Love is…

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Love laid down his life for us knowing we didn’t deserve it.

Love saw grace and pleaded guilty in our name.

Love overcame our sin in his name.

Love is looking past our faults.

Love is..

Patient when things are chaotic

Kind when we’ve heard mommy for the umpteenth time

 not boastful or proud or rude

Put’s God first for everyone’s sake

Is not easily angered when the walls are marked with crayon

Doesn’t remind us that we yelled yesterday

Gives us grace when things aren’t homemade

Never fails or gives up on us…on them

Love is a journey of faith that we live daily as mom and babe.

When we are weary we can run to God and fill up on his love so that it overflows in all areas of our life.

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You might also like: Family Valentine’s Day Ideas

Meal Plan Monday #28

Welcome back friends!

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I hope the weekend has been good to you!
I finally feel as though I can man-handle my circus ring…baby and all. Which leads me into meal planning. Our family and friends have taken care of all our meals post-baby up until now and I’m so super grateful. It has truly been a blessing to us and has allowed all of us, me especially, to relax and focus on bonding with baby. Who knew what a huge difference meal planning makes? It’s a hard job to figure out a tasteful, timeless, yet budget friendly meal to feed your family.

One thing that helps me is shopping big for my meat a few times a year when our local grocery store has their meat sales. This allows me to focus more budget wise on pantry items and save big when it comes to meat. Now I am focusing on making the most of my savings and using up what I have before it is time to shop again.

Here is what is on my menu for the next this week:

Breakfast
Chocolate chip pancakes
Carrot zucchini muffins, smoothie and homemade yogurt
Sausage gravy and biscuits with eggs
Cereal
Blueberry baked oatmeal
Cinnamon baked french toast

Lunch
Lunch meat roll ups with veggies
Mexican tomato rice and bean bowls
Corn dog muffins
Mini tortilla pizzas

Dinner
Crockpot bbq chicken sandwiches, baked beans
Zuppa Toscana soup with bread sticks
Crock pot cilantro lime chicken
Pasta with tomato cream sauce, apple walnut salad

Snacks
Double chocolate zucchini bread muffins
Assorted fruits and veggies
Oreo layer dessert

This meal plan is full of our favorite meals. I figured I’d pull out my favorite list since it’s cold and snowy here. Perfect for warm comfort foods!

How do you meal plan?

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Linking Up With: Titus TuesdaysLiving Proverbs 31, Joy Dare

What’s in my bag?

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 This always kind of gets me. Labor and delivery experiences are so different now a days and I find even more today that hospital’s are moving further and further away from enabling us to be lazy.

From the new rooming in policy’s to laboring, delivering and postpartum all in the same place we can’t deny that the culture has changed and is ever evolving.

I scheduled this post before I went into labor but now that our baby is here and I’ve been through the transition already I thought it’d be even more helpful to a new mama who’s over packed and nervous. I think I always over packed in some way, that’s just me. I’ve unpacked this bag and packed it all over again from reading websites and experience a few times before the show really started and from the very beginning I should have kept in what I had.

I think what you will need as far as toiletries will always depend on what your hospital will provide but if you want to really feel clean, invest in some travel sized options.

Here’s what was in my bag in list form.

For Mama:

Two wash cloths; one for face and one for washing because the hospitals is thin.
Travel sized toothpaste, floss, mouth wash
Toothbrush
Travel sized bottles filled with face wash, oil for my hair and leave in conditioner spray
Moisturizer
Towel…because the hospitals may be small or thin leaving you feeling very wet and unclean
Aveeno stress relief body wash and lotion
Tums
Pomegranate tea bags
Nursing cover
Boppy or nursing pillow
Nursing bra
Socks, after a while I grew tired of the non skids and opted for my Target 1$ section fitteds
Vaseline
Copy of birth plan, we forgot this at home but our hospital had it on file.
Underwear for going home
Two plastic bags and a Ziploc for soiled clothing for baby and mom and wet cloths.
Hard candy
Flip flops, I left these home
Rice pack

For baby:
Two wash cloths
Two outfits, one for going home and one to change during stay. My hospital provided a carters gown so it was quite nice to keep on
Two onesies
Socks, Our hospital didn’t have any
hand mittens
Two cloth dipes for going home day

For the car:
Bundle me
Car seat canopy
Blanket
Car seat and base

What I wished I brought:

Breast pump, we eventually picked this up but it was so useful in helping to get my milk supply going.

