Insomnia Bites

I did not sleep well last night.

Well, between the hours of 10 and 3:30 I was golden, but then things got rocky.

Maybe it's due to the after school grande iced coffee I had (while Scott and Annelise got snow cones) or hormones or off kilter sleep rhythms or SOMETHING ELSE UNFAIR, but my eyes popped open at 3:30 and I had the hardest time getting back to sleep.

The fact that one of the songs from TurboFire kept playing on repeat across my brain did not help.

I finally dozed off again at some point, only to be awakened by my phone alarm at 5:30 telling me to get up and go run.

As if.

Cue attempts to doze off again.

All of this to say I ended up having weird (like they should have a capital W weird) dreams and then rampant weird thoughts after. Which is, of course, so nice.

Have I mentioned that I've been rather freaked out (off and on, not like all the time) ever since I turned 42? Back in November? No? Well, it's true.

I realize I don't talk too often here on the ol' blog about serious life issue kind of stuff, deeper thoughts (not so much like Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey on SNL though) and sometimes I wonder if maybe I should or worry that maybe no one wants to read heavier stuff. And then I remember that this is my blog after all, so whatever.

My mom died when she was 42.

(See why I've been freaking out all year?)*

It was April 1983 and I was 14.

Everything happened so fast, like in a handful of days, and we (my dad and I) were in shock and just stumbled through the following days, weeks and months as best we could. Which as I am realizing now, as an adult, was probably not the best, healthiest manner. Since it hurt both of us to talk about my mom we ended up hardly ever doing so. Without ever intending it, she became this memory that we both stored away in the attics of our brains and hearts but hardly discussed.

And now I'm feeling the need to dig around in my *attic* a bit. And maybe talk more about what I find in there out here on the blog.

(Please don't run away, m'kay?)

*Okay, not really freaking out, but definitely thinking more about time and relationships and legacy and purpose and past and future and making the most of every day (and heaping tons of guilt on my head about NOT doing so) and mother-daughter relationships and the lack thereof, etcetera, etcetera, etcETERA (said in my best Yul Brynner voice). And at 3:30 am no less. To the tune of TurboFire (1,2,3,4 All You Girls Get on the Floor).


Just Call Me Listy McListerson

For some reason I feel the need to make a list today.

Not of anything of earth-shattering importance mind you, mainly for the sole purpose of quieting my brain.

1. Annelise stayed home from school yesterday under the pretense of still having a sore throat.
2. Not that I didn't believe her, I did, but she didn't have any other cold-ish symptoms and never had a fever over the weekend or anything.
3. But I was worried she'd get to school and start complaining and before you could say cold faker the office would be calling.
4. Or she would suddenly get worse at school and then it would seem like we sent Plague Child to school.
5. Is there a limit to how long one should play Lego Harry Potter, Years 1-4 on the PS?
6. No?
7. Good.
8. Guess who went to school today?
9. I haven't posted menu plans these last two weeks, and I know I have quite the track record of going great guns with something and then fizzling out 2/3 of the way in, but I have been cooking.
10. I've just reached the point where I'm repeating my go-to recipes and am rather bored.
11. This morning I dumped everything in the Crock-Pot for Salsa Chicken, which is a repeat from three-ish weeks ago, but my people eat it up just the same.
12. Yesterday I decided I was going to get back on track with my eating.
13. As in eat like a 42 year old should and not like a teenager.
14. Or like how Spridle and Chim-Chim eat on Speed Racer (CANDY! WE WANT CANDY!!)
15. I made one of my huge salads for lunch (cabbage! spinach! broccoli! black beans! nuts! tomato!) and thoroughly enjoyed every healthy bite.
16. Then later that afternoon I decided I could go no further along in life without baking cookies.
17. Obviously I am conflicted.
18. And of course I ate four or maybe forty when they came out of the oven.
19. I'm exaggerating.
20. A little.
21. But then later I worked out with TurboFire & ChaLEAN for 1.5 hours and felt better.
22. And even though I heard the cookies calling to me from the kitchen late last night, I resisted.
23. :)
24. A few months ago I decided I wouldn't buy any more books.
25. No more Amazon instant gratification clicks or trips to Half Price Books.
26. Of course exceptions can be made, and I am the judge.
27. So I've been in a hot and heavy affair with the library.
28. Namely their on-line hold system (love).
29. I think I was #23 (or higher) when I added my name to the list for Bossypants.
30. What the what?
31. I want to go to there.
31. Now it's finally my turn.
32. Patience is a virtue after all.

