2/29/12

Types

I think it is safe to say that I have gone through a bit of a blogging identity crisis throughout the past year. I've written a couple of posts where I basically threw-up my feelings through my keyboard trying to make sense out of what was spinning around in my head.

Several years before I was a mother to my precious babe I started jounaling our life and my stories through my blog. Then, after having Eli last year I did what came naturally to me and continued to blog about our life; the good, the bad, the funny and the boring. And it just so happened to contain a baby now.

And then I started to notice that people were referring to me as a mommy blogger. It honestly didn't bother me, but got me thinking, am I a mommy blogger now? I obviously wasn't a mommy blogger when I started blogging, so did going through 9 months of heartburn, 2 days of labor and several weeks of postpartum baby blues instantly transition me into mommy blogger status?

I have to admit that I never liked the word "mommy blogger" I felt like it was a bit of a bad word. "Oh she's just a mommy blogger". It sort of had a bad connotation linked with it. I didn't necessarily not want to be a "mommy blogger" I just never thought I qualified as one. When I write a post, even if it about a "mom" problem I hope that others can relate to it, even if they aren't a mom.

When I started blogging before I was a mother or even a wife, I never thought about what "type" of blog I had. I was just posting useless information about watching Fresh Prince of Bel Air, or talking about my undying love for the television show Lost. I was blogging to blog. No rhyme, reason or method to it. But maybe my blog transitions with each stage of life? First a newlywed blog? Then a mommy blog? I'm putting question marks because I honestly don't know.

So I'm wondering... when you read a blog do you "type" it in your mind? What classifies a blog as a "mommy blog" to you? Not that any of this really matters, but I'm been thinking about it for a day or so, and what better place to bring my thoughts than my own blog.

Who reads this blog? Introduce yourself! Are you a mom? Newlywed? Teenager? I'm curious.

And you don't have to tell me what you think this blog is, I'm just interested in who reads my thoughts and what your thoughts are on blogging. Random I know.

2/27/12

Renewal

Well I had plans to do my Menu Monday today but sometimes things don't always go as planned. My baby who is usually chipper and fun in the evenings was nothing but sad and fussy tonight.

Eli goes to the babysitter's house all day on Mondays and Tuesdays. We've been in this routine for eight months now and we have all adjusted well. But today I had a major case of mommy guilt.

Tonight, while holding Eli trying to figure out what could possibly be wrong with him I thought about how I wasn't with him between the hours of 8:00 and 5:00 and I had no idea why he was fussy. I felt like if I had been home with him all day I would have known why he was fussy and what was wrong with him.

Most of the time I am perfectly content with our setup, I love my job, I love our babysitter, I love that Eli gets social interaction, I love that I get social interaction, I love that I have projects, and goals, and timelines outside of my normal home routine, but as with anything, there are days filled with doubt, worry and anxiety.

When I have those days I remind myself that I home Wednesday afternoon, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. And for that I am thankful.

And I'm almost sure that if I was home with Eli all week I would also have worries, doubts, and anxiety, about our situation. Its just the human nature - at least it's my human nature.

Last year I memorized Romans 12:2 which instructs us to be "transformed by the renewing of your mind". As I was holding Eli tonight, dwelling on the fact that I was failing him because I did not know what was wrong with him I was reminded to renew my mind. Let the lies go, let the doubts go.

I'm still not sure what was wrong with Eli. I'm thinking it was either a tummy ache or teething, but after a lot of cuddling with mom he finally fell asleep.
I'm hoping Eli wakes up feeling better in the morning. It makes me so sad that he can't tell me what is wrong.

I know I will always have doubts and anxiety in life, some of us have it more than others, I am one of those people that has to battle it quite often, but tonight as I was reminded, when I spend time in the word the Lord gently whispers the reminders that I need to hear through His Word. And my mind is renewed.



2/26/12

Discontinued

I plan on doing Menu Monday later and linking up with my friend Rachel, so if you are interested in getting some new recipes go over there and check out all the links!

