Saturday, January 19, 2013

the {perfect} Saturday

It's Saturday morning, here I sit in my comfy chair, sipping coffee with a great book while I watch my dressed, hair combed, teeth brushed boys play peacefully. The house is clean, the refrigerator is stocked, the bills are paid, the errands are ran. The entire day is ours to do with whatever our heart desires.

.....and then I woke up.

Rather, it's 9:45a, my boys are WOUND UP & the TV is blaring. I have a ginormous pile of dirty laundry at the bottom of the stairs (right in he path of where you must walk to access the kitchen or the bathroom) waiting to be washed, dried, folded & put away. My 7 year old is running around in his boxers (like he is everyday 20 minutes after he gets off the bus) and my 2 year old is completely commando on the bottom half....he thinks if he pees in the potty like he's asked their is no need for pants of any kind, oh and the kitchen floor has yet to clean itself.

Reality is, Saturday's are never "perfect" in my house. Well at least not what my brain thinks perfect is. But, my boys do get to play together (which they LOVE) and I do get catch up on some housework (sometimes), and usually we have the house in a semi-clean state before my dear hubby gets home. Saturday nights are movies, popcorn, games & good fun in our house. And if we're lucky, some time in the hot tub for my dearest & I after the kids are in bed. I guess perfection is what you make it. Does this mean that I'm content with the state of my, I'm stressed to the max most Saturdays, but I'm content with the state of my family...and that's more important in my book :)

Happy Weekend Mama's :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

my {not so} perfect home

The book I've been reading No More Perfect Moms has challenged me in just about every chapter. The 8th chapter, No More Perfect Homes, was so eye opening for me. I am self-diagnoses OCD, I need order, I need cleanliness or I'm stressed to no end. Prior to children, this was obtainable. But now...well, now I have 2 very active little boys with lots of stuff and I'm practically always in a state of panic over the condition of my home. I "know" it's visual clutter & not dirt...but I "think" other Moms can keep it cleaned up better than I can. As Jill would say "I'm comparing my insides to someone else's outsides", not exactly apples to apples!

So, in honor of Jill's 3rd Thursday Blog Hop over at Hearts at Home, I'm opening up my home to all it's realness! (sorry about the quality of the photos, I was planning to do a video tour, but have a sickie today so I didn't think you would want to hear all the fussing along with it! So I just snapped some pictures with my phone of what things look like here this morning)

This is a stack of Christmas Decor, it's been sitting on the Dining Room table for about 2 weeks, waiting to be put in the basement. The basement is about 10 steps from the DR table, just in case you were wondering :)

This is the mess in living room floor from last night. Just in case you missed it, that is a pair of underwear laying on the rug, size 2T...jury's still out if they were dirty or clean, after about 10 seconds of debate I tossed them in the laundry rather than take a wiff. Also a random slipper...even Mom leaves stuff out from time to time :)

And the kitchen table...random sock (same rule applies as the undies..just tossed in the laundry! ha!), Uno Attack, Robot & Mom's glass of ice tea from family game night :) ('s looking like Mom isn't doing so hot on her own standards, huh?!) 

 Monday - Friday my little buddy hangs out in the high chair. Saturday & Sunday it's a catch all. That would be Lego's, Sunday School crafts & anti-aging products. Yep..I'd guess they all have a home OTHER than the high chair tray!

And this my friends, this is the kitchen counter...full of dirty dishes. This is my biggest reveal yet. What a mess! Ugh. Who wants to start Monday off like this? NOT ME!

Ladies, these pictures could go on & on. I could show you my floors that need cleaned, the toilet with the ring in it, the toothpaste splatter on the bathroom mirror, or the stained carpet. How about the microwave that sporting last week's spaghetti explosion or the refrigerator crisper drawer with the "mystery juice" under it. Yep...this is my life. But, I'm learning it's also real life. Is it how I live everyday? Not all of it, but some of it! 

I also struggle with wanting more space, no decorating sense whatsoever & a desire for "curb appeal" that I can never follow through with. 

Being a wife & mother is hard work! If all we did was clean all day everyday our homes would be sparkling (maybe), but our relationships would stink. If we invested in everything we see that we want, our visual appeal might be better, but our bank accounts would be screaming. We still have to carve out time for our husbands & children, time for God, time for rest & renewal. We still have to live within our means. Without these things the Mommy Monster shows up...and that is no fun! 

So today, if you have any messes like this, give yourself grace. And if you don't have any messes like this...we can't be friends anymore. Sorry. :)

Love & Hugs!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Our Favorite Homemade Pizza

In this house we LOVE pizza. While my boys would be fine with frozen pizza 3 nights a week, I prefer the really good, thick & crisp, gooey, meatiness of a pizzeria pie. Unfortunately my pizza of choice gets EXPENSIVE! At $16-20 for a large pizza (which, we admittedly need 2 of those for our family of 4!), we can't afford to treat ourselves to those near as often as we would like. So, we did the next best thing....we found a crust we love & now we make it at home! 

