Thursday, March 31, 2011

In my defense.

I got a ton of feedback on the post about the dumpster inside my car.

Many of you could relate and were stoked that my car exists to prove that you don't have the dirtiest car in the world.

But some of you broke out into hives upon seeing my mess.
Some of you have insisted on texting me each day to see if I have yet to clean out my car.
Some of you considered conducting an intervention.

I get it, people. It ain't pretty. It's a mess.
You've worn me down.
But today I'm fighting back.

Did you know that my car is the opposite of how the rest of my life looks?
Did you know that I have a labelmaker?
Did you know that my house is almost always neat and well-organized and if it's not, my insides don't feel good?
Did you know that my pantry is labeled?
Did you know the books in my room are organized by genre?
Did you know I have a perfectly organized gift/wrapping paper closet?

So there. And now I need an apology from many of you. I don't mean to name names but I'd specifically like apologies from Denise, Megan, and Jennifer M.

p.s. No, I have not yet cleaned out my car.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Recipe Wednesday: Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert

This recipe is really hard. And extremely healthy. Are you ready? Can you handle it? Here goes.

A whole bunch of ice cream sandwiches
Cool Whip

1. Put a layer of ice cream sandwiches in the bottom of your dessert dish.
2. Add a layer of Cool Whip.
3. Add another layer of ice cream sandwiches.
4. Add another layer of Cool Whip.

I first tasted this dessert at Wes and Rachel Church's house. Yummy!

Friday, March 25, 2011

I don't mean to brag.....

....but I am prepared.

What!?!? You think my car is messy? Nonsense. I'm just extremely prepared. For anything. And everything. You wish you were as prepared as I am. Don't be jealous.

Craving an old 6-piece McNugget meal with dried up fries and rancid apple juice? I've got you covered.

In the mood to hang up a bunch of stuff and stick it in a bucket? I'm your girl.

I am awesome. And always prepared. I'm kind of like an Eagle Scout.

p.s. Did you know that nuggets are capable of getting as hard as an actual rock? I learned that today.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Story

When I became pregnant with my oldest child, Landon (now 6-years-old), I was a teacher. I knew once he was born, I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, but my heart didn't want to think about how much I would miss teaching.

Landon was born in April of 2005.

I had a hard labor and delivery. My tailbone was broken in delivery. He was an extra large baby. I almost dropped him the first time I held him and I felt like a failure.

When he was 6 weeks old, I went back to work to finish out the last 2 weeks of the school year with my students. I sobbed as I hugged each child on the last day.

Landon began sleeping through the night at 7 weeks. He took looong naps each day. He was a very easy baby. In fact, I was bored.

When Landon was 4 months old, we moved to a different house.

When Landon was 4 months old, my milk supply instantly went away.

When Landon was 4 months old, a new school year began and I was no longer a public school teacher. I was a stay-at-home mom.

When Landon was 4 months old, I told my husband I hated my life. I told him I hated being married to him. Then I locked myself in a bathroom, got in the fetal position, and rocked back and forth.

When Landon was 4 months old, my husband drove me to my doctor and I was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression.

When my story is written out like this, I'm sure you can see the pattern of immediate changes, both biological and circumstantial that led to my struggle with PPD.

Praise the Lord for a quick recovery, for changing my heart, and for a logical husband who did not handle my yelling at him with anger, but knew that I needed help.

I am quick to tell my story. I'm not embarrassed by it. Because I know there are lots of mommas who are or will struggle with depression.

Moms need prayer. It's a hard job. Whether you work inside the home, outside the home, or both, know that I am praying for you. I may not know your name, but because of my story, mommas everywhere are constantly on my heart. And I serve a God who is really smart. He knows your name and He hears my prayers for you. He created you with a purpose and He loves you more than you can fathom.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Recipe Wednesday: Chicken Casserole

This is my grandmother's recipe and it's my favorite.