I realized today that I never posted the list of scents that are being discontinued through Scentsy. After posting them on Twitter today and realizing that some Scentsy customers had no idea that their favorite scents were being discontinued I wanted to be sure and put it on my blog.

These scents are only available until Wednesday the 29th and then beginning March They will be discontinued.

If any of these scents are your favorite you might want to stock up! Also bricks (a full pound of wax) are going way forever, so if you love bricks (like me) order up! You can order through my website.

Discontinued Scents:
I'm so excited about all the new Scentsy products coming out in March and plan to do a post about them soon!

Check back later for my Menu Monday!

2/22/12

It's Wednesday

I have all these thoughts going through my head that I want to write about and I was trying to figure out how to get them to all lump together in one beautiful blog post, but it's just not happening, so I will do a random list, which proves that I am just about the least creative person ever.

1. Today I learned what happens when I'm in a public place with Eli with no stroller or other person to hold him and I have to use the restroom. I'm pretty impressed with my mad skillz. I will not elaborate though.

2. Today I bought paint to use for a couple of things for Eli's birthday (while still keeping a no expectations goal in mind). I spent a good chunk of time painting an object for the party only to realize I bought the wrong paint. I wanted a cherry red paint and I got PIMENTO. Why is PIMENTO even a paint color?!?!? I was so concerned with whether to get satin or gloss finish that I neglected to pay attention to the actual color. I will have to repaint. And just for the record PIMENTO is not cute.

3. While painting today I thought of the 8 pairs of jeans that I have at the top of my closet saved to paint in, yet here I stood painting in my black sweat pants. I need to get rid of those jeans.

4. Sometimes I'm afraid I truly am a hoarder.

5. When I logged into blogger today I saw that I was right at 1000 followers, thats pretty cool! I try not to become consumed with followers or hits. There have been times where I've allowed myself to think about that stuff and it is a SLIPPERY SLOPE downhill. It is dumb to be consumed with it. But I like that its right at 1000 right now.


6. While picking up laundry today I walked into the bathroom to find that Eli can now reach the toilet paper. We are definitely going to use all that toilet paper even though it was on the floor, we are too cheap to just throw it all away, now it's on the counter next to the toilet. This reminded me of a story from the Ramona books where she squirts all the toothpaste out of a tube and her mom makes her put it in a plastic bag and use it so it doesn't go to waste. It always grossed me out.

7. I need food help again. What are ideas for food for a baby Eli's age? He absolutely will not eat baby food anymore but I'm afraid he's not getting enough "real" food. What do/did you feed your kid at this age? (11 months)

I'm too tired to come up with 10 things. Goodnight!

2/21/12

Expectations

Expectations are such a hard thing. Most likely when I put expectations in a situation or a person they will ultimately fail me. Not because of the other person's fault or because a situation failed miserably but because I chose to fill my mind with giant, unrealistic expectations.

Lately I've been thinking about expectations a lot, not just in people, or what expectations people put in me, but I've been thinking about them because Eli's birthday is coming up in the next month.

I debated back and forth whether to have birthday party. I didn't want it to become something entirely stressful, taking away from celebrating sweet Eli's birthday.

I had decided once and for all to not do a party, but then decided that this was special, our baby will be turning one and we want to celebrate! Celebrate Eli, celebrate our survival of parenting for the first year, and also to distract myself from sitting and crying thinking about how it has been a full year since I held my first baby in my arms for the first time.

I've mentioned before that I'm a details person. When I plan something I like to plan everything down to the last detail, and I've found myself doing that with Eli's birthday party.

Which can be a bad thing. I realized I had maybe stepped over that "crazy person" line when I practically did a victory dance in a local mall proclaiming this party was going to be perfect, just because I found Eli some red shoes to match his birthday shirt. Cuckoo.

It was later, when I had several dreams in a row about Eli's birthday that I realized I might need to take a step back.I don't want to become so invested in perfect planning that I neglect the entire reason for this whole shebang.

I don't want to have all these visions and expectations in my head, and then when the day comes and its raining, or Eli is grumpy, or everything I thought would look good looks horrible, I suddenly become in a bad mood because of unrealistic expectations.

