Friday, September 12, 2014

“Uh Oh, It Broke. Mommy Fix It”

My best friend was watching Dutch the first week I went back to work, and it was a HUGE blessing.  It helped both Dutch and I transition into our new routine.  One of the best parts though, was getting to see my best friend and her boys when I got home from work.  One day when I returned from work, the older boy (2 years old, whom I will refer to as Mark Twain for the purpose of this story), saw that the table top for Dutch’s Bumbo had fallen off.  Thinking that it was broken, Mark Twain immediately looked at me and said, “Uh oh! It broke! Mommy fix it.”  This phrase hung around in my memory for several days.  It got me thinking about how when things break in our world whether it be physically, mentally, or relationally, we immediately try to fix it ourselves.  This is not what Mark Twin did though.  Without any worry or hesitation, he immediately looked to his mom, his caregiver, and had complete confidence that she could fix it.  There was no crying or concern; he was not anxious about anything.  As Christians this is what we are called to do.  When worries or problems arise we are not supposed to take them on ourselves.  If you are like me and have tried this, then you know we will always fail.  Instead, we are to immediately hand over our struggles to the Lord who promises to take care of us.  We should have complete confidence in His ability, because after all He can see much further into the past, present, and future than we can.

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” Psalms 55:22

“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:25

I guess it is true what they say: children really can teach us so much about our own relationship with God.  Thank you Mark Twain for reminding me where I should place my trust.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Time of My Life

I am not a fan of summer.  It's just not my season, and I don't even really have a reason for not liking it.  However, now that the fall has officially commenced (due to school, not the weather obviously), I am looking back on the best summer I have ever had.  The past three months have been the best months of my life and I treasure them dearly.

This summer I didn't:
go to the beach, or on vacation
read a book or magazine by the pool
work in my garden
go shopping
catch up on sleep
do a single DIY project
rarely cooked, blogged, or saw the sun
watch a single baseball game
host a bbq
prep for the school year
look forward to the fun of the fall and Christmas season

This summer I did:
go days without a shower
spend days covered in spit-up
woke up all hours of the night and rocked a baby to sleep
mastered the art of 7 loads of laundry a week
figured out cloth diapers
washed pump parts multiple times a day
rarely peeled my yoga pants off (and if I did it was to put on my skinny jeans or leggings and a maternity shirt)
forgot about email
walked around the neighborhood with a stroller
learned all about baby poop (color, scent, & texture)
played on the floor
read children books
watched all 10 seasons of Greys Anatomy
watched the 4th of July fireworks on TV
mastered the majority of communication with the outside world through my cell phone
wore a nice spot on the couch that matches the shape of my new giant rear-end
learned that Saturday and Sunday means nothing
built a stock of breastmilk for my return to work
discovered hgtv, diy network, and Chopped!

To be honest I didn't miss a single activity that I would have normally done in the summer.  Not one. My perspective has completely shifted.  Instead, this summer ended up being the best of my entire life, and I'm sad to see it end.  For the first time ever I am holding onto and day dreaming of the "dog days of summer" and looking forward to the fun of next summer!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Scalloped Fettuccini

Scalloped Fettucini AlfredoLike I mentioned last Friday, I’m a big fan of cheese and carbs.  Pasta is my all time favorite comfort food. Yum! Going back to work has been tough and called for some comfort food that I can easily & quickly whip up so all of my extra time is spent snuggling with my little boy.  This might become a new staple in our house!
Ingredients
1 lb fettuccine noodles
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
salt & pepper, to taste
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
coconut oil
1 lb scallops
Italian parsley, to garnish

Directions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Over warm heat, melt together butter and cream.  Add cheese and stir as it melts, then add salt & pepper to taste.  Reduce heat to low.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a skillet on low-medium heat.  Add in scallops and brown on both sides for about a minute and a half.  It will not take long to cook the scallops.  If you leave them on the heat too long they will end up chewy (like shrimp).  So pay very close attention.
  3. When the scallops are done add them and the cooked pasted to the alfredo sauce and mix. 
  4. Dish up your pasta and garnish with parsley.
  5. Enjoy!
Hope you enjoy this as much as we do!
Happy Monday!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday 5 Facts

