Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Easiest. Lunch. Ever.

I'm not kidding. Really. This is the easiest lunch ever. A child could do it (mostly)! And a child did make most of this!

What You'll Need
2 English muffins, halved
pizza sauce or marinara sauce you like
grated cheese

a baking sheet
oven pre-heated to 375

Place your English muffins on the baking sheet. Then. spoon your sauce on the top of the muffins. Next, add your grated cheese.

Now, I would say, this is the point when you could add any other toppings to your little pizzas. You could add pepperoni, mushrooms, roasted red bell pepper... really, whatever you want.
We stayed with the plain cheese, because it was all we had & I was going for quick and simple!

If you have a little mini-Chef in the kitchen with you, now would be the perfect time for a photo-op!

Cook the pizzas in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Then, crank the oven over to Broil. Broil them for a minute or two- watch them & make sure they don't burn!

Pull them out & let them rest for a minute or two.


See? Easiest lunch!
With the added bonus of a happy/proud little boy who made his own lunch!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ruminating Today

I'm honestly not sure where this blog post is going. I've been struggling with the worst case of writer's block in the world. Every time I've sat down to write, it's just been a blank. Or, about 5 minutes before I fall asleep at night, I compose this awesome post in my brain... but I'm too darn tired to get up and actually write it down. And I never really remember it in the morning.

And so, discouragement has been my companion.

I've run myself in circles. Why do I write? Who reads what I write? Does anyone read what I write? Should I even think that my little blog is good enough for ANYONE to read it?


And, then there's real life... and that's been a bit of a ride as of late. I hurt my knee back in July & I'm still dealing with the aftermath of that. My grandmother has begun the last stretch of her time on this earth... and that's taking up quite a large part of my emotional bandwidth. (not to mention the physical health of other members of my family....)
Jacob started Kindergarten. It's been great. He really loves it, but it's been a change.
Mr. Luke is a baby & they, by definition, take up so much time and energy.
And Mr. Husband works 6 days a week.

Then there's my part time RL job that I've been neglecting like crazy since Luke was born.
Our house, that's a constant full time job by itself.
I'm tired.

And, I kinda feel like I'm complaining and coming off ungrateful. And I'm so not trying to be like that. Well, actually, I'm probably complaining. But I'm not ungrateful. I have realized that I've started to view this space as a happy happy space where I can come on write something shallow & review an item and hope off. And that's not what I want it to be. I want this space to be honest and reflective of my life. The good, the bad & the exhausting.

I want to share the mind-numbing struggle that has been getting Jacob to stop constipating himself & go poop in the freaking potty! I want to share the lows and the highs that the husband and I have gone through as we bind our family together. I want to process and talk about my grandmother & life without her. I want to talk more about my faith & what God has been teaching and walking me through these last few months.

Some days, I just want to write about the boys & document their day.
Other days, I want to share something I love with those who read this blog.

But, most of all, I want to find the passion I used to have for this blog & for writing in general.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Greeting! Yup, it's that time of the week again! Time to whip out those meal plans and figure out what to feed to the starving masses that live in our homes! I asked my husband what he wanted to eat most this week, so it's a bit more "beef" heavy than normal, but that's fine by me! (I'll make it up next week with lots of fish and veggies!)

Monday: Saucy Beef Stir-Fry. I haven't tried this one before, but I'm going with This Recipe. Although, I can already tell you that I'll be changing things up a little.

Tuesday: Stuffed Baked Potatoes. (always a winner)

Wednesday: A Frontier Soup. I'm super excited to try and review one of these soups! Jacob is looking forward to helping me cook this dinner!

Thursday: Beef Stroganoff (possibly, my husband's favorite meal)

Friday: Baked tilapia, rice & broccoli

Saturday: Left-overs!

That's what we'll be dining on this week! How about you?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The First Day... in the books

(catch up post! the first day of school was a month ago! yikes!)

Well, we did it!

The first day of Kindergarten is officially in the books.

And, all I can say is... 6am is a beast. Especially, if you're the neurotic mom that has been up most of the night praying for her sweet little cherub who is about to go off into the big bad world of Kindergarten.... not that I would know anything about that.


We got up and had breakfast and I made Jacob's lunch and put it in his brand new Ninja Turtle lunch box... that went into his brand new Ninja Turtle backpack. Listen, I have no idea where this new obsession had come from. The child has never even seen an episode of the Ninja Turtles.

I picked out his clothing. And, hooray for uniforms! Makes the whole morning/getting ready thing so much easier!

And, before I knew it, it was time to be off!

Here's Mr Scholar, sitting at his desk. Well, his space. They don't have traditional desks in his Kinder class, just big circle tables. If the smile looks a little forced.... it is. He was nervous.

(pardon the rest of the pictures! It was muggy and icky outside. My iPHONE camera was not having it's best picture day.)

Yup, the traditional First Day of School picture in front of our front door.

Me and Him, about to walk to school. I love that his school is in walking distance! Carpool lines are from the depths of Hell.

I wasn't quite sure what in the world I was going to do all day without Jacob! Fortunately, E stayed home and we went grocery shopping and hung out with the Tiny Human until it was time to retrieve Big Brother from school. It was quite warm and muggy as we all walked back home, but Jacob was full of stories about his teacher (She's pretty) and his new friends.

