Straight up. We smelled what the insides of the earth smell like as we walked through the steam vents. We trekked through rain forest and jumped over big puddles to get to a lava cave. We had dinner {and Glenn had a “lava flow” – how appropriate} overlooking, you guessed it, A LAVA POOL. It was really such a fun day, and the only part we didn’t like was driving 3 hours back to our part of the island at the end of the day. Still, totally worth it and something we would highly recommend to anyone visiting the Big Island that likes a little adventure!



Finally, we flew home on what felt like one of the longest, most boring, most drawn-out, and, quite frankly, worst flights ever. 🙂 It became comical just how bad the service and entire experience on this flight was. I think you can see the attitude in our faces here. Alas, we were not on vacation anymore, but it was still good to get home!


So much fun was had! What a treat! I can’t get over just how special it was to get to go on this vacation last month — over Mother’s Day, pregnant with our second son, with lots of time and space to remember and talk about Branch, and lots of time and space to be silly and rest. SUCH a treasured time. Thank you for making it happen, Glenn! xoxoxo


Why I Don’t Want to Tell the Internet I’m Pregnant

Since the title basically gave it away, it will come as no surprise to you when I say : I’m pregnant!

I’m a little over halfway there, five and a half months to be exact.

The baby is really healthy so far.

I am having a hard time sleeping (someone is practicing their jabs, kicks, and somersaults), and experiencing all sorts of those normal, but still brutal, pregnancy pains.

It’s a boy!

We are, truly, thrilled. {here I am this morning. bump can not be hidden any longer!}

prego pic

Now, onto why I was resisting telling you, even though though I knew you would all be so excited to know.

Here’s the thing: words truly can not describe the gift we have been given.  We have one perfect son that we had to say goodbye to, and now we will, barring some horrible unforeseen circumstance, have another perfect child that we will get to actually raise and watch grow up. But pregnancy, babies, parenting, children… these are very tender spots in our hearts.

We long for Branch to be here, welcoming this new baby with us. With every good thing that happens with this baby, we are reminded of all we lost when Branch died, and how our family will not be whole again until we are in Heaven. We want this child to grow up knowing his brother, and have ideas of how we will do that in our family, but right now — while we wait to meet him – interacting with others who are on the outside can be hard.

When people say “Congratulations!” I feel weird. I know it’s good that they are congratulating me, and I am so grateful they are, but something stirs in my soul and makes me sad, too. You see, people didn’t congratulate me when I was pregnant with Branch. Some of these same people who are congratulating me now actually avoided me while I was carrying Branch and in the months after.  I do not hold this against them, I really don’t, because it makes perfect sense. We each have our own capacities, and many lovely people who love me, just could not carry any of the weight of my grief : and that’s ok. But in my heart, this spot is tender.

It is a reminder that my first baby, who is just as much my son as this baby is, carries much sadness with his story. It is a reminder that some people, even though they love me, can not talk about Branch — even now. It is a reminder that pregnancy is tough for us. I think it’s tough for everyone, or so I hear, but I know it is particularly tough for those who have lost.  It is a reminder of just how long, an unimaginable amount of time if I am being honest, we will have to wait to hold Branch again.

I sent Glenn a text this morning, telling him I was working on a post about being pregnant and why I didn’t want to tell the word-wide-web. I told him I felt like it all sounded kind of negative. I loved his response:

“You lost a baby. That’s just reality. You have to work through the negative thoughts to get to the positives.”

So wise, that Glenn. He’s also very encouraging, and fights for spiritual and emotional health above all else – something many people do not do. Through everything we have been through in our lifetimes, and particularly the past couple of years with losing Branch, I am most grateful for God’s mercy and love that has been expressed so clearly and personally to each of us.  I am second-most grateful for Glenn. I could write a whole book on how great he is. Maybe someday I will. Though I am not sure if many people are interested in reading how great someone else’s husband is. I guess I’ll find out.

I feel like this post is coming to a close. I have said enough for one day.  Opened the box, bared some more of my soul, which I think is what you all have come to expect here. After getting this part out, maybe I will start blogging all pregnancy related thoughts. Buckle up, internet, we’re in for quite a ride. My current obsession is baby boy swim trunks. Could those things be any cuter?!?!

Much love to each and every one of you. The ones I know and the ones I don’t. The ones who have been nudging me to post and the ones who have told me to hold it sacredly. And a special dose of love to those of you who are held in a special part of my heart – those who are in the middle of a story of child loss, those who have buried their children, and those who are pregnant with healthy babies after hoping for one for so long. I see you. God sees you. We are so, so loved.

Psalm 86:15 “But You. LORD, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”

May we bask in His compassion and grace today.

~Kristin and BSquared

Current Internet Faves

Some of my favorite things this week, found on the world wide web:

this Pea Salad :  I know, I know, pea salad sounds weird. But it also kinda looks amazing. Adding this to the menu for next week!

a navy blue skirt : navy! skirts! is it spring?! I am in love with this swingy thing.

ummm… carrot cake with nutella frosting? ok.

the ultimate how-to when it comes to selecting fruit at the store 

on losing and gaining weight : by my favorite Andie Mitchell, whose book I think you should all read. This is an older post that I may have linked to months ago, but it deserves another link. So good.

Hope you are all having a lovely Tuesday!