I really can't remember where this crust originated from. My FIL made it for me once & I was in love with it!  Sorry I don't have a site to reference, but I will post the recipe below :)

This is what the crust looks like when you roll it out. This recipe will make either 2 round stones, or 1 round & 1 jelly roll pan. I love pampered chef pans for my pizza, but only once they are good & seasoned. Once you roll out your dough, gently lift it & sprinkle yellow corn meal under the dough on the pan, this will help the crust crisp up well. I also drizzle Olive Oil & Oregano on the raw crust and rub it in really well. 
I then bake the crust only for 5 minutes or so to get it started. 

Once you remove it, lather on your favorite sauce, toppings & cheese. I always season the raw pizza with Salt & Pepper to give it that wonderful flavor. Your pizza will need to bake for anywhere from 15-30 minutes depending on how many toppings, how much cheese, how well you like your crust done. Remember to rotate it between the top rack & the bottom rack to evenly cook the crust & cheese of the pizza :)

Does it seriously even get any better than this? Oh man, we absolutely LOVE this pizza :) And our whole family gets into it. Once I have the crusts prepared the boys top the pizza (Jason is a master at this!). Our favorite toppings are Pepperoni, Ham, Sausage, Bacon Bits, Mushrooms, Onions & Green Peppers.

Now, don't be scared by the recipe for the might look intimidating at first, but I's EASY!

Pizza Crust

  • 2 & 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 & 1/3 cup of up to a cup more for sticky dough
  1. In a saucepan, warm water. (measure the temp to 110 degrees...this is actually really important for proper rising) 
  2. Dissolve yeast & brown sugar in warm water (in a separate bowl, not your saucepan) and let sit for 10 minutes. 
  3. Stir the salt & oil into the yeast solution. 
  4. Place 2 & 1/3 cups of flour into the bowl of your stand mixer (or you can mix it by hand if your really ambitious!), and pour in the liquid mixture. Mix on low until it begins coming together. Place remaining 1 cup of measured flour into mixer & continue combining the ingredients. **this is where I add to the dough is always WAY to sticky, so I usually add in another 1/2 to 1 cup of flour at this point. Your dough has to be workable without sticking to your hands!
  5. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and coat with a light dusting of flour. 
  6. Coat a LARGE mixing bowl with Crisco liberally (I don't even mess with generic shortening... Crisco all the way!), then place your ball of dough in the bowl & turn once or twice to coat with some shortening. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let rise 1 hour, your dough will just about double in size. 
  7. Punch down dough and separate into 2 balls. 
  8. Lightly flour pizza pans & begin rolling out dough. 
  9. Follow directions above for making pizza!
If you try this pizza, I would love to hear from you! It's my absolute favorite! Well worth the time to make the dough :)

Love & Hugs, 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

But if you WILL....

Normally Sunday's are my day to sleep in (which incidently means we are perpetually late to church). Fortunately my husband is AMAZING and always gets the boys & himself ready, allowing me to leisurely apply make-up, straighten my hair, and change clothes 3x before meeting them at the car (after they have been waiting for a good 10 minutes mind you). Yes folks, he's a saint. Well...he's on a day shift right now and is of course working Sundays, which leaves Mama alone with the 2 precious littles. In case your the 5 weeks Jason has worked Sunday's the boys & I have made it to service twice. Let's set the stage of our morning...

I was up & ready by 7am (This is GOOD..very, very good), Cole got out of bed, immediately got dressed & brushed his teeth (we're on a roll!), I have the car started at 7:15a...all I have left is get the toddler dressed. Surely that can happen in 15 minutes, right? {chocolate donuts in the car for breakfast...we're operating on essentials only this morning ladies} And this is when it all started going downhill.....Mr. Jacob had a colossal meltdown when I went to take his PJ's off..."No Mom, my jammies, my jammies, I dress, I dress". Then he chose to kick his feet the entire time I tried to change his diaper, whopping me in the face at least twice. By the time his coat was on & zipped I had successfully sweat every ounce of my make-up off and my hair (which was last nights anyway) is now levitating far above it's intended place. By the time we reached the church parking lot Jacob was covered in chocolate donut! My dear friend who happened to be greeting this morning asked me how we were today, my response "I've realized if I was a single Mom we may never attend church again" as I continued dragging the chocolate covered beast behind me. I had one thing on my mind...drop this kid in the nursery!

As I sat down in the pew I was all but ready for my mind to wander and to not feel connected in anyway today. Then Pastor Randy read the call to worship, Psalm 9:1-2. 

will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. 
will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

{sigh} Peace. That's what I felt. I had the choice at this moment to Praise Him. I had the choice to be glad. I had the choice to Rejoice.

