I have a slight obsession with Kristin Armstrong. I think she is wonderful. No, I have never actually met her, but if I lived near her (Austin, TX) I would definitely stalk her.  Not in a scary stalker way, but in a if-she-would-just-get-to-know-me-we-could-be-friends kind of way (I know, still creepy, so I guess it is best that I don’t live by her after all….). She has an amazing running blog that is about so so so much more than just running. She also has an incredible  book.

I really could dedicate an entire blog to the ways that each of her blogs speak to me, but again with the creepy stalker profile…. Anyways, one of her points in her  latest post is finding and pursuing your passion. Which (as her writing always does) spoke right to me. I have been wondering a lot lately what my passion is. I know right now I am wrapped up in being a mom, but I don’t want to become a woman whose identity is so tied to her kids that she forgets who she is and looks in the mirror eighteen years later and doesn’t recognize herself. I love running, but, let’s be honest, I don’t have the time, energy, or desire to train and travel to races right now. I consider myself lucky to get my goal of four runs a week in. I would love to volunteer, but have had a hard time finding something I can do with kids and getting a volunteer coordinator to call me back in general (Gervase if you by some chance are reading this, please call me back, I would love to bring toys home to wash them…) I have tried scrap booking. No, thanks. I have tried getting crafty. Not so much. I am searching.

I feel like I used to know myself better. Pre kids and even pre marriage, when I got to be completely selfish. When I got to pursue my desires on a whim, with out coordinating schedules or feeling guilty for not being home. When I didn’t have to use my “free” time to simply have coffee with a friend. Aaahh, the days of ordering whatever I want at a restaurant with out having to think about splitting it with Scott. Having kids is one of the best decisions I have ever made, but I think I need to start making an extra effort to get to know myself again. I have a couple of passionate ideas, we’ll see…

What are your passions and how do you pursue them? (this is not a rhetorical question, I really would love to know how other people make it happen!)

Menu Plan Monday

April 27, 2009

Totsie has slept probably slept 15 hours from Friday-Sunday, most of which has NOT been between the hours of 12-6am  (yeah, I am totally whining) so we are a little tired in these parts. He is one sick little man. He started on antibiotics today so I am hoping he will be feeling better by tomorrow. All that to say… I am menu planning on very little brain power tonight!

Monday: Fish Tacos and Mashers (we were supposed to eat this tonight, but after 2 hours in urgent care and being desperately tired, we went out to eat!)

Tuesday: Chili (1/2 turkey breast 1/2 ground beef) w/ Homemade Bread and Steamed Broccili

Wednesday: Homemade Waffles with Peanut Butter, Maple Syrup and Fruit Salad

Thursday: New Life Ranch Vision Dinner

Friday: Chili Cheese Fries (leftover chili on oven fried potatoes topped with shredded cheddar) and some veggie

Saturday: Homemade Pizza Night

Sunday: Grilled Chicken Teryaki and Veggie Skewers on the grill

Click on over to the Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas!

Mop Feet

April 25, 2009

Things I learned this week:

1. That if you hold the delete button down on our answering machine for about 10 seconds it deletes all the old messages instead of having to go through them one by one.

2. I have the chocolate chip cookie dough recipe memorized.

3. Mike just figured out that my parents cat that died in NOVEMBER is gone.

4. I invented “mop feet”. Mopping is my most least favorite part of my job. There is no good time to do it with kids around, thus was born mop feet. I mop, then Scott and I scooch everywhere with a tea towel under each foot, which dries the floor AND eliminates dirty foot prints everywhere. Thank you, Thank you very much, I will be here for the next 18 years.

5. My 1300 sq ft house can hold 12ish adults and around 25 kids at one time AND that is with out anything getting destroyed. I was pretty impressed by this.

6. I am feeling more at peace with my life than I have in a very very very long time. (more on this later)

7. I am lucky to have healthy kids. I have been up the last two nights with a sick little Totsie. As tired as I am the next day, I know in my heart and mind that he will get better. I know not all parents are able to feel that.

8. There is a strip of hair on the back of my calf that, apparently, I have been forgetting to shave for the last year (seriously, like an inch long, very gross and embarrassing).

What did you learn this week?

