Monday, December 18, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday

It has been ages since I've done one of these, but life has been crazy busy.
In an effort to bring back my sanity, I've been trying to blog more often. Here we go!

Breakfast time, what's on the plate this morning: Ella and I made ham and cheese bombs (recipe coming soon, I promise) and they were AMAZING.

Right now, I am: Typing up this blog while Josie naps. I have today off of work so I'm trying to squeeze as much fun (and housework, ugh) as I can.

The weather outside: It's going to be in the mid to high 50's today and tomorrow, so housework might take a back seat. Sorry not sorry. After that, we're supposed to get some rain, so any snow we have left over will surely be melted. The weather forecast for Christmas day is nearly 60 degrees! So much for a white Christmas!

Looking around the house: I'm realizing it is in need of some TLC. I've got redecorating/rearranging on the brain, so that will get done this winter before it's too nice outside for me to care. (And with me NOT on bedrest like I was while pregnant, I will want out of the house and in the garden when spring is here)

Currently Reading: Nothing, ugh. I need to read again. I read the Bible every day, but that's about it right now.

On the menu this week:
Monday: Steak fajitas and homemade tortillas
Tuesday: Potato Soup in the crockpot
Wednesday: Fully Loaded Mac and Cheese, Spinach Salad
Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner
Friday:  London Broil, Potatoes
Saturday: Chinese Chicken with Broccoli, White Rice
Sunday: (Christmas Eve) Ham, Mashed Potatoes, Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole

If I have a few minutes to myself, I will: Work on an art piece for a friend

Looking forward to this week:  Some Christmas baking and getting a lot of baby and tween girl clothes out of the house and to the Goodwill (my kids just keep growing!)

Favorite photo from the camera:

excuse the bottle of cleaner, but that's my kitchen chalkboard, a clearance "splurge" at Target a few weeks ago.

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses: I was in 1 Peter early this morning, and read the verse about it being better to suffer for doing good than for doing evil, which pretty much goes against human nature. In the long run, I guess, if you're doing good, and you suffer for it in this world, that suffering ends when you're with Christ at last.
If you're suffering for doing evil (and you don't repent and you just keep doing evil), that suffering doesn't end at the end of your life.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Winter Wonderland!

So, it snowed here in the mountains!
It's been a really long time since we had such a gorgeous first snow. I think I remember our first snow in NC (seven years ago) being this beautiful.
And it's Josie's first winter!
I had to commemorate this occasion with pictures, of course!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Where Have You Been?!

I got asked that the other day.
I worked for about a month straight and other than my children (and occasionally, my husband) NOBODY saw me.
This blog certainly hasn't.

I have to change that. I need a space to write down my thoughts, and to keep a record of all of the awesome stuff going on for my little family.

The latest...

Josie is now 6 month old, what the heck!

We also welcomed a new family member, Renfield the white cat. He's adjusting, and he and The Sphinx still kind of hate each other. He's only 4 years old so he isn't calm like Dave was, but he's still pretty awesome.

I've got a ton more to write, but no time to say it. Maybe after everything is quieted down for the day, I shall find some time!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Baby Days, Dahlias, Chicago (!), and the Obligatory Eclipse Post

Life moves super quick here, and then I don't blog for weeks on end, of course. Mom life and such.

Josie is growing like a weed, and she will be 3 months old on the 28th. She loves her family (especially Gabe!), her swing, baths,  and being outside. She hates having her diaper or clothes changed, but otherwise she is pretty chill.

Josie on her birth day, at one month and at 2 months. It's so fun to watch her grow!

Now, for the Dahlias and Chicago part of the blog. On September 7, I leave for my hometown!!!! It's technically a work function as my boss is showing dahlias (and so am I, holy moly!) in the National Show, which takes place at the Botanic Gardens. I'm bringing Josie with me and my parents are driving up to see us. They will get to meet their newest grandchild before she isn't so new anymore...hahah.

Be ready for a deluge of pictures...eventually!!!

