Howdy duty neighbors!
How’s it hangin’?
I’m sorry that I’ve left y’all for a week, but I’ve been a bit occupied with the most wondrous, miraculous, beautiful thing that has ever happened in my life- I gave birth to a perfect bundle of seven pounds, eleven ounces of pure preciousness.
On Sunday, March 19th at 3:55 p.m., Lee Michael was brought into the world without complication, trauma, or much difficulty.
This past week, his first week in the world, has been exhilarating. A bit surreal, a bit, okay a lot, exhausting, but so joyous thanks to the Lord and those third trimester workouts.
While I’m going to have to take a maternity leave, or I’m calling it more of a maternity moment, from the blog for a few more days or possibly week (one day at a time with a newborn), I want y’all to know how appreciative I am of YOU! The endless prayers, advice, support, encouragement, gifts and love y’all have been sending me these past few months. You will never fully know what a difference it has made for me.
As soon as I can, I will come back with loads of recipes, workouts, and advice on how I survived pregnancy, labor and delivery, and my first few weeks of motherhood.
In the meantime, know that I am so thankful for each and every one of you all.
Thank you for the prayers before, during, and after my labor and delivery. Thanks to the goodness and faithfulness of God, this whole fourth trimester journey (yeah, I’d already argue it doesn’t end at delivery) has, so far, been gracious. Absolutely gracious.
Be well, make time for you and your health, stay movin’ (yes, I have already started walking through my neighborhood in small spurts), and find the joyous blessings God places before you each and every day.
Today I am thankful for tiny feet that remind me of bear cub paws, Fisher Price’s Rock’n’Play, and selfless grandparents that fly hundreds of miles to love on and serve my son and me.
Take a moment to reflect on 3 things you are grateful for right now. No matter how minute or momentous, we all can start our week with an attitude of gratitude.
See y'all soon!
Top of the mornin’ to y’all!
Happy St. Patty’s Day, and, more importantly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY FABULOUS, GEM OF A MOM!
To the lady who has been my #1 cheerleader for the past 27 years, who single-handedly planned my wedding, who hopped in a U-Hual and drove halfway across the country with me, who is going to be such a STELLAR grandma it’s not even funny…seriously, if you don’t know this lady it’s your loss.
In her honor, I could make a lot of dishes today that reflect her favorites (and mine…we do share much of the same genetics after all), such as pan-seared scallops, roasted beet salad, lemon anything, yet I know how she is celebrating her big birthday/St. Patty’s day today: CABBAGE.
Possibly one of the most underrated, under-appreciated vegetables out there, cabbage is the overlooked, bulky cousin to the ever popular brussel sprout.
And sure, cabbage can be tasteless, and sure, cooking it can make your house smell like straight up farts (just sayin’).
But when done right, which means bacon is incorporated in some way, shape, or form, cabbage can be one of the most delicious, succulent vegetables EVER.
So, in honor of BOTH the cabbage-crazed Irish AND my cruciferous-loving mother who I guarantee you will be eating cabbage today anyways, I present y’all with a stupidly easy recipe for braised cabbage.
If you’ve never made cabbage at your house because you, too, find it unsexy and stinky, this is your gateway recipe to change your mind.
Come on, at least give it a try. What have ya got to lose?
For many of y’all, you are enjoying your last few days of Spring Break 2017! Woohoo!
Yet for another sizable portion of y’all, you haven’t seen the likes of a spring break for years, and for that I am truly sorry. Yes, it's the perks of being a teacher. But trust me people, teachers have EARNED the week off. Leave them alone and let them rest. They deserve it.
Whether you fit into the first or second group, we all appreciate and deserve a good cocktail, or mocktail, now and again.
As a result of A- being my Spring Break B- being 40+ weeks pregnant and C- being stuck at home with a little more free time than normal, I’ve whipped up a healthier mocktail in honor of one of my favorite cocktails, the mojito!
It wouldn’t be Spring Break without an indulgent cocktail or seven…but too often most cocktails leave us (okay, at least ME) feeling like the garbage that’s inside them…loads of sugary syrups, cheap liquor, and junk-filled mixers=recipe for a grade-A hangover.
