Broken Heart – (Part 1/5)

5 Jun

This past winter, Mr. and I experienced something incredibly heartbreaking.

You may remember, in March, I posted this.

While vague, and nondescript, it was perfect. Looking back, it was exactly what I needed. Just enough to not feel forgotten, but left alone enough to be able to forget.

Well, I’m done forgetting now. I’m ready to open up.

 

The week before Christmas, I took a pregnancy test. It was positive. I hated the world.

If you have been following a while, you probably read, “And Baby Makes...” and it’s continuation, “And Baby Makes (Part II)” at the beginning of September.

In short, I found out I was pregnant, and a week later, I basically got my period. I was only about 5 weeks along. Even so, it was incredibly devastating.

Which brings me back to Christmas.

I took a pregnancy test, and it was positive. I was so scared. I was reserved. I decided not to get attached, just in case. 

I called my doctor and explained that I had had  a miscarriage a few months before, and that I would feel better if I came in and got checked out. I went in on Christmas Eve. The doctor looked at my charts, and decided to do some blood work to see if my levels were all normal. They were. She told me that she wanted me to get an ultrasound done in 2 weeks, to see where my due date was.

Being the impatient person I am, I made an appointment at a (wonderful) free clinic in town, and made my appointment for the doctor’s office. The free clinic would see me the week after Christmas. And then I would have my appointment at the doctor’s office the week after that.

Mr. and I discussed who we would tell what, and when. We decided no one would be told anything. We wanted to have this secret for ourselves for a while.

Christmas came and went. The morning sickness came, and didn’t “went”. *Whew.* Things must be normal.

Soon, I found myself in an ultrasound room in the free clinic. I was 7 weeks pregnant, according to my last period (you’re welcome, men). The nurse squirted the warm gel on my belly.

“As is expected, we can’t see anything abdominally… you are too early,” she said.

As she inserted the probe for the internal ultrasound, I felt nervous. I remember I was laying there shaking. She searched around for a few seconds and then said, “Well, the good news is, there’s the baby. The other news is, I don’t think you are as far as you think you are, so we can’t see a heartbeat.”

My heart sank.

She quickly reassured me that everything looked normal, but “normal” for a 5 week pregnancy.

Ok, so my dates were 2 weeks off. I could handle that.

I lived life as normally as possible for the next week.

I went to the doctor’s office, for my other ultrasound. It was truly uneventful. The tech did the scans, verified that I was now 6 weeks along, showed me the heartbeat (yay!) and sent me on my way. Later that night, the doctor called.

“Hi, Elisabeth. This is Dr. So-and-so. I was just looking at your ultrasound from today, and it verifies that you are indeed 6 weeks pregnant.”

“Ok…. the ultrasound tech told me that…” I said back.

She continued hesitantly, “Well, while the baby’s heart is beating, it’s beating slower than we would like.”

I didn’t know what that meant. “Ok. So, what does that mean? What do we do?”

“Well, why don’t you come in next week, and we will do another ultrasound, just to check, and we can discuss options then.”

“Options?” I asked in shock.

The doctor replied, “Well, depending on what is going on, you still have the option to either carry or term….”

“NO!” I cut her off. “That’s not an option.”

“Alright, then I will see you next week, after your scans.”

I told Mr. the news. He tried to assure me things would be fine. I was doubtful. I needed a new doctor. Termination wasn’t an option.

One week went by, and the third week in January, I went back for what would be my 3rd ultrasound.

As I lay there, staring at the ceiling, the tech says, “I need to go grab the doctor. Stay here.”

Something was wrong. They only bring in the doctor when something is wrong.

The doctor walked in.

Her face was smiling, but her eyes were not. “Hi, there!” She said.

“What’s going on?” I answered, not caring if it was polite or not.

“Well,” she started, smile lessening, “It looks like there are some issues.”

“Like….?” I asked, getting annoyed, and feeling panicked.

The doctor no longer had a smile at all as she continued, “The gestational sac is measuring at 10 weeks, but the baby is only measuring at about 6 weeks.”

“And…?” I couldn’t utter more than a word at a time at this point. I knew what was coming.