7 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
8 oz. sour cream
2 cans cream of chicken
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 stick butter
1 sleeve Ritz crackers plus 8 more

Boil, cool, and cut chicken into small pieces.
Place chicken in 9 x 13 casserole dish.
Mix together sour cream, cream of chicken, and chicken broth.
Pour over chicken.
Mix melted butter and Ritz crackers. Put on top of casserole.
Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

I cooked this for my family last night along with spicy sweet potato fries, macaroni and cheese, and sauteed zucchini. Yummy!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

To Do Lists

I think "To Do" lists are a good thing. I think having a plan is thoughtful and helps promote peace in the workplace, in organizations, and in the family.

But clinging to a plan too tightly can lead to:

1. Guilt (when the plan isn't completed) and
2. Missed opportunities (when an interruption occurs but you ignore it)

There have been many, many times when I've written a To Do List and at the end of the day, less than half of the items have been checked off. I feel like a failure. GUILT.

And there have also been days when I've let no one and nothing stop me from getting my list completed. Even if one of my children asked me to play outside. Even if my husband asked me to sit with him on the couch. I told them "no" and kept on going 100 mph trying to get everything done. MISSED OPPORTUNITIES.

But here's the thing: When I think back on the days I felt guilty for not getting my list completed, when I go over every aspect of my day, I realize THOSE were the days that I got the MOST accomplished. It might not be a physical change. My house might still look like a warzone. But maybe because Reagan and I spent 30 uninterrupted minutes on the floor talking about books and the color pink and God and string cheese and her freckles and dance and castles and soccer, her heart is full.

And just this week, this truth hit me like a ton of bricks: What might seem like an interruption to ME, may have actually been on someone ELSE'S "To Do" list. When I was a classroom teacher, there were a handful of times when MY "To Do" list included unloading to my boss about my very hard day. I would walk into her office at the end of a long day and spend 15-20 minutes just talking (sometimes crying) about the challenges of my day. That certainly wasn't on her list of things to do. But she embraced the interruption, listened, talked, and comforted me.

One day last week, instead of making a "To Do" list, I made a list of every single thing I did. At the end of the day is was over two pages long. It was a simple exercise, but a great reminder that a lot gets done over the course of a day, even if it is unexpected. And even if it's not something you can see.

What's on your list? And how do you handle the interruptions?

Maybe you have an employee who's in pain. You have a project due but maybe she needs a listening ear more than you need to finish that project.

Maybe you have a roommate who needs help studying for a test. Shopping is on your list of things to do, but maybe helping her study tonight is what really matters.

Maybe your lesson plan book is perfectly typed up and filled in for the remainder of the year. But your students don't understand what you taught yesterday. Maybe your students need you to teach them more than you need to teach the lesson plan.

Maybe your child wants you to read Brown Bear, Brown Bear for the 45th time in a row. It might not have been on YOUR list, but it was on HERS.

Maybe your husband needs some quality time with you. And maybe quality time for you means, "Please hang this heavy mirror" but for him it might mean something else.

Make a plan. Make a good plan. One that really matters. One that is not only filled with doing STUFF, but also filled with loving and encouraging others.

And make the most of the interruptions. Because just because it wasn't on YOUR list, doesn't mean it wasn't on THEIRS.

"Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God." -Jim Elliot

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Recipe Wednesday: Spinach and Cheese Tortellini

I got this recipe from a friend of a friend. It is delicious and takes less than 30 minutes to make!

1 16 oz. package cheese tortellini
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with garlic and onion
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 TB all-purpose flour
3/4 c. milk
3/4 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
1/4 c. tomato sauce

Boil the tortellini until done.
Mix together the tomatoes, spinach, salt, pepper, basil, and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Cook and stir until it bubbles.
In a bowl, whisk together flour, milk, cream, and tomato sauce.
Add mixture to saucepan.
Add parmesan cheese.
Heat through, then reduce to low, and simmer until thick.
Add tortellini to the sauce and stir together.

I served it with garlic bread and spinach salad.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Shameless Plug

I just have to tell you about my hubby. It's taken me about 4 years, and finally, I think I can adequately articulate what my husband does for a living. He is a mechanical engineer by degree and for the first 3 years of our marriage, he designed and built machines at an engineering firm. So when people asked what his job was, I was able to say easily, "He's a mechanical engineer." People nodded their heads and understood what I meant.