And, after a snack, he wanted to know all about earthquakes.
So, E pulled out Jacob's soccer ball & they had a short science lesson before going outside to play!

We had hot dogs for dinner, as per the request of the new school boy.
And, he was tired that night! He barely made it all the way to bedtime. I'm pretty sure he was asleep before his head it the pillow!
As first days go, this was one was pretty cool.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Kari Jobe- The Majestic Tour

I just want to go ahead and say for the record......I Love Music !!!!!

When I was growing up, music was what moved my soul. I believed then and I believe now there is a song for every situation, every mood, and every moment in my day. A very large part of my life is my love for Christ so finding music that reflects and pours out that love is one of the more satisfying "music moments" for me.

One of my favorite Christian artists is Kari Jobe. Have you heard Kari and her songs? You should. She's a gal from a town within driving distance of my hometown and began leading worship at her church at age 13. She's toured with Chris Tomlin, Winter Jam Tour Spectacular, Hillsong  and Passion tours. She also has a GRAMMY nomination and a DOVE award under her belt.

But what I love most about her music is that, at it's core, it's worship driven. That's the kind of music I gravitate that reminds me just who the God of the Universe is. Songs that make much of Him, such as "Healer,"  focus me and help me lock in on my thoughts and feelings toward God. The song, "The Cross is My Confession," sings of the marvelous and amazing truth of what the Cross of Christ does and means for me. It's a powerful anthem for my life.

I am so excited that Kari Jobe is kicking off her new tour with the release of her latest album, MAJESTIC. This album was recorded live at the Majestic Theater, here in Dallas, Texas. It's an amazing live worship album with new material that, I believe, listeners will fall in love with as they worship and praise God.

I'm thrilled to say I get to be in the audience when her tour swings through my area in October! I'll be Tweeting and sharing photos and thoughts about the concert!

Trust me when I say you do not want to miss this! Check out the link below and see if the Majestic Tour is coming to a city near you!

Kari Jobe

The Majestic Tour

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Do You Remember?

I was 20 years old and attending community college.

I remember getting up and starting to get ready for school that morning. I was living with my parents and grandmother in my parents' home. I had over slept my alarm (again) and was hurrying to get ready for my Psychology class. I walked out of my bedroom and into the living room, on my way to the kitchen for some coffee. My grandmother was watching the tv with an odd look on her face.

I asked her what was wrong and she pointed to the television.

I glanced over at the screen just in time to see the second plane hit the second tower of the World Trade Center.

I will never, ever forget that moment.

The rest of that day is a blur of horror as everything unfolded and the truth that our country and our people had been attacked became clear. Evil had walked right up to us and sucker punched us.

That day. That moment. It changed every single facet of life. It changed the way we think. It changed the way we viewed the world around us. I think it humbled us. We realized that the bad things we saw around the world could, and would, happen here. So many lessons were taught that day. I hope we learned them.

I've gone back and forth in my feelings and response to that day. 
Sometimes, I feel like this...

and then, other times... it's more like this..

I'm a bit amazed that 13 years have passed since that morning. SO much has happened in that span of time. Marriages, divorces... babies have been born, including my two babies. Job changes. Life changes. Life goes on.

But some things should never be forgotten. Some things, I never want to forget.... no matter how much I wish they never happened. This day is one of those things.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Salmon on Sunday

I've been trying to shake things up a bit with our dinner time menu... and, honestly, find meals that don't take 900 years to make. Since Jacob HAS to be in bed at a certain time every night because of school, dinner HAS to be on the table by 6:30pm.


Yeah, I've been KINDA punctual about that. (please read: not really & it's a nightly panic for me)

I made this salmon this past week and it was tasty, easy & fast. The perfect weeknight trifecta. Give it whorl and see what you think!

Smokey-Sweet Salmon

salmon fillets (defrosted, if they happened to have entered your house frozen)

For the Rub:
brown sugar
chili powder

I'm not going to tell you how much to use of  rub ingredients. I know.... Use the brown sugar as the base for the other ingredients and taste test as you go. What we found as the perfect balance might not fly in your house. Trust your taste buds!

Set your oven to 425.

Mix the rub ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside. 

Spray an oven approved dish with oil and place the salmon in the dish. Sprinkle the rub all over the salmon- rub it into both sides.

Let it sit for about 5 minutes.

Cook for 10-15 minutes.
Watch it carefully! 
Take it out of the oven and let it rest of 5-10 minutes.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Interrupted- Thoughts and Giveaway

A couple of years ago, there was this girl… and she was starting on a bit of a spiritual… tiff shall we say. She loved Jesus. She loved God. She’d committed to follow Jesus at a very young age, more or less to success, depending on whom you were speaking to. 

But there was something happening. Something inside her that was changing. Something that was disquiet and unsettled. Something was growing more and more unsure that the comfortable American Dream filled Christian life was really what her life should be about.

If you were wondering, that girl was me.

And I wrestled with those thoughts and feelings for a while. A long while. 

About that time, I was introduced to a book, called 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess . And I fell in love with the message of that book. The challenge of it. Reading through it, the author spoke of another book & I knew I had to get my hands on it. 

I want to talk about Jen Hatmaker's prequel to 7....

Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity.

I devoured the book in one sitting. So much of what I was thinking and feeling was right there in black and white. And it was a relief that someone else had been wrestling with those that too. 

