Sunday, August 26, 2012

Such is life in the military.

Well, we are halfway through this deployment and I think that time is finally starting to go quicker.  The kids are back in school and the two younger ones have just started soccer.  Soccer season lasts until the middle of October and Jonah's already talking about wanting to play flag football when soccer's done.  Having a routine and schedule is so helpful!

We also found out this past week that our big move to California and Germany is no longer happening.  For reasons that I'm still trying to fully understand, the military has cancelled our orders and we are staying here in Oklahoma City until further notice.  I am trying very hard to find the bright side in this turn of events.  We were all looking forward to the change and the chance to become a family again in a new place.  But what can you do? 

The kids are currently trying to persuade me to get a second puppy to add to the household.  After looking at puppies from the local animal shelter's website today I have a feeling that I won't be able to hold out until the hubby comes home in a few months.  Wish me luck in that endeavour!

I am really really trying to keep up better on this ol blog but life has a funny way of getting in the way of my good intentions.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The last month in a nutshell.

Wow it's been awhile since I posted.  In the month that has passed I have driven myself, 3 children and one dog from Oklahoma City to Charlotte, NC; Charlotte to Daytona Beach; Daytona Beach to West Palm Beach; West Palm Beach to Goose Creek, SC; Goose Creek back to Charlotte; and Charlotte back to Oklahoma City.  I attended not one but two family weddings, met some new family members, saw old friends, and made new ones.  It was a long trip, but I am very glad we made it.  My sister made a beautiful bride and I couldn't be happier for her, my niece and my new brother.
During my first stay in Charlotte I recieved a phone call from my deployed hubby informing me that when he gets back from the desert, we will be moving to the West Coast for 6 months and then from there we will be going to Germany for a few years.  We are so excited! 
We're almost two months into this deployment.  It seems like he's been gone so much longer.  I'm hoping time starts going quicker once the kiddos go back to school.
Today though I got a big surprise from my hubby.  A HUGE bouquet of flowers.  Little things like this make me smile and really help me get through the days without him.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: Easy Pizza Rolls

Found this gem on Pinterest (originally from this blog) about a month ago and I thought it'd be a great post-baseball practice/game meal for my family.  Little did I know how big of a hit it would actually be!  It's super easy and the kids beg for it at least once a week.  I made a couple of changes to the original recipe to accomodate the monstrous appetites of my kids.

Here's what you need:
2 cans refridgerated crescent rolls (the kind in the tube over in the dairy section)
1 package pepperoni
5-6 string cheeses, cut into thirds
Pizza Sauce
Garlic salt

Preheat oven to 375*
Unroll and seperate crescents rolls.  Spread about a tablespoon of pizza sauce onto each unrolled crescent.  Depending on size of pepperonis, add 2-3 on top of the sauce. Then add a cut of string cheese on top of pepperonis.  Roll up and place on baking sheet.  Sprinkle with garlic salt and pop in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden.

I have one crumb snatcher who doesn't like pepperoni, so on the smaller crescent rolls (which there always are some that are not cut evenly!), I just use the sauce and string cheese so he can have cheese pizza rolls.

You can serve these with a small bowl of pizza sauce for dipping.
Enjoy and get ready to make these all the time!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

She's Five.

Happy 5th Birthday to my sweet Sophia Elizabeth.
When she woke up this morning she said "Momma don't I look taller now that I'm five?"
Daddy called her from overseas to wish her happy birthday and she was all smiles.  We are heading to the pool this afternoon and having some cake after dinner. 

Phia Bia, you are silly, smart, loving, creative and such a goofball.  Daddy calls you his princess and you sure take that title seriously.  You never cease to make us laugh and we are so glad that God blessed us with you!  We love you to the moon and back!
Love Momma, Daddy, Noah & Jonah (and Zoey too!)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Deployment Countdown

Last time the hubby got deployed I made a big countdown calendar to hang on the door to help the boys get a sense of how long Daddy would be gone.  Noah turned 4 while he was away, and Jonah was just a year and a half.  I added all the special events so that they could have things to look forward to and make the time pass.
Then when the hubby got sent to FLETC in 2010 for four months I made another one.  It's sort of become a tradition when he leaves for more than two months at a time.
I finally got the calendar made for this tour and man-oh-man is it big.  The biggest I've ever made. 
It's three posterboards tall and had to be hung on the wall instead of the door this time.  We don't have a return date this far out, just a projected homecoming day.  I went about a week and a half past that and I'm praying I don't have to add more paper.