So from here on out we are on operation no expectations birthday party. I want it to be a fun day for Eli and our family where we celebrate him. Regardless of the lack of details and decorations.

I'm planning for a laid back, fun, atmosphere. And hopefully, with the Lord's good grace, stress free!

Expectation free is how I want to try and live in every area of my life. It's not fair to those around me for me to put huge expectations on them that they don't even know about, and I wouldn't want someone to do it to me. So from here on out I'm going to try and become expectation free, beginning with the 1st birthday!

2/20/12

Goodbye Diet Coke

I can't remember exactly when it happened but sometime between beginning college and ending college I became grossly addicted to a little beauty known as Diet Coke.
At first, as a non soda drinker, I would enjoy this drink a little here and a little there.
And then somehow, one day, I turned around and I was full on addicted to this drink. There would be days I would go without a lot of water simply because I only drank diet coke.
I know it's not healthy, but most addictions aren't healthy.

One time at church I shared with a lady how I was addicted to diet coke and she said that she would pray that the Good Lord would one day convict me of my awful habit.

Snap. I was just casually sharing my favorite drink with her and she went all charismatic on me. I told her that I would pray the opposite that I would never get convicted of my sweet manna of a drink because it brought me joy and no calories wrapped up in one silver can.
Then I got pregnant and I quit cold turkey. I knew that aspartame was awful for one's body and I didn't want to take the chance of what it could do to my baby. You will hear many people say that there are no reports of aspartame doing anything to a fetus, HOWEVER remember diet coke first came out in 1984. NOT THAT LONG AGO. I didn't want to take any chances so I eliminated all aspartame from my diet (it's in a lot of different drinks and some foods).

Then after Eli was born I started drinking Diet Coke again and I'm not going to lie, it was a wonderful reconnection. I had missed that sweet nectar and it filled the void perfectly.

However, along with my diet coke consumption came symptoms that I had not dealt with my whole pregnancy; migraines, weird eye problems, stomach aches and a host of other issues. I blogged about it and somebody told me to google "aspartame poisoning." Cue God's conviction - or something like it just a little less spiritual.

I decided to give up aspartame and see if my symptoms went away. If they didn't then I would consult WebMD and we all know nothing good can come from that.

After about a week of no aspartame my symptoms went away. And that's all it took. The lady from my church had her prayers answered, I completely quit diet coke and never looked back.

Because I no longer feel awful all the time it hasn't been hard to not drink any diet coke, but I have turned to her sister Coca Cola which comes with lots of calories and sugar. And I'm well aware that its not a "healthy" alternative to Diet Coke but its still better than lots of aspartame. I wish somebody would pray that I would get convicted about drinking Coca Cola.

I'm not telling you all of this to tell you to quit drinking aspartame because I think it's evil (which I do) but I'm just sharing my experience.

And I must admit I'm jealous of the people who can drink their Diet Coke with carefree ease not caring a lick about poisoning their body. I have started to feel bad lately about the amount of sugar I put in my body and what it's doing to my body and teeth but I try and push those thoughts way back in my mind where I can no longer hear them. No need to get all granola over here.

So if you are drinking a Diet Coke tonight enjoy it for me. I had a lapse one time and drank one and got a migraine the next day. It might have been a coincidence but it has made me steer clear!

2/16/12

Stage Mom in the Making

Today I got to experience what it's like to be a stage mom.

Eli was asked to play the part of a talking baby (similar to those popular commercials with a talking baby) in a video for a local organization.

I was asked about this opportunity about a month ago but didn't think much of it. Then this week I hit full panic mode.

People, you may sit on your couches and mock the parents on Toddlers and Tiaras but I have now experienced it FULL ON.

IT IS STRESSFUL.

I can see how the downward slide happens. One minute you are a normal mom doing your own thing, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, the next thing you know you are consumed with your child; what will he wear? Will he know what to do? Will I be embarrassed? What if he cries the whole time and my entire worth as a mother is shattered in one moment?!?!?!?

