Category Archives: family life

For the Mama’s

Today’s blog challenge prompt was “who do you admire the most and why”.   My answer is simple:  MOMS

No offense to the dads out there, but moms have it harder.   We give up our own body for 9 months. We gain weight, have ridiculous mood swings/hormone imbalances and cravings, we get a barrage of questions from everyone about the baby, we even get touched by complete strangers who want to feel the baby kick.  Then there’s labor/delivery (no need to expand on that).  Then theres all the feedings and a majority of the diaper changes, making sure your kid(s) have everything they need whenever you leave the house, which sometimes leaving the house in and of itself can be very hard to do sometimes.  Then making sure your kid behaves (at least somewhat) while out and about and making sure they come home with what they left with.  Theres arranging all doctor appointments, play dates, parties, party favors, eat. On top of managing the household, making dinner, doing all the laundry, bath times, teeth brushing, bed time stories, kissing all the ouchies, spraying monster repellant in the closets, and on and on, all while trying to maintain some semblance of the person you were before you had a kid.  And then there are the superMOMS that have more than one kid.  I’m in awe and admiration of you.  I applaud you when I see you out and about and you look like you have all your sh*t together with your perfect kids and perfect life (yes I know that no one is perfect).  I have no idea sometimes how people can manage more than one kid.  Though I would give anything to have another and find out.   This parenting stuff is hard work, but oh so rewarding.  So when you see a mom out there, give her a high-5, or go hug your own mom.  Tell a mom she is doing a great job, regardless of the way she looks or the way her kids are acting at that moment.  Call your mom and let her know how much you admire her.

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Winter Minestrone Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Coarse sea salt and ground pepper
  • 1 bunch Swiss Chard or Kale stalks removed, leaves coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon fresh basil
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, in juice
  • 5-6 cans beef broth (or chicken or vegetable broth)
  • 2 cups ditalini pasta
  • Optional:  grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium.
  2. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent.
  3. Add Swiss Chard or kale, basil, and crushed red-pepper. Cook, stirring, until greens start to wilt, 2 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add all the beans to the pan, as well as tomatoes with juice and 5-6 cups broth. Cover and simmer, until veggies are tender, 15-20 minutes.
  5. Add ditalini pasta and cook for 10-12 minutes more.
  6. Serve with grated Romano/Parmesan, if desired.

Pair it with some nice crusty bread or rolls.

Notes:  You can also add other root vegetables, such as potato or butternut squash for a more hearty soup.  And another option is to add some bacon (because who doesn’t love bacon).

 

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BALANCE: my word of 2017

I have seen a few of my friends posting the last 2 days about picking a word of the year for themselves.  I wasn’t too sure what all that entailed or meant to them so I did a little research and came upon the website OneWords365.com.   Here’s what they say:

(shared from OneWord365.com)

Forget New Year’s Resolutions. Scrap that long list of goals you won’t remember a few weeks from now anyway!

Choose just one word.

One word you can focus on every day, all year long… One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live.

It will take intentionality and commitment, but if you let it, your one word will shape not only your year, but also you. It will become the compass that directs your decisions and guides your steps.

So after a quick reflection on my life over the last year and reviewing some goals I have for this year, I want to give this a shot.   My word for 2017 will be BALANCE.

balance

 

I need more balance in all aspects of my life, especially at home.  Since we bought our house and live farther out, and living in Southern California, my commute is typcially 1.5 hrs one way becuase of traffice.  By the time I get home, it is already late, leaving just 30-50 minutes to finish dinner with my family and get the little one ready for bed.  This also means that most of the cooking falls on my husband now.  By the time the weekend rolls around, I’m just worn out from the work week, and dont want to spend much energy on cooking, or taking care of things around the house.  So I know he would love it if I could bring more balance back in that area.

I also want to add balance to my overall well-being.  We need to take care of ourselves, including emotionally.  I want to set aside at least 1 day a month where I get to do something that is truely just for me. Whether its a night out with the girls (or even just myself), getting a mani/pedi, going to a paint night, etc. where I’m able to relax and have fun and just recharge emotionally.

For work, to continue finding my groove with scheduling all my appointments and getting all the reports and such done.  It’s been only a year in my current position, and it is always changing, but I have managed to keep up for the most part.

What would your word of 2017 be?  Have you done this before?  Any tips and tricks are always welcome in the comments.

