Thirty Nine

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Well that crept up faster than I expected.

I’m 39.

What?

I know, shocks me too.

Not because I’m almost 40. I’m okay with that.

I remember when my mom turned 40. My entire childhood she made it clear that 40 was something to dread. I cautiously called her on her 40th birthday, expecting to find her depressed about her birthday. Instead she said the greatest thing ever. She said,

Heck no I’m not upset. I finally don’t have to be the “cool” mom anymore!

She laughed about how she no longer had to pretend to like our music, or our clothes, or anything else we thought was cool. She was excited about it. I hope next year, I can be as excited as she was that day.

I’m okay with turning 39, with being “almost 40″.

The retrospective and introspective thinking started last night. It trickled on throughout today, while I enjoyed kids and friends and family and cake. Lots of cake.

This past two years have been big for me, on the inside.

It took me this long, to know who I was.

It took me this many years, to understand my Faith, to speak about my Hope in Christ, and to be unapologetic about it.

It took me so many of these years, to understand and appreciate the gift of Motherhood.

It took me thirty-nine years, to learn how to say “I do this, and I do it well”, without immediately pointing out my imperfections before someone else could point them out.

It took almost four decades, for me to appreciate the skin I’m in. The dry skin, the pudgy skin, the wrinkled skin, the stretch marked skin, the soft skin, the rough skin, the thin skin, and dimply skin. I don’t necessarily like all of it, but each part of it tells a story about who I am, what I do, and where I am have been.

I want so badly, to curl up on the couch and be sad about how long it took for me to see my own worth. I refuse to waste more time.

Hi. I’m Lisa. I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. I’m lover to my husband. I’m a mother to my four children. I am a house cleaner, butt wiper, chef, accountant, pet wrangler, hooker (I’m talking crochet people!), knitter, seamstress in training, reader, writer, living room dancer, back row Baptist hymn singer, homeschooler and pathetic gardener.

I finally don’t feel like a little girl playing house.

 

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The Most Amazing Moments Were…

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Recently, I decided I needed to stop trying to make everything amazing.

I realized that YES, every moment can be made special and memorable; but not every moment needs to be made into some thing special and memorable.

Most of my memorable moments from childhood weren’t spectacular, or planned, or anything out of the ordinary…. it was just different in its own way without being forced. The day we were washing the car and ended up in a big water hose and soap fight, and there was so much Dawn soap on us and the grass that we started sliding around. Or that day that the crabs from the creek were migrating into the yard and it looked like an invasion. Or that one time when mom was trying to put the chemicals in the pool and we were being so impatient that she took a short cut and nearly blew up the house.

Yep. Not one of them were planned, but everyone one of this is still being laughed about 25+ years later. A moment that is remembered for a quarter of a century and it was totally just a normal boring day.

I’m ruining our normal boring days. I’m missing out on the amazing, memorable every day moments because I’m trying to force something and making myself exhausted.

Kids don’t need amazing (planned and scheduled) moments every day anyway. How disappointed they will be when they grow up and have a regular lazy Saturday.  That sad feeling we all have on January 2, after spending 40+ days getting our Holidays on would be an everyday let down for our children if we raised them to think everyday was worthy of fireworks. I am allowing myself to feel inadequate as a mom because everyday isn’t filled with crafts and cupcakes and photo worthy moments.

Impressive Moments @TheTadey

Cuddle.

Laugh.

Read.

Fix dinner.

Fold laundry.

Show them how to make long hair out of a sheet and capes out of bath towels.

I want to let the everyday amazing shine – and be there to enjoy it. I’m so tired y’all of trying to keep up with a standard that I made up in my head. I’m not even sure how it came to be in my head, but it sure is there.

I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s in your head to0.

I think the new online world is helping it root itself in our brain. All we see if everyone’s amazingly wonderful memorable moment and we just fill in the spaces in between with assumptions that ALL of their moments are like that.

They aren’t. And if you thought they were all wondermoose over here, let me assure you, they are not. Today, we played on the floor with cars, right next to the dust bunnies and whatever objects have taken up residence under my couch. I folded a load of towels but never got them put away. We had Ramen for lunch and I’m planning some pretty basic tacos for dinner.  Later, we will get in our minivan and go to a softball game, then come home and get ready for bed.

I’m hoping the most memorable part of today will be how mom was less worried about impressing them and more concerned with leaving a lasting impression.

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Becoming a Sports Mom: Meal Planning

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MealPlanningSoftballSeason

It seems I let my friendly neighbor talk me into signing all three girls up for softball.

I’m not sure what I was thinking. We tried soccer once. We’ve tried karate, dance, and tumbling.

We’ve tried, and will return to, swim lessons this summer.

We definitely do the individual sports better than the team ones.

My anxiety over the entire situation has nothing to do with our kids’ abilities or with a concern for their safety.

I don’t want to leave the house that much. I don’t want to go make small talk with other parents that I don’t know.

I’m going to dread every practice. Once I’m there, I’ll appear just find, be friendly, volunteer, and cheer the kids on.  When we get home, I’ll run to my room and hide in my bed. I will need to be alone for a bit – to recover from being social.

Moms with kids in sports, or really any extracurricular activities that eat up most of your week, have to learn to plan ahead and be prepared. Cooking time is limited, dinner is often late, and boy oh boy are those kids hungry.

