Friday, September 12, 2014

Chow time!

So that may be the fastest year I've ever experienced, and so many changes to boot.  Let's see, three jobs later, another cross country relocation, and another baby!!!  I guess this is why writing came to not only a slow pace, but a full-fledged stop.  Living on the west coast was nice, but I'll take the natural green trees, grass, humidity, and mosquitos thank you very much.  Moving back to the east coast is evidence that God hears and answers prayers.  After hearing my daughter become sad because she couldn't see her cousin, I took to praying for a return to close to home.  Less than 12 months later, hubby has a new (and safer) job at the closest base to home.  What a mighty God we serve!!  What's even better is that we're in a lovely home, with wonderful neighbors, we've located a great sitter, and even I've gotten a WONDERFUL job.  It's not really work if you love it is it?  But you can't stop there...both girls are at the same Christian school that is spitting distance from home and both our jobs.  All things are working for me!!  Hallelujah, all glory to God.

After talking to (texting with) one of my best friends in the whole world, I decided to write yet again.  She, also a wife and mother of two, is working on organizing as a Super Mommy and getting back to basics in the kitchen.  With all the responsibilities of a wife and mother, meal planning can seem like the most arduous task.  Okay, so you have to prepare food...that is yummy to eat...that has nutritional value.  Oh right, and you must do it every day, 2-3 times a day.  Sign me up!!! (Can you sense the sarcasm here?)  Also be mindful of your family's financial and fitness goals.  Ha!

Thankfully, I've been able to have time to organize for nutrition during periods of unemployment.  So, here are some tips from what I've learned:
  1. Eliminate Excuses!! My mother diagnosed me with Excusitis as a child so I know my tendencies and have made ways to counter my inevitable excuses.  I know that if there is not food in the house, we will purchase fast food which means spending unnecessary money on foods high in sodium, fat, and cholesterol.  My grocery shopping may look like too much food to some, but I know that if I do not buy it at the grocery store, I'm going to end up in a drive thru line at the local artery clogger.
  2. Plan Plan Plan.  Meal planning is just that and it not only involves planning what you will prepare, but also the estimated days of leftovers (which MUST be eaten in entirety).  Therefore if hubby wants seconds, he may not be able to have them because the meal is needed for two (or three) additional days.  
    • One thing I love to do is purchase chicken breasts, butterfly them (slice in the center for thinner pieces), place them in a freezer bag, and add seasonings and oils to the bag for marinating.  Then I place that freezer bag in the freezer labeled with the contents.  It is much simpler to put that bag in the fridge the night before cooking and throw the contents into the slow cooker in the morning before work.  Remember the slower cooker liner for easy clean up.  
    • Some mornings are met with rushing so it is great to have yummy grab-and-go items so I'm not in a drive thru first thing in the morning.  Bagels, granola bars, and cereal bars are great.  Also if you like pancakes, they can be made ahead of time, cooled and frozen.  Pop in the microwave for 30-60 seconds and eat on the road (without syrup of course). 
    •  For a healthy option (that will keep you full longer) opt for steel cut oats.  Make a big batch Sunday night and divide into 5 mason jars.  Sweeten with honey, milk, cinnamon, and dried fruit.  Cool and place in the refrigerator.  Grab one on the way out the door and heat up at work.  Watch the jar when you heat it up though as it will bubble over the top.
  3. Water Water Everywhere.  My parents rarely let us drink juice any other time than breakfast time.  I am currently the #1 fan of Great Value Apple Juice, but to save calories, I have juice at breakfast only, and water everywhere else.  Staying hydrated helps me as a lactating mother and it's just so good for me!
  4. Keep it Light.  I often have "off" times where I'm totally uninspired and wind up eating a meal out of a bag, a very greasy bag.  I've learned not to be too hard on myself.  I look forward to Friday nights because it's going to either be pizza or Chinese take-out.  Then while I eat it, I check out Pinterest for ideas on meals that I and my family will enjoy.  From that inspiration, comes a grocery list (that is always in development).
  5. Find the Alternatives.  If you were raised like me, you know that you only get dessert if all your food is consumed.  I find myself eating strictly for the dessert, but desserts have so many calories that it can throw off my entire day.  Soooooo, I find delicious alternatives.  Some great low calorie, low sugar alternatives to desserts are animal crackers, graham crackers, ginger snaps, lemon snaps, and sorbet.
Hope this helps give you some ideas of where to start!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

What Not to Say

Yeah for PCS!! We’ve relocated!! Praise the Lord!!  More than anything, our house sold!  I am so thankful to be able to move without having to maintain the mortgage.  Whew, what a blessing.  Now for yet another job search...

Selling the house taught me the value of what to say.  I’ve known one has the power to bring things to pass or stop a locomotive with the very things one says.  I’ve heard so many testimonies about people speaking God’s Word in their lives and watching Him show Himself faithful.  However, when you live a lesson for yourself, no one can take it away your personal testimony.  All while the house was on the market, and no matter how many fruitless showings we had, I continued to thank God for the sale of the home.  We had at least 30-35 showings on the house, and one day, we got an offer.  A good offer!!  That offer turned into a contract, and eventually closed!!!  The timing was absolutely perfect.

I remember having so many times where I would much rather complain about the situation.  I remember wanting to buy into the ‘say what you feel’ philosophy.  I’m willing to admit that I may have had emotional ups and downs.  With the full knowledge that emotions are just feelings (and feelings are fickle).  The key is to push past those fickle feelings and say the correct thing.  Speak the Word only!

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.  Hebrews 10:23

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Gotta remind myself…

So, we’re in the thick of a deployment.  To say it is hard is a severe understatement.  While missing hubby is the toughest, the most challenging part is not having others near me who understand.  Friends and family may try to understand my feelings, but no one (except a therapist) is equipped to this type of issue. 

For some reason, knowing that others are dealing with your most pressing issue helps.  I guess misery does love company.  Huge thanks to modern technology that has taken the stereotype of a stuffy support group to a closed FB group where others can connect whenever they want with others from all around the world.  My greatest support group now is the other women dealing with this deployment that I have connected with.  While I am certain I may never meet any of them, I feel close to them.  It is somehow comforting to know that many of us are processing through the same feelings and the peaks and valleys of this ridiculous emotional roller-coaster.

While I feel alone, I remind myself that God never leaves me nor forsakes me.  The loneliness is hard to shake but and no matter what the facts are, I must remind myself of the truth.  While it may be a fact that my husband lives 7,000+ miles away from me, the truth is God is with me and feels what I feel on a daily basis.  I take comfort in knowing He is there, He loves me, and He sees me.

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.