“It appears there is something wrong with Baby’s heart. It doesn’t seem to be beating properly, and that is slowing down the growth.” She must have sensed my dire need for information, because she just kept going, “The baby may very well make it to term, or at least close, but if it does, we are looking at some major health issues. Also, I’ve never seen a baby with these issues make it past the first trimester. With all of that said, the heart is still beating, the baby is still growing. I want you in for weekly ultrasounds to keep a close eye on things. If you don’t have any questions, I will see you next week.”

I couldn’t decide if I should sigh a sigh of relief, or a sigh of despair. The baby could make it, but then what?

“Thank you.” I said. I didn’t have anything else to say.

We had decided that Mr. would stay home with the 3 kids. We hadn’t been expecting bad news. I had to keep it together so I could drive home.

It was a long drive, but I felt good. Health issues? I could handle that. It would change our life, but we could make it work. We had to make it work.

I got home and told Mr. the news. He seemed to be on the same page I was. We could do this. We would do this. I had already lost one baby, I couldn’t do it again.

A week passed, and I went in for another ultrasound.

There had been a few changes. The baby had grown, and was now measuring at 7 weeks 2 days, the heart was still beating, but had slowed down even more. The gestational sac was now measuring 11 weeks.

The doctor came in and spoke with me again. This time, there was no smile. “It looks like the baby is slowing down. It probably won’t make it much longer. I still want to see you next week, though. Just in case.”

I got in the car, once again, and drove home.

When I got home, Mr. and I had a very different conversation than we had the week before. We no longer felt hopeful. It was a waiting game at this point.

The next week, we discussed Mr. coming with me to the appointment, but I felt it wasn’t necessary. He wanted to come, but we had 3 other kids to worry about. We knew what was going to happen. I was prepared.

As the tech scanned around, she began to look puzzled.

I asked her what was wrong.

She flipped the TV monitor on. I was expecting the worst.

As the image became clear, and my eyes focused, I realized, I wasn’t so prepared after all. The baby’s heart was still beating. I looked at the measurements.

Gestational sac average: 12 weeks

Fetal age average: 9 weeks

WHAT?! The baby wasn’t supposed to make it. More so, the baby shouldn’t have grown by 2 weeks in 7 days. I was confused.

I stared blankly at the screen, unsure what to think.

Then, without a word, the tech aimed her little white arrow to the bottom left hand corner on the screen.

72 BPM

I’m not an expert, but I knew that was too slow. I glanced back up to the baby, and saw the little flicker, flicker, flicker….

She said, “I just want to double check that quick.”

She zoomed in to the heart of the baby. The computer went to work.

66 BPM

I quickly looked back and forth from the 66 to the baby. Back and forth. Back and forth. Desperately trying to will the little heart to pick up speed.

It didn’t.

“Please check it again…” I begged.

“I can, but it won’t change anything,” she replied, sorrow and compassion in her voice.

“Please. I need to see it,” I said quietly.

“Ok. But, please let me know if you need me to stop.” Her words were nothing special, but her eyes were so kind.

She scanned the heartbeat again.

I watched. I held my breath. I silently pleaded with God. Please, Lord.

The computer did it’s work.

42 BPM

PLEASE, GOD! DON’T DO THIS TO ME, AGAIN!

Please. Do it again.” I was desperate. I don’t know what I was expecting. I knew what was happening.

“I really shouldn’t….” she said hesitantly.

“I need to know for sure.” I answered.

“One more time,” she said slowly.

She scanned. She sighed. She scanned again.

The results popped up onto the bottom left hand corner of the screen.

0 BPM

That was it. It was over. The baby was gone.

 

Proverbs 31:12 – Part 2

10 Apr

Now that you have had ample time (thanks to the flu!) to ponder verse 12, its time for me to (finally) weigh in!

“She brings him good, not harm, she comforts and encourages him and she is never spiteful, as long as she has breath to breathe.”

I have so many thoughts about this, I’m not even sure where to start, so let’s take the logical route, word by word.

“She brings him good, not harm…”

You know, I don’t walk around slapping Mr. And, I’ve never poisoned his food. So, I must not be bringing him harm, right? Perfect. Got that covered.