Monday, May 28, 2012


To those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, and also to their families who find the strength to go on afterwards, this military wife gives you her sincere thanks and appreciation. Because of you and those who continue to fight for our great nation we can enjoy the freedoms we have come to take for granted.  God bless our troops and the ones they leave behind.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I can smile.

Friday morning I woke up to a quick email from the hubby telling me that he arrived safely.  I hadn't heard from him since Wednesday afternoon between flights and I was trying to keep calm.  I know from previous deployments that I have to be patient, but just because I know that doesn't mean it was easy.  I kept reminding myself that no news is good news.

Then, Friday afternoon my phone rang with a number I didn't recognize and I almost didn't answer.  Boy, am I glad I did!  It was my hero on the other end and it was so great to hear his voice.  I wasn't expecting a phone call because in the craziness of pre-deployment, we forgot to buy calling cards.  All three of the kids happened to be in the house at the time and I put the hubby on speaker but didn't tell the them who it was.  I said "Okay, say hi" and when he did, you should've seen the way their faces lit up! 

He called again late last night (his early morning) and I went to bed for the first time all week with a smile on my face.

And again this afternoon my phone rang (I don't think twice now when that number shows up on my caller I.D.) and the kids all got to say hello.  We can't wait for his internet to get hooked up so that we can Skype.  But until then I will soak up every second of every phone call and replay it in my head until the next time my phone rings.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mixed emotions.

Alot has happened again.  We moved into a newer house on base (which is AMAZING.)  I still hate Oklahoma but at least I love my house.  Noah's finger is completely healed and will not need surgery.  Hallelujah!   The kids are out of school for the summer.  I hope I can keep them busy over the next 3 months!!

Today is the day that we've been dreading since late last year.  My hubby left for deployment.  We were able to get family gate passes so that we could wait with him there until he boarded.  It was very emotional.  He flew in civilian clothes so when we started hugging and crying we got alot of side glances and I even saw a few people roll their eyes.  It made it that much harder for me.  I don't wear my emotions on my sleeve and for people to just assume I'm overreacting to a business trip really made me upset. 

The kids had a hard time with it...especially Noah and Sophia.  Noah's old enough to understand it more than the other two.  And Sophia is so in love with her daddy that she didn't want to let go.  It was rough.

My heart is so full of love and pride for my husband, yet it is empty because he is not here.  I am fighting within myself to stay strong for my kids who need me now more than ever, but all I want to do is go to bed and not get up until these six months are over. 

Now we try to dry our eyes and hike up our boot straps and move on. Not every day will be this hard and we'll get into a routine. Soon our lives will look normal on the outside but to us each day will be anything but.  Life must go on and I pray it does so quickly!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Update on Jonah

Today was Jonah's neurologist visit. For those who don't remember, back in February Jonah started twitching and it progressively got worse. I ended up taking him to the ER for fear of seizures and it was thought that he had Tourette's Syndrome. It took us until today to be able to be seen by a pediatric neurologist.
The doc we saw was great. He put me at ease immediately when he actually took detailed notes on what I was describing. Our own pediatrician didn't even do that. Then he told me that his oldest daughter had Tourette's as a child/preteen, and his youngest daughter had a tic disorder as well. It was so comforting to be seen by a provider who knew EXACTLY what I was going through as a parent.
He ran through a battery of neurological tests with Jo, and said that since he did so well he didn't feel the need to have an EEG or MRI done afterall. He is convinced that there is no seizures occuring and that he does in fact have a tic disorder. (It can't be classified as Tourette's until the symptoms have persisted for a year). The doc said that he did not feel the need to put Jonah on any meds, and that he didn't even need to have a follow-up appointment scheduled right now because his case is so mild. We always have the option to call them and schedule another one if the symptoms worsen but right now we just have to let it run its course.
And the best part for Jonah is that the doc said there's nothing keeping him from playing baseball, so he would send a note to our pediatrician that he was cleared for sports. So for now we just continue life as normal.
Well, as normal as life can get in a military house.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I. Am. Tired.

