New Years Check In

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I am slow to post these days and I am fine with it.
I am spending my days at work a lot busier (most of the time).
I am spending my lunch hours raising the bar and lifting weights.
I am spending my evenings taking walks with my husband and recouping from the day. Cooking more. Cleaning. Enjoying my time with him when it is there.
So blogging is low on the priority list and I hope I haven’t upset you by not being here.

I realized I’ve only checked in once on my 2017 goals and now is a great time to do so again!

The StepMomma’s 2017 Goals:

  1. Decluttering
  2. Fixing up House A
  3. Fixing up House B
  4. Making healthier food and life choices
  5. Saving more moolah
  6. Paying off all debt (excluding student loans, mortgages)
  7. Weekly Bible Studies with the kiddos
  8. Reading my entire bible all the way through
  9. Hosting a Bible study in our home
  10. Becoming a DBA and LLC for my personal business
  11. More family time
  12. Learning to cook one decent meal for the family
  13. Only wearing jeans one day/week…
  14. Read more.

Some of these are a work in progress- like decluttering, making healthy choices, saving money, and having more family time. They always will be. As long as there is progress in these areas, I am so happy.

We have been boxing up as much as we can. We’ve found a couple items we wished we wouldnt have boxed up yet, but we will NOT pull them back out. Prince Charming almost boxed up our TV, but I’m not ready for that. We like watching movies on the weekends and we love our Wii lately.

Two weeks ago I talked to my dad on the phone and somehow he suggested we do a weight loss challenge, because my entire family is overweight, unhealthy, and making no signs of positive changes. I jumped on it. I like challenges and I need someone to hold me accountable. I invited my husband to join in and he will, once school is over. So right now, my dad, husband and I are in the battle of the fittest. Except we are all going to win if we commit to making better choices. I don’t really care about a certain number that I get down to- but I did set a goal for myself. I’m happy to see myself change. The first week I lost 10 pounds! Then another five, but those came back. So i have steadily lost 10 pounds in 2.5 weeks and I am happy about that. If I know that I am eating better foods and I am working out steadily- I don’t really care what my scale says. I know that I am doing good things because I can lift more than I did last week and I can drum longer without stopping for a drink. I can see change in this short amount of time and that in itself is encouraging. I have been to the gym 12 times in 2.5 weeks and the days I didn’t hit the gym, I worked out at home or went for walks with my husband. I think there’s only been one day of inactivity and in reality, I got my butt kicked at work that day and was lifting heavy equipment all day long- I count it as a workout almost.

We have successfully paid off all but one debt (which we are making payments on) and are now working toward student loan debt, too. It is so exciting to get statements with zeros on them! It’s tough to do when both of us aren’t working full time, but I am so grateful for even widdling them down.

We have spent a LOT of time together as a family lately. So much that I have been in need of some real s.p.a.c.e. lately. or a lot of time with just my husband. one or the other is rejuvenating to me. Two weeks ago we had the younger two kids on our Wednesday, the weekend, the following Monday. Then 17 came over on Tuesday, we had the youngest two on Wednesday and 20 came over, too. The two youngest came again on Thursday. So we had them every day for an entire week and I almost lost it. It’s so hard for me to not get a break. It’s so hard to come home and be drained from work and feel no release or sense of rest. To not be able to put a load of laundry in the washer without being nagged.. it can be daunting. I feel awful about it, but I can’t help it. My Prince questions whether I truly want a family. If I want kids of my own. And I can’t explain to him enough that it will not be the same. He just doesn’t get it. There is a difference in the longing that kids have for their mother and the type of attention they crave from me. It is so incredibly different that I can’t even explain it. They crave time with me but when they realize it’s happening, they put up walls and they scoot away. I do the same thing.

They get excited and want to share with me or play with me and I sort of freak out over the type of intimacy that I’m experiencing with them. Afraid that they’ll shut me out again or their mom will rip them from me, their dad will interfere. That they’ll look up and realize I’m not their parent and they shouldn’t be giggling with me so much. I don’t want to do that to my kids. But it’s how I function.

I have mastered a few meals! I just had my dad over on Sunday and cooked Honey Balsalmic Chicken and green beans for him. Prince Charming made some potatoes and a tarte for them. My dad was so pleased. he was so impressed to see me cooking something and that the seasoning that went on the chicken was homemade, not from a bottle. That i blended spices together to get this delicious tasting sauce to coat the chicken and beans in. It was so good. I felt so accomplished.

