Sunday, August 16, 2015

swimming with the ideas

I'm all over the place today, and there's really only one theme. 
I'm feeling inspired. 
Isn't it weird how it just hits you sometimes?
 And there are other times when you feel like you're in a desert of new ideas?
Maybe that's just me. 

Right now I'm wanting to make all the hair bows for Vivi girl before she heads back to school. 

Come up with reasons to make some of these cookies.

Which of course means I'd need to learn HOW to make these cute little guys.

Rearrange all the furniture.
ala Because I Said So

and start a Girls Group
similar to Katie Bower's group she wrote about here

Instead of starting on any of those, I'm going to go dish up dinner for the little ones, clean up the house, and do the bedtime routine. 
The only downside to being super inspired is life kinda gets in the way. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

a completely lazy day

I blame it on the water I set to brew for this morning. 
You know instead of actually adding coffee grounds to the coffee pot I just ran water through.
Or maybe it's because I got so much accomplished earlier this week. 
I'm not sure what the actual cause is, but the truth is...I've been nothing short of lazy today.

I did shower.
And I fed myself and the kids.
I've enjoyed some quality one on one time with both of them.
But not much else has been going on. 
this is me today
I always struggle with the whole you should allow yourself some time off and the never ending feeling of needing to do something. 
The desire for forward progress.

Anywho, since I just put on the husband's old sweatshirt from 2006 I'm thinking that the lazy has won out for good for today.
raggedey old sweatshirt I'm currently snuggled into
And so I'm blogging. 
Lucky you.
It' been so long, and I've missed this outlet so much.

You have no idea.
I'm about to start a list of all the things I've been meaning to tell my readers since the end of spring. 

And get some blog posts up and going. 

I can't wait to get some crafting done for the new season...hopefully before it happens.

I'm also eager to share some of the renovation projects we've started (and will finish this fall). 

And you have absolutely NO IDEA how excited I am about the basement renovation. For real. 
It's the butter on my corn cob, the chocolate in my cookies, the marshmallow at my bon fires. 
I am in love with all the possibilities!

And I can't wait to share it here, with you. All five of you and my mom. 
In the meantime I'm off to snuggle in with the kids, because they really get the concept of relaxing.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

because I can't keep a secret

I haven't blogged in awhile. 
Last night I shared this picture from an epic date

and the news that we have a new baby on the way.

I've been so silent on the little ole blog because I struggle to keep secrets. 
As in don't tell me many. 
I can maybe keep one at a time. 
And I knew two things right off the bat. 
1. I was tempted to share the baby news way before we were really ready to share. 
2. It felt disingenuine to blog without telling any of the real parts of those first weeks.

Like I was feeling sick for awhile.
And exhausted.
And I stopped working out.
And I really didn't like most any smells.
And I found that a Jolly Rancher and a small glass of ginger ale first thing in the morning helped settle my stomach. 

Since D and I have known for awhile that we're expecting some people have been thinking it'll be an April birth, but our little one should arrive this winter-late January or early February. 

And because I can. 
Here's the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. 
And some oversharing random pregnancy info. 

Do you know what you're having?
We are not finding out the gender. 
We didn't find out with either Dean or Viv and it made the labor and delivery portion of this whole shindig super exciting. 
Also, because we didn't find out with either of them we've got a lot of gender neutral items I'm itching to pull out again. 

Where are you going to deliver?
We are delivering with the amazing crew of midwives at Clark. 
Yes, I do understand that the hospital will be approximately 1.5 hours away.
 And it'll be winter so if there's snow...
Let me just say this. 
Neither of the others were quick births. 
At. All. 
And if I'm delivering on the side of the interstate with my rockstar husband aiding me you will all be able to hear the shouts of joy around the world. 
Because seriously a short labor would be a win. 
Even in those circumstances. 

Are you going to take time off?
Yes. This will be a first.
 With both of the others I've cursed our countries' lack of maternity leave options for new mamas.
 They are abysmal at best and have been nothing short of stressful for us in the past. 
This time around, I'm a stay at home mama watching kids in our house each week. 
I went around and around about what to do. 
In the end we've decided that I'm taking 5 months. 
During that time, I'll not be watching kids in the house.
But we will be taking on a full blown renovation project as we have our basement finished and license and charter the childcare business as just that a business. 
We'll be reopening mid summer 2016. 

Are the kids excited?
When we found out we were expecting Vivian, Dean hadn't had his first birthday yet.