The point that church is more than a building. That church isn't something we do on Sunday morning to feel good about ourselves. Church isn't a line on our to-do list that we check off every week. 

Church is the people of God... the followers of Jesus, totally committed to BEING the Church. Church is who we are in the days between Sunday night and Sunday morning. It's loving people. Showing them the love of Christ through us. Caring for their physical, immediate needs as well as their spiritual ones. And, as Jen writes, it's not my job to judge how wisely another person will use that care. It is my job to provide it. Period. 

After all, how can someone hear about this amazing Christ who loves them and cares for them if the people who claim to follow him aren't showing that care?

 pin page 136

Christianity isn't about us... it's about Christ. And that sounds like a very silly and obvious thing to say. But, I believe it's so easy to forget that. To put ourselves first above all. If I'm honest, it's a daily struggle for me. 
I want my comfortable American Dream Life. 
But, I just can't ignore the struggle inside me that, maybe... just maybe, my life isn't about my "wants." Perhaps I'm on this planet for something else. Something more.

For SomeONE more. 

I'm still sifting through my thoughts and feelings on this. I don't know how this looks for me and my family. I don't think it involves moving to another city and starting a brand new church like the Hatmakers did. But I do know that Christ has wrecked my Comfortable Christianity. And I do know that I cannot go back to thinking and doing the business of life the way I did before. 

If you're struggling through any of these thoughts, I highly encourage you to pick up Jen Hatmaker's book-  Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity. And, you know what? If you are not struggling with any of this, I highly encourage you to pick up this book and read. 

I am so happy to be a part of Jen's launch team for the relaunch of Interrupted! The new edition has been revised and expanded. I'm also super thrilled to be able to offer one of my readers their own copy. It's my very first giveaway and I cannot think of a better one! If you'd like to be entered to win a copy of Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity, then please leave a comment! I'll draw a name on Wednesday, August 20th.

For  more information about Jen Hatmaker, head on over to her website-

Friday, August 01, 2014

6 Years, Flown By

Dear Jacob,

You are 6. Happy Birthday, my sweet love.

You've been shaking with excitement over this day for a good six months. I hope being 6 years old is as fantastically awesome as you think it should be.

At this very moment, you've been playing the Wii w/your E. And you've just finished lecturing your little brother on the difference between his toys and yours. And I'm far too amused to mention the fact that Luke is just a month old & has no idea what you're talking about. 

I am so proud of you. And so proud to be your mommy. You are so smart and so funny. Every single day you surprise me with what you've learned or what you're learning. You are so much smarter and capable than you think you are! You're slightly bad about hiding behind the "It's too hard!" or "It's too scary for me!".... and a common phrase around our house is, "You can do hard things."

Sweet Boy, yes.

You can do hard things.
You are about to head off into a new adventure... without your mommy.
Good Grief.
It's hard for me to believe that you are anywhere near old enough for Kindergarten. And... I'm very sure that I'll be saying the same thing when you graduate high school... go to college... get married.... 

I'm seeing, more and more, how fleeting my years with you are. Specifically, my years as your "mommy." I know that, soon, you'll stop calling me that... at least out loud. Soon, it will be "Mom" or "Mama." I hope it's "Mama"... I like that far better. But, more than that... I hope that, deep in your heart, you will still think of me as your "mommy."


You are my first born. You've been my buddy and my wingman through all our adventures & I can't imagine a moment without you. I have a hard time remembering life without you. I love you, Kiddo. Always remember that you are loved... loved far more fiercely and fully than you'll ever really grasp... at least until you have a child of your own. Know that you are God's idea and that He loves you more than anyone.
(and that's saying something.)

If I could drill anything into your sweet head and heart right now, it would be this...
You can do hard things.
Follow hard after Jesus.

I promise you it's the best advise I can give you.


(as I was writing this post, you came into my room and wanted a chip... and this was the show I was treated to. You're welcome for catching for all time.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Happy Tuesday, with Food!

Welcome back, Gentle Readers!

It's been a while, hasn't it? Too long, I would say. But that punky little Tiny Human (who takes up so much time and energy) has made the weeks fly by. He's just over a month old & yes, I'll soon be regaling you all with the grand story of his birth... namely so you can laugh at me. trust me. You're gonna laugh at me.

There's so much going on here on the blog too. I have quite a few stories to tell, rants to rant, recipes to share & a give away or two! I'm super excited to share it all with you.

But, allow me to get back into the blogging swing of things with a recipe.

Show of hands.... how many people have a short person in their house? And how many people have a Disney loving short person? Does the name Remy ring a bell? If your kids are anything like the resident short person in my house, then the answer is "Yes!"....

Since the movie came out, Jacob has been hounding me to fix Ratatouille. I have not been convinced that a) I could pull this off or b) that anyone in my house would eat it.... specifically the one calling for its presence. But, last week I decided to give it a whirl. Ish.

The following recipe is not so much "ratatouille" as it is my spin on it. And by "spin", I mean, please don't consider this an authentic recipe. But... you might wanna consider it as a tasty meal-time option!