I haven’t worn jeans since January.

I have still only read two books this year, but I am working on a third and just taking my time doing so. What recommendations do you have?

 

how are your goals coming along?

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?

New Years Check in-2

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Checking in and keeping you updated on my New Years Progress is a really great way to hold myself accountable. If I’d written my goals down just for myself, I probably would have already lost the paper and forgotten my goals. Yay technology! Here they are:

The StepMomma’s 2017 Goals:

  1. Decluttering
  2. Fixing up House A
  3. Fixing up House B
  4. Making healthier food and life choices
  5. Saving more moolah
  6. Paying off all debt (excluding student loans, mortgages)
  7. Weekly Bible Studies with the kiddos
  8. Reading my entire bible all the way through
  9. Hosting a Bible study in our home
  10. Becoming a DBA and LLC for my personal business
  11. More family time
  12. Learning to cook one decent meal for the family
  13. Only wearing jeans one day/week…
  14. Read more.

in February’s Post you saw me do most of these things, the ones marked in yellow were already achieved or are things that are a work in progress. Decluttering, making healthy choices, saving money, pursuing my LLC (now that i’m a DBA), all things that are daily choices.

number 11 is something new, though. With 17 committing 6 nights/month to us, it’s really helped us to spend time together. The younger two are so happy to have a committed night with gbaby- i think this will be so good. now just to get 20 on a regular basis! I keep suggesting to PC that we ask 20 to come to ONE of the every other friday nights that 17 and gbaby are over, one night per month. all four kids and the g baby. it would be so nice.

I’ve successfully cooked 4 new dishes that i have never attempted before. Honey Garlic Baked Chicken , Italian Chicken, bread dip, hand pies, mmm., home made hamburgers with sweet potato fries (that was the new thing) and asparagus, and last night I made pasta salad with chicken and homemade bread. it was so good. I took step by step photos and then ran out of time and forgot to take a final photo. I was going to take a leftover photo but THERE WAS NONE! 17 ate 3 helpings of it and took every last noodle. so. good. i dont even like pasta salad! until now 🙂

I’m reading more- I’ve finished two books this year, which isn’t crazy, but I am in the process of my third book! I’m just happy to be able to dedicate some spare time to something I enjoy and not have to write book reports or take quizzes on it!

Can’t say I’ve read my bible all the way through this year yet, but i’ve been doing The Matthew Challenge and that’s kept my nose in the book.. most days. We’re also pursuing the home bible study, but it won’t be feasible until the summer.

it’s exciting to check in and see more things marked off the list or areas that I’ve made progress on!

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how are your new years’ goals? still attainable? or did you throw ’em away a while ago? happy wednesday, y’all!

Honey Garlic Baked Chicken

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Ok guys. It happened again. and this time, it was really tasty. Like, I openly, blatantly took photos of this entire meal because it looked THAT good. I sent pictures to my dad and posted them on my Instagram before I told anyone our food was ready and I am darn proud of this meal. One- because I changed the recipe up and it didn’t ruin the meal. Two- because it was delicious on all accounts. Also it was super simple.

Going into this, you should know that I hate skin on chicken. I only eat boneless, skinless chicken. So this recipe was perfect.

What you will need:

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For the chicken/glaze:
2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken
1-2 tablespoons Garlic (I used minced, you could do 2-3 cloves).
2 tablespoons olive oil- we use extra virgin but you don’t have to.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
S&P as you wish
2 tablespoons parsley (for garnishing, optional.)

For the green beans/veggies/sides:
12 oz of your fav. green vegetable (I used green beans because I am quite possibly obsessed with them.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
S&P
Parsley

You can serve this meal on one pan!

So here it is. It’s so simple mamas:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

To give your chicken a nice color, do this little trick. Get oil hot in a pan, add chicken, let it sear one side for about 3 minutes. It should be an even golden color when it is ready.20170224_17174420170224_17203620170224_172042

Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. You could cover your sheet with foil and grease that for easy clean up, too!

