Wednesday, December 24, 2014

a humbled christmas eve

There's a cat tail in my face and I'm laying on the floor of my living room.

AAA is on it's way to pick up our vehicle that has no breaks and in a few hours my parents will be here with a car for us to borrow.

I should be cleaning... I should be wrapping... but I just want to remember this moment- the grateful heart that I have for my parents, for Joel, for my kids.  I told my Mom, I don't know what I'd do without her... I could tell she liked hearing that, that I needed her, even after all these years.

A few Christmas's ago I'd be throwing a pity party, but I'm grateful today.  I am hopeful and know things work out exactly the way they should.

This year has changed me.  It was hard and I resisted, but in the end, it was for the better.

Always find the sliver lining.  And if you haven't seen that movie yet, you should, it's only one of my absolute favorites.

(You can find it on Netflix)

And now I've got to wrap this up because I've got a two year old with a diaper full of poo on my back.  Seriously. lol

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!

Green Smoothies

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.)

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. 
-chocolate covered raisins (bought from my niece in Girl Scouts) 
-hummus & crackers 
-cashews (bought from my niece in Girl Scouts)

Shopping List: 
Salad x 3
Chicken Breasts (15) 
2 lb. ground beef
red potatoes
8-9 inch pie shells (frozen)
Spinach x 2
bananas x 3
soy milk
eggs x 2
green peppers x 2
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
cheese squares
tomato soup
Annie's Mac & Cheese x 4
diapers (yes we still cloth diaper, but only at home)
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


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


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

source: pinterest (broken link)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Father's Day

I intentionally wrote this post late.

Actually, I had no intention of sharing my Father's Day.  Not because I didn't want to, but because the idea never occurred to me.  But I've decided it's been one of my favorites... as a daughter.

I thought a lot about my Dad this year.  I thought about how he feels about being a Dad, about the Dad his Father was.  I thought about my childhood, his childhood and everything in between.  I thought about the time when I won't have a Father, or he might not have a daughter, because that day will come.

These words have always echoed in my heart...

"Get to know your parents.  You never know when they'll be gone for good."

I have become a bit morbid lately.  Death is on my mind like living life is, because when we accept that one day this will all end... then you live more intentionally, more passionately and you have those conversations that you always meant to have, but never got around to.

So I called my Dad the night before Father's day and invited him out to breakfast.  Just the two of us.  I wanted to be completely present with him.  I wanted to have more than a surface conversation.

Then later I visited my Grandpa's grave.  It's the first time I've been since he's passed. I went out of respect to my Father.  I told the boys stories about Grandpa and they picked nearby flowers (weeds) and mushrooms and placed them on his grave.

I cried for my Dad.

So breakfast rolled around and we sat across from each other. I gave him his gift first.  I told him I remembered how he always wanted a huge fish tank, but that I couldn't exactly afford one and this will have to do.

He pulled out a child like painting of a fish under the ocean, the movie Nemo (my Dad loves all movies), and last but not least, a very old photograph of his father hanging telephone lines.

And we talked and talked and talked.

And I asked the questions I've always wanted to.

And he openly shared with me.

And it was nice.
Love you Dad.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


“Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.” 
― Ellen Goodman

I'm going through a phase.

The one where you get rid of a bunch of shit.

Toys, clothes, things... we either love it or need it or it goes.  We need this right now.  If we're going to homeschool, if I'm going to be healthy, if we're going to be happy- we need this.  

When I find myself thinking how I want something, I redirect my thoughts to the things I already have.  I chose gratefulness and remind myself that things do not bring me happiness.  Such a contrast from the typical American mindset.

It's liberating.  The actual letting go part and the mindfulness of choosing experiences over materialism.
But we are struggling with a different type of materialism and that's the fast food, eating out materialism.  It's expensive and unhealthy.  Thinking about doing a 30 day challenge.  I bet I could do it.

“The reason many people in our society are miserable, sick, and highly stressed is because of an unhealthy attachment to things they have no control over.” 
-Steve Maraboli

Saturday, May 10, 2014

death surrounds us

For whatever reason, death is surrounding our family.  Circling us.  We have another funeral Monday.

While cleaning I looked up at my 100 year old photograph.  The one I bought two summer's ago because it reminded me of Mr. Bentley's photo that he's in twice.

It caught me off guard, and when someone asks about it, I think of you.  Your kindness.  Your gentleness.  The way you made everyone feel like somebody.  I think of the last time I saw you and it makes me cry.

I am so happy a new life is growing in my sister.  Sweet baby, Aria, you are hope for us all.  The reminder that tomorrow is a new day.  That the world goes on.  That death and life are both very much a part of our lives, and we need to accept death as we accept life.