I know I promised to keep this blog up better and I really intended to do just that. But then life got in the way. We were in Nashville for 4 days for a hockey tournament and we had just somewhat gotten back into a routine (as much as you can when it's Spring Break and rainy everyday), when Noah decided it was his turn for an ER visit.
Yesterday while roller blading out front, he bit it HARD and broke his finger. He has road rash from head to knee on his left side and did quite the number on his pinky finger. Thank you Jesus that he rememebered to wear his helmet or things could've been much, much worse. He's all splinted up right now and we have an appointment with an orthopedic doc on Monday for a cast. There's a chance he may need surgery to have a pin put in, but I'm praying hard that's not going to be necessary.
And wouldn't you know it, the hubby is leaving for yet another TDY this weekend so he won't get to be there for the fun of casting and, if needed, the surgery.
God bless whoever invented colored dry erase markers...there's no way in this great wide world that I'd be able to keep all of our upcoming doctor visits straight if it weren't for color-coding each family member!
We are barely 1/4 of the way through 2012 and I'm already spent! I really hope that I have the stamina to get through this deployment when it rolls around in a couple months!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Get back on track.

I can't believe it's been a full month since I last posted. SO MUCH has happened since I last updated. I will go more in-depth throughout the week but here's a quick recap:

Hubby came home from TDY number one. The next day we celebrated Jonah's 8th birthday with a great party at the hockey rink. Day after that we headed down to Dallas for our only family vacation this year- a tour of Cowboys Stadium and an overnight stay at Great Wolf Lodge. Expensive, but so much fun! Pictures to follow soon!

Hubby left again about a week later and was gone for 5 days. In that time we realized that Jonah's minor twitches that he'd been having were getting much more severe. I ended up taking him into the ER fearing he was having a seizure. We were given a preliminary diagnosis of Tourette's Syndrome and have an appointment in April with a pediatric neurologist.

Hubby got back about a week and a half ago from TDY number 2 and things have slowed down some. We're getting back into somewhat of a normal routine (which will fly out the window come 25 March when he leaves, yet again, for another two weeks).

Oh, and we also found out last week that four days after hubby gets back from his third TDY, we are being moved into another home on base so that our current home can get remodeled. Pain in the hiney: yes. But a very welcome one! Our current house is around 60 years old and I honestly don't know how it's survived the winds we have here in Oklahoma. We have had nothing but headaches and problems since we moved in last year. Our new house was built in '09 and has a TON more square footage than our current place. Noah is thrilled because our backyard in the new house will back up to the yard of his best friend. And we also realized that one of Sophia's buddies from school lives on the same street so she'll have a friend right away too. (I also really like his momma so I'm relieved as well, since I'm not a huge fan of most of the neighbors we have now).

So that's where we're at right now. Lots to take in and deal with, but we're doing it. I promise to come back and add recipes on Mondays (I've got a load of goodies tried out from Pinterest!), upload pics from Dallas and our upcoming trip to Nashville, and keep you up-to-date with Jonah's diagnosis once we've seen the Neuro.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Almost Done with One