I'm not even sure he really knew that there was a new sister in our house for awhile. 
He was mostly concerned with play, play and more play. 

This time around the kids are estatic! 
Give them a moment and they'll tell you all about our good news.

Is Dustin excited?
Ummm. It's odd to me to even get this question. 
But YES, he is! 
Is he looking at baby clothes with me, conversing with me about cloth diapers, or reminding me how wonderful a newborn smells? 
But yes, he's very excited about our newest family member. 

Are you craving anything?
Does water count?
I've been so thirsty this time around. 
I started a challenge to drink 64 ounces of water a day for seven days. I haven't made it everyday, but even well after the challenge I'm drinking right at or under the goal each day without any major changes.
I'm just super thirsty. 

I've just started feeling better the past few weeks. 
I've been cooking actual meals for the family again.
You know instead of cereal dinner. 
I've been working out.
I might share a post about that in the future because it's really different than the pre-baby workouts I was putting in. 
I've been smiling again. 
I'm in maternity clothes.

It feels so good to be past the: I just look like I'm getting fat phase and into the I'm growing a human phase.

We're all smiles over here.
 Thanks for all the well wishes and congratulations- each and every one warmed my heart to the core. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

around here

Finishing school for the year, and starting curriculums at home. We are loving this and this.
Soaking up the sunshine. 
Pretending the humidity isn't super annoying. 
Celebrating this girl's third birthday.
Slacking on my blogging, but loving checking in with instagram regularly. 
Searching for a new normal. Our routines have shifted and with that comes an adjustment. 
Dreaming of a bright future. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

baby art without the mess

When my little ones were babies, we did a lot of our messier painting, gluing, dirt rolling right before bath time. 
And that made it easy peasy (stress free) because as soon as they were done, into the bath they went.
Now, I'm watching some littles that aren't jumping into the bath at the end of craft time. 

Enter less messy art.

And because I'm about to jump in the shower before the aforementioned littles wake up...I'm going to let the pics do the talking today. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

parenting: i think i can i think i can

Today I failed spectacularly.
You guys this parenting thing is no joke. 
It's hard. It's amazing. 
And it's all consuming at times. 
It requires me to daily die to myself and put the joy of serving others first. 
It continually humbles me.
It brings me great joy and deep anguish.
It is sweaty, teeth gritting work and big deep belly laughs. 
It is an island.
It leaves me with more questions than answers and lots of tears.
It's kissing boo boos and adventuring.
It makes my heart feel like it's going to explode and it allows doubts to creep in daily.
It is a soul searching, book reading journey. 
It never ends and it constantly changes. 
It will change you and it will change others. 
It's a chance to raise the next generation. 
It's a way to honor the Lord. 
It continually humbles me.
Today during a highly dramatic, snotty nosed, red eyed prayer sess with the Lord I hashed out all my problems.
 All my concerns. 
All my sins. 
I felt so angry at God today.
Because you know I knew I was trying really hard.

I knew I was giving this parenting gig a lot. 
I knew that it should be going a bit smoother.
I felt so mad that it wasn't.
I knew I should be keeping my cool. 
And it wasn't like I wasn't trying. 
Didn't the tension in my neck matter to Him?
Didn't He see how hard I was trying?
Didn't He know that I didn't feel loving?
WHY did I have to show love when I didn't want to?
And then I heard a gentle reminder:
 Because He did.
And because it's not about me.
Because it's not about how I feel. 
It's not about showing love when I feel like it. 

It's about submitting to God's will.
It's about showing HIS love, not mine. 
I've been thinking this as my mantra lately

But here's the thing: I can't do hard things. I can however, do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 
I can't do it, and I don't always want to do it. 
And praise God...I don't have to do it on my own. 
I have to submit to Him. 
I have to show His Love. Because He is love. 
He has placed me here to show love, mercy and grace to the moments when they least deserve it. 

I'm not going to pretend like it was all pretty after I picked myself out of that prayer time, but I will tell you this.
My heart changed in a way that only Jesus can do. 
It became focused on loving the unlovable.
On showing them God's love ESPECIALLY when it wasn't pretty or sweet or loving.
The Holy Spirit placed these words on my heart years ago "I will show them God's love." when I was battling a nightmarish bedtime routine daily.
 He showed me then that it wasn't about me. 
That I was being called not to showe them with my love, but with His. 
 And somewhere along the way I'd forgotten that.
Somewhere along the way I thought that if I just muscled my way through all the crap it'd be good in the end. 
But the truth is, with Jesus it can be good in even  the deepest crap. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

whey protein and weight loss update

So the irony is not lost on me that I posted this yesterday
You can find the recipe here

But here's the thing: I am taking this weight loss journey seriously, and I'm still having fun along the way. 