It is a fact, we will all die one day.
I am so happy that my last memory of you is of nothing but kindness and love.

Thinking of you today with a bit of a heavy heart.
I know you are happy and at peace, it always came so naturally to you,

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Aleppo School Massacre

It is chilling to find out the news from an actual person who was effected by the killings today. The video only had two comments at the time and currently a little over 300 views.

Bashar al-Assad dropped a bomb on his own people today, on a school, killing 25 children. I only know this because I saw the comments on Obama's facebook page where people near the attacks are trying to get the word out. I had to translate it to understand, and I saw a video of the children who died. (

It is real, and just a week or so ago he used two chemical attacks on his own people. He's doing it to anyone who speaks out against the govt. or who is for reform. Not to mention Syria's presidential election is scheduled for June 3rd.

If the two chlorine attacks are confirmed, then he will have broke the deal brokered by Russia last fall.  The agreement halted threats of U.S. military action after Bashar al-Assad launched a chemical attack in August that killed over 1,400 people. 

Praying for peace.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

no yelling for a year

"There should be no yelling in the home unless, there is a fire." 
-David O. Mckay

I remember when I was newly pregnant holding a book in a discount store and thinking to myself "I'm going to be that parent."

You know, the one that doesn't YELL.

The book was called, "Scream Free Parenting."
I read the book from top to bottom and was excited to take on the challenge.

Then I had Jack, and as he slowly got older, I slowly began to yell.

I remember someone telling me, "sometimes you just need to yell."
At the time I brushed her off.
Years later I agreed.
And now I'm pretty solid in the idea that you don't need to yell.

"Words that soak into your ears are whispered -not yelled." -unknown

Even now, I'm picturing a teacher in grade school who would make a hand signal above her head when she wanted us to be quiet.  Slowly the room would become quiet as each kid caught on, while I was usually the last one talking... and then I'd notice.  No yelling involved.  A room full of 15-20 kids quieted without yelling, pretty profound huh?  Did it take patience?  Oh I'm sure, but after accomplishing her goal I bet it felt so good on the inside.

I remember when I put the book in our garage sale and another mom bought it.
I thought to myself, "good luck" and was happy to see it go.

I'm going through another season in my life.  A season where my children yell, and I wish they didn't.  A season where I sometimes yell at Joel and I don't like it.  A season where I sometimes yell over cries and arguing when it would be better if I just stepped into the middle and took control with my presence and soft voice.

Don't get me wrong I'm not a compulsive yeller.  I actually think our house is pretty peaceful, but when my boys fight, when I'm frustrated and I'm tired, I raise my voice, and I don't like that part of me.

I want to be better.
I want to have a more peaceful home, one where my presence is felt, not heard.
It didn't hurt that I read this today when googling "how to stop yelling."

"Raise your words, not your voice.  It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder." -Rumi

I think it's a realistic goal, and a good one to strive for.
No yelling for a year.

I'll post a few follow ups along the way.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Becoming a better listener.

I sat across from my new friend sipping ginger tea in her kitchen.

Her words came out slowly and sometimes almost in a whisper, and I felt my shoulders relax.  I took a deep breath, and somehow her peaceful energy that she let off changed the whole energy in the room.

I didn't know it at the time, but she's a much better listener than I am.

Fast forward a week.

I pulled an old book I use to love off the shelf and put in our bathroom.  Anything I want to read occasionally or I'd like Joel to pick up- I put in the bathroom.

Today I read the two page section called "Become a Better Listener."  And although I know I've read it before, I didn't see the truth in it like I do today.

"In some ways, the way we fail to listen is symbolic of the way we live.  We often treat communication
as if it were a race.  It's almost like our goal is to have no time gaps between the conclusion of the sentence of the person we are speaking with and the beginning of our own." -Richard Carlson, Ph. D.

I'm an introvert, and talking to a new friend can be very draining, but not with her.  She was slow and thoughtful with her words, something I admired and appreciated.  I noticed how it made our conversation deeper in moments and pressure-free.

"Slowing down your responses and becoming a better listener aids you in becoming a more peaceful person.  It takes pressure off of you.  If you think about it, you'll notice that it takes en enormous amount of energy and is very stressful to be sitting at the edge of your seat trying to guess what the person in front of you (or on the telephone) is going to say so that you can fire back your response.  But as you wait for the people you are communicating with to finish, as you simply listen more intently to what is being said, you'll notice that the pressure you feel is off.  You'll immediately feel more relaxed, and so will the people you are talking to." -Richard Carlson, Ph. D.

So glad I stumbled onto those two pages :)
Are you a good listener?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

1st Day of Spring

When I think of today I seeing myself at dusk chasing Jack to the creek.  I couldn't help but laugh the entire time, with him laughing too.  It's like one of those moments in a movie where everything slows down and you're chasing a giggling child through a field and everything else is blurry.