We are finally close to the end of the hubby's first training. One week from today and he'll be back home. For about a week. Then we'll have to say goodbye again for training numero dos.
Of course my emotions are all over the place. I'm excited and have butterflies in my stomach because we haven't seen him since 8 January...which by next Friday will be two days shy of 6 weeks. I'm so happy that my kids get their daddy back and that I get my hubby back (wink wink). But knowing that we only have him home for eight days before he has to leave again sucks. And I also have the nagging thoughts in the back of my mind that every TDY that passes is bringing us that much closer to the big goodbye in May- his deployment. God only knows how much we're dreading that one.
This will be his first deployment in 6 years. read that right. We are so SO blessed and I don't let that fact escape me. We've been able to have Daddy home for all the big events for six years now and we got very used to that. And that fact makes this deployment that much harder. Last time hubby was deployed, Noah was 4, Jonah was almost 2 and Sophia wasn't even a glimmer in our eye. Now we have a 10 year old, an 8 year old, and a 4 year old Daddy's girl. The boys are older and more aware of what's going on in the world and that their dad's job is a dangerous one. And while Sophia doesn't understand it like the boys do, she's still having a hard time wrapping her head around it. Daddy will be deployed over her 5th birthday and to Daddy's little princess, that is the end of the world. We're planning to have a late birthday party for Jonah (who just celebrated his birthday last week, but Dad was away) and an early birthday party for Sophia in May before hubby deploys. Unfortunately he'll also miss Noah's birthday in October. We're still working out something super special for him.
The hubby and I are trying to come up with ways to make the deployment easier for them. I found an Etsy seller (Carly's Homefront) that makes photo pillows for military families. All we have to do is purchase the pillow ($10 each) and email her a picture of hubby in his uniform and she will make a Daddy pillow. This is going to be a HUGE help for the kids. Every night they'll be able to hug "Daddy" and see his face. Talk about reassurance for little minds. We also decided to get the kids each their own Survival Bracelet. These are all over the place now and I've seen many a military member wearing them since I've became a military wife almost 11 years ago. They're a simple strand of paracord woven into a bracelet, but with one strategic pull they come apart and the paracord is available for use. Now of course I don't intend to have my kids in any type of situation that will warrant the pulling apart of the bracelet, but we thought it would be a good tool to help them "survive" the deployment. Any time they look at the cord on their wrist they'll remember that they're just as strong as their daddy and they'll get through this too. And earlier this week I recieved an email from and it had this link to a new website developed for kids whose parents are deployed. It's called Military Kids Connect. There are all kinds of resources for kids (ages 6-17) and parents too. I signed the boys up for it and will definitely make it a regular computer-time stop for them.
And then there's trying to help us stay connected with each other. We'll write letters and emails and I'll mail him care packages. We'll have some chances to Skype and email and talk on the phone, but they will most likely be few and far between due to the nature of the hubby's job. I cannot go into detail but basically he won't have access to computers/phones/etc much of his deployment. While he's been away at training we have decided to "challenge" each other. We're doing a monthly challenge up until he deploys, where we each set a health/fitness goal for ourselves, and if we meet the goals, we reward ourselves at the end of the month with something we've been wanting to do, but haven't justified spending money on. Then, when he gets deployed we are going to set a long-term goal for ourselves, and keep each other accountable with emails/phone calls as often as possible throughout the 6-9 mos he's away. If we can achieve the "Big Goal", we will have a bigger, joint reward upon his return. We haven't nailed it down yet but we're thinking that a weekend away just the two of us will be just what we'll be needing after almost a year apart.
It's not going to be a piece of cake, and I'm sure I'm going to complain and be pissed at the military at least once while he's gone, but I will do the very best I can to be a supportive wife and a good mom (and dad) to our children back here at home. Because really, the best thing I can do for him is to keep the homefires burning and assure him that we will be okay.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: Pizza Dip

This is another one from that I saw and HAD to try. Some friends came over to watch the Super Bowl last night so I decided that it was the perfect opportunity to test it out. It was such a huge hit that I didn't even get a chance to take a picture before the dish was empty! It's DEFINITELY going to be a regular appetizer at our get togethers from now on!

Here's what you need:
4 oz cream cheese, at room temp
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup grated mozzarella (I used very finely shredded mozzarella and it worked just fine)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup pizza sauce
additional 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
additional 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
pizza toppings of your choice (we used pepperoni, but my kids told me that it'd taste good with ham & pineapple for a Hawaiian chip dip too)

1. Preheat oven to 350*. Mix the cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, mozzarella and Parmesan together and spread it as evenly as possible on the bottom of a baking dish/pie plate.
2. Spread the pizza sauce on top and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Top with your favorite pizza toppings.
3. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve hot.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Make a Wish!