Flip flops to shower in. Our tub was pretty clean but it would have been nice to have.

Hubby’s bag. He kept insisting he wouldn’t need one and if he did he would go home and get dressed…My hubby never left my side and didn’t want to. He showered in my room because our bathroom was nice and had a jet tub. It would have been nice for him to have a bag for himself especially after long laboring.

Two changes of clothing
like two pairs of sweatpants. I found that after a bunch of visitors and birthing a baby, I wanted to freshen up and at least put on something other than a hospital gown. Something that I could lounge in during the day.

My baby girl’s journal: my hubby and I recorded all the first like smile, burp, bath, tests that were done, who came in to see us, nursing schedule and the like on a sheet of paper. I found myself missing the chance to jot down prayers for my baby and things that were going on.

A book or something for leisure: I had my tablet and my phone and the TV but I grew tired of screen time quickly. During the night or day when my baby girl was awake I was wanted to read to keep myself awake or occupied. I was bored during the day and couldn’t sleep due to excitement.

So this is what was in my bag. I didn’t care about wearing makeup or looking cute. I wanted to be comfortable and I honestly didn’t miss those items. If I took any pictures I wanted that raw moment to be captured..I didn’t have time for makeup anyway.

I used my nursing cover a lot and my nursing pillow. I also used a rice pack, that I made from extra fabric and some rice, very often for cramping when my uterus was contracting. I remembered the rice balls I made most when I had my boys. I also wanted snacks other than ginger ale and graham crackers and an extra nursing bra.

Every woman’s hospital bag looks different. As I said before, it depends on what your hospital will offer. You will more than likely over pack, it’s just how we are wired. Better to have too much and not enough.

Is there something that you couldn’t live without in your bag? Please share below to encourage and help another mama!

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Linking Up With: Titus TuesdaysLiving Proverbs 31, Joy Dare

Meal Plan Monday #27

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Happy Monday everyone! I hope your weekend was great. This weekend my hubby and I did some last minute Christmas shopping for our boys and finished some odds and ends for baby. It was an interesting weekend to say with contractions rising and no results. Hopefully we will get to hold our baby girl soon. I decided to dig a little deeper into my meal plans and give you more detail because I usually plan three meals a day for two-three weeks at a time. I suck with lunch though, it’s a struggle for me to be creative in this area because I can’t get out of sandwich mode but I digress. Lately I’ve been kicking it up to make sure we are eating a balanced meal daily. So that means making sure there are some fruits and veggies along side. I tend to follow a ratio of one fruit, one veggie, protein and dairy. Lot’s of times through the week we have leftover’s so if you see three or four things listed it’s not because I don’t feed my family, we just have more to go around at some point. I can’t cook everyday of my life you know. We also tend to eat out or find something quick on the weekends. Here is what is on my list for the coming week.