Next.

“…she comforts and encourages him…”

Well, when he is sick, I take care of him. And, I clap at his softball games. I think I have this verse down. Go Me!!

“…and she is never spiteful…”

Crap. You got me.

Spiteful. Hmmm. I know what spiteful means. Or, at least I thought I did. So, I decided to look it up, to see what it stirred in me. Wanna know the definition of spiteful?

Spiteful: full of spite

You’re welcome.

No, seriously.

Spiteful: filled with a (usually petty) desire to harm, annoy, frustrate, or humiliate another person

Which, brings me to my next point.

Upon first reading this passage, I honestly thought,  You know, I might not be the nicest wife ever, but I’m not that bad. But, now I am looking at this definition, and I am seeing it in a whole new light.

How often do we allow ourselves to bring our husbands (emotional, physical, spiritual) harm, because of our attitudes?

Let me tell you a little secret about myself. Lean in a little, I don’t want to have to say it too loudly.

*ahem*

I… might… 

No, lean a little bit closer… That’s better.

I… *might*… be…a…

LittleBitPassiveAgressive. 

But, shhhhhh. Don’t tell.

So, I am notorious for doing things like, asking Mr. to take out the garbage. If he doesn’t, I repeat myself. If he doesn’t again, I repeat myself, annoyed. If he still doesn’t, I move it to the middle of the hallway, so that he trips over it in the dark, having to clean up a bunch of trash, thinking the whole time, Gee, my wife was right… I *should* have taken this out last night. 

Here is the problem. It’s not, at all, even in the least bit, not a smidgen, effective.

I’ve often wondered, “Why?”.

I think I finally have my answer. My attitude.

By doing things like that, I bring my husband (emotional) harm. A better attitude would be to remind myself that he spends all day at work, and he would like to rest for a minute with his kids before doing chores. I would be willing to bet, that if I started simply asking him to take it out, and then waiting for him to do so, and then when he walked in from taking out the garbage, I hugged him and thanked him for being so helpful, I would most likely see better results. And guess what else? I just encouraged him to be a better husband!

Instead of reprimanding him, pray for him. Instead of reminding him, praise him. Instead of _______________, LOVE him. What word can you fill in there? What action will you replace it with?

I’m going to be honest here, for a second.

Going through these verses the first time, I just kept thinking, I am an awful wife. But, upon further thought and prayer, I have changed my attitude. I now keep thinking, I am so excited to finally become the wife my husband deserves!

Oh, and remember, it’s not just when its EASY. It’s as long as you have breath to breathe.

Here are some points to look at when applying this verse.

  • Would praying for him be more beneficial than scolding him?
  • How have you encouraged your husband TODAY?
  • What actions should you apologize for that you have done today?
  • What brings about a poor attitude in your toward your husband, and what verse will you recite to yourself while you ask the Lord to change that in you?

Now go pray for your husband, and your attitude!

What from our Proverbs 31 series have you applied, and what changes have you seen?! Let’s hear some testimonies as to how God is changing your marriage through you! Let me know in the comments!

Proverbs 31:12 – As Long As I Have Breath to Breathe

5 Apr

We are just a few days in on our Proverbs 31 Challenge. Today we are diving into verse 12, which says, “She brings him good, not harm, she comforts and encourages him and she is never spiteful, as long as she has breath to breathe.”

Wow. As long as she has breath to breathe. That’s incredible. Not, “as long as she is having a good day” or “as long as it’s easy”. Nope. As long as she has breath to breathe. Seriously. I can’t get over the depth of that. Putting aside what it is we are supposed to be doing, the immense dedication that “as long as she has breath to breath” takes is astounding. As long as I have breath to breathe. 

I feel very strongly that this specific verse needs more than one day’s worth of attention. So, I actually have an assignment for you, and I will be back on Monday to follow up.

Your job this weekend is to constantly be praying, Lord, give me the desire and ability to be the best wife, mother, and woman that I possibly can be as long as You give me breath to breathe. Not just when it’s easy. Not just when things are going perfectly. Lord, give me unconditional love for (husband’s name), as you have shown love to me. Amen.