He's Eight.

My little man turns eight today. I found some old picture of him last week and it made me laugh and want to cry all at the same time. I can't believe it's been EIGHT years since he came into our lives. He's a handful to be sure, but he is just so goofy that we can't stay mad at him for too long.
He got a surprise before-school phone call from Dad (who is still away for pre-deployment training) and I think that was better than any present he could open. The smile on his face when he heard his voice was the best I've seen in awhile.
I sent him off to school with some cupcakes to share and then after school and his big brother's volleyball game, we're going to come home and celebrate with pizza and ice cream cake.
We are so blessed to have this crazy, passionate, and goofy boy in our family! We love you Jonah-man!
~Love Momma, Daddy, Noah & Sophia

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Gotta get in shape!

So with my sister's wedding just about 6 months away, I have decided that I need to get in shape. I'm not overweight or anything like that, I'm just not a fan of exercise and therefore not "fit". I eat a butt-ton of junk food but I apparently have a high metabolism because I don't gain alot of weight from it. This makes my husband (and quite frankly all my female friends) pretty batty. But when I thought about turning 30 next month and then having to wear a knee length, strapless bridesmaid dress next to six other bridesmaids who would all be in their 20's, I came to the stark realization that I need to try to nix the batwings and flabby thighs. I'm starting out SLOOOOOW since I've never had a regular exercise routine. I'm far from in shape so regular push ups are out, but I really wanted to get some tone to my arms, so I started doing wall pushups. Which, by the way, my almost-8-year-old saw me doing this morning and informed me "Momma, you're a cheater! That's NOT how you do pushups." Then he proceeded to to about 20 man pushups without missing a beat. Brat. Anyway, I do 25 of them every morning and again every evening. I do 5 sets of 10 lunges per leg throughout the day, and I also 25 calf-raises (no weights) and 25 cross body crunches (standing not lying down) in the morning and again at night.
I have been at it for a little over a week and I haven't keeled over yet. I never believed people when they said exercising gives you energy, but I do now! I am not as dog-tired at the end of the day like I used to be, and I can definitely feel that my quads and my calves are getting worked. I have a bunch of exercises pinned on Pinterest for my booty and my abs that I plan on slowing integrating in next week.
I don't necessarily want to loose any weight, just tone up. I'm hoping that by the time July rolls around I'll have some dang-good looking arms and legs for a 30 year old bridesmaid!
If you have any weight/machine-free ideas for me that have worked for you PLEASE let me know!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mmmm Mmmm Mon....errr...I mean Tuesday: Tortellini Spinach Bake with Creamy Lemon Sauce

Okay so I'm a dork. I was all thrown off this weekend because yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the kids were off school, so my brain told me it was Sunday. Hence the lack of a Mmmm Mmmm Monday post.

I'm hoping y'all will forgive me for the day delay when you try this deee-licious recipe.'s THAT good. When I was cooking it my mouth was salivating like you wouldn't believe. I took a bite before I stuck it in the oven, which turned out to be pure torture while I waited for it to be was just fantastic! (Which explains why the photo was taken after I had already started dishing it up...I couldn't wait to wolf it down!)

It's another one I found over on Pinterest and it is orignally from the Our Best Bites website.

So without further ado, here's what you need for Tortellini Spinach Bake with Creamy Lemon Sauce!

12 oz bag Barilla Cheese & Spinach Tortellini (they're in the dry pasta aisle)

4 oz back or pancetta (about 4 strips of bacon)

3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

2 Tbsp flour

2 Cups milk

3/4 tsp kosher salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

1 and 1/2 tsp dry basil

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 medium lemon

2 Cups loosely packed fresh spinach, roughly chopped

3/4 Cups grated mozzarella cheese

3/4 Cups grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350*. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add tortellini and cook according to package directions.