My Ratatouille

you'll need:
1 eggplant. chopped into bite sized pieces
2 zucchini- ditto from above
1 red bell pepper- chopped
1 yellow bell pepper- chopped
1 onion- roughly chopped
1 can of diced tomatoes- you could totally use fresh. I just happened to have canned
5 slices of bacon- chopped
dried basil (to taste)
garlic powder (to taste)
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper

1 box of couscous- I used "Roasted Garlic and Olive oil" flavor to save myself some time

Chop or cut your bacon into bite size pieces. Cook it. Smell the delicious aroma of bacon and remember that everything is better with bacon (almost). Remove the bacon from the pan. Drain off most of the bacon fat, leaving enough to cook your veggies in.

Start the couscous.

Add your onion to the pan and cook until translucent. Then, add the rest of the veggies. Salt and pepper. Then add your basil and your garlic powder. Throw in a bay leaf.

And let it go until the veggies start getting soft. I pulled it before they got mushy. We like some bite to our veg around here. However, you could totally let it go a bit longer.

Dish up some couscous on a plate and then spoon the 'ratatouille' over the couscous.
Serve to a thankful family.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Fun

There's a super awesome reason I've been horribly terrible about keeping up with this wee little blog....

Things are getting back to the new normal, slowly but surely around here. I'm hoping to be back to a regular posting schedule next week. But, until then, I'm going to be snuggling our new Tiny Human and  hanging out with my people.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What I Love Wednesday

So, what do yall think of my graphic? I'm playing around with Pic Monkey. I love trying new programs and learning new things! I don't know if this will stay the official pic for 'What I Love Wednesday', but I do know I'm having fun playing around with it!

It's been a while since I made a list of what I'm loving & I thought I'd better fix that! Here's my Top Ten list for this week!

1) Getting all the boxes unpacked in the playroom! Whoo-hoo! Love. Love. Love. Everything is organized and put away & easy to find and get to. I *may* have walked into the playroom last night after everyone had gone to bed and just sat and stared and the wonderfulness of it.

2) Oil of Olay Fresh Effects Shine Minimizing Cleanser- oh, my word. This stuff is great. I have sensitive skin anyway, but pregnancy has just made it worse. But this stuff really gets my face clean without stripping the life out of it!

3) Neutrogena Light Night Cream- This is my all time favorite face cream. It's light (duh) and fresh smelling and keeps my skin nice and hydrated. I've been known to use it during the day when I've known I wasn't going to leave the house. I've used it for years and still love it.

4) Garnier BB Cream- Y'all, listen. This could be my all-time favorite beauty product. Ever. It's like magic. I wear it every single day. Most of the time, it's all I need... plus some mascara and lipstick. It just smooths everything out and my skin looks flawless in about 5 seconds. And, right now.... you just can't beat that!

5) 40 more days until the Tiny Human makes his debut!

6) Air conditioning- I'm hot natured already. Add the incubation of a small person in spring/summer and you have a recipe for an extremely hot mama. My poor husband and son are frozen out of the house more often than not, but I just can't help it!

7) Cable with Disney Junior the channel, Sprout tv & Channel 13- Can I get an Amen? I love being able to have 5 year old appropriate television at my fingertips whenever I want it! The 5 year old is pretty thankful too.

8) Sleep.

9) Did I mention that we're 40 days away from baby? Cause, I'm seriously loving that!

10) Sonic Ice- I've turned into the biggest ice eater during this pregnancy!

And there you have it!
What are you loving this Wednesday?

Friday, May 16, 2014

An Eventful Mother's Day

So, I spent Mother's Day in the hospital.

Yeah, awesome-sauce.

Let me back up my tale to Saturday night. As you faithful blog readers know, our little family moved at the end of March (praise and hallelujah to be out of the "repartment"). We're also counting down the minutes hours days until the Tiny Human makes his long-awaited debut. E works about 6 days a week... Jacob's home with me & my blogging and Thirty-One business.

It's a full rich life right now.

I'm still unpacking boxes like a mad-woman. It's been driving me crazy, actually. There's the dual problem of 1) I've just not been feeling well this last part of pregnancy. It's nothing like when I was preggo with Jacob, but it's still been slowing me down A LOT. and 2) I'm a complete and total control freak when it comes to unpacking and putting things away.

... in other words, not enough has gotten done. 

So, this past week, I put my nose to the grindstone and worked my butt off. I unpacked a ton of boxes and kept E hopping with requests for help on things I just couldn't do.

Then came Saturday (the night before Mother's Day). I put in a long days work and by the end of the day, my legs and my feet were killing me. And, they were swelling. A Bunch. As in, E looked down at my legs and said, "WOW, Babe. You're legs are huge!!!" (slight note here: Dear Husband, I love you. But that wasn't exactly the greatest thing to say to a 8 month preggo woman. Especially when it sounds like you're describing something from a horror movie. Just saying.)


He was right. And, my right leg was more swollen that my left. I sat down and put my legs up pretty much right away. The legs, they were hurting, but I was hoping that some rest and elevation would solve that pesky problem... it always has before.

Cue: Sunday Morning.


We made it to church and I sat down right away. I knew I wasn't feeling all that great, but I thought it was just the usual morning blahs. About halfway through our pastor's message, I started feeling strange. I couldn't breath. I felt like someone had dropped an elephant on my chest when I wasn't looking. I looked down at my legs- yup, swollen and swelling even more. Then, I looked down at my hands... back story: my wedding rings are usually very loose. They just are. Even when my hands get a little swollen, I can always move my rings around my finger. Not then. My hands were huge.