Five Facts
I’ve shared some random facts before (here & here) and it’s been a long time since I shared.  Too long.  So I’m fixing that today my friends!
  1. Bangs- I have not had bangs since I was in 2nd grade.  That was several decades ago folks.  I need a hair cut badly because these split ends are about to drive me up the wall.  I’m actually contemplating getting bangs again, but I’m so nervous!  I’ve got a round face, and the last thing I need is to accentuate my chipmunk cheeks with bangs. Decisions decisions!
  2. Comb- I don’t know why my focus is my hair today, but it is. Ha!  I never brush my hair; I only comb it.  I feel like brushing my hair is so aggressive so I only brush it with a wooden comb.
  3. Food Groups- My all time favorite things to consume: chocolate, carbs, cheese, and coffee.  I think I should have the authority to change the food guide pyramid. Don’t you?
  4. Snoring- I absolutely love to hear Dutch and the puppies snore.  The Mr. and I will mute the TV so we can hear them snore.  We just think it is the sweetest and funniest sound.
  5. Back to School- I went back to work last week and Dutch started school this week.  Everyone told me that it would be tough to return to work, and I believed them; I really did!  But like most things you don’t understand until you experience it, I was blown away by how tough this was going to be.  Tuesday, Dutch’s first day, was terrible!  Both Dutch and I struggled all day long being away from each other.  Wednesday was better but it was still pretty tough.  We are navigating this uncharted territory (to us) and really learning a lot.  This has been the toughest back to school week for me.  Each day is getting better, but I still rush through the day to go get my baby boy from school.  I know logically that what I am doing is good for him, and now I just need to wait for my emotions (errrrr hormones) to get on the same page.  Dutch doesn’t know this yet, but after this week I’ve decided I’m officially going to college with him.  Think he will be okay with that? ;-)
Tell me some random facts about you!
Have a great weekend!!!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Spatchcocked Chicken

Spatchcocked ChickenA friend of ours introduced this type of roasted chicken to us and it is A.MAZ.ING.  This meal takes 30 minutes tops (including the prep work), and only 1 pan!

Spatchcocking is just the process of removing the back bone of a natural fry chicken.  When you get your chicken from the butcher ask them to remove the bone.  It makes the chicken flat and faster to roast while still maintaining the juices and yumminess.  This does not cost more money.  My entire chicken (organic & natural) was $5.41.

Ingredients:
1 spatchcocked chicken
salt & pepper
2-15 oz. cans garbanzo beans, drained
Italian parsley

Directions:
1. Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Place in a cast iron skillet and cook at 500 degrees for 15 minutes.
2. Add chickpeas into the skillet and roast for 15 more minutes.  Add the parsley before serving.
3. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Milkies

Whoever said “there is no use crying over spilt milk” was clearly a big fat liar or not an exclusive breast feeder and they deserve to be punched in the gut (I kid of course…..no punching, but maybe I nice talk’n to).  I have definitely cried over spilling my milk and feel that it is completely justified!  The stuff has greater value than gold!
I’d heard of Milkies before but I didn’t want to spend extra money on another product, that is, until I got closer to going back to work and realized how precious every drop of breast milk was.  Milkies is an insert that slides into your nursing tank/bra to collect the milk that leaks while you’re nursing on the other side.  I was noticing how absorbed my nursing pads were and was frustrated because my child could be having that instead of it being wasted and thrown in the trash.
So I ordered the Milkies61QYahp6dgL._SL1500_61KUCfoPaLL._SL1500_
These things are amazing!  I had no idea how much milk I was wasting and now I don’t have to.  They really are easy to use, comfortable, and collect up to 4 oz. that you can dump into a bottle or freezer bag.
I highly recommend Milkies for mamas who are going back to work, or have a low supply and want to make the most of every drop.
Obligatory Blogger Disclaimer: I was not paid for this post; I just really like this product.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Indian Butter Chicken


I posted this picture on Instagram last week not thinking too much of it.  Because of the number of responses and comments I received, I decided that I better post this recipe stat! This was my first attempt at making Indian Butter Chicken, but I'm sure I will be making this again; it was yummmmmmmy!
Indian Butter Chicken
Ingredients:
1 lb chicken tenders cut into smaller cubes
salt & pepper
4 tbs unsalted better, divided
basmati rice
small onion
3 tsp curry
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground ginger
6 oz tomato paste
1 cup tomato sauce
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed & drained
cilantro
naan