Sometimes it's not easy, especially during these early years of parenting. My heart reached out this morning to every single Mom out there to who faithfully does this every week. God Bless You, Mama's. It. is. hard.

Sometimes you just don't have it in you. But if you WILL, He will meet you where you are. And that's just what happened today, I was filled beyond measure. I was blessed because we pushed through. My Children were blessed because we pushed through. My husband was blessed because we pushed through. 

And now I'm off to clean chocolate out of church shirts :)

Love & Hugs, 

Friday, January 4, 2013

No More Perfect Moms - A sneak peek for YOU!

Happy Friday Mama's :)

Are you still focusing on your imperfection? It's time to change that!

I mentioned last week that I had been fortunate enough to be selected to be on the launch team for Jill Savage's new book No More Perfect Moms. I'm about 3/4 of the way through it and I tell you, she's talking right to me girls!

Even though the book doesn't release until 2/1/12, you can preview the first (almost) 3 chapters on Amazon here!. I promise you, this book is worth your time!

Don't forget to sign up for the 31 day challenge! You will receive an email each day, encouraging you to let go of that Perfection Infection we all suffer from.

My book awaits :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What we've been up too!

Yes, it's been forever since I last posted. The only redeeming factor is that we have been having such an AMAZING summer & fall...and now into winter!!

Here is a brief update on what we have all been doing!

  • played T-ball again this year and did great. his attention span is still short, but he only hit off the tee twice all year! we also discovered that although he's a lefty, he hits way better right handed. watch out Chicago...he's headed your way!
  • we ended up getting 2 child sized four wheelers this summer and boy are they getting use! Jas, Cole & Jacob race around the back yard for endless hours. my yard looks more like a motocross track now than a yard, but who cares :)
  • had his first week of swimming lessons in July. he learned 4 new strokes! free style, underwater, back stroke & another thing on his back. he is swimming so well, it really boosted his confidence. less than a month later he was going off the diving board into 9ft water at the public pool!
  • we've also had our fair share of problems. it seems 6 and three quarters is the perfect time to develop a terribly smart mouth "tone" without even knowing your doing it. it makes my skin crawl. fortunately I have wonderful friends that know Cole & remind me that not everything makes the same sense to him that it does to me. baby steps.
  • in August he started First Grade with virtually no additional education supports...which is shocking with his diagnosis! to date (Dec) he's doing wonderfully and still right where he needs to be with his class.
  • this fall Cole played soccer for the first time. he hates to run, so it was interesting for sure :) no doubt he enjoyed the interaction with friends and it was a good way to keep him on a routine for the start of school.
  • in Dec. Cole was chosen to be the 1st grade Santa in the Christmas program! that was really exciting for us all :) video to come...
  • went from hating the pool to loving it, it just took the right flotation device :) "1-2-3!" is all we hear before "SPLASH!" and he's in the pool. 
  • became my first child to have stitches. (in the face none the less)
  • is talking so much. i'm trying hard to keep track of word counts for comparison, but it's something new everyday now.
  • is still very attached to Mommy. makes it hard for me to go anywhere without him (unless Daddy's home).
  • wants to do EVERYTHING brother does (which is not always fun)
  • went back to the ER for a bad burn on his leg (darn 4-wheelers!)
  • celebrated his 2nd birthday with both sets of Grandparents as his Dad & I were VERY sick with the stomach flu :(
  • has initiated us well with the "terrible two's"...he's quite the character, to say the least!
  • has totally taken after his brother with his electronic 5th sense...he can navigate the ipad much better than Mom or Dad
Jason & I....
  • the BIG news of the year is that Jason got a new job! In October he left for the academy in Springfield and spent 6 weeks in training. He now works as a CO very 12 miles close to home! He is home at some point every's amazing. I feel like I'm on my honeymoon all over again, seeing him everyday! The kids love it :)
  • In October I took a break from much of my volunteer work, and it was such a relief to enjoy the holidays this year without 5 extra to-do lists waiting on me. I plan to step back into many of these roles at some capacity, just hopefully not as much as before. 
  • we are continuing to plug through all the little home improvement projects on the list....we finished the laundry room re-do this summer....and now I've decided I do not like the paint color with the's never ending :)
  • One of my goals for 2013 is to try to give myself a break. I am pushing to let go of my Perfection Infection! If you want to join me on this journey, check out Jill Savage's new book No More Perfect Moms. You can also sign up for her 31 days of encouragement here. It's going to be really good! I will host an online book study Mid-February. If your interested in being a part...let me know.
As we move into this new year, I pray that each of you are blessed with health, happiness & the joy of The Lord. Love to all!