I excused myself to the ladies room and promptly called my mother,

"Hey, Mom. Can you google a couple of symptoms for me?"

It took about .0001 seconds to say, "No, I won't. Get to the ER, NOW." after I told her what was going on.

Well, then.

Off to the ER, we went.
By the time we got there, my legs and ankles were horribly painful. They were throbbing all on their own & they hurt like the dickens to the touch. I couldn't breath for anything. It was awful- I really kept thinking that I was going to pass out.

They admitted me Sunday night & I was there until Wednesday mid-morning. After running an absolute gauntlet of medical tests:
CT scan
another chest x-ray
2 or 3 rounds of blood draws for testing
breathing test
PT test
... and more, I'm sure I just don't remember.

They diagnosed me with a-symptomatic asthma for the breathing issues. I got to experience my first breathing treatment (spoiler: those are weird. it looks like you're taking a hit off a bong.... and afterwards, it kinda feels like you have.)

and, they decided that maybe, kinda, sorta, probably the Tiny Human is positioned in a way that he's cutting off the blood/oxygen thru the large blood vessel that runs the length of your body. And that's accounting for the crazy swelling and the pain in my legs and ankles.

So, an inhaler was prescribed for the asthma and light activity/modified bed rest was doled out for the legs...

So, basically, I'm screwed until the Tiny Human is born.
And you better believe I'm counting down the minutes!

Next time, I'll tell you about my Mother's Day make-up day, but until then enjoy a couple of pics from my hospital stay!

Someone came up to see me on Monday. Poor pumpkin was really disturbed with his mommy in the hospital.

Behold! Hospital Food!
It actually wasn't that bad!

Taking a hit.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

There Were Wild Animals

A few days weeks... months ago, we packed up and went to the Dallas Zoo with E's sister and her family. We always enjoy getting together with them! Jacob fits right in between their 2 kids, age wise.

It was an absolutely beautiful day in Dallas and we snagged the chance to get outside and enjoy it. And, as it turned out, so did every other family in the DFW metroplex! We only covered about half the zoo on this day, but we did see the lions, giraffes, elephants and other giants of the Savanna. Next time, I'm going to steer us towards the gorillas and monkeys- they are always my favorite!

We love, love, love the zoo & we love going with friends and family. I'm actually thinking about buying a pass! And, the Dallas Zoo was just named one of the 10 best. I recommend bringing your picnic lunch to the zoo, cause there is always plenty of seating. Though, if you would rather, there's some great places to grab a bite to eat as well. Don't forget to ride the carousel- that's always a big hit with my crew!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Bunnies! The Bunnies!

If you in the DFW area & looking for an Easter picture that doesn't include some high school kid dressed up in an over sized bunny costume, I have an idea for you.

This past week, the 5 year old and I headed out to North Park Mall to run an errand or two. Bunny pictures were not on our to-do list, let me tell you. A fact that you'll quickly figure out when you see what my child is wearing! But... we walked out of Macy's and there they were.... the bunnies. Live bunnies. Real bunnies. And, small people can have their picture taken with them.

Naturally, Jacob wanted to check it out.

There was, maybe, a five minute wait & then it was our turn. Jacob took his shoes off and gleefully climbed up on the picture taking stand to get ready for the bunnies.

And, oh my goodness, the glee. He giggled and laughed and smiled through the whole picture taking session. The gentleman who took the pictures was very nice and arranged Jacob through about three poses.

There was one, small dark cloud that rested over bunny time. (well, for Jacob) We were finishing up and taking the last pictures and the picture guy was reaching for the bunnies when Jacob got a funny look on his face and squealed...


It took a minute for us to figure it out.

One of the bunnies peed on Jacob.

The man-child was NOT amused. At all. There were tears. There was wailing.
At least until the promise of a trip to the Disney Store (conveniently located next door) to procure a brand new shirt so we could continue on our errand running. (And, let me tell you, the pride I felt when he picked out a Star Wars shirt was... Huge.)

Pee'ing bunny aside, the excursion was a huge hit & all the more fun because it wasn't planned! If you have a moment or two, I would highly recommend heading out to North Park Mall and getting a bunny picture for your own!

Here's the Info!
ps. if the name seems familiar, fellow Dallas-ites... it is! These are the same cats that do the famous Santa pictures here every year... 

Bunny Rabbit Days
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - Saturday, April 19, 2014
10:00AM - 5:30PM
Get portraits of your children with live bunnies in time for Easter! The cost is $34.95 plus tax ($5 ea. addt'l child). This includes the session fee and one 5x7 color portrait. Gift packages are available. Marc Robbins Photography is located near Macy's Court in the hall where Macy's and The Disney Store meet. Call 214-207-0649 or email marc@marcrobinsphoto for more information.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Meal Plan Monday

I know.
It's Tuesday.

I'm still in a bit of a catch up mode around here. That includes meal planning and shopping. During the move, I fell totally off the bandwagon and didn't plan a single meal for weeks. And, let me tell you, there was a whole lot of last minute scrambling and drive thru dinners in our lives. Our tummies may have gotten filled that way, but our bank account got drained.

Now that we've been in the house for our second week, I thought it was high time to get back to business with our food and our budget.

Here's our meal plan for the week!

