Feb 10, 2017

Friday Favorites

Time for another edition of Friday Favorites with Andrea, Erika and Narci!

Another crazy week is behind us, where does the time go???  Unfortunately,  this week brought some sickness to our house.  Rachel came down with the stomach flu Sunday night and was home Monday and Tuesday and Tuesday the mouse stayed home too, although she really didn't have anything specific.  Insert eye roll here.

Rachel sent me this pic of the sleeping mouse and Maci.  So sweet!



Here's what we've been up to this week:

Wednesday I shared how we keep our marriage strong...


I really loved going through and reading every one's posts about this!  So interesting to see what works and how others keep their marriage strong.

Last night I finished this book:

Product Details

If you are looking for a book that sucks you in, you NEED to read this one!  It's not a feel good book at all, it's about a family in England who is dealing with their daughters anorexia.  It really opened my eyes to many things.  From not only the terror that the parents are feeling thinking it is all their fault, but from the daughters, and how she looks at food as poison.  It was truly one of my absolute FAVORITE books!  

I've been killing it in the kitchen with my meal planning and prepping and it feels SO good!  Here's what we had this week:

Monday:  Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
Tuesday:  Taco Casserole
Wednesday:  Fresh Venison Sausage (which Brad and his brothers make and smoke themselves) and Fried Potatoes
Thursday: Leftovers!
Friday:  Homemade Pizza

The taco casserole was a huge hit, very flavorful!  Alayna scarfed it down too, you know it's a good one when she likes it, haha!

This weekend will be busy, Brad has been out of town for work all week and the girls and I have some last minute shopping to get done for vacation coming up.  Rachel has a volleyball tourney on Sunday, so it will be a busy one!


Our basement is coming along nicely, this week we had a guy here taping and spraying the walls.  I will be ecstatic when he's done.  Bless his heart, but I have white crap ALL over my house!  I end up scrubbing floors everyday when I get home and find this shit EVERYWHERE!!

Image result for house remodeling memes

This is pretty much what I look like everyday.  So. much. Dust.  

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Feb 8, 2017

Workin It Wednesdays

Today I am linking up with Shay and Erika for a another Workin' It Wednesday.  Today is "Keeping Your Marriage Strong".




Brad and I have been married for almost 19 years.  It sounds crazy, actually, to type that out.  19 years is a LONG time, but I am SO glad God brought us together!


We met on a blind date and while we had our share of dating troubles, we managed to survive!  One of the biggest things I remember from our wedding day, was when my dad and I were getting ready to walk down the isle, and I thought, "what if we hate each other in 2 years?  What if we aren't the people we thought we were??"  I felt a little panicky, not gonna lie.  My parents were married for over 20 years and then divorced.  I was afraid that would be us.


Thankfully, God knew what he was doing when he paired us!!  Do we have the ideal perfect marriage?  Nope.  Is our life just soooo "hashtag blessed" all the time?  Hell no.  But I will say that for now, we have a decent handle on this thing called marriage.


So, what do we do to keep our marriage strong?

We make time together.  Period.  Now, I will say the last few months have been absolutely CRAZY, and we have really failed in this department, but that's life.  It happens.

Brad and I are both early risers, so we like to get up early and drink coffee while catching up on work, kids, life.  We used to have our evenings together, but with 3 kids, 2 of which are teenagers, we are usually in bed before they are, haha!

Spring/Summer/Fall is our favorite, because we love sitting on the porch in the mornings.  It's SO peaceful and there are no distractions.  

We will also go out to eat at least once a month.  With the girls' crazy schedules, it's something we now have to literally plan.

Another thing that's huge is communication.  You HAVE to talk to each other, everyday!  Again, it's so easy to high five each other on the way to and from somewhere, but you have to actually talk.  Even after 19 years of marriage, my feelings (and his!) still get hurt, and 99% of the time it's from poor communication.  He needs to know how I feel about certain things, and if I've learned anything in this marriage, it's that HE CANNOT READ MY MIND!!!  I still struggle with that sometimes...


I am so happy that God entrusted us together.  When I look back on how we started out, it's amazing we got this far!  But there is no one in the world I would rather come home to, he is truly my best friend and soul mate.  

Image result for marriage meme

Feb 2, 2017

Friday Favorites

It's time for another addition of Friday Favorites with Andrea, Narci and Erika!


It's been kind of a crazy week, and even though I will fully admit that I may have acted like a crazy woman for a portion of the week and may or may not have had a pity party for a portion of that portion, we all made it safe and sound to Friday!!

