Friday, November 27, 2009

My 5 Favorite Flavors

1. coffee

2. chocolate

3. cheesecake

4. raspberries

5. caramel

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday

In 1999, I met the most awesome man alive, and in 2000, I married him. It's hard to believe we'll celebrate our 10th anniversary next year! We have been blessed with the two greatest little boys in the world, who are now 7 and 4. (I always tell people, how many women can say they live with the 3 best looking men alive?) We are a very close knit family, and we love being together and having fun together. I can honestly say that while life may not always be easy, it is always fun with them around!

I think everyone who knows me would agree that my life boils down to two things - faith and family. That pretty much sums me up as a person. I'm so grateful God brought my wonderful family into my life. They mean the world to me.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - Nov. 23

Monday Lunch: Chicken and black bean enchilada, Dinner: Baked chicken

Tuesday Lunch: Tuna sandwiches, Dinner: leftovers (chicken and black bean enchiladas)

Wednesday Lunch: Tacos, Dinner: Chicken and egg noodles

Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday: Still enjoying Thanksgiving leftovers

Saturday Lunch: Baked chicken, Dinner: Eat out

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Second Thoughts

I'm having major second thoughts about this whole going back to college idea...

I went to my campus this past week to get some paperwork sorted out, and I got lost. Not on the way there, not on campus...I got lost in the main building. It's three stories tall. I couldn't find the elevator.

I have completely lost my mind. I'm confused, I don't know where to go on campus or who to talk to or what to do, and I haven't even attended my first class! It has me wondering how I'll ever be able to negotiate college in my 30's.

I've also started freaking out now that I'm making my to-do lists and working on my scheduling. I'm starting to realize that a lot of things are going to have to change if I do this. I am passionate about leading our children's ministry at our church, but I may have to give it up while I'm in school. My youngest is going to start playing T-ball this many T-ball games will I have to miss because I'm studying or working to pay for college? How many bedtime stories will I not get to read? How many nights will I get 3 or 4 hours of sleep because I'm cramming for a major test? What if I do a year's worth of work and don't get into the program I want? What if I do get in and start school full time? What about spending time with my family, hanging out with friends, running, reading, traveling with my family? I have a life that I really love, and I'm starting to wonder how much of it I'm going to have to give up and whether or not this whole college idea is worth it...yes, I want to finish my degree, but is the price I'll have to pay to get there going to be worth it? Three years seemed so short at it looks like an eternity looming before me.

Friday, November 20, 2009

One of those weeks...

Ever have one of those days when you just want to crawl back into bed and pull up the covers? It's been one of those weeks for me...let's just say it's not been spectacular and it's not getting better. The first part was actually ok, but these last two days have been full of yucky weather (which caused me to miss my run this morning, which did not help my general grumpiness), annoying tech support people (after two years on the job, yes, I do know how to use the software at work, and I know enough to know you messed it up instead of fixing it!), plumbing issues (overflowing toilets...not fun), and general stress. It won't be a relaxing weekend, either. We have a day planned tomorrow to work on my children's ministry rooms at church, then a busy Sunday as we start rehearsing with the kids for our Christmas program. (And my family wonders why our house is a little chaotic?) But, thankfully, next week is one of my very favorite holidays...and I only work two days...and we don't have Wednesday night services at week will be a better week.

Recipe Zaar

My absolute favorite recipe website is Recipe Zaar. I stumbled across it months ago, and I've gotten so many great recipes from it! My favorite feature is the fact that you can search by preparation method - slow cooker, OMAC, etc., but they have so many different search options. It's a lot of fun and so useful!

5 Things on My Bucket List

1. visit Israel

2. white water rafting

3. rapelling

4. write a book & get it published

5. go on a missions trip to a foreign country

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I am so thankful for cooking, and for cooking for my family...for some people that might sound like a nightmare, but to me, it's something great, especially after after our house flooded in Hurricane Ike and I was without a kitchen for months!