My heart feels so strongly that I, personally, need to better about this. I am not taking an entire weekend for you, my readers and fellow women, but for me. For me to change my heart toward my husband. But, take advantage of it, and let the Lord change your heart, too.

See you Monday!

Proverbs 31:11 – Building Trust

4 Apr

Welcome to day three of our Proverbs 31 challenge! We are taking Proverbs 31:10-26 verse by verse in an attempt to better ourselves for those we love. Wanna join? It’s not too late! Start with yesterday’s post, “Proverbs 31:10 – Becoming Priceless”.

Remember to ask the Lord to help you on your journey with this:

Lord,  I believe you have brought (insert husband’s name here)  into my life for a reason. That reason is to be the perfect wife for him. As I strive to better myself, be with me. Let it not be me changing, but You changing me. Amen.

 

Today, it’s all about TRUST. 

Proverbs 31:11   Her husband can trust her, and she makes his life better, giving him no reason to regret trusting her.

Can your husband trust you? Aren’t sure? Maybe it’s time to have a chat about it.

Even if you have the most trusting relationship in the world, there are probably a few places you can improve.

Being trustworthy isn’t just about not telling people about that giant mole on his back (this is a fictional mole) or announcing in front of his friends that he is *terrified* of snakes (Sorry, love.). It’s about being constant.

Today, I challenge you to do a few things to build your trust in your relationship.

  1. Tell your husband you are going to do something. Do it. – It doesn’t even have to be anything big. Say, “When you get home tonight, I’m going to meet you at the door.” And then, follow through. Pick something every day for the next week, and then, do it. Don’t tell him why. Just do it. Be like Nike®, if you will.
  2. Confide in him.  Seems silly, a little bit, huh? Well, the best way to build trust, is to give trust. If you don’t trust him, why should he trust you? We are women. There is something that has been weighing on our minds. Tell him. Ask him to pray for you and with you about it. Give it a few days, and then thank him for being there for you. It will remind him that you trusted him, and boost his self-esteem because you remembered that he was there for you.
  3. Hug him.  Say what?! That’s right. Hug him. Would you walk up to a stranger and hug them? Probably not. Show your husband that basic level of trust by hugging him often.
  4. Don’t downplay his emotions.  This one will take some time. When your husband makes comments, no matter how small they seem to you, don’t discount his feelings. I am *so guilty* of doing this. Mr. will tell me something that is serious to him, and I laugh. I don’t know why. I can’t help it. But, starting now, I will help it.  When he tells me that he had a hard day at work, I will show empathy and ask  him to talk about it. And I will be sincere.
  5. Ask him how to pray for him.  Show him that you are in it with him, by asking what he is struggling with. He may be having anger issues at work. Or he may be feeling down lately. Ask him what his needs are. Pray together. Follow up in a few days and ask how he is doing. Then, don’t forget him! Remember to ask every so often if things are better. Also ask him if there is anything new he needs prayer for.

Trust is earned, not given. If you have proven yourself untrustworthy in the past, it will take time to earn that back. Continue showing your husband that you trust him and he will learn that your trust is worth it after a while.

Proverbs 31:10 – Becoming Priceless

3 Apr

Yesterday I talked about becoming a Proverbs 31 woman. Then, I challenged you to join me!

I truly think that attitude is everything. So, to start on the right foot, let’s think positive!

Let your prayer for this challenge be this:

Lord,  I believe you have brought (insert husband’s name here)  into my life for a reason. That reason is to be the perfect wife for him. As I strive to better myself, be with me. Let it not be me changing, but You changing me. Amen.

 

Proverbs 31:10 says, Who can find a wife who is noble, virtuous, and of good character? She is priceless.

Today, let’s focus on what the Lord has given us: our husbands and our children. Wait, you don’t have children? Or a husband? Then pray in the future tense!

What do noble, virtuous, and good character really mean?

Noble: of an exalted moral    Strive to be of an exalted moral. What does that mean? Well, exalted refers to something higher. Moral is basically your standards. So, if you are of an exalted moral, or noble, you make yourself live up to higher expectations than the world.