Place bacon in a medium sized skillet over med-high heat on the stove. Cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and set on paper towels to drain. Reserve 2 Tbsp bacon drippings in pan and discard the rest. Add garlic to pan and cook until fragrant and tender, about 1 minute. Add flour to pan and stir with a whisk for about 1 minute. Slowly add milk and continue to stir with a whisk until smooth. Add salt, pepper, basil & red pepper and bring sauce to a simmer.

While sauce is heating, zest about 2 tsp of your lemon over the sauce. Then cut the lemon in half and remove the juice. Add 1 Tbsp lemon juice to the sauce. Continue to stir until thickened, about 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat.

Drain tortellini and put back in pot. Reserve 1 Tbsp of cooked bacon and add the rest (crumbled) to the pasta. Add spinach, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella, and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan. Add the sauce and stir gently to combine. Place pasta & sauce mixture into an 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, and the remaining crumbled pieces of bacon.

Cover dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and back an additional 5-10 minutes until cheese on top is melted and the pasta is bubbly throughout. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: English Muffin Mini Pizzas

This recipe isn't anything fancy or elaborate. Quite the opposite,'s super easy and great for a weeknight meal.

I made these last night as a comfort-food type thing for the kids. Daddy had just left in the morning for 6 weeks and I wanted some happy food for them.

Here's what you need:
6 uncut English muffins (my fave is Thomas' English Muffins)
Pizza sauce
Shredded cheese
pepperoni/peppers/mushrooms/any topping you like for your regular pizza

I preheated my oven to 350*. Then just slice the muffins in half and place them on a baking sheet. Spoon pizza sauce onto each muffin. Add shredded cheese on top of the sauce and add your toppings. Place cookie sheets in the oven.
Now, I didn't set my timer, I just checked on them after about 5-7 minutes or so. Basically you want to toast the muffin and melt the cheese. It's really a quick process.

Using 6 muffins will give you 12 mini pizzas. Perfect for a speedy school night dinner with just me & the kiddos!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

First Goodbyes of the Year

Today the hubby left for his first of three pre-deployment trainings. This one will have him gone for 6 weeks. During that time he'll miss Noah's volleyball season, Jonah's 8th birthday, and Valentines Day.
I am frusterated with myself because I was pretty weepy this morning. I know that six weeks is a long time to be away from someone, but I'm a military wife dang it! I should be able to handle a month-and-a-half stint like it's nothing! And then I keep thinking that if I had a hard time with him leaving now for the East Coast for a few weeks, what am I going to be like when May rolls around and he leaves for an entirely different country for 6-9 MONTHS?
Part of me feels like I have no right to be upset that he's leaving for awhile because we've been so fortunate with deployments. Our military life has been a cake-walk compared to other military families. So who am I to shed a tear over a mere 6 weeks?
But the other part of me says that I have every right in the world to be sad. Hubby reminded me (as I was apologizing to him for being a crybaby) that NO time apart from each other should be easy, and when we say goodbye for more than a day or two and it isn't hard for us, then that's when we should be worried.
And I know that he's completely right. It's just hard for me to show weakness when I feel like I have to be strong all the time.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Updating the Will

Today was one of those days that depressing but necessary. We had to update our wills. It's part of hubby's checklist for deploying and it makes sense to do, but it's something that just completely smacks you in the face with the reminder that your husband's job is DANGEROUS.

Not that military wives ever really forget that, it's just that sometimes-especially when he hasn't deployed in years-you kind of put the danger part of the military on the back burner. But then days like today come along and you are jolted back to reality in a hurry.

I'm glad we have a plan in place "just in case", but I'm relieved that particular item can be checked off the to-do list.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Gratitue Journal

Yesterday I posted that one of my goals for the year was to write down at least one thing I'm thankful for every day. Well, during my errands yesterday morning I had to stop by Hobby Lobby (one of my favorite places on earth) and found this notebook and knew right away that it was going to be my Gratitue Journal.