Am I eating the birthday cake I made my husband? Yes, and it was serioulsy so good.  
But am I eating Butterfingers, soda, and sweets all the time?
Am I carbing up in the mornings and snacking all day?
The answer is no. 
I'm working on adding healthier options to our daily lives and I'm avoiding the old sugar hits I was indulging in (daily).

Social media is a great outlet that I'm thrilled to have a small niche in, but it can become a burden when you see all the girls dropping their weight like that (finger snap) and my pounds are slow to go.
At the same time, I know in my heart of hearts that I don't want to drop it fast and try to keep it off. 
I know that behaviorly I need to lose it in a slow and steady way. 
I know that I need lifestyle changes I can be sure to keep up with. 

Now all that is to say: kuddos to you guys who are on extreme diets and dropping massive weight. Kuddos to those of you in crossfit, jazzercise, weightlifting, and the whole Beach Body crew. 
I think you're awesome. 
It's just not me. 

I recently started reading this book 
(I purchased it years ago and never really cracked the cover).
It's about eating healthier, moving around more, and the spiritual connections that a Christian has with food and motivation. 
Admittingly, I'm only in chapter 4, but so far I'm really enjoying the positive read.

I've also made one recent change that has made a difference.
I've switched from enjoying a Slim Fast drink to a whey protein drink two times a day. 
The new drink has oodles of protein and the Slim Fast had hardly any at all. 
Here's an easy to read article about whey protein in Shape magazine. 

My goal is to keep my muscle mass during my weight loss journey. 
And to have my muscle help me burn my fat. 

My current go to drink is to add a scoop of this
Market Pantry® Chocolate Whey Protein Powder - 32 oz

with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter and milk into the blender.
It's satisfying and the peanut butter keeps it from tasting so blah. 
Is it delicious? No, but I am also not dreading it.

I know that I haven't shown any real full front pictures of where I'm currently at in this journey. 
So here you go.

That is all. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

cream cheese buttercream frosting

I spent an embarrasing amount of time searching for a buttercream recipe that:
had cream cheese
was not ALL shortening (because really)
and would work well with the ruffles I was hoping to create for the husband's birthday (aka trial run for the daughter's birthday)

Here's what I came up with 
(it was in the comment section of a recipe here)
This recipe allowed me to be generous with the frosting on this two tier cake between layers, a crumb coating, and the final ruffles. 

1/2 lb butter
1 cup vegetable shortening
6 cups powdered sugar
8 oz cream cheese

Mix the butter (slightly softened) and shortening together. Cream until smooth. Turn mixer to low, and add a bit of sugar at a time. After it is all mixed well together, add the cream cheese and mix well. Mix it on medium for about 3 minutes then add the coloring (if you desire) and continue to mix on medium another 2-3 minutes.
Read more here.

This frosting had a cream cheese flavor, but it wasn't overwhelming. It piped really well and didn't melt in the heat of the hot kitchen and piping during the heat of the day. 
It was also surprising light when you ate it. 
I worried that the shortening would leave a greasy feeling and was thrilled that it wasn't the case. 
Moreover, we stored the cake in aluminum foil overnight and it was still great the next day. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

being brave and if:equip

Our church, Crossroads in Cincinnati, is on a 6 week journey about bravery. 
I'm excited about the challenges that have been posed, the app we're using, and the small group we've been working with. 
And I'm sad to see it end in a week or two. 

But I'm excited about this

If you're not sure what if equip is, check out their site
This Bible study will come directly to your email daily if you sign up, it has a video format (hooray!), it's completely free, and it's the perfect time to jump in. 

The first video message was posted today. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

mother's day

I have always had crazy amounts 
of love for my mom.
But now that I am a mom I also 
have crazy amounts of respect.
I hope to be like her when I grow up.

Friday, May 8, 2015

celebrate good times

The highlight of our week was celebrating Dustin's birthday. 
Because birthdays need to start with bacon.
Do you bake your bacon? 
It's the best.
I won't go back.
Line your pan, put the bacon into a cold oven, turn it on, and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. 
So easy.
So painless.
 Heartfelt decor.
Cake making.

 cake batter eating
Do people really resist this stuff? 
I have never even tried.

 We had a lovely, slow day celebrating my best friend and the guy who still puts butterflies in my belly.
Happy birthday, D.

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