Flu Season

April 22, 2009

You know that feeling when you spend the morning worried you are coming down with the flu only to realize in the afternoon that you are just so tired that your bones ache, I am there today.  I thought I understood tired before I had kids, but there is a level of exhaustion that only parents know. Because kids don’t care that you haven’t  slept through the night in over a year or that the baby is turning into a sleepaphobic or understand the worries that deplete our brain power, they only know here and now. And that is one of the things that makes them so beautiful, their ability to be completely present each moment of the day.

As I sat on the couch contemplating attempting a nap at rest time or more coffee (the coffee won…rest time is just too precious to waste being unconscious), I watched my kids play. I watched them giggle and smile and enjoy each other. I brewed another pot of coffee and reminded my self, this too will pass and when it does I will miss it. As tired as I am right now, I know I will get teary eyed  for the days when a zurbert in Nate’s neck rolls sent him into hysterics and Scott’s most prized possession was bamboo stick that some random kid at the park gave him.

So, I have put in my caffeine IV, I can sleep later… right? Really, I am asking, please tell me I will eventually feel rested….

Hug it out

April 21, 2009

We were lucky enough to meet Richard’s (Mike’s brother) girlfriend this weekend. She is from Spain and is absolutely adorable. She was sweet, funny, and my kids loved her too (the true test!). AND I got to feed her her first homemade chocolate chip cookie (okay I have been staring at the “her her” I just typed and it is bugging me, but I can’t think of how else to say it). I love how so many other cultures attack you with a hug and a kiss from the moment you meet, like you have been friends for years. It immediately puts you in a more comfortable frame of mind.

I have never been a super snuggly person and have gotten even less so since I have had kids. I mean, I am hugging them, holding them, rocking, nursing, kissing boo boos all day, by the end I am feeling a little claustrophobic. BUT I have decided to become a hugger. Andrea has inspired me.

It is a goal. I am getting rid of the awkward goodbyes and looking forward to having more happy hellos. So next time you see me, brace yourself, you’re gettin’ a hug and…if I am feelin’ saucy, maybe a kiss.

Life is too short to shake hands.

*Richard, I know you don’t read my blog. I know this because I asked you. Don’t worry, I won’t hold a grudge, just know that when I mail Andrea a package full of homemade cookies, it will include a note that says “Eat before Ricardo sees these.”

Menu Plan Monday

April 20, 2009

I went  over my weekly budget last week by $50, so instead of sticking with my original menu I modified it and tried to create meals out of some random stuff we had here and saved the ingredients to several recipes from last week to apply to this week in hopes that my budget this week might be $50 under to even it out…. We’ll see! This budget business is hard, but also very rewarding. Looking at our expenses so far this month has been very exciting and Mike is in budget heaven! All that to say…. when you see such a similar menu from last week, don’t be worried, we do eat other things besides tortilla soup.

Monday: Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup with some veggie (my new veggie plan is to scope out what is on sale and plan our weekly veggies, I am really excited for the Farmers Market to start, about one more week!)

Tuesday: Sandwiches (something non messy and quick, I am hosting a Creative Print Party that evening)

Wednesday: Spinach, Feta, and Salsa Omelets and Homefries (slice potatoes and toss w/ olive oil and sea salt, bake @ 425 for about 15ish minutes…yuuummmm)

Thursday: Chicken and Cheese and Veggie Quesadillas (another shout out to Heidi) served with Guacamole and Rice

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Homemade Pizza Night

Sunday: Fish Tacos -I will not be making the sauce and garnish this way, too much work! I found a different sauce recipe that seems much easier… (I am also going to use whole milk plain yogurt instead of sour cream)

Chipotle Cream Sauce

  • 2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo (minced and seeded)
  • 1 cup non-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Are you making anything fun this week? Check out Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas!

Things I learned this week:

1. Having toys truly organized and not just “put away” really does make me more peaceful.

2. Going to the zoo on national field trip day will strip away all the peace you obtained from your organized toys.

3. How to control rage-outs!

4. Books on CD will keep a child in their room at rest time. (so will the reward of getting to watch TV when rest time is over….I like to have options….)

5. The first time your 9 month old shreds a roll of toilet paper is an “oops” moment. The second time they do it, it is a “duh” moment. The THIRD time they do it, you are an idiot.

6. How to love logically. Some of that book is a little much for me, but all in all, it seems to be going well.

7. Sticking to my food budget is harder than I thought it would be.

8. Taquitos at Wild Fork have no suitable subsitute.

9. I am really lucky to have my husband.

What did you learn this week?