First thing that jumped out at me was that it's green, which is my favorite color. I pulled it off the shelf and then saw the wording on the cover and it was just perfect. "It's a Wonderful Life". That is EXACTLY what I need to be reminded of every day this year...that despite my struggles and worries, I DO have a wonderful life. Then I opened it up and this verse was printed on the bottom of every other page: "Rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. - Colossians 2:7 (NIV)"

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year, New Goals

I've never been one to set New Year's Resolutions...even as a teenager I thought they were kind of lame. I've seen so many people set them and fail, and it just never appealed to me.

But this year is different. This year the hubby will be TDY/Deployed for most of the year. I have found in previous deployments that the best way to get through every day is to have a routine. So I'm challenging myself to keep on top of things. And I think that by setting these few goals for myself, it will make me a better mother, wife, and person.

This is my plan for the year and I'm going to use this blog to keep myself accountable.
*Be more positive. I'm a huge pessimist. Always have been, just ask my mom. But as I said on facebook the other day, this year I am forcing myself to think of at least one positive thing every day, and write it down so that I don't forget what I'm blessed with. It's going to be a long hard road for us this year and I think that keeping a gratitude journal will help me stay upbeat despite hard times.
*Be more organized. I found a printable blog planner online, my notebook for keeping track of Etsy orders and of course I have my planner that I cannot live without. I intend to spend a few minutes at the beginning of every week planning my blog posts, days that I need to run errands (so that I'm not going to the same stores like I do now), and I'm hoping it will keep me better on top of my Etsy orders so that my turnaround time is faster.
*Keep my house in guest-condition always. I have made dry-erase chore charts for the kids, and I am also going to make a weekly chart for myself. It will have one or two major tasks a day so that I'm not spending an entire day just cleaning the house.
* Complete one project each week. Whether it be for the kids, my house, or a gift...I want to have something to keep me busy and creative aside from my Etsy shop.
*List 1-3 new items every week in my Etsy shop. I would love to be able to list something new every day, but lets be honest...I just don't see that being feasible when I have orders coming in. And I know that some weeks will be busier than others, so at least one new listing may be the only thing I can do once and awhile. But I think that giving myself a reasonable goal will be much better for my shop!

You are all given permission to get on my case if I start slacking. I plan to post pics of completed projects each Saturday, and I will have a What's New series with links to new items in my shop. So if you see that I go a week or more without updating, feel free to nudge me back into reality!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: Spinach Chicken Pasta

This is another winner of a recipe that I found on Pinterest. I made it for dinner last week and it was so good...I can't wait to make it again!

Here's what you need:
8 oz uncooked Rigatoni
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 (10 oz) pkg frozen spinach, thawed
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 (8 oz) container chive & onion cream cheese
3 cups cooked, cubed chicken breast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 and 1/2 cups shredded mozzerella

Prepare pasta according to box directions.
Spread oil in bottom of large baking dish. Add onion. Bake at 375* for 15 minutes. Transfer onions to a large bowl and set aside.
Drain spinach well. Stir pasta, chicken, spinach, tomatoes, cream cheese, salt & pepper into bowl with onions. Mix well.
Spoon mixture into baking dish and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 15 minutes or until bubbly.
Serve hot.

Next time I make this I PROMISE to take pictures...we were so hungry the night I made it that we just dug right in!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's a New Year.

Happy New Year to you all! (If there's any of you left out there after my lackluster blogging performance as of late.)

I am really going to try to be better with my blogging this year. I got a new cookbook for Christmas and I fully intend to try every. single. recipe. in the book so I should have lots of new recipes to blog about. And Pinterest has a wealth of recipes I want to try my hand at too.

I can't promise that I will always be positive...but I promise to do my best. I have to admit that I am already looking forward to then we will be debt free (aside from car payments), my hubby will be back from his deployment, and we will *hopefully* be getting ready to PCS away from Oklahoma. But I am really going to work at being more upbeat. I need to be strong for my kids and I don't want them to see me crack.

I pray that the year is full of blessings for us all, and that we come out on the other end stronger than ever.