And before you know it you are standing in front of your child mouthing the words to songs and performing a dance routine that you know, if you could just get up there you could do it way better than your beloved child.

Ok, maybe it didn't go that far, but I now have empathy for those moms. IT JUST HAPPENS.

Eli actually did really well. After a couple of meltdowns, me hiding so he couldn't see me, and a long needed nap he executed an award winning performance.

It was fun to do something a little out of the norm, plus it got Eli the exposure he needed.

Eli in his big debut:

Please contact me for all booking inquiries. By his first birthday he should be able to sing and tap dance to "Singing in the Rain."

2/14/12

The Day O Love

I've seen the Love Story link up on several blogs and thought it would be fun to do on Valentine's day. I did some research and found that it was originally started on the blog From Mrs to Mama. Cute blog!

Our love story (well some of it):

1. How long have you and your significant other been together?

We started dating in October of 2003 so that makes it 8 1/2 years



2. How did you meet? {What's your "love" story?}

We met at college through a mutual friend. We actually met a year earlier at a basketball game but Luke was still a senior in high school and I was a freshman in college just visiting his town with our mutual friend. It was a quick introduction and then I never saw him (or thought about him) again for a year. Sometimes when I think about it it's so weird to think that the same boy I met at a basketball game is the love of my life and now father of my child. Freaky.



3. If married, how long have you been married? If not, is this the guy you hope to marry?

It will be four years this summer, we got married on July 26, 2008

4. If you are married, where did you get married at? Big or small wedding?

We got married at my hometown in the church that I went to all through high school. I'm not sure what the definition of big or small wedding is so I would say ours was right in the middle, probably on the biggish side with around 300 people there. It was a beautiful day.


5. Do you have any nick-names that you call one another? Do share!

Just the usual "babe" Luke sometimes calls me by my maiden name which is kinda weird, and sometimes I call him Tree which is equally weird. We aren't lovey-dovey-mushy-gushy people around here.

6. Name 3 things you love most about your honey.

His loyalty, his heart and his determination


7. Tell us how he proposed?

We went to eat and then he went to a soccer field where we went on our first "date". It was so special and sweet. I thought he would be proposing soon, but never thought he would do it there.
(right after Luke proposed)

8. Is he a flowers and teddy bear kind of guy for v-day, or strawberries, champagne, and rose petals?

Hmmmmm...neither? We just don't really get into valentines day, but he always sends me flowers so I'll go with the second one.


9. Are you a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl, or pop a movie in and relax on the couch?

Pop on a movie and relax on the couch. A date night is nice every once in awhile, but I love just hanging out at home together.

10. Tell us one thing you'd like to do with your significant one day. If you could do anything? Go anywhere?

Travel, travel, travel! I would love to travel the world with Luke. We hoped to do more traveling before we had our very little one and we didn't get to, which is obviously VERY fine with us, but we do want to travel the world.


11. Tell us what you plan on doing on this Valentine's Day.

Spending the evening at home as a family.



12. Are you asking for anything this Valentine's day?

Nope! My birthday is too close to Valentine's day to bother with presents.


13. Give us one piece of advice of keeping a relationship strong and full of love.

First, keep God as the center of your relationship. Second, learn to forgive and don't hold grudges, and third HAVE FUN TOGETHER. Don't take life so seriously. Oops I guess that was three!

14. Show us a picture of what love means to you.

2/13/12

Menu Monday and a video

Sadly last week I didn't do much cooking. But the days I did cook were filled with delicious dinners!


I got this recipe from Erin last year and it has become my favorite meal. In fact I told Luke I might like it better than Chicken Spaghetti. That deserves a gasp. Chicken Spaghetti is my aboslute favorite meals ever but Bow Tie Fiesta pasta might be about to beat it out.
When I prepare this meal, I don't put in black olives and I only put jalapenos in half the dish because Luke doesn't like them, so we each have our own sides of the casserole :-)


(I know my food pictures are so awesome you are tempted to pin them)

I got this particular recipe from Jennifer's blog. It was so good. A lot of the crock pot meals start to taste the same after awhile (in my opion) but this one was still good. I actually used Ranch Beans with jalapenos and I think it added a nice little kick, but not too much for my hates-all-spicy-food-husband. I fixed rice when we got home from work and we poured the chili on top (and I added sour cream to mine) very good.


