Sunday, January 28, 2018

Thankful 1.25.18

  1. Danielle went grocery shopping for the week. We planned the meals together, she shopped, and put everything away. You guys, I kind of feel like I have the best deal ever.
  2. We went to Dan's uncle's funeral today. Although it was a sad reason, it was nice to see all of his family and both Cora and Mira fell asleep on my lap 5 minutes before the service started. That never happens. 
  3. We walked in the door after a long day of driving and dinner was ready and waiting. SPOILED.

  1. Cora has finally figured out that she is able to climb out of her crib. Ugh. I suppose all good things must come to an end. But, I am thankful she is staying in there during nap time. For now...
  2. Making time to clean the girls' rooms. I hadn't seen the carpet in Cora's for a few weeks.
  3. Dan and the girls finally agreed to go to bed at 9 PM after me begging him to pause the movie so I could see the rest of it the next day. Life wears me out man.
  1. We celebrated Dan's grandma's 80th birthday at our house with a surprise party. The only thing I had to do was provide the house. Others brought food, drinks, decorations, etc. They even stayed to clean. It was a pretty sweet deal. We don't often see that side of Dan's family and we saw them twice in one week!
  2. While I was busy playing hostess, Mira was held and passed around by everyone there and she did nothing but coo and smile. She is the best baby.
  3. Homemade slime, or as Cora calls it, "swippewy swime" and the teenage girls who were willing to teach Ina how to make it. 


  1. Warmer weather allowing us to get outside and play. Seeing the kids riding their bikes, scooters, and power wheels around the cul-de-sac made my heart sing. We need days like this to make winter tolerable.
  2. New people at our small group who fit in instantly. 
  3. Ina loves reading The Purpose Driven Life before bed. I get my study in and she has something to listen to while falling asleep. Win-win.
  1. New toys at the gym. We ran sprints with parachutes behind us and pushed the prowler. Woof. 
  2. Enjoying the pretty snow without it sticking to the streets. 
  3. Someone (we aren't sure who) finally picked up the construction crew's porter potty that had fallen over in our cul-de-sac and after just a few phone calls from a not-so-happy Dan.

  1. Ina actually sat still for me to braid her hair. 
  2. The girls started swim lessons up again. Ina did great, just as expected, and spent more time under water than above it. I was worried Cora would be hesitant, but instead she was so excited to go, jumped right in, was very upset when she had to leave, and has since been asking when she can go back. A week is a long time in Cora world. Mira slept the whole time.
  3. Hearing all 8 voices sitting at our dinner table say, "amen" at the exact same time. I can almost see the allure of having a big(ger) family. Ha, just kidding. I'm not insane. 


  1. Granny wasn't too upset when Dan backed into her car. Sigh. I suppose there is a reason we have an emergency fund.
  2. Rest and recovery days that are on purpose and not on accident.
  3. Ina's enthusiasm at dance class and her confidence to march to the beat of her own drum.
Recipes from the week:

Green curry chicken with brown rice and veggies: I didn't follow a recipe, but seared up a pound of chicken breast in a deep skillet. I removed the chicken and let it cool to slice and then added a can of coconut milk and a few tablespoons of green curry paste to the pan to bring to a boil. Once boiling I added a mix of veggies: broccoli, peppers, green beans and carrots and let them cook before adding the sliced chicken. It was a great dinner and everyone cleaned their plates.

Naked Persian turkey burgers from The Skinnytaste Cookbook with roasted potato fries and salad. I loved this meal. Will be a repeated often.

Veggie sloppy joe sweet potatoes with roasted broccoli and brussels sprouts. Excellent. That meal contained NINE vegetables.

Danielle made chili one night. Dan was afraid we wouldn't have enough, so we boiled some brown rice noodles to go with it.

Slow cooker Santa Fe chicken with quinoa, salsa, and avocados - a great and versatile meal that the kids loved and provided plenty of leftovers.

Pork chops with applesauce, roasted broccoli and brussels sprouts, and mashed cauliflower. There wasn't a crumb of leftovers left.

Almond Joy Energy Bites - YUM.

I hope you have a fantastic start to your week!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Thankful 1.18.18

Better late than never...