Directions:
  1. Salt and pepper chicken.  Brown the chicken in a skillet with 1-2 tbs butter, and set aside.
  2. Prepare basmati rice following the instructions on the container. 
  3. Melt 1 tbs of butter in a stock pot.  Add onion and cook on medium heat until translucent (4-5 minutes).  Add curry, chili powder, & ginger to the onions and stir for a couple minutes.  Add in tomato paste & sauce, then stir again.  And lastly, stir in the cream.  Once everything is incorporated, add the browned chicken, reduce the temperature to low and cook for 30 minutes stirring frequently. 
  4. About 5-10 minutes before serving, add the peas, and 1 tbs of butter to the tomato cream. 
  5. Serve the butter chicken over the basmati rice, garnished with cilantro and naan for dipping.
  6. Enjoy!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Lapped By A Fanny Pack

In the morning Dutch & I go walking to work on our baby fat (Dutch it lookin’ to gain, and I’m lookin’ to lose…thus he sleeps while I walk).  Anyways there is an elderly woman with an obviously serious case of osteoporosis & a large fanny pack that we see.  She walks every morning and I see her through the kitchen window walking again when I’m doing dishes after dinner in the evening.
When we walk in the morning this woman passes us every day.  I mean this woman is bookin’ it through the neighborhood.  It’s both embarrassing and inspirational.  She motivates me every morning to do better and try harder.  
Ah-maz-ing fanny pack woman! 
See how small she is in this picture?! That’s because she is so fast I can’t get my camera out fast enough after she passes us.Lapped By A Fanny Pack-2
Happy Friday!  Go and be a fanny pack woman!
hehe

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Keep’n it Real…..Again

It’s been a while since I shared some “real” pictures with y’all (here & here).
It’s time to confess again.
Here is what my living room looks like these days: a tangled mess of baby products & laundry.  To be honest, I love my new living room “d├ęcor”.
Keeping It Real Again

Monday, August 18, 2014

Baby Boy Pumpkin Patch

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I was dreading the fall.  I still am.  In an effort to change my perspective, the Mr. & I have been thinking about activities we will get to do this fall.  These activities we have done before, but this year we get to share them with Dutch.  Going to the pumpkin patch this fall is going to be so much fun.  Yes we will be those parents that take a bazillion pictures with our kid leaned up against a pumpkin just to get the one perfect shot.  Of course the Houston weather will not have received the memo that the temps are supposed to drop in the fall and so my kid will be overdressed.  Oh well!
Baby Boy Pumpkin Patch
I’m co-hosting over with Kelly & Megan for Trendy Tot Tuesday.  Stop by and link up :-)Trendy Tot Tuesday[4]

Friday, August 15, 2014

Men In Spanx

I saw this yesterday and I die laughing every time I watch it. 
I hope you get some Friday laughs from this lol
Click here if you’re having trouble accessing the video.
Men In Spanx
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

No Fall Please

No Fall PleaseI am a fall person.  You know it, I know it, the man on the moon knows it!  I love the season…the leaves, the food, the sports (oh how I love the football), the festivities & holidays, my pumpkin spice lattes, and the fashion (I have way too many boots to be living in Houston).

But not this year.  I’m not looking forward to fall. Not at all. 

For the first time in years, I’m loving summer and in denial that fall is right around the corner.

You see “fall” is synonymous with “work” in my mind right now.  I can’t believe that my 3.5 months of my maternity leave are almost over.  I just can’t believe it.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t like my job (I still really love & enjoy the work that I do), but I am not ready to leave my sweet little boy at home while I’m away during the day.  Just the thought of it brings unbelievably large crocodile tears to my eyes.  I’m not ready, and I’ll probably never be ready for it (not for his first day of kindergarten, or college, or his wedding day….none of it!).  Dutch and I have been attached, literally, for over a year.  Not having him with me all day every day makes my heart just ache and my stomach fall to my feet.