Virtuous: morally excellent  Strive to be morally excellent. Anyone else see a pattern here? Have excellent standards. Don’t settle for what the world has to offer.

Good Character:  the aggregate of high quality traits that make up an individual    Let the traits that make up your character be good ones! Lying, cheating, dishonesty, gossiping. Not good traits. Honesty, integrity, courage, compassion. Now, those are good character traits.

Now that we have defined some of the key words in Proverbs 31:10, let’s put it all together.

Who can find a wife who is of an exalted moral, morally excellent, and is an individual who is made up of high quality traits? She is priceless.

Wait. We forgot to define one word.

Priceless: having a value beyond all price, irreplaceable, incomparable.  

So, now, here we go again:

Who can find a wife who is of an exalted moral, morally excellent, and is an individual who is made up of high quality traits? She is valued beyond all price, irreplaceable, and incomparable.

The key to making your husband want to stay in your marriage, is to make yourself priceless to him. The Bible has laid it out for us, that if we follow these things, we will do just that! Now, are there other aspects of marriage? Of course. But, a house built on sand will fall and crumble. Build your house on a firm foundation, so that it can withstand all of the things that are thrown at it during the storms!

Your mission for today is this:

Make a list of your morals. What do you believe? Do they line up with Scripture? If not, highlight them. Now, find the scripture that matches up with that moral, and write it down. Post it somewhere you will see it often. Also, write down your character traits. Do the same thing as with morals. Highlight the ones you want to change, and write them down.

Mine might look something like this:

I believe that: 

  • lying is okay if it doesn’t hurt anyone (Proverbs 19:9 – “he who breathes lies will perish.”)
  • swearing is not okay (Eph. 4:29 – “Don’t let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth”.)
  • going to the casino is okay as long as it’s to play the game, not for money (1 Tim 6:10 – “The love of money is the root of evil”.)
  • its not gossip if it’s true  (Proverbs 20:19b -“…avoid anyone who talks too much.”)
  • don’t stay mad  (Eph 4:26 “do not let the sun go down on your anger.”)

I am 

  • indecisive (Matt 5:37 – “Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no'”.)
  • friendly (Romans 15:2 – “Make your neighbor happy.”)
  • encouraging (1 Thes 5:11 “Encourage one another”.)
  • anxious (Phil 4:6 “Don’t be anxious.”)
  • generous (Prov 19:17 – “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord”.)

Pray against these things in your life. be intentional about what you do and say.

Start today in making the changes to yourself  to become priceless  to your husband.

 

 

Proverbs 31. Who’s Up for the Challenge?

2 Apr

I have recently had many friends come to me, complaining about their husbands and marriages, and their children. Then, in return, as a woman, I also complain about my husband and marriage, and my children. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my husband. Is he perfect? Actually, yes. He is. He is perfect for me. Does this mean he never makes mistakes? No. He makes mistakes all the time. But, then again, so do I.

The issue isn’t how many mistakes a person makes in a day, the issue is how you are reacting. 

I, for one, am a perfect example of crazy, raving lunatic. 

I ask Mr., “Can you please take out the trash?”

If it isn’t done in the next 5 minutes, I resort to, “Seriously… can you please take the overflowing, nasty, stinky trash out?!”

5 more minutes pass, “ARE YOU EVER GOING TO TAKE THE FLIPPING TRASH OUT?!?!?!?!” *Insert stomping, flailing and hysterics.*

Why? Why do I do that? Because I am human.

But, many times, I let that be my excuse, and it’s not a good one.

 

I know that realistically I can’t change my husband, I can only change myself, and hope that the change in me inspires change in others.

I have really been delving into the goodness that is Proverbs 31 recently.

I hate it. It’s awful. It makes me want to throw things.

I know, I know. I said, “…goodness…”. 

So what is it that elicits this response from me? The fact that as I read it, I realize how perfect I’m not. I realize how much I need to change. I realize how much the problem is me, not Mr. or my children. I realize how much I need to humble myself and submit to God and to my husband. Ugh. Change is hard. Change is not fun. But, change is worth it!