  1. Even though Mira was diagnosed with the flu at her 4 month check-up (whomp, whomp), she was otherwise healthy and in the 99 percentile for length! She is going to be a tall girl! We picked up some Tylenol and Tamiflu and she is already doing much, much better. 
  2. Ina's five year check up also went really well, with one small exception. Her BMI and weight jumped up quite a bit, which honestly really surprised me. When I look at her all I see is a very healthy girl. I cannot tell you how many emotions I felt when I proceeded to discuss healthy eating and activity with her doctor. I could write an entire book on everything that was tied to that conversation. I wanted to tell her that I KNOW all of this stuff already. However, after Mira was born I have to admit I became more relaxed and Ina and Cora's eating and activity and they could stand to be healthier, which is what I am focusing on. Healthy choices for her to be her best self. Thankfully, her doctor chose her words wisely (except for one unfortunate part) and I don't think Ina seemed to notice or be upset at all.
  3. Dan typically puts Cora to bed. However, this night he was out salting streets, so I was in charge. Ina and Mira went to sleep great like usual, but poor Cora fought hard. I think I might have fallen asleep before she did. Oops. 
  1. Costco produce. We go through a ton of fresh fruit and veggies, so I am happy to have the opportunity to purchase in bulk. 
  2. After about 2 weeks of being sick I am finally feeling like myself again. I bet I had the flu, as Mira tested positive for it. So happy to have that over with. 
  3. Netflix. Why did I wait so long to sign up for it?

  1. My grandparents stopped by for a surprise visit. I just love hearing them chat with my daughters. 
  2. The Narnia series. How have I missed these up until now? We watched the first movie and I immediately ordered the book on Amazon. There is nothing better to do on these long winter nights than read.
  3. I was able to have a ladies night to celebrate my mom's birthday with my family at the casino while Dan stayed home with all three girls. He didn't even call once. My hero.

  1. Meeting new friends at church.
  2. A little bit of lounge time snuck in an otherwise eventful day.
  3. The Champs moved in! One of our favorite families (Danielle has taken care of my kids since Ina was 10 months old) are building a house, so we offered up our basement to them in the interim. Ina and Cora are beyond excited to have two kids to play with and I am pretty stoked to have a cooking, workout, coffee drinking buddy to hang out with 24/7. 

  1. I couldn't go to the gym because Dan was plowing snow and leaving children unattended is frowned upon. Typically I would have just not worked out, but Danielle was there and invited me to do a workout video with her. It was so fun! (My legs are still sore, five days later.)
  2. The ability to work from home. It was a cold snowy day and I loved that I didn't have to get out. 
  3. Mira discovering her feet. Soon they will be in her mouth just like her sister.

  1. Having other coffee drinkers in the house means that coffee is ready and made as soon as I want it. 
  2. The Best of Both Worlds Podcast. If you are a working mom, give that a listen. 
  3. I made it back to the gym after a nearly two week hiatus due to illness. It felt so good to get my heart rate up again and lift some weights. 
  1. Granny had the girls pick up their toy room. It looked good for about 5 minutes...
  2. I had the opportunity to take Ina to dance class this week. It was so fun to see her run around and have fun with the other girls in her class.
  3. The Broken Brain documentary series. Are you guys watching this? It is so interesting! They might possibly have Dan convinced to clean up his eating. Maybe. 

Recipes/Meals from the week:

Steak, roasted green beans, beets, and salad. Dan pan seared the steak, so all I had to do was heat up the beets and roast the green beans. Super simple, but delicious dinner.

Green eggs. I am on a mission to get one of my children to like eggs. This didn't work, but I definitely liked them! (I told Ina she could put on a swipe of my blush for every bite of egg she took. She made it to two, but didn't gag, so maybe we are getting somewhere?)

Picadillo with brown rice and roasted broccoli - another old favorite, repeated more times than I can count.

Veggie, chicken sausage, and lentil soup served with roasted green beans: everyone loved it. Will make again.

Butternut squash soup: I had this for lunch every day this week (along with kale salads) and it was so delicious and warmed my belly on these cold days.

Tacos carne asada (meat seasoned and cut by a local market) with pressure cooker refried beans and rice. See pic above. Everyone was happy.

Asian skillet slaw: loads of veg and loads of flavor!

Smoked chicken legs, broccoli, beets, and quinoa tabbouleh. Note to self to buy double the amount of chicken legs I think we will actually need.

Have a great weekend! <3

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Thankful 1.11.18

  1. A successful first fellowship interview.
  2. Ina staying the night at Granny's. Although she was missed, I was sick and one less kid to care for did help this night.
  3. Watching Ina and Cora successfully play together without fighting. It sounds and looks so nice. 