Breakfast Honey Banana Muffins/pina colada smoothie Baked oatmeal Egg muffins and sausage Cereal Breakfast sandwiches German pancakes/fruit and sausage

Lunch Grilled cheese with pepperoni, grapes Parmesan noodles and peas Apple salad and fish sticks Dinner Parmesan honey pork, salad and garlic mashed potatoes Corn dog muffins/veggies Cheese steak sandwiches and chips Weeknight chicken stir fry I keep a meal plan journal where I can write down recipes that I want to try and the website, book or magazine to find it and also if we liked the recipe or not or my notes. This makes it easy and I have everything in one place. I also have a meal plan board, which I will share in a future post, that allows me to write down what’s happening for the week and my shopping list. I’m the crazy lady with a bunch of lists in her pocketbook. ha! I hope you find a recipe here that you can keep! We have a lot of catching up to do. Meet back here next Monday for coffee and tea? See ya then! howtotrainasuperhero.com

Linking Up With: Titus TuesdaysLiving Proverbs 31, Joy Dare

How I plan to do life with a newborn

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This post has been a little while coming. It’s been four years since I’ve cuddled and held a newborn. Some may say pish posh, I say ahhhhh!!!

Life just settled down and then I throw a baby in  the mix!

Anyways, I wanted to share with you all how I plan to do life with a newborn. This post will cover what I am doing to get ready for….duh duh duh DUHH!! My sweet baby girl. There is not much I can prepare for. She will either throw me for a loop or wrap me around her princess band. Either way I’m here to stay.

Here’s the thing:

I may make my plans but the Lord determines the outcome.

(We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall. Proverbs 16:33)

So while I am super-duper planner girl, I know that my plans are tentative to the Lords…..Shall we?

There are two things that I marked as my goal during this pregnancy that are super important to me. One of those is freezer meals. Preparing meals ahead of time will help me and my hubby stay sane. I made a list of meals my hubby can choose from to make and recipe ideas for him when he is feeling creative. I also made a list of what is in the freezer so that he can see a list of inventory and we know what we are getting low on and need to restock.

My church usually sets up a meal train for the prego’s and I’m super grateful…but I know it will take me a while to get into the swing of things so I wanted to have a few things on hand after that. And quite frankly who wants to cook right away when they’ve had a baby?

I’ve known that I wanted to do this since I first got pregnant so I’ve been collecting meal ideas for my family since. I used to do freezer meals to send to my mom and I think I’ve tried all those bagged one pot crockpot meals. I can’t stand them. They usually sound so good but….sometimes the flavors don’t quite go right, at least for me they haven’t. We want real meal ideas that I’d cook on a regular basis, not something made up and slopped together in a crockpot.

So here’s what I planned to have stocked before baby comes.

Breakfast:

Zucchini muffins and bread

Banana muffins and bread

Waffles, frozen

Pancakes, frozen

Granola, frozen

Breakfast sandwiches

Lunch:

Pioneer Woman roast beef sandwiches

Mini corn dog muffins

Dinner:

Sausage with onions and peppers

cilantro lime chicken

Pioneer Woman lasagna roll ups

Pioneer Woman chicken spaghetti

Spaghetti meat sauce

Ground beef browned

shredded chicken

Dessert: 

Cookie Dough

In the beginning of November I set aside a day to get all my freezer meals done. My sister came up for the day as well and did some for her household too. We have all of this stocked with the exception of chicken spaghetti and roast beef sandwiches. I also froze apple pie filling, peaches, raspberries and strawberry, peach and blueberry applesauce. When it was all over my sister and I had a table full of great meals.

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I’m almost out of granola…it is seriously delicious with my homemade yogurt and a few frozen berries sprinkled in. This picture does no justice for what my taste buds feel.

Next up, what’s in my bag? How do you prepare for meal time? 

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Linking Up With: Titus TuesdaysLiving Proverbs 31Joy Dare

