Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Some Weekly Dinner Inspiration

Some days I just need somebody else to decide what is for dinner. I have been feeling that lately and after having almost two weeks of a meal train from generous friends and family after having a baby, I got a little spoiled and now it's like I've forgotten how to cook or decide what to eat! So here is a meal plan I made for my own sanity and I thought I would share it in case you have dinner-making block like I do! ;) You are welcome!

Monday- This wonderful Loaded Baked-Potato Soup from The Wicked Noodle. So good, my friends. Add in a loaf of toasty garlic bread and your taste-buds will sing.

Tuesday- Pizza. I cheated here, because I did plan on making dinner Tuesday but Papa Murphy's has a deal where you can get any pizza your heart desires for $10 on Tuesdays and I did not want to tote three children to the grocery store yesterday so The Murph won out. And when pizza is dinner, really everybody wins! 

Wednesday-These Baked Chicken Legs from Bless This Mess, Broccoli, Rice

Thursday- This fantastic and easy Cheesy Bacon Chicken from Joy-Filled Eats and a hearty salad. (One of my favorite meals, and seriously one of the easiest I make too. Win!)

Friday- Taco Soup w/ Chips. (I'll try and share this recipe soon!)

Saturday- Steak Salad and Bread

Sunday- Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Chips, & Fruit

Well, hope some of this inspires you and perhaps next time I'll have pictures to go with my dinner inspiration (but if I try that today I will never get this post up). ;) Happy Wednesday to you all and have a joy-filled rest of your week!

~Blessings to you my friends!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Happy September (aka the unofficial first day of fall and here's why) ;)

September is here is FINALLY HERE!!! September, for me, is like the start of something brand new and very exciting. For starters, I am a fall lover, people. Like, I start dreaming about fall in early August and by the time school rolls around I am all-in ready! So September 1st is like, fall kickoff celebration for my heart (even though I am well aware that fall doesn't officially start for twenty-one more days) and today I celebrated with a pumpkin/hazelnut breve! Oh yes! And not a medium but the biggest one I could find! Delightful to my tongue and soul I tell you. Delightful!

My husband is well-aware of my obsession with pumpkin spice lattes (aka: The Drink That Represents All Things Autumn) and so he posted this hilarious picture to my Facebook page the other day. This basically sums up my whole life. ---->

I have another reason for considering September 1st the unofficial first day of fall and that is this: There is simply not enough time in autumn to do all the autumny things I want to do! Football games, marshmallow-roasts, apple-picking (and applesauce-making...mmm!), nature walks, pumpkin-patch visits, gathering with friends and family for still-warm-but-not-hot evenings outside, jumping in leaf-piles, getting family pictures done, observing the stars, making a scarecrow (on my bucket-list for three years running and I have yet to do this one!), baking a cobbler (or pie...but I have my heart set on a peach-cobbler this year), reading a good book (When is it not a good season to do this, I mean really? My pick this fall is Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman), having a soup-salad-and-bread night with friends, focusing on thankfulness, and the list could go on! Not to mention the fun, feasting, and family of Halloween and Thanksgiving! Oh fall, you have so much to celebrate!

This year is especially great because my oldest two are finally able to get into celebrating with me. Last year my two-year-old had a blast but my one-year-old didn't really care. This year at two and three they will likely have as much fun as I do with all the festivities. Hooray! And so far my newborn is a champ at going-along-for-the-ride and I am less sleep-deprived than I was with my first two so I count that as another spectacular win! I could go on, but naptime is almost over and I am feeling a little crafty so I'm going to attempt a project in the next fifteen minutes. Wish me luck and happy unofficial first day of fall to you and yours! ;)

Blessings to you and a whole lotta love!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

New Beginnings

As I sit here in a moment of quiet and type this with only one hand (my 7th-grade typing teacher would be appalled) my other arm envelops my newest wonder...a sweet 8-pound-4-ounce girl and a delight to my heart. Perhaps I'm just a slow learner but even the third time around I am amazed at how much love our hearts are truly capable of. We can be a selfish, arrogant lot and yet when it comes down to it our hearts were designed by Love Himself...and it seems He has created them with hidden spaces to be found and filled as He brings gifts (like my precious children) into our lives.

Perhaps in a future post I will share more detail, but the last few weeks of my pregnancy I struggled
Tired Baby, Tired Daddy
with doubt and anger and frustration at all the unknowns around labor and delivery and what our family would look like with our new addition. I was anxious and moody and worried and then...she was born. And as they placed her warm, squirmy body on my chest I was reminded of how big God is and how often my perspective is so small. Over the course of 9-and-a-half months God created this amazing human being right inside of my own body...and once she was done being formed and grown in my womb she was released into the world.