Monday: left over night (did I mention the drive thru & take out routine?)
Tuesday: I'm running solo for the night. it's a pantry dinner for me. Soup & sammy!
Wednesday: Chicken & Fresh Veggie Stir Fry
Thursday: Pantry cooking
Friday: Ranch Baked Pork Chops, Baked Corn on the Cob and Creamy Cheesy Pasta
Saturday: Lasagna Roll-ups and Salad
Sunday: Baked Chicken, veggies & potatoes

What are you eating this week?

Friday, April 04, 2014

How to Interrupt a Blog

So I thought I would update everyone on the 2 reasons my poor blog has been totally neglected this past month or two!

First off- HouseWatch 2014

We are officially first time home owners. Truly, I can't believe I'm typing these words. It's been a wild, wild ride to get here.I'm writing this blog post surrounded by boxes. We've been here almost a week & I fall a little more in love with the house every day.

I gotta tell you, though... there was some serious stress, tears & fear that went into the house search. We were finding some houses that were "okay" but nothing we loved. However, the current housing market is a beating... at least here in North Texas. I'm not exaggerating at all when I tell you this- Houses are going on the market & getting snapped up within two or three days AND they are going for well over their list price. It was getting super discouraging for us.

And, I have to admit. I had all but given up.

But. We kept looking and praying & E kept telling me that everything would be fine and that we would find a house.

And. We did.

Reason Number 2- BabyWatch 2014

I know I haven't been very great at keeping the baby updates going on the blog. Oops! Honestly, there hasn't been a whole lot to update. Well, at least updates that are fit for public consumption! And no, there are no "belly pics." I did those the first time around when I was pregnant with Jacob- under great pressure, I assure you. Some women love them, I'm not one of those peeps.

As of today, I am 27 weeks and change. And we've got about 13 more weeks to go until the blessed event. AKA: the C-section day arrives. I could give you the exact number of days/minutes/seconds, but that might be considered "over-sharing."

I was asked here recently if I am ready for the baby to arrive. Yes and No.

No, in that we've just moved into a new house and there are boxes everywhere & the baby's room has become the designated dumping ground for all things that don't yet have home. I really need to catch my breath before charging into the next great adventure!

But, yes, I'm so ready in that I've hit that phase when I'm just tired on being pregnant. There's been some hellish nights of insomnia (we're talking weeks on end, people) and restless legs and nausea and dizziness and.... well, the list goes on and on. Needless to say, I'm not one of those women that enjoys incubating a small human inside me. I'm thankful and grateful to be pregnant, yes.... I'll just be a whole lot more of those happy emotions once the child is actually born!

Monday, March 03, 2014

Meal Planning Monday

Better later in the day than not at all!

Monday: Comfort Meatballs, mashed potatoes & asparagus

Tuesday: Date Night!

Wednesday: leftover veggie stew from Sunday night

Thursday: Pork chops, potatoes, salad

Friday: Fish (Fish Friday until Lent ends!), salad, couscous

Saturday: Breakfast for dinner... I'm thinking pancakes!

Sunday: Pantry meal. we shall see what I come up with!!!!

BTW- there will be a new recipe up on the blog soon!

What about you and yours? What are yall dining on this week?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Veggie Taco Salad

Y'all, I know! I'm so behind! Forgive me?! There's been a whole lot going on in my non-computer world & I'm just now starting to play catch up.

To get back in the swing of things, I'm linking up with my friend, Jamie, over at Roubinek Reality for her linky party! We're doing, Something Fabulous Wednesday! How fun is that?! It's all about sharing your DIY's in recipes, crafts, etc!

So, without further ado, here's my contribution!

Vegetarian Taco Salad

Stay with me, people. I know. Trust me. A veggie taco salad? It seems weird. I know. (because my husband walked into the kitchen several times and doubted my ability to make a taco salad without ground meat) But it totally works! And, it hit the table in under 30 minutes!

You'll Need:
2 cans of beans, rinsed & drained- I mixed black beans and red beans
1/2 to 3/4 bag of frozen corn, thawed
1 zuchini, chopped
1 to 2 carrots, chopped- or, if you're like me and have some extra baby carrots, chop & use those
1 red onion, chop it pretty finely
1 to 2 sweet peppers, chopped- I had some mini yellow, red & orange bell peppers
1 container of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
chopped lettuce

shredded cheese
sour cream
salad dressing you like
tortilla chips

salt- just to season the onions
taco seasoning, to taste

Here's What You'll Do:
 Heat some oil in a pan over medium heat. Add your onions. Let them cook and get nice a clear and as translucent as red onions ever get. Add a little bit of salt and stir the onions around. Then, add your beans (making sure they are nice and rinsed and drained) to the pan. Mix. Then add your carrots and your peppers. Let them cook through a bit. Now, toss in your corn! Cook for a bit. Add your zuchini. After a minute or two, season with your taco seasoning. Mix and let the flavors get nice and cozy with each other. Then, add your tomatoes. Let them cook until the tomatoes are warm and start to get slightly wilted. Turn the heat off and take the pan off the burner.

Place your chopped lettuce on plates and spoon the taco mix on the lettuce. Add some shredded cheese will everything is hot. The cheese gets nice and melty.

That's it!
Serve with your favorite dressings, salsa, guac & chips! Let your family customize from here!

What was the final report?
I loved it!
The resident 5 year old loved it and ate it up!
and the husband? He ate 2 servings!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

It's a..........