Did I really just type out 32 randoms?

Happy Tuesday, y'all!



I'm not sure if it's possible to have a more low-key weekend than the one we've just had. And really, given my druthers, I'd pick a low-key weekend over a jam packed one 10 times out of 10 because low-key is just my default gear.

Friday afternoon I raced up to school to meet with Annelise's teacher for our scheduled 15 minute conference. When I made it to her classroom door at 2:00 on the dot (the closer parking lot was full so I'd had to schlep a bit) I noticed the door was closed and there was another mom still in there.

So I waited.

At 2:05 I began to peer inside the window with a little more umph and send stronger ESP signals for the Other Mom to wrap it up and give me my turn.

At 2:06 eye contact was made through the six inch window and I gave a wave and a smile that totally meant GET OUT, but the Other Mom continued.

By this time there was a dad waiting for the slot right after me (2:15) and I was fuming. Do I knock? Would that be rude? Do I poke my head in? Do I stand there and continue to shoot daggers with my eyes?

I know it might not have been that particular mom's fault, someone before her could have set things behind, but I still blamed her in my head.

So once it was finally my turn, I was painfully aware of the clock and not running over into that dad's time, so I think Mrs. H and I chatted for approximately 8 minutes.

I felt a bit cheated.

On the way home I popped into Stein Mart, as you do, just to browse a bit since I hadn't shopped by myself in just this side of forever. I've really, really, really tried to cut back on casual shopping and willed myself not to go to Target, TJ Maxx, Old Navy, etc. these last few months and be content with what I already have. Most days I stick to that, but other days I guess I don't. I carried around a maxi dress (cute chevron stripes), two shirts and a blousy tank (all on sale) for a good 45 minutes before I put everything back except for the tank and a pair of silver earrings. I'm still thinking about that maxi dress though and kicking myself a little.

Friday night, after a yummy supper with friends at our favorite burger joint (where I always get the Frito Bean-Dito burger), we went to see some Friday Night Lights real time.
I thought our inflated maroon helmet thingie was cool until I saw the other team's giganto gator head that smoked. Yes, smoked. We need a fierce looking inflatable wildcat. When did these  giant run-through inflatables become the IT things at high school football games anyway? I feel old.

We left after half time, as you do, or at least as we do, because we were losing something awful. Well guess what? We apparently were the come-back kids and ended up winning (!!), and of course we missed out on all the hoopla.

Saturday was basically nothing of importance with a side of laziness.

Annelise woke up with a scratchy-ish, sore-ish throat this morning, so she and I stayed home from church. Boo.

I surprised her though by making her a special breakfast. Yay.
I'd never made egg-in-the-holes before, but for some reason I decided today was the day to try them. Or it, seeing as I only made one. Our glasses were all too wide and I don't have a biscuit cutter since biscuits pop out of a can around these here parts, so I used a heart shaped cookie cutter.

She thought it was the coolest (and tastiest) breakfast ever. Like in all of her 8 years.


I fiddled around this afternoon and eventually came up with these for Annelise's birthday thank-you notes:
Simple. But hopefully still cute.

Every time I go up to my craft hovel I'm reminded how I hardly ever get crafty any more and then I feel sad and guilty and then I turn out the light and leave.

