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.