Pushing Through

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Since I started Cardio Drumming a few weeks ago with 17, I’ve started re-evaluating things in my daily life. I actually have only gone to the class one time, but have found online videos and tutorials that i can do at home, which is even better because I’m saving $6 and a lot of embarrassment by staying in my living room. I usually feel terrible on Mondays and I owe it to trying to stay up late and sleep in Friday and Saturday. It throws me out of whack and its terrible. I get a real serious case of “The Mondays” and there isn’t anything I can do to beat it.

Nap after work? Yes. Work out? Yes. Shower? Yes. Clean? Yes. Eat a good meal? Yes. Mondays? Still yes.

I am actively searching between three gyms in my area to find the best deal, closest proximity and best value for my monthly price. i’d like to start spending lunch hours in the gym on a bike instead of in my car sleeping or just simply wasting time. It’s recommended that adults get 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise daily, which is just about the maximum amount of time I could give to exercise on my lunch. Between changing clothes, driving to the facility, actually working out, changing back into work clothes and driving back (and possibly sneaking in a protein bar or something small).

We are cutting out some of our monthly TV subscriptions because we realized we could use our late-night hours to be more productive. I see nothing wrong with us winding down to a 30 minute tv show each night, if it sticks to 1. On the weekends, I credit us a movie. We typically watch 1 to 2 episodes of a show and go to sleep. But in that hour, we could be filling in holes in our walls or painting the bathroom, wiping baseboards, etc. Little jobs that don’t take a lot of effort, but could be done in our regular evening time without cutting into other necessary tasks. But we’re waiting to finish our show up this season before we pull the plug (we’re Binge watching Seinfeld and are less than 30 episodes from completion. Which will put us right at the end of my Prince’s semester, so perfect timing!).

We drink a lot of pop and always think it’s cute to buy each other our favorite candies, even if it’s really unhealthy. When it’s just us, we, for some reason, feel like we can eat like Kings instead of trying to teach the kids that vegetables are important, as well as variation in our diet. We pretty much only eat out if it is just us.

I’m a terribly picky eater, but I’m trying desperately to learn. I don’t know how to eat lunch. I don’t like sandwiches, I don’t eat any form of lettuce, and I hate soup. So protein bars, here I come.

Anyway. I am starting a new little journey here and trying to make some changes in our home. I can drum at home two nights per week with a guarantee that i will not be interrupted. I can go  to the gym the other 3 days per week and do other exercises. My Prince and I can take outdoor walks now that it’s warming up. Summer is so much easier.

I’m ready to be over the Mondays.

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Urgent Prayer Request

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Friends, can you please pray for our friend Pete? He’s one of my Prince’s best friends, has known him for.. 20 years or so. Pete has epilepsy and had a seizure Friday, went into cardiac arrest and now hes in an induced coma.

We’ve been told that he is stable and vitals are good but he is needing a miracle to come out of this. Thankfully, we serve a miracle maker. Please be praying with us for his recovery and that this will open his eyes to Jesus in a new light!

[loop devotional reblog]

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To Go Forward, It’s Time to Go Back

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me—Psalm 139: 7-10

Oh, restless one, I bring you peace now. These years go by, and I stay. These images in your memory, pages you flip through from the past, I make them beautiful. I show you beauty , and I want to show you more.

You can’t change the past, no. But you can look at it differently. You can’t change those moments when you were little, when you were the little girl with the tender skin and pink lips you used to bite. You can’t change that time, the one that hurts so much. Or, that one, the one you say you’d give anything to rewrite.

Oh, daughter, I want to show you what I see.

So, while the past can’t be rewritten, it can be made beautiful, even now, as you look back. I know what it means to not see one thing beautiful about a moment, to be filled with pain and sadness about circumstances. There are things that break my heart, too, you know.

But I forgive—and I will help you know how to forgive, too: as you look back at the pages of moments you wished you could change, the people involved. And yourself, my love. I need you to forgive yourself.

Let Me come for you like you need Me to. You can’t even know how much you need Me until you get a taste of what I have to offer you: healing for your heart, a past washed white. I make you clean, my daughter. I bend low and wash you clean with my very hands, my heart beating for you, my love. My grace covers you. My love covers you. My life restores you and makes all that you carry so light, so light.

You are made to be free. You are made to see and live in the beauty of you I created. You are beauty because I made you, and you were not meant to live in fear and regret and sadness—especially about the past. Close the old book now. A new one is written for you. I have new pages to show you. The pages of your past are in this new book, with a fresh, clean cover, white pages, pressed new.

And then turn the page.

There is so much more to write in this book, so many more stories and pictures to add these pages are not flat; they are not one-dimensional. For you are in the story, my love. You are the story I am writing. You are the love I have made. You are the daughter who stirs my heart and who I have redeemed and who I show is worthy and beloved and whole.