Today though I tried to organize my printed photos that have been sitting in stacks on top of my craft hovel table. I feel guilty for not printing photos out more often and then I feel guilty for not scrapbooking them once I do print them. My Cropper Hopper was already quite full with neglected photo events from 2008 (!!) and now includes neglected photos from 2009, 2010 and even some 2011 too. Cue more guilt.

I was proud of Annelise for writing out her thank-yous without any whining or extreme stalling this afternoon.
We did do them in shifts though, a few at a time, which worked out well.

So if you throw in some TurboFire workouts and copious amounts of junk food, which totally negates any sweat and exertion, add a teensie bit of cleaning and a hefty amount of TV watching/video gaming, you have our weekend in a nutshell.

Or in PJs as the case may be.

How was your weekend?


Five for Friday

For whatever reason I only blogged once this week.

What in the world has happened to me?

Well, nothing. I guess I just wasn't feeling so ch-cha-chatty.

But now I'm back.

(do you hear the hallelujah chorus too?)



Here are a few randoms from this week:

01. Annelise took action this week and fired off a letter to the "Lego makers" about omitting several characters from their Harry Potter Lego people line-up.
For days she carried the print out of HP characters and bemoaned the injustice of there being no Fred and George Weasley, Sirius Black or Professor Lupin and finally decided to write a letter to Lego.

I kind of love that.
When we took our road trips last spring we listened to the first three HP books on CD and part of the fourth and she got all up in all things Harry Potter (to a degree). We've let her watch the first three movies but are holding off for a bit on the others. She read the first book on her own (!!) and declared that I was right (!!) that books are better than movies because there are more details.

My heart almost burst.

02. Scott went with a group from church earlier this week to help in Bastrop where the wildfires were raging a couple of weeks ago (they were also rampant in the Waller and Magnolia areas too, so scary).
Along with helping to organize donations they helped to clear some wreckage from the fires. So many families lost everything and scenes like the photo above are everywhere in that area. Terrible.

We're trying to be positive about this time of unemployment and look at things differently, so in that light, Scott was able to spend a day helping which he would have missed if he was at work. I know it might sound odd to say he had a good day working in such a difficult situation, but he really did. 

03. Speaking of unemployment, it's now been a little over a month since Scott was laid off. I guess we've found our unemployed groove, such that it is, though we definitely need to still make long term plans (budget/financial stuff). For now things are still pretty much the same except Scott has a whole lot more free time. Thanks to his severance and unemployment (hip hip hooray for government benefits!) we should be okay financially for a while. Of course we're trying to be more careful and intentional with our money and cut out most of our casual spending. Today, Scott is signing us up for short-term medical insurance which you can pay month to month. It's expensive, and I hate having to pay out of pocket for something employers usually provide, but we felt we had to. Thankfully we are healthy people and hardly ever go to the doctor (knock on wood) but still felt like going without insurance at all was too risky.

04. In other news, I set my alarm to get up and run every.single.morning. this week and every.single.morning. I ignored it.


I've started a hybrid type workout where I do cardio with TurboFire (love) and strength with ChaLEAN Extreme (love). The workouts are fun, fast and addictive, which is good. And super sweaty. Which is also good. I never thought I'd say this, but I like doing sumo burpees now.

05. And finally, I got my hairs did yesterday, which had been woefully overdue. When we took cupcakes up to Annelise's school a few weeks ago one sweet darling told me, "I like your hair. It's colorful." I took that to mean she liked the odd combo of grays, browns and bleach-y blondes I had going on up on top and told her thanks anyway.

I had wild aspirations of cutting it all off and going short and spiky again because I was at that desperate point where I could not stand my mop for one more minute, but saw the light of reason as I sat in the magic chair.

So once again I have the same angled bob I've had for, oh, just this side of forever.
Yet I feel like a new woman just the same.

That, my friends, is the power of the magic chair.

Today is early dismissal (1:00) for parent-teacher conferences (my turn is at 2:00) and I am still sitting here sipping coffee like I've got all the time in the world, so I guess I better scoot.