But today my friends, I’ve concocted a mocktail (that could easily be turned into a cocktail with a splish splash of rum or processo or both…yummo) that is clean, easy, and actually nutritious. Healthy alcoholic beverages?! Now that’s my kind of Spring Break.
No passport is required to enjoy my healthier Strawberry-Kiwi Fauxjitos. Crank up the blender, turn up the Jimmy Buffet, and let’s get sippin’!
As many of y’all have already texted, facebooked, and called with your concerns, I am, officially as of today, ‘late’ with the arrival of my son.
Yes, yesterday was the scheduled due date. It was written in my Kate Spade planner, in pen for crying out loud! And, despite my best efforts of plenty of step-ups and walking and a pedicure, my son is comfy and cozy inside my womb. As a friend joked with me at church, she explained he’s not going to want to come out based on how well I’m treating him inside me. Perhaps she has a point…
Nonetheless, as I’ve learned throughout this entire pregnancy process, things in life don’t always go according to our plan.
As someone who spends M-F, 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. with little people, I already know how they rarely think, act, and speak according to how I expect and anticipate, so why in the world should my son’s birth meet my plans?
I know it’s not Monday, but today we’re going to take a quick detour from our normal weekly schedule to reflect on and chat about how life doesn’t always go according to our plans, yet it ALWAYS goes according to His plan.
No Wal-Mart or grocery store posts today. We’re doing a spiritual nutrition post ON A WEDNESDAY!
See, I’m already pushing you to embrace this whole we-shouldn’t-always-stick-to-the-plan thing.
Any day, any hour, any minute I’m expecting my world to get turned upside-down in the most fabulous way.
Today is, in fact, my due date. As I discussed yesterday, just because I’ve written ‘Due Date’ in my Kate Spade planner DOES NOT mean that little mister is going to make his grand premiere today.
So what does a 40-week pregnant lady on her Spring Break do with extra time? Aside from scrubbing and organizing the spice drawer and repacking my hospital bag for the 17th time, I cook. And I cook. And I cook.
While I’ve savored this extra time preparing some meals that are more time intensive (intentionally knowing oodles of free time to make a Paleo lasagna is NOT in my near future), I’ve also started looking for ways to minimize and make shortcuts in some of my staple recipes.
And that’s where today’s recipe comes in.
Normally when I make my marinara with meatballs, I let is simmer in my Dutch oven for hours all afternoon. But today, I’ve used a few tips and tricks to streamline the process, allowing all busy cooks to have homemade, Paleo meatballs on the table for dinner without as much hassle, effort, and, most importantly, time.
Whether you’re a busy PT student facing a daily two-hour commute or a first year architect working 12+ hour days while you study for your exams or a busy mom with a newborn and toddler running amuck through your home, this recipe is a family-friendly, freezer-friendly, make-ahead wonder!
Yo yo yo party people!
SPRING BREAK 2017 IS HERE!
Or, as my nerdy fellow language arts teachers and I joked together, it’s time for Water Break 2017. Any hour, any day, any week now I anticipate my little boy making his way into the world. And I can hardly wait.
To keep my sanity in check, stress minimized, and third trimester aches and discomforts calm, I’m still workin’ it in the gym 5-6 days a week. Lots of walking, lots of no impact cardio moves (this boy’s head is waaaay too low to be hopping and bouncing about), and lots of lighter weights.
Is it kinda hilarious to watch me in action? I’d say so.
Do people smile and giggle as I walk by? They sure do.
And I could care less. In fact, I join them in the snickering.
Do I plan on still working out all the way up to my water breaking? I’d say so, unless I start feeling drastically different in these next few days, which is possible but unlikely.
And whatever your weekend and Spring Break may entail, remember to keep moving daily. A walk, a little yoga, a workout class at your YMCA…remember you can’t give your spouse, your family, and your friends around you your very best unless you take care of yourself.
So what does a 39 week-pregnant lady do to stay fit? Read on to find out!