For those of you who don’t know, in Proverbs, the Bible clearly defines what a good wife should look like. And, its really not even that difficult. But, it hits on all the things I struggle with.

So, now here is the challenge. Are you willing to do whatever it takes to be a Proverbs 31 woman? I have decided to devote my entire April to learning how to be a better wife. By becoming a better wife, I hope to become a better mom, and therefore, and overall better woman.

Yesterday was April 1st. Today is April 2nd, and now the joke is over. Be a better woman, today.

Using 5 paralleled translations, I am going to write out Proverbs 31:10-31 as it speaks to me.

 

Who can find a wife who is noble, virtuous, and of good character? She is priceless.

Her husband can trust her, and she makes his life better, giving him no reason to regret trusting her.

She brings him good, not harm, she comforts and encourages him and she is never spiteful, as long as she has breath to breathe.

She uses her resources and puts her hands to good use.

She is like a ship that sails to far away places and brings good surprises.

She is up before the household so that she is prepared for the day.

She uses her savings to plant a garden.

She is strong, mentally, spiritually, and physically, and prepared for the tasks God places before her.

She senses the worth of her work and does not easily give up.

She is diligent in homemaking. 

She opens her arms to the poor and gives to those in need, whether they need in body, mind or spirit. 

She is not afraid of change, because she knows her family’s needs are met in full.

She makes her own clothing and dresses in royal attire.

Her husband is greatly respected.

She makes things and is good at selling them.

She is clothed in strength and dignity and can rejoice in the time to come.

When she speaks her words are wise and she always has something worthwhile to say and she always says it kindly.

She carefully watches everything in her household, making sure everyone is being productive.

Her children respect her and say she is blessed and happy.

Her husband is proud of her. He is so proud that he tells her, “Many women do wonderful things, but you are by far better than the rest!” (And he truly believes it.)

She does not allow her charm to mislead others. She knows that outward looks don’t last forever. She is admired not for those things, but for her reverence and love for the Lord.

She is rewarded for all she has done. She is given all she deserves. She is well loved.

 

Remember, this is not a direct translation, rather what I am taking from the scripture.

I firmly believe that every wife and mother can accomplish everything on this list.

I know there will be a lot of complaining about the  sewing, gardening, and homemaking. Don’t take it so literally.

I take, “She makes her own clothing and is dressed royally” to mean that a wife should be diligent about providing the best clothing for the best price.

Not into gardening? Live in the city? Don’t own your land? Utilize the farmer’s market! Use the money you are saving elsewhere to feed your family better food. Know where your food comes from. Don’t settle for “Chicken?” Nuggets.

Diligent in homemaking. Provide the best home you possibly can for your family.  Do you have 3 little kids like me? Then the best home possible might be a little messier than other’s houses. Your meals might not be gourmet. But if it truly is the best you can provide, then it’s the best for your family. I personally will be tying this into “puts her hands to good use” and “makes sure everyone is productive”.

Over the next month, I challenge you to become a Proverbs 31 woman along with me. Will we all be perfect by May 1st? I hope so, but I doubt it. Will we all be better by May 1st? I know we will.

If you are with me on the challenge, let me know in the comments so that we can keep each other accountable. Take the next 24 hours to read Proverbs 31:10-31 for yourself, and make a list of the qualities. What are your strong suits and what could you be doing better with? Each day I am going to focus on one aspect and give some tips for how to better yourself in that area. I will share some things that have worked for me and also some things I will be trying in order to better myself.

 

Ladies, I am so excited to go on this journey with you!

Not a lady? Then take these qualities and pray the power of scripture for your wife or future wife, mother, sister, daughter, neighbor…

Let’s be what God has called us to be! Let’s get better, together! Let’s be true Proverbs 31 women!! Yay!!

Menu Planning Binder

18 Mar

Recently, we had been spending almost triple our food budget per week, because dinner wasn’t planned, so we would eat out. No bueno.

I spoke with a good friend of mine, and she opened my eyes to meal planning. She truly is a genius.

While everyone’s menu and system may be different, there are a few key things to remember.