Look out world! We're going to be unleashing another wild boy on this world! Jacob is about over his disappointment in not getting a little sister. I think we have him convinced that a little brother will be awesome too!

E and I are super excited.... now, if we can only decide on a name!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Little of This and That

So, it is possible that I had 3 posts ready to go for this week.

It's also possible that I either forgot to save them or my blogger platform decided it hated me for some reason. For the record, I'm going with choice number two.

So, yes, the blog has been a bit quiet this week. I did totally forget to post the Meal Plan for Monday. Doh.

I'm blaming everything on our family trip to the zoo this past Saturday. E was off work (yippee!!) and we met his sister and her family at the Dallas Zoo. It was a perfect day to be there... and apparently every other family in DFW thought the same thing, because that place was packed! We only made it to about half the zoo, but we had a blast!

And, we walked. So. Much. I'm proud to say that I made it almost the whole trip without having to sit and take a load off. In hindsight, though, it might have been smarter to sit and rest more! My hips haven't been the same since!

I've talked about this before, but we're counting down more and more until our Must Buy a House and Move into it deadline. Followed by our, Must Get the House in Order and Be Settled In Because a Tiny Human will be Joining us 2 Months Later deadline. My list making tendencies have officially kicked into high gear. Oy. I'm not even kidding, sometimes I drift off into a day dream about making a list of all the stuff we have to get done in the next few months.

I am getting a head start on packing. Since there's no way in the world a very good reason that I won't be able to fit into a ton of my regular clothes (please read this as 95% of my closet) until summer, I'm starting to pack up my closet. Yes, I know, I don't have to start doing that yet. But, you guys, I'm the world's worst procrastinator. And, since I know as the months progress, I'm going to be less and less able to do physically do a lot of work- it's good idea to get a start now!

Oh, does anyone have a good cure for night time restless legs? That's safe for pregnant mamas? My legs are kicking and jerking every single night when I'm trying to go to sleep. Ugh. I need some help! Anyone? Anyone?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Encouragement

Yes, it's time of week again.

Five Minute Friday

When I think of encouragement, I think of moms. Every. Mom. Everywhere.

I think of moms who have no idea how great a job they are doing with their kids- their family. I think of moms who think they have it all together- but don't. I think of moms who look at other moms and want their lives. I think of moms who look at other moms and don't want their lives.

We all need encouragement. It becomes water for life.

There's something powerful about having someone come up beside you and say to you, "You're a great mom."
It's simple, but oh so important. So needed. Needed on days when things are going great. When the laundry is done and the house is clean.

And needed on days when the washer has been run 3 times because you keep forgetting to put the clothes into the dryer. When the dishes are piled up and there's an inch of dust everywhere.

To hear/ see the words of other s that it's all okay. That you aren't permanently screwing up your kids. They'll make it and be okay. You'll make it and be okay.

That you, Mom, you will make it through this day. And the next and the next.

Sometimes, just a word of encouragement into the life of another makes all the difference in the world.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Meal Planning Monday

It's that time again!

(and, yea me, I remembered to post the plan on Monday!!!)

Here's our Meal Plan for the week of January 13- January 19th!

Monday: Sliced Hot Ham, Cheesy Broccoli Pasta & Salad

Tuesday: Left overs

Wednesday: "Grilled" Chicken Salad and Cornbread Muffins

Thursday: Turkey Stuffed Peppers, Rice & Salad

Friday: Smokey-Sweet Salmon, Couscous & Fruit

Saturday: Raid the Pantry Night

Sunday: Roast Chicken, Fancy Mashed Potatoes & Salad

Thursday, January 09, 2014

A Little Different This Year

My Grandmother was born on Christmas Eve. On my mother's side of the family, we celebrate Christmas (presents, etc) on Christmas Eve. And, as long as I can remember, we've set aside a little time on that night to celebrate the birth of our matriarch. It's never been a huge whoopla- but it's always happened.

This year was different.

We all packed up and invaded the nursing home.

This past fall, Grandmother went to live, full time, at a local nursing home. We've all known that it was coming. It was just a matter of when. My Grandmother suffers from diabetes... and dementia. I hate dementia. It's a foul, wicked disease that robs the person of themselves. And robs their loved ones of this person they love.

We started to realize that bringing Grandmother home from the nursing home, even for one evening, was not going to happen. She had adapted to her new home. She was settled and safe there. It would have disrupted and disturbed her to leave. (I won't lie. That took me a while to wrestle with...) So we had to shuffle our plans around and make a different set of priorities our focus. 

As we sat in the nursing home cafeteria, I think all the adults had that moment when we realized that a huge chapter of our lives had closed. Forever.
And that we are moving ever to quickly to the moment when another chapter closes.
It was painfully obvious to everyone that this was not one of Grandmother's "good days"... not by a long shot. The next day, she didn't remember the invasion of family even being there.

We did cake. And a few presents. And pictures.

We're a picture taking family.
And we took pictures that day.
Pictures of the whole family that was gathered there. Pictures of Grandmother with her children. With her grandchildren. And with her great-grandchildren.

And we imprinted the memory of another year with her.

Grandmother Winnie with 8 of her 9 great-grandchildren.
I hope she's still here in June to meet the 9th.

With her 3 granddaughters.

And with almost all her family.
Not everyone could make it.

