Sunday, December 14, 2014

I jumped ship again

This time for minimalist reasons.

I don't want to waste energy and mindlessly scroll through my feed looking at the lives of people I wouldn't call up on the telephone or invite over for dinner.

Oh, yea, I'm talking about Facebook if you haven't figured that out yet.

I want to put my energy into those I really care about.  I want to put it to good use...

And let's not pretend the horrific occasional post about a dying or abused child didn't completely drain my soul.

So cheers to less mental clutter!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Meal Planning Monday

We're getting back into the groove... the money saving, healthy eating one!

I always loved reading other's Monday posts about what they feed their families and how much they spend.

Last week I challenged myself because I had a limited budget for Thanksgiving and I surprised myself with how well I did and I even had enough left over to buy a few treats the boys begged me to buy (reindeer sugar cookies, ha!).

I really want to be healthier, so I'm trying to limit red meat, salt, preservatives and processed food.  Did you know we eat so many preservatives that bodies are not decomposing like they use to?  Like barely decomposing.  Freaky stuff huh?

So, let's get started!  Breakfast is almost always the same everyday, a smoothie and then a few hours later coffee or tea.  Then lunch is almost the same everyday too.  The boys eat pretty much everything I do so it makes life easier.  If Jude is getting picky, I'll make him peanut butter & honey toast, or something I feel is healthy and filling.

The list below will last well into next week with leftovers, it normally almost lasts two whole weeks.  I try to buy organic, frozen and sea salt canned foods.  I'm not perfect!

Breakfast: 
Green Smoothies

Lunch:
Salad & Grilled chicken
Veggie Omelet & fruit (omelet= scrabbled eggs with lots of veggies and cheddar cheese)
(To make this easier, I'm going to wash and pre-slice all the veggies for the week and place them in the freezer in individual baggies to stay fresh.  The only thing I'll have to grab is a pan, my eggs and fruit.  This also helps cut down on waste because it's frozen.)

Dinner: 
1.) Pecan encrusted salmon, cooked carrots and salad.  The salmon is breaded and there is brown sugar too so with a glass of milk the carbs are just about right. 

2.) Parmesan baked chicken breasts, salad and red garlic mashed potatoes

3.) Chicken Pot Pie x 4 (freeze three) + salad 
(I'm making four total so I can freeze three, keep two and give one away to a family member.  They freeze well so it's my go to meal when we don't feel like cooking.  This is one of the best pieces of advice, always have backup freezer meals, you will get tired, you will get busy... this will help keep your budget and healthy eating on track.)

4.) Ground Beef veggie soup (doubling batch for a family member & to freeze) 
This is the kind of soup that tastes even better the day after it's made. 

5.) Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup, something easy and cheap for a lazy night.  (The key to the perfect grilled cheese?  Real butter!)

Snacks: I try to pair a carb and a protein.  No more than 15 carbs, and the protein should be around half the carbs at 7. 
-cheese
-squares
-grapes
-chocolate covered raisins (bought from my niece in Girl Scouts) 
-hummus & crackers 
-cashews (bought from my niece in Girl Scouts)

Shopping List: 
Pecans
Salmon
Carrots
Salad x 3
Chicken Breasts (15) 
2 lb. ground beef
red potatoes
garlic
8-9 inch pie shells (frozen)
Spinach x 2
bananas x 3
soy milk
eggs x 2
grapes
green peppers x 2
mushrooms
1 red onion
2pkg. cream cheese
4 cream of mushroom soups
American cheese slices
7 frozen pkgs. of peas, corn, carrots & green beans (8-10oz. each)
1 white onion
2 can tomato sauce
2 can diced tomatoes
maple syrup
bread x 2
ranch dressing
hummus
crackers
cheese squares
tomato soup
Annie's Mac & Cheese x 4
diapers (yes we still cloth diaper, but only at home)
wipes
beef stock x 2
whole milk x 4 (yes we drink this much milk!)
2% milk x 3

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

my day in court


Our family is going through a lot of changes.  I've held it together and I even surprised myself at my lack of emotion.  Then the morning came and I was due in court.

Nothing major, just something small that needed to be taken care of.  I was running late and ran into the building.

A man yelled out to me, "no running."  So I slowed to a walking pace.  Two men staring, I asked if I was too late to enter the court.  I saw no one else in the hallway.  The man who told me not to run said I was on time, to take a seat and asked me my name.

I thanked God and found a place to sit.

The hallway emptied... and I got comfortable.  I took a deep breath and I just started to sob.

The straight up ugly cry.

Not over being there... but everything building up was just starting to bubble over and I couldn't control myself.

A man walked through the hallway and quickly regretted looking my way and disappeared through a door.

I quickly grabbed my cell phone hoping Joel could get my tears to stop.  I felt so exposed.  He told me I had to do this and to think of fuzzy farts.  I laughed at the horrible joke he forced and hung up.

The bailiff entered the hallway and said, "no laughing either."  

I laughed as tears kept rolling down my cheeks.  He asked me what was wrong and I over shared some of my life with him, promising I wasn't upset about being in traffic court.  I told him it wasn't even on the radar for my crying spell.  We agreed it was a bad day.

I tried to take deep breaths, wishing out loud for an on and off switch.

I told him I might just leave, I couldn't get myself together.