  1. Keep it simple. If you make your meal planning too difficult, you won’t do it. For some people, this means having meals 100% planned a month in advance. For others, it means planning a weeks worth of meals and picking one every day. No matter what you choose, keep it simple.
  2. Be consistent. Pick a day and plan that same day every time. The first of the month, every Saturday, or the first and third Thursdays. Even payday! Just pick one, and stick with it.
  3. Be organizedWrite your menu down. Have a defined place to keep it. A napkin from take-out last week, followed by the back of a memo from work, both shoved into a purse is not the way to go. A white board on the wall, a piece of paper taped to the fridge, or a spreadsheet printed from your computer and hung are much more acceptable.
  4. Make it visible. Keep your menu visible, so that you aren’t tempted to stray from it.
  5. Give yourself a break. Menu planning doesn’t mean you cook all the time. It means you plan when and when not to cook. We plan pizza night once a rotation, usually on a busy night or after a stressful spurt.

To give you an idea of how you may want to organize yourself, here is a look at my (recently started) meal planning binder.

I wanted it to look nice, so I designed a cover that I would not mind seeing sitting on the counter.

binder front watermarked

 

I plan my meals out two weeks at a time, so I made a menu calendar to reflect that. I can use it for one, two, or even three weeks, if need be. I then placed that calendar in the back slot of the binder, and I use a dry erase marker to write our calendar out.

menu calendar watermarkedInside I have separated my recipes out into tabs. You can label yours whatever you want, but I used the following:

  • Main Dishes
  • Side Dishes
  • Crock Pot
  • Breakfast
  • Desserts

These may not make the most sense to you, so use whatever does make sense.

Tabs Watermarked

 

Then, filed under each tab, I have recipes that are tried and true. I have copied them out of cookbooks, printed, or just written on a piece of printer paper, but they are all in this binder. I also have them alphabetized.  They are not necessarily arranged by title, but more so by what we call them. For example, there is a recipe called, “Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken”, and that is filed under, “Apricot Chicken”.

Inside Watermarked

 

To make planning a little easier, I have done a few things to my planning binder. I use a dry erase marker, and write the date we had certain recipes on the protector page. Dated Recipes WatermarkedI also keep a piece of paper inside the pocket of my binder, for a grocery list. Things that I use the last of or things that are being used for the next week. It makes it somewhat fool proof.

grocery list watermarked

 

 

I personally try to alternate Crock Pot and actual cooking recipes, along with chicken, beef, meatless, pork, so that I am not in the kitchen for 5 days straight, slaving over a stove making chicken after chicken after chicken, when there could have been soup in the Crock Pot after lasagna night!!

All in all, my new Meal Planning Binder has been incredibly helpful!

Are you a meal planner? What kind of systems and planning do you use? Let me know in the comments!!

 

Sad eat cows.

6 Mar

Today, I was sitting in the living room, the kids are watching Disney, and all is well.

Until this face…

Image

appears in front of me, and says, very matter-of-fact, “Sad eat cows.”

I looked at him, a little confused and asked, “What, buddy?”

“Sad eat cows.”

*Blank stare*

He repeats again, a little more slowly, “Sad…eat….cows.”

Thinking if I say it, I might get it, I say back, “Sad eat cows?”

Getting frustrated, he says again, “No…. Saaaad…. eeeeat…. cows.”

I just keep staring at him.

He just keeps saying it, “Sad eat cows. Saaaad eeeeat coooows. SadEatCows! SSSSSAAAA-IIIIDDDD EEEEEAAAA-UUUUTTT COOOOW-UUUUS!!!!!!”

At this point, I have been staring at my Middle Little repeatedly saying variations on “Sad eat cows” for nearly 5 minutes, and I am not a syllable closer to understanding him.

I decide to dig a little deeper. “Can you tell me more, buddy?”

Without hesitation, he says, “Yes, b!tch. Sad eat cows.”

I’m now a even more confused. I blink a few times.

Little Miss walks over, and I ask, “Do you have any idea what he is talking about?!”

As though she has been waiting for this moment since the whole hoopla began, she says, “Yes. Sandcastles…. at the beach. You know (insert sarcastic tone) saaand… caaast….lllles. Sandcastles.”

I look at Middle Little for validation, and see he is frantically nodding in agreement.