So, grasp hold of my hand. For the new book to be presented to you, you need to let Me take you back to the places where you haven’t let Me go with you before. You need to let Me show you the light in the dark places, the hope in the despair, the presence of Me in all the times you felt so hurt, so sad, so alone.

And I will be holding your hand the whole time.

The whole time.

I promise.

View Loop Here

Weekend Update

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Just feeling like I need to share that the weekend which just ended can go in my log of “Favorite weekends ever.” Not because we did anything spectacular, in fact we did hardly anything at all. I parked my car on Friday night and didn’t move it until Sunday morning for church.

Friday  we had four kids and a grandbaby in our house. Prince Charming cooked us dinner, per special food requests from 17 that “only dad can make.” She loves how her dad cooks. She brags about his cooking every chance she can, it’s great. He laughs because a lot of the recipes she loves are the ones on the backs of boxes and bags. But no one can do it quite like him. We probably played a board game,but i honestly can’t remember. i just know that we had fun. We watched Pirates of the Caribbean and fell asleep. No fights. No nothin’.

Saturday is chore day in our household, but the youngest ones have been asking for “Saturday Cartoons,” which we have never done. We’ve granted them a few free hours on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons, play on their tablets, play a video game, sleep more, it’s really their free time to do whatever it is they want. Then we start our chores, which is never fun. I had a conference call at 12:00, so I had to bump chore time up 30 minutes and all hell broke loose over the thirty minute time change. Chores started at 11:30am.

My Prince guided the kiddos in their chores, after I laid out lists of what they were to clean. He gave them “break time” and took 9 with him to go work on a roof of a family friend. Bologna jabroni (12) stayed home with me and poked his head in the office every 20 minutes to see if i was still on the phone. Yes, son I am. I was on the phone for 2 1/2 hours.

Prince Charming and Honky Tonk(9) came back a couple hours later and it was dinner time. I have no idea what we ate, this weekend was a blur. My Prince changed the clocks back, mid-evening. The boys came out of their room- they were playing “Logan and the Albino” and dressed up.. it was hilarious. They saw that it was almost 11pm and couldn’t believe it. We shrugged and they went back to playing. We all fell asleep soundly. No fights. No arguments about bed time. No attempts to get another cup of milk before bed or to stay up later than the other one. Just a “good night” and it was over.

Sunday is church. We wake up, eat breakfast, someone usually cries before we leave, Prince and I fight in the car and I storm into church.. every week. But not this one. We took our time getting ready, no one was upset. Everyone had their stuff together and we left for church.

We come home, my prince takes a nap.. an almost 3 hour nap.. in his chair and 9 and 12 and I hooked up our new Wii system and played Mario party 8 for almost 3 hours. They got new nicknames and laughed every time I said them. They were so incredibly happy. Except when we had to turn the game off.. that’s never fun. But 3 hours is plenty of game time for a Sunday afternoon.

So I made some pasta salad + italian chicken (SO GOOD) and we ate dinner, with very little clean up. Jabroni did his laundry and threw it all over his room without folding, hanging up, matching socks. Nothing. But i didnt notice this until Tuesday, so he’s off the hook until tonight.

I don’t know what changed but this weekend was SO good. everyone was so happy. Everyone was joyful.

Why can’t they all be this easy?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I  really struggle with finding my place. It’s something that I don’t think I’ve ever dealt with before. I really like to learn my roles and own them. excel at them. Learn how to make them better.

but this step parent thing.

It’s really freaking hard.

Where do I come in when 12 talks back to me so many times I want to scream? How many times should I respond to him before I need my prince to be involved? How long do I have to just accept that 12 is a preteen and this is normal.

Where do I come in when it’s dinner time and I’ve been cooking for an hour and nobody responds to the dinner bell (er.. me yelling at everyone to come eat. now). They stay in their seats, they don’t get up. and when they finally come sit down, they complain that they don’t want chicken or the macaroni isn’t the kind they like or God forbid they have to eat a vegetable! How. Do. I. Do. It?

I don’t know.

I am pushing through. I am fighting hard. I am lost in this place that leaves me feeling so uncertain of myself in so many ways. There are often mornings that I wake up and think that this is not the life for me. This set-aside life, this roller coaster of a life. But reality hits me and I realize I would be nothing and I would be lost without my little brats and couldn’t handle life if I didn’t have them anymore.

I don’t know how much I am actually able to share. It’s hard for me to write, some days, so I ask that you bare with me as I try to work with myself and with you in this journey.

I’ve found a lot of real life friends that are step parents and have connected them to my Facebook page and am excited to hear that they follow along. I have made friends with many of you and look forward to your comments.

I struggle with severe anxiety at times and if I don’t deal with it, it easily develops into a chronic depression that I can’t shake. I feel like I’ve been in it for a while. I just need some time, folks.

I need to find my place and figure out how to own it.