I am REALLY struggling with exhaustion lately, the last 2.5 weeks I have been absolutely WIPED out.  It's been super frustrating, I am eating well, exercising, drinking tons of water, but nothing has helped.  Then I read up on adrenal fatigue and literally every.single.symptom I have.  Adrenal fatigue can be brought on by major stress, and I really believe that the stress from trial earlier in January through me for a loop.  

The last couple days I feel like I am sloooooowly getting back to normal.

One thing I have done differently this week is drinking bulletproof coffee.  I have had this the last couple mornings and I really enjoy it!  I mix my coffee (Aldi's organic medium roast) with one tablespoon coconut oil and one tablespoon Kerrygold butter with a touch of pure vanilla.  That's all I have for breakfast.  There is around 320 calories and 35 grams of fat, so I am definitely not deprived!  I have found my energy levels to be much higher than they have been, which has been wonderful.  I won't have this everyday, but will a couple days/week. 


bulletproof coffee vertical final

One thing I have been rocking is in the meal planning department.  I have to stuck to my plan and we have enjoyed some really yummy recipes!

First off was Italian Sausage Tortellini.  This one was a huge hit!


Next up was this Chicken and Potatoes with Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce from Damn Delicious.  Everyone gobbled this one up!

 

We also had Hamburger, Wild Rice and Broccoli Hotdish.  This is another favorite of ours, the water chestnuts make the whole dish, haha!!!


Tonight I kept it simple and we had venison sausage and waffles.  Now, if you like homemade waffles, you HAVE to make this recipe.  My family gobbles these up like nobody's business!!  They are light and golden and truly amazing!

For lunches I made the usual Italian Turkey Burger Soup for Monday and Tuesday.  I put everything in the crockpot on Saturday and let it cook all day.  It's so full of flavor!  I add quinoa to my soup and wild rice for Brad's.  For the rest of the week, I had salads from Fresh Thyme (which just opened and I LOVE it!!) made up, they were scrumptious.

The other area I have succeeded in is in the workouts.  I have done some form of workout everyday this week.  I have done my 10 Minute Trainer from Beachbody and Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown.  I love Yoga Meltdown because it feels SO good, all the stretching, but it totally kicks your ass at the same time!



So, with all that being said, here is where I am NOT succeeding....

Trusting in Him.  I have had quite the pity party the last few weeks, feeling sorry for myself.  It has gotten me nowhere and I'm tired.  I am tired of looking ahead and dreading what is coming next.  I'm tired of my "to do" list.  I'm tired of dreading the very things that I truly love doing.  I'm in a funk, and I need out.

I read this verse from Proverbs 31 and I've read it a million times, but today it really hit home.


I love taking care of my family.  LOVE it.  I love keeping a neat (notice I didn't say clean) home, making homemade meals, decorating for all the holidays and planning special things to do.  Lately everything feels like such a chore and I want the joy back.  I love the Proverbs 31 woman, she is the very person  I strive to be but fail on a daily basis.  I look to far ahead and stress about things that haven't even happened.  Today I decided I'm all done with that.  I am only going to focus on TODAY.  What can I do TODAY to make it great?  Who can I bless?

I know this is going to be a work in progress, but all I can do it strive to be better everyday.  I love reading blogs, I feel such a connection to so many of you, but sometimes reading them makes me feel like less of a mother and I know it's all me.  It isn't anything that they have written, it's my own demons, the ones that tell me I'm not good enough.  Well guess what?  I am!

So here's to a new me!  Ok maybe just an updated version, and I can't even guarantee this will last...but I'm giving it my all!

Image result for happiness quotes

Happy Friday everyone, I hope you have an amazing weekend!!


Italian Sausage Tortellini

On this weeks menu I had Sausage Tortellini Soup, but decided to change it up a bit since this is somewhat similar to the soup that Brad and I eat Mondays and Tuesdays for lunch.  Rachel was talking about a creamy sausage and tortellini dish that school makes that she loves, so I decided to try this!

It was super easy and delicious and EVERYONE loved it!

Italian Sausage Tortellini

1lb cheese filled tortellini
1lb browned Italian Sausage (I use turkey sausage)
3 cups chopped spinach
Shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 c butter
3 cloves garlic
1/4 c flour
milk or half and half
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a skillet and add garlic, stir until fragrant.  Sprinkle flour in and mix around, let cook for a minute or so then add the milk or half and half.  I add until it's the right consistency.  Add in the spinach, tortellini and sausage.  

I had made mine in the morning, and had the girls put it in the oven to warm up, but you can certainly cook it all in the pan right away!

Sprinkle parm cheese on top when done!


Super yummy!!

Linking up with A Gal Named Al

Jan 31, 2017

Weekending

This past weekend was a busy one.  Friday night we met some friends for happy hour and drinks at our local Mexican place, always good!  Saturday was kinda nuts, we had lots of errands to run, places to be, but thankfully we made it through the day and we even made it to church at 5, win!

