Monday, February 24, 2020


Hello from Sickville. Poor Ina just can't catch a break.

Before she felt so bad, I took her to the dentist where we found out she has two cavities (ugh) and she a grown a billion inches (the picture on the left was taken two years ago)

Her mood and energy have significantly improved with ibuprofen, so I am hoping she stays the course. While she is at home resting, Cora and I are at dance where I am glancing at her class on the screen and furiously typing to finish this post in 40 minutes. 

After a very trying potty training/parenting/life day on Monday, one sweet neighbor friend brought over a crock pot full of delicious pot roast for dinner and another sweet neighbor friend brought me over flowers and an encouraging card.

A small part of me felt guilty for sounding so desperate during our conversations, but I quieted her down and instead fully embraced the love that came with the help, because I truly appreciated it. I can't help but sound cliche when I say that I have been so blessed with my tribe. So there, I said it. #Blessed.

I soon decided that Mira was not ready to be potty trained, and even though I put it as a February goal in my planner, it just wasn't happening. She kept on telling me that "the toilet wasn't working" and peed in every room in our house other than the bathroom. We are putting a hold on that for the next few months. At least.

The rest of the week went on like usual  once I breathed that huge sigh of relief. We had an awesome small group on Wednesday. Man did I miss those people over our winter break.

Thursday Ina went to dance and Cora and I tackled two grocery stores and the library in a bathrobe, JoJo bow, snow boots, and one glove. She seemed to enjoy the extra attention and I am slightly scared of what her next grocery shopping outfit will be.

Friday I took Ina to basketball practice and listened to my audio book in the car while scarfing down my dinner and not making eye contact with the other parents dropping off their kids.

After practice my sister and I stood out in the cold chatting and sharing recipes and Whole30 tips. I just love her and am sad that basketball season is almost over and I won't get the built in time to see them every Friday and Saturday.

Saturday I made a few patient calls and then we headed to Ina's basketball game. She had a few extra fans in the crowd - my aunt and uncle were in town from Texas.

And Brooke, Holland, and Mamaw came to cheer Ina on. They won, largely due to my niece Hallaway's drives to the basket. Ina smiled the whole game, so I consider that a win. 

After Ina's game we drove back home for Ina's dance, during which I finally exchanged a Christmas gift, and then loaded the family back in the van to drive back to Pleasant Hill for Kauffman's basketball game. After all of that driving we were rewarded with a delicious Mexican dinner and hanging out at my sister's house until waaaayyyy past our bedtime.

(Ina and Hal acquired tattoos from the quarter machines at the restaurants. They, of course, made up a song and dance to illustrate the fact that they had matching foot tattoos.)

After church on Sunday the Nybergs came over for lunch and a much, much needed hair cut for Dan. Brad has a newly purchased and barber chair and he was just dying to use it.)

Look at that cool picture that Chessa took! I need to hire her to be my blog photographer. I will pay in kale salads. Or wait, maybe cinnamon rolls.

After lunch I went on an absolutely lovely walk with Brooke and prepped food for the week. I think my mom and I might possibly have Dan convinced to try Whole30 with us. Maybe. Speaking of, here are some recipes:

Sheet pan tandori chicken and cauliflower: I burnt this and it was still delicious. 

Carnitas with braised cabbage: both recipes are excellent and will be repeated often. 

Sheet pan chicken sausage, peppers, and potatoes with salad - throw every thing on a sheet pan and cook until done.

Sheet pan (are you noticing a trend here) salmon, potatoes, and green beans.

Made into a an excellent salad the next day for lunch with the addition of a little mayo and vinegar.

Ollie's cracklin' chicken with chopped salad and beets. So much yum.

Burger salads: I seriously want this salad for lunch everyday for the rest of my life.

 Here is what I did:

  • Brown a pound of ground beef seasoned with plenty of Montreal steak seasoning.
  • Make four containers of chopped kale, shredded purple cabbage, chopped red onion, chopped bell pepper, and plenty of chopped pickles.
  • Make mayo, and from that make a dressing out of mostly mayo, paleo ketchup, mustard, and pickle juice. 
  • Top each salad with 1/4 of the meat and 1/4 of the dressing. I dare you to find a more delicious/satisfying lunch. 
Dan is almost over. I did it! I hope you have a great week! <3

Monday, February 17, 2020

Let's Catch Up

Hi there, remember me? The girl who used to write daily and now writes...hmmm...once a month.

There are many things on my to-do list on this Monday holiday, but finishing this blog post is at the top of the list, along with the minor tasks of potty training Mira and getting my laundry room cleaned out (I wrote that sentence at 5 am. Now, at 10:30 am, I can't stop laughing at my 5 hour ago self's optimism. Little training is happening.).

Like always, I have many excuses for not writing, but really it boils down to two. First, I am deep into a book series that I just can't put down and second, my mom fell and broke her knee and can't put any weight on it for 12 weeks, so now she lives with us.