When I got pregnant with Landon, Nathan's job required him to travel to Mexico and he was going to be traveling there A LOT. He wanted to be in the country when I went into labor, raised Landon, etc. so he decided to resign from his job in Mexico/Columbia and began working with his parents at Trevett's. Back in 2005, I wasn't quite sure what Trevett's did. I knew they had a lot of machines. I knew they mailed stuff. I knew they said big words a lot. And I never really knew how to describe what they did. Conversations typically sounded like, "Hey, honey. How was your day at work?" And then Nathan would say lots of words I didn't understand which caused me to yawn. Nathan would stop talking mid-sentence and sigh really loud. And then I would ask what he ate for lunch (now THAT I could understand!).

Fast forward to 2011. The company has grown like crazy. And so has my ability to explain what he does. My hubby's company does the following:

Logo Design
Web Design
Bulk Mailing
Variable Printing
On-Demand Printing
And a lot more!

The company website is

It looks great and you should check it out!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Tidbits from our Week

1. Landon scored two points in his basketball game. Nothing but net. I screamed like he'd just won the Nobel Peace Prize.

2. Reagan asked me if my wrinkles hurt.

3. My mom spent all day Tuesday with me!

4. I got retainers on Wednesday and a bunch of people asked me to say words that have the letter "s" in them. Some of the best ones are "excuses", "satisfaction", and the entire hymn "Standing on the Promises".

5. Reagan asked me why I slobber so much. ("Slobber" is another fun word to say with retainers.)

6. Connor learned to point to his belly.

7. I became obsessed with spaghetti squash.

8. I thanked Nathan for disliking pets as much as I do and we reminded each other to never get one. Yes, I know we're weird and most people love animals. Blah, blah, blah. I don't care. We don't.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Public Service Announcement

In 2010, I pretended I was a 90-year-old. I got kidney stones and a gallbladder removed and I got assigned to a urologist. Pretty sure only 90-year-olds do that. At least those were the only people in the doctor's office every single time I was there.

Apparently, 2011 is the year for me to pretend to be a 13-year-old. Because I got 2 retainers yesterday and got a "talking to" from the orthodontist about how to take care of my retainers by doing things like not boiling them and not leaving them near dogs. I'm for real. He said, "Do not leave your retainers near dogs." I was like, "Dude, I'm 31 years old. I've got 3 kids. I have a bunch of degrees and stuff. I think I can handle not leaving my retainers near dogs." And he was like, "No, you're a 13-year-old. Because you just got retainers. 13-year-olds get retainers." And I was like, "Touche." And he was like, "Wait. 13-year-olds don't use words like 'touche'. They use words like 'sweet'." So then I was like, "Sweet."

So, here's my PSA to all the teenage followers of my blog:

When you get your braces and then you get them removed two years later, don't get all prideful. Wear your retainers. Because if you don't, you'll eventually turn 31 and your teeth will be out of whack and you'll have to go back to the orthodontist and get retainers. And it will hurt. And you will talk funny. And people will look at you weird. And you'll get tons of saliva in your mouth all the time. And people will think you're 13.

Recipe Wednesday: Spaghetti Squash

This recipe is easy.

Before Thanksgiving, my family went to Disneyworld. Then there was Thanksgiving. Then Christmas. Then Colorado. And because I enjoy food so much and ate loads of food on all those vacations/holidays, I gained 5 pounds. So, I've been reaaaaally watching my calories the past couple of weeks.

If you're doing the same, this recipe is for you. But I promise it doesn't taste low-cal. It is absolutely delicious!

1 spaghetti squash
1 cup of your favorite brand of tomato sauce (I love it with garlic and basil)
Salt and pepper
Parmesan Cheese

1. Cut the spaghetti squash in half length-wise and remove the seeds.
2. Place the two halves facedown on a baking sheet.
3. Bake at 425 for one hour.
4. Take it out and, using a fork, scrape the squash out onto a plate. (It will look JUST like real spaghetti!)
5. Warm the tomato sauce and pour it over the squash. Add salt and pepper to taste. Shave some parmesan cheese over the top.

*This makes 2 servings if it's your main dish. It could easily make 4-6 servings as a side dish. It's so much food. So healthy. And so yummy! Oh, and it reheats very well. I enjoyed more today!