Happy Friday, y'all!


And There Was Skating. Lots and Lots of Skating.

Saturday, after oodles of anticipation and excitement, Annelise's rollerskating 8th birthday extravaganza had finally arrived.

But first we had to stuff favor bags late Friday night because our motto is why do things early when you can wait until the last minute. I told myself I wasn't going to stress about the favor bags, we weren't going to waste money on total junk that breaks before they even get home and we were going to keep it simple.

Because the rollerskating invitations* had been postcards from the skate center (simple and easy but not so cute and creative which hurt my heart, but appealed to my lazy side just the same) and we couldn't decorate much at the skate place I was feeling a strong urge to put at least a few creative touches into some aspect of the party.

Since this was a girls only affair, we decided on glow bracelets, Lip Smackers, a cute mechanical pencil and a little notebook that I made embellished covers for and of course, CANDY for the favor bags. I hemmed and hawed about temporary tattoos (I know the girls like them but I couldn't find any that weren't borderline trashy or too mature) and couldn't find cute stickers that weren't too young or too, I don't know, trashy. I don't think peace signs, rockstar symbols or skulls are appropriate for 7 and 8 year old girls, even if they are pink and glittered, but maybe that's just me).

Here are the finished bags:
Simple, but still cute (I think).

And yes, that is zebra duct tape. Love.

I also made a special shirt for our special birthday girl. Well, okay, I didn't make the shirt itself, but I embellished it. At 11:00 Saturday night, because that's how I roll.
Please tell me it looks like a rollerskate. Please.
It does, right?
Maybe a closer look would help.
See, I told you it was a skate and not an oddly puffy heart with wheels.
Instead of cake this year we opted for a giant cookie decorated with, you guessed it, skates. 
(Which not only ended up being much less messy and still a HIT with the girls)
Annelise and six of her bestest buds (one little girl is missing from the photo because she was changing her skates) spent 2 hours skating their little hearts out, pausing only for pizza and soda which they inhaled in approximately 2.5 minutes so they could get back to skating.
Annelise was thrilled her Pappo and Grandma were there, even though they didn't skate.
The girls had a blast skating (of course), playing a few arcade games, skating, eating pizza, doing the Hokey Pokey, skating some more, being super giggly and silly (of course), skating in a race (Annelise won!), gobbling up ice cream sandwiches and cookie cake, skating again, opening presents and skating again one last time.

I had grand plans of taking pictures of Annelise with each of her friends, but that just didn't happen in all the crazy. Most of the photos I took of them skating turned out blurry or awkward (did I mention they were on eight wheels and always moving and it was dark?) and I missed taking any when Annelise opened her gifts (I was behind her trying to manage the flurry of tissue paper and write down who gave what gift).

I hate that.

But I did manage to snap these...
So I was happy.

And if squeals of glee, ear to ear smiles and non-stop rollerskating are reliable indicators, I'm 99 and 44 100ths % sure Annelise and her little girlfriends had a fairly fun afternoon.

*Excuse me for a minute while I get a teensie-tiny bit snarky. We invited 13 girls (all the girls in second grade plus two close girlfriends from church). 4 RSVPd yes and came, 2 RSVPd yes but weren't able to be there after all--but called to explain--and I'm totally okay with that, 1 mom said, "I guess we'll see you tomorrow," when I saw her at school on Friday, so I guess that was their RSVP, 1 arrived without an RSVP and the rest left me hanging. I wrote our phone # and our email address on the invitation, so there were options for phone-y people and message-y people and still there were crickets chirping. RSVP means a response, whether yes or no, is requested. I totally understand not every one invited will be able to attend, or will even want to (wait, what?) but it's still polite to respond one way or the other. Oh, and I should tell you that I am not perfect (really?) and have messed up on this issue too sometimes, but I do my best to RSVP. Okay, I feel better. Thanks for listening.

Do you like to skate?
What do you put in favor bags?
Are RSVPs a thing of the past? How do you handle them?