Last Friday, my anxiety got the better of me. The practice schedule had been announced. It wasn’t a shock, I knew full well what to expect. The schedule made it real, and the reality of it all sent me into a panic.

Saturday morning, I woke up and decided that the only thing I could control right now was planning food. I could make a plan for what to eat and when to eat, and I could prep it early. Every little bit of healthy shortcut is good right? I really didn’t want to eat Chik-fil-A  four days a week.

I thought it might be fun to share some of the recipes I picked out. Most are from Taste of Home Cooking School Cookbook , my Pioneer Woman Cookbook, All Recipes.com or random recipe cards I found flying around my recipe bucket.

This week’s menu:

Monday: Pot Roast, Butterbeans, Mashed Potatoes, Peas and Biscuits

Tuesday: Cheesy Chicken and Rice, (leftover butterbeans and peas)

Wednesday: Spaghetti – night of our first practice

Thursday: Meatloaf, Corn on the Cob, Potatoes

Friday: BBQ Chicken (crock pot), leftover meatloaf for the kids, maybe homemade mac and cheese.  **

Saturday: Bacon Brussel Sprout Quesadillas and (leftover) BBQ Chicken Quesadillas {kids will eat pizza tacos}

Sunday: Big Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Butter Onion Soup {tomato soup for the kids}

** My homemade mac and cheese is a no bake kind. I whip it up in a pot just like you would a box of mac and cheese, only with real stuff. Also, before you think I’m snooty about boxed mac and cheese – we eat the boxed stuff at lunch.

Other Meals I Prepped

Homemade Pizzas

Pie Crusts for Pot Pies etc.

Tortilla Soup (Pioneer Woman pg. 77)

Meatballs (the kind you put chili sauce and grape jelly on and take to parties!)

White Chili (Taste of Home Cooking School Cookbook pg 92)

Creamy Garlic Noodles (THC, pg 217)

Breakfast Casserole

Cowboy Quiche (PW)

Challenges

We have a few challenges around meals. I shouldn’t even complain since we have no allergies or intolerances (that we know of). I also hesitate to even talk about them, for fear I’ll be met with “if you hadn’t babied them as babies they would eat what you fix them” or “just feed them what you make, if they don’t like it they can be hungry”. Both are true. The latter is how I was raised. I can remember being bummed upon arriving at the table to find mom had made that awful pork chop and noodle thing. I would spend half of dinner picking out those tiny tasteless mushrooms.

Here’s the deal folks. I promised to be honest and real. So here it is:

Kid #1 doesn’t eat bread unless it’s cinnamon toast and even that is just a recent addition to her diet. She won’t even eat crackers – just the topping. That eliminates the options for sandwich night. Yes, Sunday is grilled cheese night. I *might* be able to get her to eat the inner parts, if I cut off the crust, make it super cheesy, and it doesn’t get too brown. I have mini soft tortillas so she and her sister can have “cheesy roll ups” instead. Trying something new is almost impossible, even though when she does try it she usually likes it. She could eat a field full of cherry tomatoes and goes through pickles by the jar.  Her big issue is that food can not touch. Not even the juice. Even a little. Sometimes, we need separate utensils.

Kid #2 recently decided she did NOT like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and would be happy to live on fresh hot bread alone. Trying something new is usually only attempted on Try It Tuesday and it takes several tries before she’ll admit she kind of liked it. She is the most likely to give something new a chance, but we are short on time, practices start tomorrow. She is like her momma and would happily eat rice and peas (mixed) or mac n cheese with corn (mixed) every day for every meal.

Kid #3 doesn’t eat. Well, she eats Goldfish Crackers and pickles (half a spear). Cheetos. Chocolate Chip cookies (if they are soft). Brownies , but only the Little Debbie kind. Pasta Roni, parmesan angel hair and spaghetti. Some times. Some times she’ll eat it and some times it’s the most awful thing I’ve ever tried to feed her. She won’t eat Jello or meat or veggies. Once in a while she will eat a banana. She tried an apple last week. Yogurt is a no go. So is ice cream. I wish it were a texture, or a smell, or a color but there is no rhyme or reason to it. She doesn’t get to eat junk all day either. She just doesn’t eat. Yet, she is still growing and to be having such a lax Kindergarten year she is already doing math ahead of what her sisters were doing at that age. Doctor isn’t complaining, so I’m not worried. Yet.

Kid #4 used to eat everything. He’s a bit pickier now. He’s also perfectly content to just not eat if he doesn’t like what’s being served as long as you don’t make him hang around watching everyone else eat. He has way too many things to be doing to just sit and watch people eat. There are bad guys to fight and superheroes to imitate.

The Mr. lifts weights. He needs protein. Lots of protein. He would eat almost anything, at least once. He’ll eat it twice if you follow it up with a pie or cobbler.

 

So tell me mommas, what’s your favorite freezer meal? What’s your favorite grown up meal turned kid friendly meal? What’s your favorite trick to get kids to eat? Do you have a kid that just won’t eat?

This post may contain affiliate links. Proceeds from affiliate links go towards the cost of hosting the blog and helps to support our homeschool books, supplies, and classes. Thank you in advance for your support! If you would like to read more about our affiliations please see our Disclosures page.