For those of you that might be thinking about doing this and are stuck on finding the right word, below are some suggestions from OneWord365:

Rebuilding, Strength, Forward, Fortitude, Possibility, Risk, Commit, Minimize, Transition, Today, Faith, Perspective, Connect, Action, Love, More, Dare, Courage, Confidence, Trust, Health, Brave, Growth, Uplift, Momentum, Truth, Generous, Breathe, Embrace, Awake, No, Enjoy, Diligence, Ambition, Imagine, Balance, Integrity, Choose, Focus, Soar, Relentless, Opportunity, Invest, Slow, Stewardship, Learn, Revel, Joy, Ignite, Selah, Sacrifice, Reflection, Shine, Write, Finish, Optimism, Unstoppable, Be, Thrive, Adapt, Discover, New, Different, Freedom, Pause, Relax, Determined, Believe, Appreciate, Direction, Persistence, Battle, Progress, Change, Transformation, Silence, Celebrate, Adventure, Reduce, Live, Mindfulness, Push, Open, Present, Resolve, Grace, Purpose, Empower, Peace, Listen, Organize, Simplify, Together, Create, Curious, Release

Five Question Friday

Today is National Siblings Day, so our questions will be focused on siblings.

1). In what ways are you and your sibling(s) different?

I try to deal with situations/people more head on, whereas she is very passive.  She overreacts and makes things very dramatic.  I will sometimes overreact, but not to the same extent.  We  have different approaches in our parenting styles.  She has two kids, I have one.

2). In what ways are you and your sibling(s) similar?

Growing up we were told often that we could pass for twins, even though there is 2 1/2 years age gap between us.  We would dress similar (she was always stealing my clothes growing up). We both have sensitive souls.

3). What is a secret you have that you hope your sibling(s) doesn’t find out about?

I don’t have any secrets with her.

4). Share a funny/embarrassing story of something your sibling did.

One time when we were young, I think she was in 8th grade maybe, she decided to bake a cake. She put it in a plastic pan inside the oven.  It burnt and caught on fire and filled the oven and kitchen with smoke.  It was not initially funny, but no one was hurt and we were right there the whole time so there was no damage, we then laughed about it later and for several years about how she can’t cook or bake.

5). Share some activities that you  did with your sibling(s).

When we were very young, we liked to go swimming all of the time, go sledding in our back yard, make blanket forts, play Barbies, spend time with our cousins.  Once we went off to college and moved countries apart, we don’t get to spend time together.

 

“I don’t believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at.” – Maya Angelou

 

Have a great Friday and weekend.  Don’t forget to play along by answering these questions in the comments or in your own blog post.


My loss is Heaven’s gain

Today’s Prompt: Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more.

I am coming up on the 5 year anniversary of one of the biggest losses in my life; the death of my grandfather. I think about him all of the time and when April rolls around, I get more sentimental and teary-eyed. My grandfather was such a strong man, and growing up I thought he was invincible. But cancer has a way of making even the strongest man weak. I am truly thankful for the time that I did have this man in my life. I treasure all of the memories and the namesake that we have of our middle name. I am also thankful that his battle with cancer was extremely short. We got the diagnosis on 4/8 and then 11 days later, his journey here on earth ended, and he began his heavenly journey. I have hope knowing that I will see him again.

Today I would like to share a letter I wrote 5 years ago as I was sitting at the airport in NY on my way to see him in FL. The link to the letter is HERE.


5 question Friday – Spring edition

Happy first day of Spring!  Today’s 5QF will be Spring related. Please feel free to answer the questions for yourself either in the comments below, or in your own blog post, and link back here.

1).  What do you most look forward to for Spring?  I enjoy having the sun stick around longer.  It’s nice getting out of work late and it is still day light.  That means more outdoor time with my little guy.

2). Spring Cleaning:  Love it, hate it, any specific routine or thing you do related to it? HATE it.  I’m not a fan of cleaning and will do it when it needs to be done.  I have no routine or organization about it.  I try to focus on one room at a time.  I did make a mental inventory though of what my baby needs, usually the next size up of clothing, and try to pack away clothes he has outgrown.

3). What are 3 things you need to get rid of if you are Spring cleaning?  stained, ripped and/or “don’t fit” clothes, broken items, expired can goods.

4). Spring Break:  Share a memorable Spring Break experience/vacation/memory.  I was recently telling someone that while I was a sophomore in high school, I had my 4 wisdom teeth removed over spring break.  While everyone else was enjoying their vacation and probably at the beach, I was laying on the couch, in pain and miserable, wondering if I would ever be able to eat again lol.

5). Spring is considered a time of new beginnings.  What is something new that you have started/are starting?  Reviving this blog 😉  Also I’m always on the lookout (on Pinterest) for new recipes to try and new activities to do with my son.  And I’m working on reconnecting with old friends.

Have a look at a photo post I did from a few years ago related to Spring. It has a gallery of pictures of beautiful Spring flowers, and a link to a poem I wrote as well.

Happy Friday and Happy Spring!