He exclaims, “Yes!! Sad eat cows… b!tch!!!!”

Whew. Sandcastles. At the beach.

Good thing she clarified.

I was about to give the poor kid a steak and a balloon.

Also, let’s not bring up Ocean City at church anytime soon…

 

Did your kids say anything funny that had you raising eyebrows at them? Share in the comments!

Why the Hiatus?

4 Mar

Some of you have asked recently, “Why haven’t you blogged lately?” or “When is your next post coming?”

Well, I don’t know why not. And up until right now, I didn’t know when.

Writing is my therapy. It makes me feel better. It puts my thoughts somewhere other than my head, and allows me to make sense of them. However, sometimes, I don’t need therapy. I need a hole in the ground to swallow me up, never to be seen again.

While I have spent the last few weeks trying to find a hole willing to accommodate me for eternity, none were to be found.

Here is the thing. While writing is my therapy, I’m not ready to write yet. I’m not ready to face what’s going on in my head, and more importantly my heart. For right now, I just want to keep on (not) keeping on.

Thanks for understanding.

Thanks for your support.

And thanks for your love.

I’m tired. Tired, and thankful.

13 Dec

Last night, my children, again, teamed up against Mr. and myself. So please excuse any and all errors in this post.

This is how my night went last night:

8:00PM- Bedtime.

8:02PM- Little Miss has to go potty.

8:08PM-Middle Little needs a drink.

8:09PM-Little Miss also needs a drink.

There were a few more things, but you get the idea.

Fast forward to midnight.

We decide its bedtime for us, resolving to do a few things that need done in the morning, instead of before bed.

We crawl  fall into bed.

Exhausted.

1:00AM- Middle Little needs another drink.

1:15AM- Middle Little is still awake.

1:45AM- Middle Little goes back to bed.

2:30AM- Buddy Boy wakes up.

2:45AM-Buddy Boy is back to sleep.

4:00AM- Middle Little needs yet another drink. And a new diaper, since he has had about a million drinks since he went to bed.

4:15AM- Middle Little is back in bed.

5:03AM- Little Miss is wide awake.

She makes a lot of noise when she wakes up. Volume control is beyond her. Oy.

5:08AM- Middle Little is also awake.

5:09AM- 2 kids and 2 adults are crammed into our queen size bed. Kids are talking, and tickling, and giggling. Parents are shushing, and glaring, and shushing, and shushing.

5:15AM- Everyone is settled and resting nicely.

5:17AM- Middle Little announces, “I need to cuddle with Mommy!!”

Everyone rearranges.

5:25AM- Everyone is settled and resting nicely.

5:32AM- Little Miss whines (loudly, remember the volume control issues?) that now its her turn to cuddle with Mommy.

Everyone rearranges. Again.

5:40AM- Everyone is settled and resting nicely. Again.

5:48AM- Someone made some sort of noise  and Mommy killed everyone and Mommy decides to offer a movie in hopes of a little more rest.

5:50AM- Everyone except Mr. scrambles (loudly) to the living room. I promise them TinkerBell and $100 for anyone who lays nicely on a couch. They both lay down, waiting patiently for the cute little fairy to appear.

6:00AM- Netflix isn’t working and we all died.

6:02AM- I pray to the good Lord above, and promise anything and everything I can think of if He could just please make there be something good on Disney.

6:03AM- I turn to channel 34 (Disney). Mickey’s Twice Upon A Christmas is on. 

*Whew*

Now, here I sit, sipping my coffee, watching the faces of my two littles as they watch a chaotic tale of Mickey Mouse and his friends.

Am I happy that I am exhausted? No. Am I so very blessed beyond measure that my kids even woke up today? Yes.

There is so much wrong in the world today. So much hate, so much pain.

I can’t fix it.

But, I can enjoy the snuggles of a now sleepy 2 and 3 year old, as they sit on my lap, and thank God for blessing me with these little people.

Out of all the people in the entire world, God chose me to be in charge of these babies.

He sure must love me a lot.

 

Hug your kids. Count your blessings. Be thankful for what you have, and make sure you thank the One who gave it all to you.