I guess I'm something of an unlikely chef. I never cooked when I was growing up. I didn't even have any interest in really trying to. When I got married, my poor husband got the point of just asking what kind of Hamburger Helper we were having for dinner that night - it was all we ate! I literally didn't know how to boil an egg. When I finally got tired of that, I started experimenting...that was worse. Some nights dinner was inedible. But over time, I started learning what sounded good and what didn't, and my experiments got better. Now I love to cook and bake...if anything, my husband gets tired of me experimenting because I don't cook his old favorites often enough! It's relaxing to go into the kitchen, whip up something yummy, and hear my husband and kids say, "Wow! This is really good."

Monday, November 16, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - Nov. 16th

Monday's Lunch: easy taco casserole, Dinner: spaghetti

Tuesday's Lunch: chili dogs, Dinner: baked ricotta bowls

Wednesday's Lunch: leftovers (spaghetti), Dinner: chicken and black bean enchiladas

Thursday's Lunch: chili dogs, Dinner: soup and sandwiches (Note: If you haven't guessed, Thursday is my busiest day of the week!)

Friday's Lunch: leftovers (chicken and black bean enchiladas), Dinner: EAT OUT!

Saturday's Lunch: Church event, we will eat there, Dinner: soup and sandwiches

Sunday's Lunch: fried raviolli, Sunday's Dinner: chicken and green chili straws

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Note to self...

I went running again 3rd time for the week. I was really proud of myself, and I finished my workout with a little more ease than before. I also learned an important lesson...don't run when the "real" runners are on the track.

I thought, oh, it's Saturday morning, the track will be empty...WRONG! The first people I saw were a coach and a high school track kid, who easily ran lap after lap as I jogged one minute, walked one and a half, jogged one, etc., while desperately gasping for air towards the end of every one minute run. The kid put me to shame, making it quite obvious that I'm still in the "couch potato" portion of the "Couch Potato to 5K Plan."

Finally, the kid finished, and I thought, great, I'm almost done too, maybe I won't see anyone else...then the bikers arrived. A couple, probably a good 10 to 15 years older than me, came up on their bikes, parked them, and started running the bleachers before they started their laps at the track. Once again, I, the fitness trainer and gym manager, was put to shame.

All in all, despite having to share the track with "real" runners instead of newbie wannabes like myself, I was proud of myself for running, however slow it was. I feel great - even though I already work out regularly, I think adding something new to the routine is great. I just kept telling myself that one day, before too long, I will be one of them...I think.

Friday, November 13, 2009

College Here I Come!

I'm so excited...I registered for two college yesterday! I've been thinking about and praying about this for so long, but it didn't really feel "real" until yesterday. Having that slip of paper in my hand with my advisor's signature and my class schedule was such an awesome feeling! My classes will be challenging - not to mention the balancing act of juggling family, home, work, church, kids activities, and now college - but I'm more excited about this than I've been about anything for a very long time.

My Miche Bage

I just got my Miche bag last month and I am so in love with this purse! I first discovered it when a member of the gym where I work brought hers in. The concept is so simple but so amazing! The purse is a basic black bag, but there are magnets on the outside lining - they use a special kind of magnet that will not effect your credit cards, debit cards, or cell phone. You can buy dozens of adorable magnetic shells for the purse, then whenever you want to change your purse, just pull off one shell and put on another. For a purse junkie like myself, this is a dream come true! I have 5 shells for mine now, and I already have several more picked out to buy. It is worth every penny you will spend on it! Check it out at

5 Things I Never Leave Home Without

1. my day planner (a.k.a. my brain - just about everything I need to know is in there)

2. cell phone

3. Miche bag

4. a good book

5. my journal

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today is my first meeting with my college advisor...I'm nervous, but I'm so excited too! I'm so grateful for the chance to return to college.

I dropped out of college after two years to marry my husband, and a few months later, I found out I was expecting my oldest. I've never regretted quitting - I was a straight A student on a full academic scholarship, taking 18 hours a semester, and I was so completely burned out. To add it, I really didn't know what I wanted to study or what career I wanted to pursue. I needed a break, but I always knew I wanted to go back. For years, I held onto the dream, but the time was never right...until now. So today I start a new chapter in my life, and it's one that I'm really excited about. College, here I come!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Another menu plan Monday

This is going to be a crazy, training at work, church events, and my 1st meeting with my college advisor...this week the menu's all about quick and easy food!