Did you fight through this too? Do you still?

Honey Balsamic Chicken

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Ok y’all, I found a new favorite chicken and I can’t wait to share it with you.

You have to forgive me, as I am still nervous to use my camera in the kitchen and get laughed at. so i sneak phone pics 🙂

So today on TheStepMomma Meals we are going to bake honey balsamic chicken. It’s so good. So easy. The kids liked it and so did my Prince, so I’m considering it a crowd favorite and never letting it go.

Here’s your ingredients! (Serves 4):

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1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 pound brussels sprouts, cut in half, lengthwise
3 tablespoons olive oil (we use extra virgin)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
S&P to taste
1 cup balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

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I’m serious, you’re going to love this. It’s sweet and tangy and even better- HEALTHY.

Before we get too far, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 20170308_17401920170308_174135

Arrange your chicken and brussels sprouts on 1 sheet pan. Sometimes the seasonings stick better if you toss your food items in oil first (be careful not to mix raw chicken with other foods though! I do chicken last- always.) Season chicken & brussels with italian seasoning and salt and pepper. Transfer to oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and sprouts are tender.

While this is happening, you can prepare your glaze!

Add balsamic vinegar to a medium sized sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 6-8 minutes, you should notice the sauce will reduce to about half the original volume.

Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl to allow to cool and stir in honey, garlic powder and salt.

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After the sprouts and chicken have baked for about 15-20 minutes, switch to broil for about 5 minutes, but pay attention to the sprouts so they don’t burn! (easier said than done). Remove pan from oven and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Or if you’re like me CAKE THAT GLAZE ON. I drench my chicken in whatever glazes or dressings I find.

Use your meat thermometer to ensure your chicken is at 160 degrees F and ready to eat, garnish your chicken with cracked pepper and thyme.

Eat!

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I must say, no one liked the “Baked” brussels at our dinner. If I made this again, my family has requested that the sprouts be steamed and then drizzled. I LOVED them, but 3 out of 4 voted otherwise. My perfect husband took one bite of this chicken and his eyes got huge. He lit up. He loved it. He saved the leftover glaze for us to use later.

Voila!

The Liebster Award!

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okay guys. I love this stuff. i love that you take 30 seconds to read my blog, let alone a few minutes to try to learn more about me ❤ i love it. thank you for the nomination Sissy Mack!!

Finding bloggers that have less than 200 followers is tough!

Mack’s Questions are as follows:

1.  What is your favorite thing about yourself? I really like that i’m not judgmental and that I think I try my hardest to see the entire situation before I figure out how to approach it.

2.  If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Germany ❤

3.  What is your favorite creative medium? Photography and painting. but i’m really bad at painting.

4.  What is your geeky secret? Geeky? I have no idea. I’m really crazy about office supplies.

5.  How would you describe your style? colorful and fun. clean and tidy.

6.  When did you start writing? ive always written and it’s always been a secret.

7.  Why did you start writing? i wanted to be famous like Anne Frank and have one of my diaries discovered, but because i ended up doing something really cool. (this is my geeky fact, i guess haha)

8.  What is your favorite dessert? I really love mint chocolate chip ice cream but i am lactose intolerant, so i guess… cookies?

9. Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction? oh gosh it depends! i love it all.

10.  What was the last movie you watched? Logan. it was grusome.

11.  Which continent do you live on? North American continent!

 

***Eleven Random Facts About Me***

1.  Mustard is slowly becoming my favorite color.

2. I am overly addicted to the clothing line LuLaRoe

3. I don’t have a lot of close friends

4.  I’m a 26 year old grandma.

5. The craziest thing i’ve ever done is become a step mom.

6. I really want to raise goats.

7.  My husband and I are working our way to become DeBt FrEe!

8. House hunting is actually one of my favorite things to do

9.  I am obsessed with my dogs.

10. I really love reading, now that I’m no longer a student.

11.  Cleaning is therapy. Clean house = clean mind.

Now I get to nominate some of my favorite small blogs.  I love following each of you and just want you all to know that you inspire me.

1.  Redneck Lena

2. Newish Wife

3. Marajudah

4. Dorky Mom Doodles

5. Not From Your Average Joe

6. The Canadian’s Wife

7. The Opinionated Dad

8. Stepmom Warrior

9. Tilly The Blogger

10. Single Dads Are Cool

11. The StepMomster

 

Now it’s my turn to ask the questions!

1.  Dogs or cats?

2.  What’s your DREAM job, no strings attached?

3.  When did you start writing?

4.  What’s your favorite thing about yourself?

5.  What’s one thing you’d like to improve about yourself?

6.  What is your favorite movie?

7.  What’s the first vehicle you owned?

8.  Do you have any creative hobbies (aside from writing)?

9. Do you have any children?

10.  What’s the one thing you’d like to be known for?

11.  Where are you from?