We were playing tag and I was it.  I couldn't catch him and I was running as fast as I could.

After we caught our breath, we looked up at the sky.  The stars were just staring to come out and we counted them.

Before tag we were clearing our land of any trash that had blown in over the winter.  Since the snow has melted we've found quite a bit of stuff.

Later we laid in the grass and I pointed out bird nests in the trees.  Since there are no leaves they're much easier to find.  Soon the woods will be thick again.

We're excited Spring is here.  Our avocado trees have sprouted roots and I've been saving all of our paper egg cartons over the winter.  Soon we'll be able to start our seeds.

Oh, I almost forgot, Jude woke up half naked today.  Ha!  I went in his room to see if he was awake because I hadn't heard anything yet and it was almost 9-am.  His room was cozy with an electric heater blowing on his dresser, and when I looked over the rails, I saw his tiny baby bum.

He is so sweet.  I left him there to sleep, and he didn't wake for another hour.

Monday, March 10, 2014

our life lately

I prefer my blog to be raw and honest and transparent, so that's where I'll begin.

Right now I'm boiling my diva cup and drinking ice water from a large water-bottle.

Our household is on the mend after a virus has swept through this weekend, causing havoc and causing me to call off (a newborn session) for the first time since I can remember when.

Lots of veggies, snuggles, warm blankets, water and the occasional tylenol for a fever that is more than uncomfortable.  The boys have already kicked the bug with their young immune systems that went into overdrive.

As we wait for Spring I've been stocking up on my reading lists for the year.  I've been digging deep into homeschooling and we have decided to get our feet wet.

Tomorrow is our first homeschool gym session at the local Y.  Jack will get to swim for an hour with other homeschoolers his age and then spend an hour in the gym with them.  I've even buying a book off one of the other Mothers I've met online in the co-op.

I hope it is a good fit for us.  I'll give it several shots.  Sometimes the path is right when the timing is not.  While I believe first impressions are important, I think follow up impressions can be just as powerful.

Today I'm finalizing our list on Amazon for our curriculum for the Spring/Summer.  I'm excited to share it soon with you all.

Jack is still in preschool, so next fall he will be prepared if we decide public schooling is best.  Right now he goes twice a week for 3 hours, and he loves it.  His teachers are amazing and we feel right at home there.  He even has his eye on a girl, ha!  And he begs me stop if I mention her.

We've talked to him about homeschooling, his thoughts are... "If I get to swim then I'm all in!"  He's very excited about the homeschooling program that our Y hosts weekly for the school year.

As for the rest of the family, we are doing well.

We're cooking more at home and spending more quality time together.  We've been talking about family projects when the weather gets nice and we've been talking more about faith.

We hope to travel later this year and save up for a used Jeep.  We want a fun vehicle we can drive at night and see the stars!  We also need a 4-wheel drive for the winter months here in Ohio, a lesson we learned the hard way.

My business is booming and the pace is exactly where I'd like it to be.  Word of mouth referrals are the best.  We are all interconnected and it's a beautiful thing.  Google search doesn't hurt either ;)

We are blessed.
As I sit here with diarrhea, lol.
We are blessed.

Monday, March 3, 2014

quiet time

It feels like I'm going through a quiet period on my blog here.

I've been diving deep into subjects like homeschooling, slow food, organic eating and changing our values as a family.

We're saving more and spending less.  We're more intentional and it feels good.  It feels right.

More time together as a family, more time as a couple and reaching out to those who are family and friends.  Sharing memories and saying goodbye to people we love.  Going through all the stages of life and watching new souls enter too.

My job has been a whirlwind of maternity and newborn sessions, it is the season right now and I love it.  Summer will slowly turn my work towards weddings and they make me just as happy and present.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

I'm chopping off all my hair

I'm getting the itch again.
And I don't quite feel like myself with long brown hair.

Short hair is so liberating.
This will be me next week :)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Dear Jack

Dear Jack,
Tonight we cuddled on the couch before bed and read two books together.  One was about a boy who got a puppy.
Afterwards, we headed to your bed where I rubbed your back and sang "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."  I said prayers and then told you a story about a girl getting a puppy named Valentine.
Then I told you I had a dog named Valentine... you slowly smiled and knew it was from my childhood.

I watched you rub your eyes and I saw an eyelash on your cheek.
I put it on my finger, told you to make a wish and blow.

You said out loud that you wished you had a puppy.  I promised you'd have one someday.

I hate to admit this, but for awhile I'd rush though our bedtime routine... I just wanted some peace and time for myself, but the older I get, the more I cherish you and our time together.  I savor the books, the looks, the stories and even the eyelashes.  