Mom has been with us for almost a month now, and although she does practically everything for herself, there are still extra demands on my already very busy hands. When your life hangs on thin balance of fun versus crazy, it doesn't take much to send you over the edge. But, having her here has been fun. We have played more games, watched more Star Wars, and the girls have someone else to help brush their hair in the morning.

here is a catch up from the rest of the month:

  • The Chiefs won the freaking Super Bowl!

I can still barely believe it. I have so many memories surrounding the playoff hunt. Watching the first playoff game at The Browns' house in their fancy basement with a projector and reclining chairs.

Watching the second game at Brooke's and sitting in awe afterwards, not able to believe we were going to Miami.

When we won I ran upstairs to tell the kids, screaming, "We're going to the Super Bowl!" to which Cora replied, "When do we leave?"

My cousin Alexis and her boyfriend stayed with us and went to the AFC championship game. Having them here was so fun. They taught us a new game - Code Names. Strongly recommend.

Although "we" didn't actually go, I had some family and friends who went to Miami. My cousin sent us a post card, which I will forever cherish. Then the actual super bowl game at the Nyberg's house, with the kids selling Chiefs necklaces and performing elaborate shows involving a drum set, a jump rope, and a fan at the end of the driveway.

After we won, Dan honked the entire 20 minute drive home, and even though it was cold and late and a school night, we shot off fireworks in the front yard.

I stayed home for the parade, but watched my city on TV with pride. Let's do it again next year, K?
  • Ina's Basketball

Ina's basketball games continue to be a highlight of my weekend. Unlike t-ball, which I dreaded to my core, her basketball games are so fun to watch. She is learning more with every game, and what she lacks with aggression she makes up for in smiles and skips (well...most of the time). She has also scored a few baskets! 

My sister is such a good coach and I am so thankful for her time and willingness to have Ina (who can be a challenge to coach with all of her questions) on her team. 

The extra benefit of basketball is getting to see some my family every single weekend. Cora will sure miss her cousins when basketball season is over.

  • Valentine's Day
I have a confession: I made Ina and Cora's Valentine's boxes this year and I was grumpy the entire time. In my defense, we had 2 hours to complete them and because my life is the way it is, I was already on a short fuse. I know I should have let them help more and/or been in a better mood, but cutting and gluing my heart out for a short period of time seemed like the best short term solution. 

Cora wasn't nearly as excited about her Valentine's once she realized she had to give them away. But on Monday at dance a few of her friends gave Valentine's treats. Once she saw how fun it was to give and receive treats, she was all about it. 

Ina's party was supposed to be on Thursday, but she had a snow/cold day, so it was rescheduled for next week. 

  • Starting Whole30
One of the goals of my mom's treatment is weight loss, and while I can't help with many things, I feel like I can help in the kitchen. So, we decided to use Whole30 as a tool and focus on whole, real food.

Guys, I kind of actually love it. I ate very close to "paleo" before, so it hasn't been a huge change for me. The biggest change has been trying to eat three larger meals a day and not snack. Almost two weeks in and I think I am finally getting used to not eating again at 10:30 am. I still miss tortilla chips, but generally love all the delicious food we are eating. See the bottom post for recipes. Spoiler alert - Dan has told everyone that we eat seven heads of cabbage a week. Insert eye roll emoji. 
  • Birthday Parties
We went to two really fun birthday parties. My niece Delaney turned one!

Then our friend Davis turned 3 and we celebrated with Elsa and gymnastics.

Elsa, glitter make up, and trampolines are pretty much my girls' dream come true. The majority of our small group was there and Dan had a blast pushing every single kid into the foam pit. However, it wasn't so funny when he was pushed in he had a hard time getting out. 
  • Snow

The kids have had a few snow days this month, which logistically always makes things a little more interesting. The day I took the below pictures I remember thinking the day and my to-do list was never going to end.

The snow doesn't stop our grilling game.

  • Teresa's Baptism
Last, but not least, last week someone from the church asked Dan to help in the baptismal tank over the weekend. Teresa had also let me know that she was bringing a few friends to church. Even when I walked in and saw some family there, I didn't realize what was going on until Teresa stepped into the tank to get baptized. Surprise! You can watch the video here on Instagram.

Watching Dan have the opportunity to help baptize his mom was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. 

  • Recipes
As I said above, we have been eating some pretty delicious food the past few weeks. I will only share the recipes we have loved below:

- Korean short ribs with slaw - my mom's favorite meal. 

- Quick green curry beef - serious comfort in a bowl.

- Paleo Hamburger Salad - delicious.  Eaten for lunch today and probably the next 30 days. 

- Green chicken legs: I loved these, but they weren't my mom's favorite 

- Lots of breakfast salads. I roast a batch of sweet potatoes and cook some ground pork into sausage crumbles on Sundays, and then just heat them back up, scramble up some eggs, and add some greens. My new favorite is arugula. 

- Dijon chicken and carrots - the entire family loved this. The carrots cooked with the chicken taste just like candy. Well...close.

OK, I think that is all I will have time for today. Hopefully we can catch up again soon! <3 Thanks for reading!

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