It reminds me of some impressionist art I saw at a gallery a long time ago. When you stood close-up the colors were beautiful but you couldn't always tell what they were supposed to be--they looked almost blurry. When you stepped back, however, it was clear that each stroke of the brush and choice of pallet was intentional and, when seen as a whole, created a breathtaking masterpiece.

How like life. Just like Jesus' friend Martha, who got caught up in her to-do list and wasn't able to see the beauty right under her nose, we get anxious and worried about many things...and we often miss the big picture. May we learn (and re-learn) to trust in the goodness of God, no matter our circumstances. And may we purpose to seek out the joy and love that is hidden deep within our hearts, waiting to be found.

 From my heart to yours~

Thursday, July 28, 2016


I should be cleaning and organizing because I have a million things to do before my precious third-born makes her debut. I have baby clothes strewn throughout the house and the nursery looks more like an oversize closet than a safe haven but I take comfort in the fact that she won't care about anything except boobs, a clean butt, and comforting arms for quite some time. Though there's a long list of things I should be doing,  I had to stop for a minute and write this post because it has been on my mind all day and I feel like if I don't get it out I might just burst! (Or maybe that's just the baby...who knows really). ;)

Friends, our world is a hot mess. Likely it's no less messy than it has been for thousands of years but since there are so many things that hit close to home (literally and figuratively) these days it feels messier, if you get what I'm saying? It feels rocky and unstable and though I'm not prone to a doom-and-gloom kind of outlook on life there are days when I look around and wonder what all this crazy is leading up to. And yet in the midst of all the chaos and hatred and the unknowns, I hear God's reminder that He is in control. Now I'm not one to propose that God is orchestrating the chaos, but rather that in the midst of our own choices to seek vengeance and hatred and one-upsmanship He resides. For me there is such hope in that. There is hope in the fact that though chaos reigns in our world it does not have to reign in our hearts. Fear is knocking at the door of our homes, but it can't get through our door unless we invite it in. I desire to raise children who live out love in a world full of hatred, but they won't learn how to do that if I live a life closed off to the outside and cloaked in fear. It can be a daily battle and I'm sure that as time goes by it will only be more so. Because of this, I know I need to purpose myself to live each day out of the depths of God's grace and love--knowing that if I'm not intentional about that, my mind and heart can be hijacked by all the what-if's.

How about this...what if instead of dwelling on all the things that could go wrong, we instead ask God what He wants us to do today--right now--to be His hands and feet in our world? What if instead of hiding or griping we moved into a position of believing He is capable of big things in our hearts and lives, as well as in the hearts and lives of our children, even in the midst of our chaotic world? How would that shake up our paradigm? How would that rock our worlds? I desire to raise bold children who will stand up for what is right and and kneel down to the One who is good. I don't want half-hearted children who cow to whatever somebody tells them they should think or do. I also don't want angry, hateful children who are looking for the worst in those around them. I want children who see hope and light even in the midst of darkness, and who grab a hold of whatever remnants of good they see and run with it.

I recently read the book Number the Stars by Lois Lowry and learned an amazing true story about the
bravery of the Danish people during the time of the Holocaust. In April of 1940 the Nazi armies invaded Denmark and Norway, and though both countries had declared neutrality in the war, they were no match for the Nazi's military might and had no choice but to surrender. For the next three years Denmark was occupied by the Nazis and lived under their authority. They did so peaceably for quite some time. Then, in October of 1943 the Nazis began arresting Danish Jews. The Danish government was informed by a German spy of a plan to arrest and relocate all the Jews in Denmark. Upon hearing this, the ordinary citizens of Denmark banded together to help nearly all the Jews in Denmark (numbering around 7,000) escape to the safe shores of unoccupied Sweden via fishing boats. The Danish people showed remarkable bravery and courage standing up for what was right in the midst of brutality and possible execution. They smuggled nearly 7,000 of their own countrymen onto boats in the cover of darkness over the next three weeks, and risked their lives (and in some cases gave up their lives) to do what they believed to be the right thing. The living out of their ideals did not end there. Of the approximate 7,000 Danish Jews, 481 did not make it to the safety of Sweden. They were among those who were found out and arrested or who were too old or sick to make the journey. These Jews were sent to a ghetto in Czechoslovakia and were tirelessly advocated for by their Danish countrymen, until their eventual release to the Swedish Red Cross in April of 1945. The Danes never forgot their brothers and they never gave up.

I realize this is a long story but honestly, every time I think of it, I get chills. Something in me rises up and makes me long to be a mama who raises kids like this. I want my kids to do the right thing even when it is scary and they don't know what it will cost them. I want my kids to lay down their lives for those whose voices have been stolen, and to advocate and protect the weak. I want to raise kids who live wholeheartedly for God through loving others and living with integrity and intentionality. May we, as parents, learn to live these things out ourselves first, and may we have the bravery to raise a generation of children who don't live lives of self-protection, but of selflessness, generosity, and love.

Blessings to you and yours~