Saturday: Texas Chili

Another recipe from another blog, I got this one from . I love my chili THICK. In fact I like all my food thick (spaghetti sauce, pizza, etc) I'm just a thick-kinda girl. So for this recipe I only used 1lb of ground beef and instead of a 15 oz can of crushed tomatos I used a 27 oz can and only added 1/4 cup of water. Next time I make this I will probably use 2 lbs of ground beef and more crushed tomatos so that we will have leftovers. We are big eaters in our family (yes just me and Luke) and we didn't have any leftovers. I love to eat leftover chili on spaghetti.


And, because I'm that annoying mom that likes to show off her baby I wanted to show this video. Eli is at such a fun stage (well really when has it not been fun?) and is growing and learning everyday. On Saturday we noticed that Eli would fake cough everytime Luke would cough. It was hillarious (to us). The funniest part is that he would never cough when I would...only would Luke would cough. He loves his daddy!
video

Let me know if you tried any of the recipes from last week! I want to know if you like them - sometimes I think I have weird food taste because I'm not picky at all and can (and will) eat anything!

2/9/12

Random Thursday

Lets do this....

1. I want to cut my hair. But then I remember that awful feeling after growing it out for so long and it's gone with one snip. So I'm going to try and put that thought on the back burner for now.

2. I hate pumping gas. It is my least favorite thing in the world to do, ESPECIALLY when it's cold outside. If it's cold I just pump about $10 worth and then hop in my car, which makes it worse cause then I have to get gas again 2 days later.

3. In looking over my menus to post on the blog I realized we eat A LOT of Italian and Mexican food. Probably more than the normal human should eat. I guess it's the easiest to cook?

4. I have become completely hooked on the show One Tree Hill. I never had an interest in it before but due to some conversations between friends lately I realized maybe I was missing out on a good show, so I started watching on Netflix. I only watch at night after Eli is asleep (and usually Luke also) which means I've been staying up until the wee hours of the morning watching this show. It's a good thing I'm a night owl.

5. I really want a snow day. I love being locked up in the house with my sweet family, eating chili and watching the snow fall outside. There is something so peaceful about a snow day.

6. Scentsy products are 10% off right now. If you've been wanting to try it now is the perfect time to buy yourself something!! If you order through my website the order is sent directly to you.

7. My life suffers when I don't spend consistent in the Word. Seems like I would learn to do that everyday. Seems like it....

8. Eli is starting to turn his nose up to baby food which is STRESSING ME OUT. Table food makes me sooo nervous.

9. Every time I clean my house I think "I'm never going to let it get dirty again" and then surely enough it gets dirty again, fast. I set myself up for failure every week.

10. Yesterday somebody asked me for an email regarding information about selling Scentsy. I wrote her to let her know I had sent the email and I said "email scent". I might embarrass myself if I tell you just how funny and clever I thought that was. I'm a nerd. Always and forever.

2/7/12

Birthday Night

Today, Tuesday the 7th, is my husband's birthday.

And I remembered it was his birthday around 7:00am when he was leaving to go to work.

I had to run after him to tell him happy birthday even though I had been talking to him all morning.

This weekend, I knew his birthday was coming up, but then Monday happened and Eli was sick and had to go to the doctor and the doctor confirmed that he has a double ear infection and it was just a stressful day and I completely forgot that my wonderful husband's birthday was the next day.

I FORGOT MY HUSBAND'S BIRTHDAY.

I have to admit birthdays have never been a big deal to me. I'm not one of those people that makes a big deal about my birthday and declares it "birthday week" and all that.

In fact, last March I forgot it was my own birthday until I went to the Dr and had to write a check and asked what the date was, and when the receptionist told me it was the 14th I was shocked to find out that it was my birthday.