Although I kinda just wanted to do this all weekend...


But ya know, kids, house, food.

Sunday was quiet, Brad and the girls went to Paynesville to watch one of our good friends daughter play vball.  I stayed home and relaxed.  Just kidding, I cleaned my house (including scrubbing the floors, ALL of them!!), finished laundry and meal prepped.  Felt good to get everything done.

My friend Annie is a pretty big deal over at Beachbody..  We met through blogging and after having her third child who has Down Syndrome, she decided to get healthy, and man did she ever!  She is an amazing woman who is changing lives and lives her faith.

She posted this on her Facebook page awhile back and it has stuck with me.  I always complain "if I could just lose these extra 5 pounds, 10 pounds".  After reading this, I decided I'm good with where I'm at.  I don't exercise to lose weight, I do it because I need for my mental health.  Even just doing the 15 minutes/day has helped so much!


Emma has really been into cooking/baking lately and I decided that once/week is her night to cook!  Sunday night she made these pizza twists with dipping sauce, they were amazing!


She also made this chocolate almond frozen dessert, delicious!


I love that she is taking on some cooking!  We watched Julie and Julia on Saturday night (one of my fave movies) and she said, "maybe I need to start blogging my meals??!!"  Um yes please!!

Hope you all have a wonderful week!
Linking up with Tuesday Talk

Jan 25, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

Linking up with Shay, Mel and Sheaffer for another What's Up Wednesday!!

whatsupwedupdated

wuwquestions-edit

 What We're Eating This Week:
I've really been on top of meal planning and prepping!  I've been making some good ole standbys and also plugging in some new recipes.  

I had the meatloaf, lasagna and pizza dough in the freezer which makes my life so much easier!!  Here is what we've had this week:

Monday:  Meatloaf and mashed potatoes
Tuesday: Venison sausage and fries
Wednesday: Lasagna, ceasar salad and garlic bread
Thursday:  Emma's night to cook!  She is making pizza twists
Friday:  Homemade pizza

Emma has been into cooking and baking (which I love!) and this weekend she made homemade churros with chocolate sauce, YUMM!!


 What I'm Reminiscing About:
Mexico!  We went to Mexico in 2010 with 4 other couples and had an AMAZING time!!


We decided to take the kids to Mexico in February, and while I am excited to relax and not think about work or life, I am just not quite into it yet.  When we went the last time, I was a working out machine, tan and felt amazing.  This time I'm pretty sure I will look like a beached whale, but oh well.

What I'm Loving:

I shared with you how I am getting up early to have some quiet time since the New Year started and I am LOVING it!!  I seriously can't wait to go to bed just to get up early and have some "me time".

What We've Been Up To:

Volleyball, volleyball and more volleyball!!



Rachel had a tournament in the cities on Sunday and they did SO well!!  They ended up placing 4th out of 12 teams.  They have a great group of girls and all get along so well!  It's going to be a super fun season of watching them play and hanging out with some fun families.  I also have been making sure I am on top of my meal prep, and of course made my famous granola bars that everyone loves, I'll share the recipe this week!  One of her teammates who she was on a team with 2 years ago told me she was so excited to be on a team again with Rachel so she could have my granola bars again, ha!

What I'm Dreading:

Absolutely nothing.  Since my trial is done, I can't even tell you how amazing I feel, and so relaxed!!

What I'm Working On:

With Mexico coming up here shortly, I've been so disappointed in myself for not working out.  With the holidays and the stress of trial, I hadn't worked out in a couple months, and my workouts before then were super spotty.  I have ALWAYS worked out, even while pregnant, so I've just been really down about it.
My amazing treadmill is 16 years old, and I love her to pieces, but I'm bored with her right now.  I decided to get my old workout videos and totally forgot I had Tony Horton's 10 Minute Trainer.  I decided to do one video everyday until Mexico.  With the warm up and cool down, it's about 15 minutes.  Now that I can do!  I get the best workout and am a sweaty mess in 15 minutes!
What I'm Excited About:

Mexico!  I cannot wait to relax on the beach with a good book and a cocktail!

Image result for mexico beach images

What I'm Watching/Reading:

I'm watching all the Chicago shows (Med, Fire, PD) and of course "This Is Us".  LOVE this show!!  I seriously ball at every.single.episode.  Ridiculous.

I just finished another Kindle book, "Deliver Her" by Patricia Perry Donovan.  It was ok, but not one of my faves.  I ordered 2 books from Amazon, "It Ends With Us" by Colleen Hoover and "Barefoot" by Elin Hildebrand.  I'm super excited to read these!!