Friday Night Lights

I don't have any explanation for what came over me last week.

I actually wanted to go to my old (former? alma mater?) high school's football game.

Y'all who don't really know me might not see what the big deal-io was, but my people sure did and they jumped at the chance to take Mama to a football game. (In case you're still not sure about me, I don't often want to go to mass sporting events, even local ones.)

So we went.
Did I forget to mention it was homecoming?

I know, I thought it was crazy early for homecoming too, but with five high schools sharing district stadium, someone had to draw the short straw for homecoming three weeks after school started.
Seems like I remember, you know, back in the day, the homecoming queen crowning taking place during half-time and the queen being driven around the field in some sort of classy convertible.

Now they do it before the game and there is very little hoop or la.

But Annelise was still entranced and made full use of her turn with the binoculars.
Then it was game time.

See, we have our game faces on.
Annelise got to hug Willie the Wildcat but you can hardly see her on the left behind the purple lady's elbow. 
I could not get over 1.) what passes for homecoming attire these days and B.) the ridiculous size of some of the mums.

I remember getting dressed up, in a dress and panty hose (suntan Leggs in the egg), my date wore a suit and I had a medium-ish mum ensemble.

Now it's hip to be as trashy as possible.

Ripped t-shirts or sweatshirts a la Flashdance, the shortest denim shorts available, huge mums as long as the wearee, teddy bears optional, body glitter and face/leg paint.
At one point Scott asked what I thought of the future generation and I admitted my fear and trepidation.
But there were Skittles, so all was well.
My favorite was half-time watching the drill teams and bands perform.

So cool.
The Wildcats were losing so we left after half-time (I know, fair weather fans).
Guess what?

I'm leaning toward going to the next home game next week.

I can't explain it.

But there will be Skittles.

What do high schoolers wear to homecoming in your neck of the woods?


What My Fridge Would Tell You

I don't know about you, but one of my favorite perks to blogging is getting a peek into other people's lives and homes. The slice of life stuff is the best.

You know, getting all up in their business.

Even their fridges.

Yesterday, Edie posted about her fridge contents and what it might say about her, and I immediately thought, BRILLIANT.

Or maybe I've just reached the dregs of possible blogging material.


If our fridge could talk (and who's to know what happens when the door is closed anyway?) maybe this is what it would tell you...

The Good:
*there are lots of fresh fruit and veggies
*it's mostly all *real* food
*leftovers for lunch and quick meals
*dairy is our friend
*so is salsa

The So-So
*could we have more types of milk product? (almond milk:me, skim: Scott, whole:Annelise, half & half:me, whipping cream:recipes, individual milk: Annelise's lunches, cheese (colby jack & string): all of us and don't forget...real butter: good friend to everyone

*yes, that is a brown banana (for my spinach-kale smoothie later)

*we do have deli meat, which I'm not sure if that qualifies as *real* food (Annelise eats the natural choice Hormel stuff and Scott loves paper-thin-preservative-full Buddig)

The Bad
*I either need to throw out the leftover tortilla soup from Sunday or eat it for lunch today

*yes, that is a package of ground beef thawing out on the counter, which is apparently a no-no, but I forgot to transfer it to the fridge in adequate thaw time for our taco soup tonight (oops)

*is anyone ever going to eat that leftover turkey burger patty (it's from last week, should I toss or risk it?)

The Random
*I keep raw eggs in their container (house) and boiled eggs (usually for Annelise's lunches or quick snack) in the door

*I need to buy more dijon mustard after squeezing the last drop of our expired mustard last week (we're fine, no one died, it only expired in February, I think)

*I never know what I should keep in the bottom hydrator thing, usually onions and garlic or potatoes (which probably shouldn't be in the fridge anyway but I've never carved out valuable pantry space)

And a few more things (our fridge is wordy)...