Monday's Lunch: chicken ricotta bowls (new recipe), Dinner: piergoies with kielbasa

Tuesday's Lunch: tuna sandwiches, Dinner: baked chicken

Wednesday's Lunch: lasagna, Dinner: chicken and sausage sandwiches

Thursday's Lunch: tuna sandwiches, Dinner: pot pies with rice

Friday's Lunch: leftovers - lasagna, Dinner: leftovers - chicken and sausage sandwiches

Saturday's Lunch: taco soup, Dinner: baked chicken

Sunday's Lunch: Meal @ church, Dinner: leftovers - taco soup

Just a note...tomorrow is my first Tasty Tuesday - I'll be posting my taco soup recipe from this week's menu. It's really quick and easy, and my family loves it!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mom on the Move

I've decided I need a new outlet, a new way to relieve stress, which I always seem to have plenty of! I work at a gym, so I already work out, but I need some variety in my routine. I've always been a wannabe runner...I've thought about it, dabbled in it, tried for a while and was doing really well, then fizzled. So I've decided to go for it again. I love the website Cool Running, and they have an awesome Couch Potato to 5K plan. It was the plan I did well with before, so I'm going back to it. Tomorrow is my offical start day (unless it rains). Hopefully blogging about it will keep me accountable! Any other runners out there...I'd love to hear tips!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Favorite Ways to Relax

1. getting lost in good book

2. horseback riding, grooming, or almost anything at the barn

3. a long hot bath

4. a good workout

5. journaling

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday

For my first Thankful Thursday, I have to start with what I am most grateful for, and that's my relationship with Christ. My faith shapes everything I do, and it's absoultely at the top of my gratitude list! I' grateful that I was raised in a Christian home, and that I had great role models to follow and to help guide me through rocky times, especially my teens. Without Christ, I am nothing, but through Him, I can do anything. I am so grateful for His love!

And it begins...

I am so excited about going back to college in January! I'm surprised by the fact that the stress has already started, though!

It's been almost 10 years since I quit college after my sophmore year to get married and start a family. It's a decision I've never regretted, but I always knew I wanted to go back and finish school. The time never seemed to be right...until this past summer when I brought up the idea, and my husband said, "Go for it!"

My first appointment with my advisor is next Thursday, when I'll register for classes and find out how much of my previous 67 hours will transfer to my new college in another state. I'm nervous but so excited! I feel like I'm starting a new chapter of my life...turning 30, going back to is going to get even crazier when January rolls around!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tasty Tuesday

One of the things I really want to do on my blog is share recipes and talk about cooking. I'll be posting recipes on Tuesdays...maybe not every Tuesday, but at least a couple of times a month. I'm putting together a family cookbook with all of our favorite recipes - for everything from special events to everyday meals - and I look forward to starting to share those with you!

I can't be the only mom...

- Who is fighting gray hair and acne at the same time.
- Who sometimes locks herself in the bathroom with a good book just to get a few minutes of peace.
- Who has days when I don't like myself as a mom or as a person in general.
- Who things bulldozing my kids bedrooms and starting over would be easier than cleaning them up.
- Who sometimes feels so overwhelmed by my house and my to-do list ath I want to pull the covers over my head and hide from it all.
- Who has found parenting is so much more awesome than I ever thought it would be!

Monday, November 2, 2009

My First Menu Plan Monday

Monday's Lunch: cheesy potato soup, Monday's Dinner: chicken and chorizo sandwiches

Tuesday's Lunch: Cuban chicken wraps, Tuesday's Dinner: slow cooker pot roast

Wednesday's Lunch: beef empandas, Wednesday's Dinner: leftovers (chicken and chorizo sandwiches)

Thursday's Lunch: stuffed chicken breast, Thurdsday's Dinner: hamburgers

Friday's Lunch: sandwiches, Friday's Dinner: spaghetti

Saturday's Lunch: hamburgers, Saturday's Dinner: salisbury streak

Sunday's Lunch: leftovers (spaghetti), Sunday's Dinner: sandwichs

Snacks and other goodies: cream cheese brownies, roasted red pepper hummus
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