What I'm Listening To:

At work we have iHeartRadio and we started listening to the Rewind channel and it's SO good!  It's a lot of the good 70's and 80's stuff!

What I'm Wearing:

Nothing fancy.  I'm trying to order some clothes for Mexico.  Ugh.  Not impressed is all I have to say...

What I'm Doing This Weekend:

Not a DAMN thing and I cannot wait!!  Our whole entire weekend is open and this hasn't happened since before Christmas, maybe Thanksgiving??  I plan to get caught up on some TV and reading.

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month:

Ummm, Mexico??!!

What Else Is New:

We are working on finishing our lower levels.  We built a 4 level home 10 years years ago, and only finished the family room on the lower 3rd level.  The 4th level has always been storage and where my treadmill and craft stuff is.   Brad has been working on finishing it since a year ago last December.  For a whole year everything has been boxed up and in the garage, family room, and anywhere else that has room to store stuff.  Thankfully it will hopefully be done this spring and I CANNOT wait!  I'm tired of disorganization and dust, lol.


That's our life right now, busy, busy, busy but oh so good!!



Jan 19, 2017

Friday Favorites- New Years Addition

Thank goodness Friday is here!  Linking up with the usual suspects, Andrea, Erika and Narci





 It's been a long week, but a good one.  After last week , I feel like a different person, and it's been wonderful!  

I wanted to talk a bit about my goals for the new year.  I love January 1st.  It's like a new beginning, a fresh start and I am all about new beginnings!

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I love making New Years resolutions and  am actually pretty good at sticking with them and I kinda love the challenge.

I decided this year to pick a word.  I thought about it for a few weeks because I really wanted it to "represent" me. This year, my word is:

GROW

Grow in my job:  I started a new job in August, and I feel like it was meant just for me.  It is completely different than my previous job and somewhat stressful.  But I feel like I have a purpose here and my co workers are truly amazing!  I would love to work my way up and be in charge of HR.  Might take a few years, but I know I can do it.

Grow in my friend base:  I have some really amazing friends, and I am ready to get more involved.  I would LOVE to be a part of a book club, freezer cooking club, or just having monthly get togethers to hash out life.  I really need this addition.

Grow in my faith:  I have been pretty good about doing my morning devotionals.  I love, love, love Jesus Calling.  I swear every one I read is meant just for me, haha!

Jesus Calling   -     By: Sarah Young

I also do a few prayers from Stormie O'Martians book

The Power of a Praying Parent Prayer and Study Guide  -     By: Stormie Omartian

There are 31 prayers to pray over your kids, I like to pick 3 to pray every morning.

I then do one prayer from her book, Power of a Praying Wife.  Love this book too, 


This is another quick devotional that I love to read in the morning.  

One-Minute Inspirations for Women  -     By: Elizabeth George

I then get my Bible out and will read some from that.  I have the app She Reads Truth on my phone.  I am (slowly) reading the Bible from start to finish, and this app has it laid out very well.  I read the Bible from cover to cover several years ago and really enjoyed it.

I have been getting up really early in the mornings and am LOVING my quiet time!  I light a candle, make my coffee, start the fireplace and just let myself be in the moment.


Grow my Talents:  I am a crafty person by nature, and have loved doing crafts and lots of scrapbooking.  All that fit well into my schedule when I stayed home and did daycare.  However since working outside the home for the last almost 5 years, I haven't found time to do any of that.  I want to find my creativity again.  A couple weeks ago, Emma and I sat down and practiced some calligraphy style writing and it was SO fun!!


Grow with my Family:  This does not mean grow another family member, haha!!  I was feeling for awhile (last fall) like we were a bit disconnected, but I really feel like we've been together a lot and lots of fun playing cards and games.  I think the best compliment was when Rachel's boyfriend told her that he loves hanging out with us because we have so much fun!  One thing we have slacked on is family devotionals.  We are not regular church goers, but we used to have Sunday night family devotionals and do the rosary once a month.  I want us to get back to that.  Any good family devotional books you love?

Grow With my Health:  My workouts are SEVERELY lacking.  I used to walk/run at least 3-4 times a week.  It's been at least 3 weeks since I've done anything, ugh.  My eating is spot on, but I need to workouts for mental clarity.   

I am also back on track with meal planning/prepping.  My perfect Sunday is finding new recipes and prepping everything for the week, it's so relaxing for me!


This week we had:


Chicken Ala King (From Mix and Match Mamas cookbook)

Panini's and soup

Sausage and potatoes

Alayna and I also made a meatloaf and a lasagna to freeze for next week.  It feels so good to have that organized.

So there ya have it.  I have everything organized and together for this week.  And I know that everything will change tomorrow and I will feel completely overwhelmed again, haha!!