I had also just had a baby five days before so those days after are known as "CRAZY-TOWN".

I probably knew it was my birthday before I went to sleep the night before, but somewhere in the middle of numerous night feedings I forgot.

But it's still very wrong and sad to forget your own husband's birthday. I did manage to get Luke a card signed by both me and Eli and a small gift in time for his birthday dinner.

While eating dinner I asked him if he remembered what we did last year and he didn't. Which is probably good because I spent the night of his birthday crying on the bed about how much weight I had gained.

I think I really need to get better about this birthday thing.

I also topped off the night of crying about my weight gain with lots of Mexican food. Ionic or dumb?

And while we are on that subject next time I'm pregnant (way far in the future) I've decided to be one of those girls that is all belly. I blame Pinterest.

No eating Smores poptarts like they are being discontinued.

Basically all of that to say Happy birthday to my sweet husband. Watching him become a dad this year has made my heart jump out of my chest. I knew he was the best husband but I never knew (although I had my suspicions) that he would be the best dad. I am so thankful for him and can't believe that I got such an amazing husband and baby daddy.{Game day ready!!}

2/6/12

Menu Monday

It's possible that I hold the record for the least consistent blogger ever.

Some weeks I'm on a roll and update everyday, other weeks I have ideas but don't find the time to blog and then some weeks I have absolutely no desire to open up blogger.

This week I find myself in the second scenario. I have lots of topics I want to blog about but I haven't found the time to sit down and blog it all out.

I appreciate everyone that left tips and tricks for me on my crazy dramatic "Travel Help" post. I have read through all the comments several times and will do it again before we leave. You all are so helpful!

Switching gears....

One of my favorite aspects of the internet is finding yummy recipes online. I get most of my best and most delicious recipes from somewhere on the internet; blogs, pinterest, websites, there are crazy-good recipes out there!

I love reading fellow blogger's weekly menus and getting food ideas from them.....so, I decided to share our menu from time to time.

I have to clarify that my pics of the food will NOT be good and will not make the food look appetizing but I figure people want new recipe ideas and don't care about the pictures.

Hopefully......

I use this menu planner to plan out my meals
And then use this on our fridge throughout the week to refresh my memory of what we are eating each night.

Monday: Spicy Sausage Soup {crock pot recipe} (picture stolen from Mimi's Making Meals)

This soup was so good and smelled delicious when we got home at the end of the day. It wasn't too spicy, which is good because Luke doesn't like spicy food. I served this with bread and it was delicious and hit the spot!

Tuesday: Spaghetti with meat sauce

No picture here, just normal ole spaghetti. For the sauce I took a big can of crushed tomatos and then just threw in a bunch of spices (crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, nothing fancy) and let it simmer for awhile. It was pretty good.

Wednesday: Tom's Crock Pot Sausage Dinner
The picture makes it look gross but really it was good. I should figure out how to use my nice camera so I can take good food pics. I got this recipe out of a cookbook I borrowed from a friend. It was great because it was a big meal in one, no reason to add "sides" to this recipe.

2 pkg smoked turkey sausage
2 (14.5 oz) cans cut green beans
1 small yellow onion
4 med baking potatoes
1/2 stick butter
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Slice sausage and potatoes and dice onion. Put all ingredients in the crock pot and mix week. Cook on high for 4 hours. So good!

Thursday: Italian Mini Meatloaves and Skinny baked mac and cheese with broccoli Yuuuuum. This meal was SO good. I got the Italian mini meatloaves recipe from the blog linked about several years ago (she doesn't update anymore sad face) and it is one of our favorite meals. This was my first time to make the skinny mac and cheese and it was delicious. I love skinnytaste.com. Every recipe I've tried from there is so good!

Friday: Chicken enchiladas and Spanish rice

No picture. I got this recipe from my friend Stephanie. I have tried tons of chicken enchilada recipes and none of them ever come close to touching this recipe. It is so good! Try it!

This was kinda fun! I might do it again in the future, I hope someone out there got at least one new recipe to add to their rotation!

Hope everyone had a good weekend!