I'm sure you guys all know that today was the solar eclipse. Where my little fam is in NC, we hit about 96% totality...and it was pretty awesome!!!

Josie did not watch of course, but she had to get a picture taken in her eclipse glasses.

I did get to see some of the eclipse (through Ella's glasses) and it was pretty darn cool!!

Stay tuned for my next (probably way overdue) post!!!

Monday, July 31, 2017

When You're in the Trenches aka Things I Wish I Had Known

Eleven years ago, I briefly considered suicide for the second time in my life. Maybe one day I will tell you all about the first time, but that's a story for another day.

Eleven years ago, I was a new Mom who had NO idea what the hell she was doing. I had a whole other human being depending on me for care, and I couldn't even take care of myself. When I asked someone if she had ever felt sad after giving birth, this woman replied, "Oh, no. I was always happy with my babies. There must be something wrong with you."

There was, by the way. Majorly wrong. But because so many others weren't willing to really LOOK and LISTEN, I became spectacularly good at hiding my depression. It took a check-in phone call with my Dad, in which he said, "Something's not right with you. You know, it's common for women to feel sad after a baby. Maybe you need to come home." for me to begin recovering.

Nine weeks and two days ago, I gave birth to my third daughter, my second living child. It's been pretty rough here and there, and I've had a few crying jags (like when she wouldn't latch on to the breast, no matter WHAT we tried, oh my goodness), but I never found myself in that ugly terrible place I was in 11 years ago.

Yes, I'm 11 years older (and I hope, 11 years wiser), but I've found some things that helped me cope this time around (and some stuff that helped 11 years ago)

* If you find yourself in a dark place, please pick up the phone and TALK TO SOMEONE. A relative, a trusted friend, a counsellor.

*Know that you are NOT crazy. Post partum depression is real.

*Know that you are NOT alone. PPD is more common than you think, and many women have been in the exact place that you are in.

*Take pleasure in what you can. When Ella was little, my little moments of light were loading her up in the stroller and taking long walks, or putting on soft music and relaxing while she slept. Right now, my happy moments are in the early mornings, or late at night, when Josie is asleep and I'm doing little household lovely scented candles and journaling my thoughts helps me.

*Schedule time alone if you have to....

Yes, this is a page in my journal. Yes, sometime this week, I will have coffee ALONE. No husband. No daughter. No baby. Does it make me a bad person? No. Will it help my sanity in the long run? Yep.

*Take care of YOU. Because you cannot take care of a baby if you cannot take care of yourself.

*If you are prescribed medicine by a doctor, please take it. You are not weak, you are not admitting defeat, it takes strength to ask for help.

Eleven years ago, I was in a dark and scary place. If it wasn't for my Dad noticing that I sounded "off", I probably would have ended up taking my own life at some point.
Thanks to God and family, I found my way out, and was able to approach the post-partum period this time with a totally different outlook. I don't ever want anyone to feel the way I felt eleven years ago.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Desperation in the Kitchen: Chicken A La King (aka my return to blogging)

I would preface this with a lengthy apology, but y'all, it's almost 1:30 a.m. and the baby is sleeping, so I need to get this typed up ASAP.

My boss made this and it was amazing. So, I stole his recipe.

This is the recipe. I tweaked a few things (like I added frozen peas, but then so did my boss, he just didn't write that up in the recipe)

The ingredients.

sauteing chicken and onion in butter, and cooking rice (it's in the covered saucepan)

Making a roux and adding the frozen peas

Cooking low and slow, and the rice, of course.
Quick backstory: until very recent years, I sucked at making rice. SUCKED. It would always turn out gummy. There's no secret as to why I don't suck, I literally googled "how to cook rice" and I've just stuck with it.


Gabe and Ella definitely approved of this dish, and I will be making it again. Bonus: I got to cross a food off my bucket list!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday 06/05/2017

I took my Josie in to the doctor today, because I had a few concerns...the doctor is not concerned about them, as they are common in small babies. I'm due for another weight re-check on Wednesday...however, the doctor is concerned about my "very obvious" lack of rest and the fact that I'm "probably overdoing it." Whoops. Is it that obvious?