I know that I’m going to blubber my way all the way to school that first day back (let me be honest here, we all know that those crying sessions are going to occur more than just the first day).  I know that this is going to be a huge learning curve from everything to learning to juggle working outside of the home with motherhood and being a wife, to accepting that I am not going to be perfect or an overachiever in any area of my life.  I’ve got a lot of lessons that I’m getting ready to start learning.

If you have done this before, please share your tips with me.  What will make this easier for Dutch? What will make this easier for me?  Please say a prayer for us if you get a chance while we prepare for this transition. 

For now, I’m embracing every single hot day in Houston this summer.  I am NOT complaining about the heat.  I am NOT filling my agenda with “to do’s” and extra events.  I am NOT freaking out about meeting deadlines.  I am NOT counting down the hours of baby snuggles; I’m cherishing them.  I’m staying around the house in my pj’s all day loving on my baby.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Summer Baby Boy

Before I found out Little Peep’s gender, I was shopping for baby clothes.  (Doesn’t every new mama do that?!)
I quickly noticed how larrrrrrge the little girl clothing section was, and how incredibly small the little boy clothing selection was.  Since then I quickly found stores and brands that had the best selections for boys.  This summer we haven't spent much time outside yet with Dutch, but here are some of the clothes we will be sporting next summer.Summer baby boy  rhino gingham shirt - chambray shortscrab swim trunks“one” onesierugby shirtstar flip flopsplaid shirtoveralls
Today, I’m link up with Megan & Kelly for Trendy Tot Tuesday; hop over and see some other great styles for kiddos!Trendy Tot Tuesday

Friday, July 25, 2014

What’s in a Name?

Dutch Newborn_2014_19
I’ve received a lot of requests on the origin of our Little Peep’s name:
Dutch LeBeau

The Mr. and I picked our sweet boy’s name about 3 years ago.  We prayed and prayed and just knew that if God gave us a baby it would be a boy.  I know you’re not supposed to say if you want a boy or a girl, and you’re supposed to say a “healthy baby” (but seriously that really is a given in my mind, and gender is completely independent of health), but I will be completely honest with you, I prayed for a little boy since we were married.  I always told the Mr. that I wanted a bunch of little versions of him running around our house. 
Our anatomy scan appointment back in January revealed that we were having a boy.  To be honest, when the tech revealed his gender there was no big sigh of relief or anything like that because we both just knew he was going to be a boy.  Our gender reveal was just more like a confirmation, and we could officially start referring to him by his name.

Dutch
The Mr. picked our son’s first name and I instantly loved it.  I love unique names because of what my unique name has taught me: to be an individual, not a follower.  I’ve never met another Dutch before so I thought this would be a great reminder for our son to not do as the world does and to stand firm in his own individuality and beliefs.  Where did the Mr. find this name? From the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger film Predator.  I had not seen the movie so we purchased it from Amazon & watched it the weekend before Dutch was born.  It's a terrible 80’s movie, but I still loved the name.

LeBeau
This name we didn’t finalize until the lady from Social Security was standing over us in the hospital waiting for us to sign the forms.  Oooooopsies!  LeBeau is French for handsome boy and Coach LeBeau is the defensive coordinator for the Steelers.  Both of our pups (Rooney and Tomlin) are named after men of great character from the Steelers organization.  Coach LeBeau is a true a man of exceptional character, patience, integrity, and compassion; all characteristics we pray our boy will carry on. 

There you have it: the origin of our Little Peep’s name :-)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate

50759-cold-brew-coffeeI’m not usually a cold coffee person, but I have to say that right now I’ve totally got a crush on Trader Joes Cold Coffee Concentrate.  This stuff is ahhhhh-maaaaaaz-inggggggg and you need to go get you some STAT!  The concept of a coffee concentrate  is new to me but I’m a quick fan.  All you have to do is pour 1 part of the concentrate to 2 parts water or milk (I use milk), and add ice.  How fast is that?!
No grinding beans!
No waiting for the coffee to finish dripping!
No sweating over a hot cup of coffee in the middle of the summer!
No traveling anywhere for an iced coffee!
This is not a new-mom-who-has-no-time-to-make-coffee thing (though it certainly does help of course).  This is an EVERYBODY thing! 
How in the world did I live pre iced coffee concentrate?!
Seriously folks you’ve got to try this; it’s the perfect way to start a summer morning :-)
Happy humpday folks!
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