1.) the leftovers prove I've followed through on my meal-planning (YAY)

2.) the large containers of spinach and kale mean I'm trying to be healthy(-ish, -ier) (at least  through smoothies)

3.) the almost full container of cabbage means I have not eaten a salad since I bought it and cut it up

4.) the boxes of stick butter means I've been on a baking binge (I should never have tried that chocolate chip cookie recipe) and therefore negate #2

5.) most of all though, I think a full fridge says we are blessed (!!)

You can peek at the inside of more fridges here.

What does your fridge say about you?
If you do this too let me know, you know I'd love to peek!


12 on the 12th: September

1.) pot roast supper already simmering away
2.) my breakfast (steel-cut oats with strawberries and blueberries)
3.) yummy smells from my scentsy warmer (berry tart today)
4.) Scott went to a local engineering hiring event this morning
5.) then updated his unemployment benefits
6.) laundry
7.) started a new book (i likey)
8.) car pick up line
9.) our little pick-up-ee
10.) and her new friend
11.) quick self portrait to prove i exist
12.) after dinner dishes (fiesta makes me happy, even in the dishwasher)

a normal day
a fairly mundane day
a good day just the same

be sure to visit amy's blog to see more 12 on the 12th posts

how was your 12th?


Menu Plan Monday

Can you believe this is my third week in a row of meal planning?

And actual cooking?

Yeah, me neither.

But it's true.

I'm kind of like a grown-up now.

Last week we ate at home every. single. night. except for Friday (but that was the plan) and our evenings have been so much calmer, more home-y, more like they should be. Everything I cooked was pretty much a hit, except for the crock-pot lasagna. I don't know if it was the whole wheat noodles or if I let it cook too long or what, but I think I prefer the consistency of oven baked lasagna.

Here's what's cooking this week:

Monday: 3 Packet Pot Roast (crock-pot), green beans

Tuesday: Baked Pesto Chicken, oven roasted broccoli

Wednesday: Leftover buffet

Thursday: Taco Soup (crock-pot)

Friday: Based on our pattern I'd say there's a 99.9% chance we'll be eating out.

I'm linking up with OrgJunkie once again, be sure to pop over there for oodles of menu planning inspiration.

What's cooking at your house this week?


InstaFriday {on Saturday}

Good morning y'all!

Nudge, nudge. Are y'all awake?

My people are still snoozing so I thought I'd sneak in my InstaFriday post that I never managed to do yesterday, even though it's now Saturday. 

Rebel. Is what I am.

We have become obsessed, obsessed I tell you, with playing Dutch Blitz.
It's a fast moving card game similar to Nertz and possibly a distant cousin to Speed and is seriously so much fun. Annelise caught on lickety-split and gives us a run for our money now.
My backseat drivers.

Annelise and Kit.

I know I posted this shweddy photo of me out on a shweddy run earlier this week, but I'm doing it again.

Posting the photo.

Not running.

But I did manage to run two mornings this week, which was less than my mental goal but better than nothing.
I think I have found the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever.


Try it.
Is there anything better than high school football on a Friday night? 

Well, yes.

But I still had fun.

Be sure to stop by Life Rearranged for more InstaFriday fun, even on Saturday!
life rearranged


It's Great to Be Eight

Scenes from a birthday: Act I
Scott and I took cupcakes to second grade during lunch on Friday. It was CUH-razy. As in the kind of crazy only 22 silly, wiggly, hyped up 7 and 8 year olds can provide. They had Annelise stand up in front so they (first and second grade) could sing Happy Birthday, Cha-Cha-Cha, of course she ate.up. all of that attention and then gobbled her cupcake in approximately 3.2 seconds. 

We had one moment of drama where one precious requested vanilla frosting but I had only frosted a few with vanilla thinking chocolate would be most in demand, and Scott and I had just handed out the last vanilla right before precious's turn. Tears ensued. I felt bad, but not too bad because I'm not a fan of over coddling and am a fan of you get what you get. Thankfully another sweet precious traded her vanilla for the tear inducing chocolate and all was again well at that end of the table. Whew!