  1. My cousin came in town to see the Chiefs playoff game. Ina had all but threatened her life to convince her to stay at our house if the Chiefs made it to the playoffs. Since then we have been "voting for" the Chiefs to win so BubBub can come for a sleepover. I don't think Ina let go of her the first five minutes she saw her. 
  2. I finally started to feel a little better - no aches and chills at night, but my throat is raw and I lose my voice at times. I find it is much easier to whisper than actually try to talk. Dan thinks it is funny to ask me to repeat everything. I never realized how much I raise my voice to talk to someone in another room...until I couldn't. 
  3. Wal-Mart grocery pick up. This might be on my list every week. 
  1. Selling a large item on FB MarketPlace. I am less excited about the extra cash than I am the extra room. Ha!
  2. Throat Coat tea. It makes being sick a little more bearable. 
  3. Even though the Chiefs lost in the playoffs, the game was close, which gave us hope until the end. I like having hope. 
  1. Our friends Brand and Chessa made us a delicious and comforting lunch of black bean soup. The kids played, the adults talked. It was great. 
  2. Small group started again after the holiday break. We are doing The Daniel Plan study, which I have done several times, just never with my own small group. I am excited, but I think it will be challenging. 
  3. Watching Cora eat a zoodle (zucchini noodles). This made my heart sing. She would hold the zoodle up as high as she could, tip her head back and lower it in. This worked until she found a zoodle twice the length of her arm, which despite much effort, landed on her face. 

  1. Driving home from Granny's house the mini-van was full of noises. I had a headache and was trying to block it out, but then realized I shouldn't. Ina was explaining to me her algorithm for when to say the day after tomorrow is one day away and when to say it is two days away (apparently I was incorrect when I informed her that her dance lessons on Wednesday were two days away), Cora was screaming "Watch out for that car!" whenever we passed a car parked or otherwise, and Mira was singing her own song, determined not to be left out. One day I will miss that. 
  2. Everyone ate their dinner (see avgolemeno below). Everyone. This almost never happens, even when we have pizza. 
  3. After dinner clean up and baths are usually the craziest part of my day and everything is done a little haphazardly. For some reason, today's went so smoothly. Cora and Ina colored at the table while I did the dishes and cleaned up. Mira sat in her bouncer, happy to be next to me in the kitchen, and time just seemed to slow down. 

  1. Even on days when Granny takes the girls to her house, she drives over to our house in the morning to pick them up and help me get them ready. Yes, I know, I won the mother-in-law lottery.
  2. Our Parents as Teachers teacher...the more I get to know her the more I love her. She is such a jewel in our community. Somehow while teaching Cora how to count and satisfying Ina's desire to complete every activity under the sun, she simultaneously explained to Dan and me how she volunteers to help the teen moms in the school district. Would it be weird to meet her without my children? Maybe for coffee? 
  3. Kale. It might be the placebo effect, but I seriously feel better (more energy, stronger, like I have super powers...) after I eat it. 

  1. After a horrible, fussy, sleepless night, the thought finally occurred to my sleep-deprived self that I should give Mira some Tylenol. It worked and she finally calmed down. Poor baby is sick for the first time. Even though this is my third baby, it isn't any easier than seeing Ina sick for the first time. 
  2. Ina had her first dance lessons. She said she loved it and asked if she could go again tomorrow. 
  3. Cora and baby time. I stayed home with them while Dan and Ina were at dance and it was nice to have some time with just us. Cora loves singing songs to and cuddling with Mira. 
Lots of good recipes from the week:

Burger salad - seared up some pre-formed pattys and served on top of baby spinach mixed with onions, pickles, tomatoes, and lots of mustard. This was much better than I expected. 

Slow cooker pernil with cilantro lime rice and cabbage slaw. An old favorite.

Thai Crunch salad: we took this to the Nyberg's house to go with the soup. It was great. Will make again.

Asian turkey meatballs with a sesame lime sauce with zoodles, roasted broccoli, and brown rice. The Champs shared this meal with us and even with a doubled recipe, there were zero leftovers.

Avgolemeno (aka Greek chicken soup) with salad greens. Everyone LOVED that soup. I made it with rice instead of orzo and our homemade chicken broth. It's a keeper for sure.

Beef ragu with polenta and kale. Everyone loved the ragu - we had it for two nights in a row. The girls didn't love the polenta. Dan tolerated it the first night, but the second night he seared it up in a pan with some olive oil and liked it much better. We have plans to try it again with some type of Mexican flavored pork.