I've been relegated to doing the two things I hate the most...sitting still and eating as much as I can. Aurgh. I realize to most people it would be a dream come true, but this is not a lifestyle I'm used to, and I'm not most people.

So, to stay sane while I sit still and eat (sigh), I'm going to *try* and get back into the blogging thing, while taking insane amounts of pictures of my girls. (GIRLS!!!!)

Let's get on with it, shall we?

The Weather: It's raining here, but supposed to clear up by tomorrow. It's typical late-Spring here in NC, where it's warm during the day and just a touch cool at night. Perfection.

On my reading pile: Oh, gosh. I guess now I'll have time to read, huh? I'm reading Abandoned Prayers by Gregg Olsen. Lots of dark scary stuff going on in an Amish community...and this took place in the 80's...and it's a true story. Yikes.

Movies or TV shows I watched this weekend: Nothing. I watched my newborn sleep.

On my TV: I've made a date with myself to sit still through an entire movie. I'll let you guys know which one I ended up picking.

On the menu for this week: Probably a bevy of quick-cooking foods/whatever my 11 year old can whip up/Gabe's on vacation so he can cook...

On my to-do list: Rest, rest, rest. Drink lots of water. Rest some more.

What I am sewing, knitting, crocheting, or creating: Nothing...although I suppose I could do that while I'm resting, right? Hmmm...

Looking around the house:  You can see that we've been blessed. Gift bags everywhere. I need to start writing out thank-you cards. Glad Gabe is on vacation this week. He can help me catch up on laundry...

From the camera:

my girls are 11 years and 11 days apart.

One of my simple pleasures:   Sleep. Kind of hard to come by, but treasured when I get it.

Inspirational quote, Bible verse, etc: 

Josie's life verse: "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning."

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

God Has Increased!!!

After a blood pressure scare, which led to an induction, which led to a fast and furious labor, God has increased our little family.

Josie Tamarah came into the world at 12:41 a.m. on Sunday morning, while a storm raged on outside my hospital room.

We are both home and doing well.

God always keeps His promises!!!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

So, I Suck At Blogging

Truly I do.
We're at the end of the school year, I'm almost at the end of my pregnancy.
It's Saturday night, Ella and I are up way too late, listening to Ray Stevens "Mississippi Squirrel Revival" and my rainbow baby is kicking away.
I can and will make it through this next month.
Ella turns 11 on May 17th. Riley would be 12.
The twins would be 2 in November.
Thomas has been gone a year.
Time passes by and waits for no one.

We have butterflies we are raising. One of them has come out of its chrysalis. Toby is what Ella named it.
We are patiently waiting for the others.
Gabe and I are both working, and working on our marriage, which is in a good place.
I am scheduled to be in Chicago this September for a flower show.

Life moves fast.

I am as big as a house, with a month to go yet.
Pray for me, my friends.
Pray this baby stays in.
Thank you for bearing with me here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Where the Heck Have I Been aka Everything Changes Now

I haven't been on here much, and I think that has been a good thing.
Why, exactly?
After losing our twins in November of 2015, and then our son in April of 2016, I had a lot on my mind, and I think I needed to process it.
And then...
in September...
It was shocking and unexpected, and I was honestly not surprised when at 6 weeks, I began spotting.
Except...I didn't lose the baby.

I'm currently 21 weeks pregnant, with a due date of June 10.

It's been strange, and wonderful, and overwhelming at times. I didn't want this blog to become a chronicle of my pregnancy. It wouldn't have been fair to any of my children.

I'm doing well, past the horrible morning sickness of the first trimester, and well into the "smooth second."

Otherwise, things are much the same. Life clicks along. Gabe and I both work, and Ella is doing well in her schooling.

I wish I had more eloquent words, or some major words of wisdom, but I do not. This is perhaps the first time in my life where I have taken a gigantic step back from everything and just concentrated on staying well.

I've been in my bubble for the past 4 months or so and I'm slowly making my way out.

I'm back. I guess. For now.