Scenes from a Birthday: Act II

Sunday morning could not come fast enough for our birthday girl. She was up with the birds and chomping at the bit to open a few of her gifts before church. Meet Go-Go the Walking Pup (from Pappo and Grandma), because our own real live golden retriever is not enough, whom she named Snowflake. Or Snowball. He's a little yippy but so far seems low maintenance.
She was also thrilled to open a new outfit for Kit. Later, after church and lunch at Chili's (she really, really, really wanted Mr. Gatti's pizza but we had eaten pizza the night before) she opened the rest of her presents.
A Lego NinjaGo thingie, a nerf dart gun with extra suction darts (!!), a new Nintendo DS game and her very own hot pink Ripstik (which has been much coveted for over a year since she saw Peggy's grandsons playing with theirs). Of course she could not wait to try it out and would not hear of changing out of her dress and silver flats before trying to rip it.
It was a little challenging at first, and still is, but she's getting the hang of it better these last few days. And she's been wearing her tennis shoes.

After much hemming and hawing our birthday girl finally decided on her cake. She toyed with ideas of red velvet, chocolate and strawberry before settling on her favorite, the tried and true cookies and cream cake (this year I used a vanilla cake mix instead of white and we gave it six thumbs up) for the third year in a row. We are creatures of habit after all. 
Scenes from a birthday: Act III

She's having a rollerskating party in two weeks with her girlfriends from school. I'm going to try not to panic. At least not too much.

It's true, turning eight is pretty great!


Self-Portrait Tuesday: Run

I seem to have become a stop and start runner.

One week I am all Connie Committed and the next I'm all Edith Excusey.

But today was a new day, complete with a surprise *cool* front, and so I ran.

Five miles.

And I remembered why I like this crazy running thing.

Here's to hitting repeat tomorrow.


Menu Plan Monday

All things considered, last week's return to meal planning went quite well. We did end up eating out two nights instead of just one, but based on the pattern of the last sweet forever, this is an improvement.  Basil Pesto Chicken got bumped until another week since we ate out, but I am looking forward to trying it soon. As for leftovers, we ate them. Except for the beans, bless their little bland hearts. Oh well, thank goodness beans are cheap.

Here's what's cooking this week:

Monday: Salsa Chicken (crock-pot)

Tuesday: Naked Turkey Burgers (as in no bun, we are clothed while we eat them)

Wednesday: Teriyaki Pork Chops (crock-pot) & veggies

Thursday: Lazy Lasagna (crock-pot) & salad (ssh, don't tell anyone, I'm sneaking spinach and zucchini into the lasagna)

Friday: I'ma gonna type leftovers but I think we all know what we'll be doing, don't we?

I'm linking up with Menu Plan Monday at OrgJunkie.com, be sure to pop over there if you're needing some meal planning ideas!

What's cooking at your house?


An Open Letter to a Young Russian Mother

I don't know your story, but I wish did.

Sometime on this day in 2003 you entered a maternity hospital somewhere in Moscow, your body contracting in labor. Was it a long grueling ordeal? Was it painful? Were you scared? Were you alone?

I don't know.

I do know you gave birth to a beautiful, brown haired, healthy baby girl that weighed 6lbs and a few ounces.

In 2003 we had absolutely no idea what you were going through halfway across the world and that we would eventually be forever connected to you.

But God did.

When I daydream about you I like to think you were possibly a college student or just starting out in your career and not quite ready for a baby at that time. But I don't know. I like to think that you are more settled now in your life and are achieving whatever goals you've set. But I don't know. I like to think you are a dark haired, green-eyed athletic beauty with a quick mind, joyful spirit and a spunky, independent personality. But I don't know.

But God does.

I do know you could have made another choice eight years and nine-ish months ago, but you chose life.

And there are no words to adequately express our humbled hearts and deep gratitude for your selfless gift.
Thank you.
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