Christmas was different this year. There's no getting around that. Life goes on and things evolve. And, that's okay. 
I know Christmas 2014 will be radically different from 2013. Which was different from 2012. And that's all good. We'll look back at year before and remember the good and great with joy. Hopefully, we'll retain a little less of the bad. 

But, yes.
It was a little different this year.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Meal Planning Monday

... on a Tuesday.

Well, better a day late than not at all! I even made a shiny new button!
I must confess, I've been horrible at keeping to the meal plans I've been making as of late. This pregnancy has really sent me for a loop! Like I said before, certain smells are knocking me for a loop- which is a real bummer for a cook.

But, with a new year, I've got a renewed goal of sticking with the meal plan! It all starts with shopping my cubbards and refrigerator & then filling in the gaps at the grocery store!

So, without further ado.... may I present the Meal Plan for January 6th- January 12th!

Monday- Loaded Baked Potato Soup (recipe to come!!!), fresh French bread & fruit
Tuesday- left over night
Wednesday- Salmon, pineapple rice & salad
Thursday- Chicken Meatballs, pasta with heirloom tomato sauce, bread & salad
Friday- whoops, another night of left overs! I'm having a girls night out!
Saturday- Loaded Baked Potato Chicken Casserole & salad
Sunday- Baked Chicken, French Onion Pasta & salad

What about you? Do you make a meal plan every week? Do you stick to it? Or do you find yourself going off it? 

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

2013 Year in Review

So, I decided to jump on a bandwagon. Heh, big shock.

Over at Rage Against the Minivan, Kristen posts her year in review every year. It's kinda like a time capsule. And, being the joiner that I am, I'm doing it too.

p.s. if you aren't reading Rage Against the Minivan, why not?! You should be.

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
I moved into an apartment! 
I also met one of the coolest gentlemen ever- Edward James Olmos. (So Say We All!)
I met my major celebrity crush since I was a teenager. The one and only, Richard Dean Anderson.
Can we say, Huzzah!!!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make any resolutions for 2013. Honestly, I never do.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
yup! My cousin, Alex & his lovely wife had a beautiful baby boy just before Christmas!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully, no.

5. What countries did you visit?

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
More money! 

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
There's a couple! 
The day I got married. 
Going up to West Virginia for a family reunion on my Dad's side of the family. We were there for the 4th of July, which was fantastic. And I got to spend some good time with my sweet Grandpa. I treasure every moment I get to spend with him.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Relaunching the blog and making some great friends and contacts through this little old blog.

 9. What was your biggest failure?
Not stopping more to enjoy the moment. 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I did not. But, the beloved Husband broke his ankle back in the spring. That's been a fun adventure to navigate.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A brand new computer. I'm posting from it right now! It's so wonderful, I want to love it & hug it & pet it & call it George.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Uh. Wedding. 
13. What did you get really excited about?
Buying a new house & having the baby!

14. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Call Me Maybe.
I know. I know.
It came on the radio one morning when Jacob and I were waiting for drop off in the car pool line at preschool. Jacob started singing it immediately & asking for it every time we got in the car. Only, his version was called, "Call Me NAVY."


Thousand Years-
Again. I know.
It came on the radio when I was driving to get to hospital when E broke his ankle & I wasn't really convinced that everything was going to be okay because getting a call from your brother in law that your husband is in an ambulance on his way to the hospital tends to send this wife into Anxiety Girl in a single bound.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? I'd say... happier.
– thinner or fatter? Uh, fatter. Which I'm totally blaming on the tiny human inside of me.
– richer or poorer? richer. ish.
16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Read more books. 

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Trolling Facebook. Seriously. It's not pretty.

18. How did you spend Christmas?
Christmas Eve we celebrated my Grandmother's 86th birthday at the nursing home & then had dinner and presents with my side of the family at my parents' house. On Christmas Day, we had Santa at home and then packed up and went to E's side of the family for Christmas lunch & family time. Christmas night, we went back to my parents and Jacob got more Santa & we celebrated my birthday.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
There's been a few on the Must Watch List this year.
Once Upon a Time
Duck Dynasty
Sons of Anarchy
Restaurant Impossible
Diner, Drive Ins & Dives

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
Yikes. Here's a list.
Orange is the New Black- Piper Kerman
Sparkly Green Earings- Melanie Shankle
Radical Together- David Platt
7- Jen Hatmaker

21. What was your favorite music from this year?
Chris Tomlin
Third Day  

22. What was your favorite film of the year?
Easily, Despicable Me 2.
First, I really did love it. And... it was the only movie I saw in a movie theater this year.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I celebrated Christmas! My birthday is Christmas Day. And I'm now 33 years old!!

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I really don't know.
25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Uh, seasonally appropriate Mom.
In the summer, it's shorts/tank tops/flip flops with a swim suit cover sundress thrown in for good measure.
In the winter, it's skinny jeans/Uggs knockoffs & cute blouses/shirts & my trusty black or cream sweater wrap. 
And jewelry. Love the bling.
And I must, at all times, have a bag that would rival Mary Poppins.

26. What kept you sane?
Music. Blogging. Snuggling with the short one. Family dinners. Mama's Nights Out. 

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
Take nothing for granted. Grasp the time you have with your loved ones tightly. I'm watching my beloved Grandmother deteriorate at a rate that makes my heart burn. Every memory. Every moment is so precious. Making memories that last into years. That's what I have learned.