No more rushing.  No more mindless, quick reads.  I love you.  I love you to the moon and back.

Slowing down with you at bedtime has become one of my favorite times of the day... because no matter what happened, I know we'll have our time together to make everything right, and it will be slow and intentional.  I think going to bed happy, cuddled and loved is all any child wants.  I hope you have lots of memories of us at bedtime.  The books, the cuddles, the songs and the giggles.

                                                                           Love you always,

Sunday, February 2, 2014

just do it

Have you ever paused and just thought about the famous Nike slogan?

It's pretty genius.

How many times do we go round and round in our minds dreaming, planning, googling and yet we just don't DO whatever it is that we had set in our minds to.

I've come to realize I'm a dreamer.
I'm a thinker.
And lately I haven't been much of a "do-er."
And that's where I need to change.
Maybe even skip a few steps... and just jump in.
Just do it!

Friday, January 24, 2014


I felt a hand on my shoulder and heard a faint question of why I wasn't in bed.  

It was Joel.

It was 2:30 am and I had fallen asleep meditating in the living room.
I had been there since 10:05 pm.  

Meditation brings peace, but lately it's been so relaxing that it's hard to stay awake. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

learning to let go

“You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.” 

There's a long list of things that have kept me from doing what I want and need to do.  

It's frustrating, but I can either choose anger, or I can choose to let it go, because things like the weather, Joel's work and when the sun goes down- is not something I could ever control.  

And when I really think about it, if I had the choice- would I want that responsibility? 

I'm learning to let go. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Meal Planning Monday

Getting back into the routine of meal planning.

One of my goals is to have our home be a haven, and for me that means the heart of the house is the kitchen.  I keep it super clean and I spend half the day in there doing dishes and cooking for our family.

It's how I keep us healthy and how I save us money.
It's also the classroom where I teach Jack how to cook.
 You're welcome future daughter-in-law. 

I plan meals for a week or two and then buy all the ingredients in one big trip.  Lately, a weekly schedule has been most effective.

I take Jack with me and I try to get him involved as much as possible.  I tell him what we need and point to it and he'll put it in the cart, and we may or may not have ended up with two large all natural jars of peanut butter this last time around.

This keeps him engaged and hopefully able to navigate the store better when he's an adult.  (I remember when I first moved out, I had no idea there were so many brands of the same things.  I was completely overwhelmed!)

-egg white veggie omelets w/fruit, coffee & milk
-eggs for the boys w/cheese, fruit & occasionally bagels & cereal
(I'm kind of strict on the type of cereal)

-Lite Tuna Salad (batch will make enough for a couple days)
-Lean Cuisine
-Salad w/nuts
-Grilled Cheese/ other sandwiches & veggies

-Chicken Pot Pie- (I'm making five total so I can freeze three and give one away to family member who just had a baby.  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.)
-BBQ chicken breasts, asparagus and corn
-Tacos w/ lots of veggies
-Whole Wheat Spaghetti w/ meatballs & salad

-fruit (our favorites are grapes, frozen grapes and bananas)
-mixed nuts
-dark chocolate
-veggies & dip (for a quick and cheap dip, mix one ranch packet with a tub of sour cream, the standard size)

Sunday, January 5, 2014


"Change before you have to." 
- Jack Welch

Friday, January 3, 2014

a new year

A clean slate.
A fresh start.
A new beginning.

The older I get the more I appreciate the new year.

I know what people say... why wait for a new year to change?

The new year makes you pause and reflect.  I can't remember the last time I slowed down enough to think about what I really wanted.

“Many people die at twenty five and aren't buried until they are seventy five.” 
- Benjamin Franklin

Those words scare me.  A regret of a wasted life is such a worthless regret.  If you're going to regret something in life it should be big and shocking... like letting the love of your life go, giving into temptation... those kinds of things.  Regret of a life wasted is the saddest excuse to me. 

I read somewhere that our daily habits make up our life.  So simple, so true and yet so powerful, because it's the key to changing your life. 

If you want things to change, you need to establish new habits. 
So here goes... 

1.) Positive Thinking
I read that without positive thinking you won't accomplish much. 
2.) Exercise.
Not only for my physical health, but just as much for my mental. 
3.) Mediate. 
I want to show up to my life. 
4.) Write.
I love words just as much as I love photographs.  Even if it's just a quote, my goal is to write daily (not here, but in my personal journal). 

I read once that if you do something thirty times in a row and it will become a habit.  Thirty is the magic number. 

Oh I almost forgot... 
5.) No television.

These are my personal goals for 2014, hopefully in the days to come I can share my other goals regarding family and business.  They will be interesting I'm sure. 

Happy New Year friends. 
Any new habits you're wanting to create?

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