Thanksgiving: Intentional Living

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howtotrainsuperhero.com Thanksgiving has come and gone! I’ve literally been trying to get this post out all week. With my due date also around the corner the holiday’s are about the easy and practical. Getting dinner on the table for my family this year is less about tradition and more about saving room to savor the time spent together. Which it should always be. A few weeks ago I skimmed through my little black book of pinterest recipe’s and put together a simple menu plan for Thanksgiving. While I had to talk my myself out of not doing too much plenty of times, I think I came out with the simplest menu and plans for my family. I also wanted to think of some fun things to do for us since we will be enjoying a quiet evening at home. My kids loved the minute to win it that we did for Valentine’s day last year so I was thinking I’d put together some silly games for the evening. Aside from that, Thanksgiving was very stress-less for me and my guys. The key here to me pulling this off and coming out under stressed physically was planning ahead to make ahead. My husband and I always plan to be intentional with our children when we have a day off so most of my meals options were prepped Wednesday to spare more time together. I got up early with my hubby and cooked everything that could be the day ahead and come that day, my turkey was done at 9 am. I want to add that while I was prepping my food yesterday, I could not resist licking the spoons. All these recipe’s were delicious! So here is what was on our menu. 1 Crock pot turkey breast Lightened up sweet potato casserole Pioneer Woman Mac and Cheese Pioneer Woman creamed spinach Stuffing Cranberry sauce- my recipe is a 12oz bag of cranberries, 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup of sugar, 2 tsp each of vanilla and orange extract. Cook down until cranberries burst. The longer you cook, the more gel like it will become. Buttermilk cornbread Pumpkin Pie

Here is what our table looked like. The kids colored their place mats while they were waiting for food to be warmed and then we played bingo while we ate.

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Before we ate we played some minute-to-win-it games which were so fun.

howtotrainasuperhero.com   I made up a few: Turkey gobbler- Dab a dot of Vaseline on your nose and move 10 cotton balls from one plate to another using only your nose. Turkey on the Run- Keep 3 balloons in the air for 1 minute without them hitting the ground. Hunting for turkey-  Practice your hunting skills by plucking as many rubber bands into a basket as you can in 1 minute Penny Pilgrim stack- Stack as many penny’s as you can in 1 minute. (we did 25 for my little guys..I won!) Turkey blow- Blow your “turkey” (balloon) across the road (room) safely through a straw in one minute

Lastly we ended our evening singing Happy Birthday to Hulk Smash. He is Five! I can’t believe it!

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How was your Thanksgiving?

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Linking Up With: Titus TuesdaysLiving Proverbs 31Joy Dare

Meal Plan Monday #26

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I have to admit to you. I haven’t been very creative in my meal planning lately. Since week thirty of my pregnancy I’ve gotten a little slow, “turtle like” in my words. Meals around here have been simple and less timely and that’s okay with me.

Today I’d like to share a meal that goes over well and is fairly easy and enjoyed in my house. My boys, carnivorous at heart, won’t go near anything green or labeled healthy around here. So I have to sneak things in and tell them what it is later. Ha. Sneaky? Manipulative? Maybe. At least I tell them what they are eating at some point in their lives. (warning: this was just a joke.)

This meal has the perfect blend of flavors and the quinoa adds a nutty flavor that balances the whole dish. I make this on our easy breezy mornings. I keep cooked quinoa in the freezer so that I can just thaw it the night before and use it the next day. This also works well with quinoa salads. Try it!

kale quinoa scramble

I like to add all kinds of things to this meal. Tomato, peppers, bacon, it all turns out good with different types of cheeses too. Options are endless!

Ingredients:

2 cups kale, loosely packed and chopped

10 cherry tomatoes sliced in half

8 eggs, beaten (I usually add a splash of milk)

1 cup quinoa, cooked

1/2 onion

1 package of breakfast sausage cut up(We like brown and serve or any fresh deli sausage links)

Cheddar cheese 1/2-1 cup or more if you like

Directions:

In a large frying pan cook sausage per directions and cut up. Throw in onion, tomato, kale and saute until kale is cooked through. Dump in eggs and scramble. Don’t over cook. Next add in quinoa and cheese. Toss until mixed through. This usually doesn’t need any seasoning but season to taste if you’d like with salt and pepper. That’s it!

Recipe adapted from withstyleandgraceblog

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Linking Up With:  Playdates with God,  Titus Tuesdays, Living Proverbs 31, Joy Dare