In a small bowl, put all of your chicken/glaze ingredients together (excluding chicken). Add S&P to taste and put this aside.
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Put your chicken on the baking sheet and use a spoon to cover it with the glaze you have just made. Do not contaminate the remaining glaze with raw chicken- use a separate utensil to remove from bowl than you will to spread it on your chicken. Raw chicken is dangerous!
How much you cover it is really up to you. I practically caked mine on there, making sure it was in every nook and cranny. Results were delicious.

Put chicken in oven and roast for 20 minutes.

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I’m a neat freak, so I use bake time as a way to clean up the mess I’ve begun to make. Spices go back in the cabinet, counter gets wiped down for step 2, Dirty dishes get rinsed and put in the sink. Clear surface- clear mind in my world.

When your workspace is tidy and you are ready to proceed, grab your veggies! Chop off the tails/vines. Cover them with the chicken glaze (and a clean spoon). Be generous. I used every drop of glaze I could. It spread well, it was thick, it is so delicious, i can’t wait to eat it again.

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When your timer goes off for the chicken, add your green beans to the same baking tray. Bake for about 15 minutes.

You will have a sloppy mess of a glaze dripping all over your pan. Use this. Dip your chicken in it, pour it on your veggies. Do not let this go to waste. It is so good.

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We had ONE piece of chicken left over after everyone had seconds. I never have received as many compliments on a dish as i did this one. You will LOVE it.

Bon Apetit!

Recipe Adopted From

Forgive me for crappy photos, all i had was my terrible phone.

 

Finding the Middle Ground

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Okay steps. How do you do it? How do you balance the excitement and joy that comes when you realize that the kids are finally taking to you in new ways? How do you not let that exude out of every part of your body and scream it off rooftops?

The littles sit closer, sometimes on top of my head. They pull me down the hallway by my hand and don’t flinch when they realize they are touching me. They compliment things that I do.

Here’s the best one: 17 invited me to an event with her next week. Just me.
She goes with her boyfriend’s mom and some of their family. And she wants me to join. So OF COURSE I’M GOING.

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So on Monday night, I’m going to be a Cardio Drummer. I guess. Whatever. I’m going to be hanging out with my SD.

She’s recently committed Tuesday nights to us. We get to see her, her boyfriend and gbaby every Tuesday. Just us. Just them. And she will also come each Friday night that the other kids are here, to ensure that they can see their nephew. My heart is so full. I am so incredibly happy that they want to spend time with us. me.

Y’all, I thought it was going to be crazy being a 26 year old grandma, but its not. its so perfect and i love every second of it.

So now I’m trying to balance how to respond- over eagerly? non-chelantly? or do i just tell her, TAKE MY MONEY, I’M COMING!?!

 

let’s be honest, i asked her how much, when and where and what it would take for me to get there. I am so happy.

The Matthew Challenge: A bunch of verses because I fell behind.

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Ok, before we get into this. I know I’m behind. I suck. I got lazy, not even halfway through the challenge. But here I am- up and at ’em! Get your game face on, it’s time to dig into Matthew again ❤

Chapter 17 is talking about the Transfiguration. While I can only freaking imagine what it was like to be Peter, James and John in these moments, this is what I’ve gotten from this passage today:

First of all, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased..” how I long to hear those words some day. I hope that I am serving my King the way He plans for me to. It’s such a reminder to me that God sees the good in us. He sees beauty. He sees value. Sometimes, I need reminders like that.

Next step- disciples fall to ground. I MEAN i totally would have done the exact same thing. I would freak. out.
and Jesus is all”Don’t be afraid.” its just me in my floaty, sun-shiny face and and white clothed. WHAT. SURE THING JESUS, I’LL JUST STAND HERE WHILE YOU..

and then he’s like “hey, keep this to yourself.”
okay um HOW.


 

Skip to chapter 18, starting in verse 21. Forgiveness. Ugh. It can be such a tough one. But.. not here. It’s cut and dry. There’s no cap to the amount of forgiveness we should extend to someone, if we are living like Jesus. Yes. That means you. You who has been rejected and put in tough spots, when  you didn’t ask to be placed there. You who has been labeled the enemy, when you are only filling the gap and loving endlessly. You. With your hurts. Your pains. Forgive your trespassers.

The world wants you to hold grudges. The world wants you to be angry and bitter. My sweet friend- you are not of this world. The world does not line up with the gospel. The world lines up with Satan’s plan for you. His hope for destruction. Do not fall into his traps, precious one. Seek forgiveness.