Have a great week! <3

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Thankful 1.4.18

  1. Cora singing Jingle Bells. Her voice is just so sweet, and while she gets most of the song correct, she makes "one horse open sleigh" all one word and then ends with an enthusiastic, "hey!"
  2. A work break between Christmas and New Year's. While I technically had some work to do, it was way less that usual, and I am working at home. It was almost like a second mini maternity leave. 
  3. The Logic Puzzles book we got Ina for Christmas, which is unfortunately way over her age level. However, she still loves to do them and Dan and I are having fun with them after dinner. And by "having fun" I mean Dan sighing after reading half of them and my eyes lighting up. We have different ideas of "fun."
  1. My mom graciously came over and hung out with the girls while I went grocery shopping. While I have taken all 3 to Aldi, it isn't my absolute favorite thing to do.
  2. All the Christmas decorations are put away. That automatically makes my house feel cleaner.
  3. Granny brought over the girls' cousins for a visit. It was great to see them and I loved how quickly they get used to each other and sneak off to Ina's room to play.
  1. Ina's freshly organized activity cabinet. It makes us both happy.
  2. My family still loves me even when I bring gift exchange presents freshly purchased and beautifully wrapped in plastic Target bags. And when my child spits out a fully chewed spinach leaf on their white carpet. Ugh. 
  3. Making it to Costco just before they close and listening to Ina and Cora sing as we hurridly pushed the cart through the store for olive oil, diapers, and allergy medicine. #momlife
  1. Crab legs. Happy New Year!
  2. EveryDollar. After years of using my spreadsheet for budgeting, I want something a little more automatic, that Dan can also contribute to. I will report back after a few months. 
  3. The movie Hidden Figures. It was fantastic. 
  1. Having an extra day to get caught up on life was clutch. I feel like I got so much done in just a few hours and I can finally stop saying, "No, I am cleaning" when Ina asks if I can help her with something. Until next week. Not that I have high standards for clean. I am happy if my house is slightly above junk yard.
  2. A fresh new planner. Love, love, love, Happy 2018. 
  3. Granny asked to have the older girls stay the night, so Dan and I had a relaxing quiet night missing the girls but enjoying some one on one time with Mira. 
  1. Dan hanging up bikes in the garage to give us room for more...stuff...
  2. Ina and Cora have both been sickly, nothing major, just icky feeling, and today I started to feel chilly, achy, and a tickle in my throat. I immediately chewed on a raw whole garlic clove, which I have heard helps with these sorts of things. If it works, I am thankful. (Edited to add that it did not. I think I needed to eat a lot more garlic. Ha!)
  3. Mira made a smooth transition back to taking a bottle after having over a week of me being on vacation / working from home. 

  1. The way Mira smiles at me when she first sees me. I seriously could write an entire book about that type of unconditional love and how amazing it made/ makes me feel. Ina and Cora also looked at me like that...until one day they didn't. Of course, they still show their love for me in so many ways, but that baby smile just melts my heart. I keep trying to capture it on video...but every time Mira notices my phone and gets distracted.
  2. The Roku and Amazon Fire Stick remote apps on my phone. For some reason we can never find the remove, or "mote," as Cora calls it. 
  3. After work I felt achy and had chills and my head was pounding. Dan let me go to bed at 6 (without dinner - this is very very rare for me!) and took charge of all the nightly activities. The girls had ramen for dinner, watched TV, and didn't have to take a bath. I think it is safe to say they didn't miss me. 

Recipes from this week:

Artichoke mustard chicken: I loved this recipe and wanted to drink the sauce. Dan loved the sauce and veggies, but said the chicken thighs had a weird texture. The girls didn't touch it, but that might have something to do with the pre-dinner pizza that was consumed.

I brought a copy-cat version of my favorite salad from The Mixx: insalata brasica to our last family gathering. I shredded a bag of brussels sprouts and mixed it with two containers of arugula. I topped it with a bag of dried cranberries, about a cup of almond slivers, 6 slices of bacon cooked and chopped, a cup of shredded parmesan cheese, and topped with this maple dijon vinaigrette just before serving.

While grocery shopping on Friday I realized that Aldi doesn't carry a chicken broth without added sugar. I am trying not to eat added sugars. Instead I bought a 5 lb roasting chicken and made my own broth after roasting it. It wasn't hard at all, it was cheaper than buying the chicken broth alone, and the chicken plus the broth made my house smell fantastic all day long. Win, win, win!

Magic green sauce That sauce is magic, because when put on top of quinioa, chicken (cooked together in the pressure cooker!), and green beans it keeps me full until dinner.

Sweet potato yellow curry with brown rice - delicious, healthy, and filling.

Eggs in a basket - one of my favorite healthy breakfasts that keeps me full until lunch. I shred a few sweet potatoes and slice a whole bag of brussels sprouts on Sunday, so making it before work takes almost no time at all. The key, however, is making sure not to burn the veggies while running around getting everyone ready for the day.

Sweet potato banana bars for snacks.

Easy chicken and bean bake: love that it comes together in 5 minutes and everyone in my family will eat it.

Have a great end to your week and weekend! <3

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