He told me what to expect in court, what I needed to do and said to just take a minute.

I did.

I took a deep breath and said I was ready.  He looked at me and said, "Are you sure?"

I managed a teary, "no."  And fell apart again.

He told me to just stand, maybe that would help.  So I did and I walked towards him.

I asked him if the judge would be mad I was crying.
He told me I couldn't cry.

I asked if the room was packed, he told me like 75 people.
He promised nobody would remember me.
He said things to make me laugh.

Kind.  So kind.  He went out of his way to help pull me together so I could do what I needed to do.

I glanced at his tie covered with cartoons... and I slowly recognized who he was.  I asked who his wife was so I could confirm my feeling, and he told me he was married to "a female" and we both laughed.

He didn't want me to connect the dots.

We walked into an EMPTY courtroom.
"75 people" echoed in my mind and I smiled.
Just the judge and a woman to his right.

He told the judge "She just wants everyone to know she's not crying over this!"

I laughed and focused all of my attention on the judge, looking him in the eye and trying not to let my mind wonder.

It took just a few minutes and I was out of there.  I pushed open the doors to a chilly wet breeze.  I let the wind blow my hair in my face as a mask while I let myself cry.

It's what my body needed to do.

I drove to the park and let it out.  I cried softy the whole way home and stopping only after being home long enough to explain my morning to Joel and about this kind bailiff who didn't have to be.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

a big or small birthday for kids?

September is a big month for us.

It's the month that both our boys were born in.  It's the month we got married in... and while I'm thinking about planning a party for them both, a new part of me is rebelling against the tradition.

Are we setting our kids up for disappointment?

I'm not going to lie, my parents threw me a party every year and they slowly tapered off in my late teens, early 20's.  And it was kind of rough figuring out that I wasn't the center of the world anymore.

I started to learn that in the real world if someone close to you gives you a birthday kiss and you get one phone call- then you're really lucky.  You're someone special. 

That gratefulness feeling with so much less is what I've had to learn.  It's what I want my kids to know early in life... you can be happy with so much less. 

Recently a lot of people close to me have had small celebrations for their kids, no gifts they said... no parties either.  I kind of like the idea of spending such a special day, with my kids and my kids only.  I don't have to put on a show, because let's be honest... who was there the day they were born?  Those are the people who should be surrounding them.

And if you want to do something special for your birthday, then I don't want them to think someone else has got to plan it either... call up your friends and go out to dinner, swimming, whatever!  Make it happen, because in this life you've got to reach out and grab what you really want.  You can't expect anything.

It also just so happens my birthday is this week... and I'm getting free tattoos from an artist who's wedding I photographed and going to dinner with Joel, my babies and my Ma & Pa.  And I'm so lucky and I feel so ridiculously grateful.  It's a day where I can eat a piece of cake guilt free and sit next to the people I love the most.

I'll probably follow my sister's lead and just throw a party for the big years.

We are not entitled to anything.  And we could be so happy with so much less.
Maybe we're onto something new...

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Update


I've missed this place.
This little corner of the world were I let my life bleed into words.

As the summer leaves begin to slowly fall Joel and I have had to make some tough decisions.  Had to deal with some tough situations, and we've had to re-evaluate the way we live our life.

But all this stuff, it's been exciting.  It's made us think twice about where we are and where we want to be.

We have decided to homeschool Jack.

We have decided be more active and healthy as a family.

We're going to start camping!  The 10-second pop up tent has already been purchased! (For some reason this whole idea makes me laugh.)

We have decided to buy the boys a kitten for their birthday (that's confidential).
The catch?  Joel says we must buy an automatic litter box.

I get my hair cut tomorrow and next week we're getting new ink.  And it's my birthday?!  That somehow slipped my mind.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” 


-Augustine of Hippo

We're dreaming again.
And it feels so good. 
And by dreaming I mean planning a huge road-trip out West currently scheduled for Fall 2015.  The plan is to see the country and visit distant relatives.

I have decided to cut back on work and only do wedding photography.  Come September I am only a wedding photographer.  It is my passion.  It's what I want and by cutting back, I'm looking into a few other avenues for business that I am excited to explore as an artist.  And I need that extra time if I'm going to be homeschooling our boys.

So here's to the new school year, to change, to breaking against the norm and breaking the mold.  We know it won't be easy but it will be so worth it.

Monday, July 28, 2014

ways we punish ourselves

Reading the public comments below a controversial article that you care about.

Reading the comments on a controversial issue on Facebook.

Reading anyone's opinion that you are not actively seeking.

Reading your Facebook feed if you don't hide those with a political agenda or those who post the most depressing shit in the world.

Forcing a laugh.

Checking your email before bed.

Answering your phone when you really don't have the time or energy.

When you every ounce of you is screaming no, and you say, "yes."

When you need to take care of yourself, but you pretend everything is fine.

When you stay up late watching Netflixs when you know how much you'll regret it tomorrow.

When you eat shit and feel like shit.

Forcing a smile.

When you procrastinate.

Judging yourself through someone else's eyes.

....These are the easiest ways to punish yourself if you're me.

We must forgive ourselves.
I must forgive myself.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

overwhelmed

This strangely made me feel a lot better. 
And laugh.
Laughing always makes things better.

source: pinterest (broken link)
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