Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Thaw

I still don’t know how to process…nearly two years later…

I am hurt because I never really had you.

It’s not just the losing you, but the knowing I was losing me too…That weekend I didn’t know what to do and no one, not even I was willing to make a priority for me and for you. I froze.

That night…the darkest of my life. The beginning of the loneliest of my days, Knowing that not even my husband could begin to feel my pain.

I want to be raw for your memory. For the air I didn’t get to watch you breathe. It’s all quite selfish you see…it’s more about me. Lord knows there are days that I wish I were with you instead of being here for the ones I love too dearly to have to be with me. I started running to reconnect to the rhythm of how I felt, to be close to those days again. Just as time moves on and time heals all wounds, that feeling lasted the first day of my running. The next, that “feeling” was gone and I was focused on moving forward. Is it normal for part of me to not want to move on? Death is a part of life and grief is to not be ignored. The sights, smells and sounds, of this season –my favorite season, remind me of you more. Yesterday, I started crying again about not having anymore babies…but when I really ask myself why I want them….it’s in hopes of finding you….

…. my Angel. My Levi. The name I whisper on my pillow each and every night. I know you’ll know me – just allow me my moments of sadness, for Nothing would be better than having you here.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A-Ha Moments!

I’m having several of these at once this morning. I have to blog it so that I have it to reference when I find myself getting off course or tempted to.

Beth [yes I am writing to myself]:

Don’t give up the peace in your gut for pleasing others. Others don’t have to live inside of you or think your thoughts or live with your regrets. Also, this is a slippery slope on the way to losing yourself. History has shown that when pleasing others, it can be compared to one with an insatiable appetite and we say they have a “hollow leg”. People prey on those that live to please others and fully take advantage. Bottom line? YOU are worth MORE by being YOU than by aiming to please anyone else. When pleasing and being true to yourself, the ones that matter the most to you ARE happier! By the way, they don’t only matter to you….they’re happier because YOU matter to them!  Another note: when you keep trying to please others, the ones that are in your life that would be really good for you are not drawn to you. You know why? Because you’re not being authentic.

Therefore, put the time in to do what you NEED, in order to do what you WANT. You are already equipped with every tool to be able to do this. Don’t think so much. What have some of the women in your life shown you? The seasoned ones? They do what makes them happy with no regard to others. Do the same…do it now…don’t wait another 30 years to feel the freedom to do it after you’ve lived a while longer. Just do it. What others think of it…is their thing to deal with.

You’ve got this. You can do this. You are tired, so rest. Be still and know….that He is God and you are not. Strength and vision come from practicing this. Just walk the path He’s laid before you. Just walk it. Don’t look back to see if you have smiling faces - full of approval and validation. It’s not their path. It’s yours. They have their own path to walk. Besides, it’s depressing and boring as shit, being a spectator in your own path of Life. Everyone has to walk their own path. You’ve got this…walk it.

 

Love & Grace,

Yourself

Thursday, July 26, 2012

This Mother’s Prayer

My Boy Wonder has been 6 years old for  2 hours and 48 minutes. He’s asleep in his bed and as I started pondering the evening we had, when I was working, my thoughts eventually meandered to my firstborn and his special day – our special day. I laid in bed choking back tears as I thought about the things I must say to him.

“My heart beats differently, the pace, the rhythm, the purpose. No one prepared me for the new eyes I’d look at life through, the moment they laid you in my arms. I looked into your face - Yes Jacob, it all began with you.

Every day, I see you growing older. Some days, I watch you grow by the minute. May you always know, no matter how tall you become or how old you are – no one can love you the way your father and I do.

Let me say now, while my heart is fresh and open from thanking God and crying because I am amazed He gave you to me….it is my duty to say….

Sail Free! I pray you know HE is your anchor and we are a safe place through any storm. In the midst of every day life, our child, we pray we show you to Stand Strong! Never be afraid of who you are. Dance Wild – life is short, take it by the arms and dance a whirling dervish. Play Hard – there is time to work AND breathe in the air so don’t put off the time to play for tomorrow.

You are a magical little boy. You won’t always be a little boy. While you are, one of my many prayers is for your innocence to be protected and that you embrace a different way than what is common and appears easy. I don’t know how to protect your innocence fully and have to trust God on so much, in this day and age where simple-mindedness is celebrated. Just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. Talk to God. That’s all praying is, just talk to Him.  Learn to love the still, small voice, that is your guide, your conscience, the Helper and Comforter. Be still and know He’s always there.

I know you know I love you. I wish you could know just how. When I think of you, your daddy and  your brothers – the word “love” just doesn’t cut it. I pray you each see and feel it when you look into my eyes. So….together let’s

Sail Free! Stand Strong! Dance Wild and Play Hard!”

Happy Birthday Boy Wonder!

Love & Grace,

Your Mama

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Accomplishments!

My Darling has had quite the week! In fact, my family and I all have. The weekend of Bennett’s first Father’s Day, he cut his first teeth – both the front bottom and began crawling. Earlier, in the week, he figured out how to sit up on his own and put his binky, in his mouth, the right-side up. I have to say this – he is SUCH an easy baby. Of course he looks like a toddler. He wears 24 month clothes. People don’t believe me when I’ve said the past two weeks that he’s 8 mos. old. He travels easily, goes down for naps easily, eats well, plays well on his own. He’s been sort of fussy the past couple weeks out of frustration to get crawling….but unless he’s hungry or tired or has poopy pants – he smiles and chatters all the time. The way Bennett talks is awesome. He growls and he’s loud. He growls when he’s happy or frustrated.

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I took this pic of him. It was the first time he knocked his basket of toys over. Awwww…

Jacob has had a fantastic week too. Father’s Day morning – Boy Wonder and I went golfing with Daddy.

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We had a great time and it filled the need to just have our #1 with us for a bit, to ourselves. I miss those times too. He LOVES swiffering. He LOVED swiffering – until I used the phrase, “Thank you so much for helping me with a chore.” Ugh…really? Yep…I really used that word – chore. Ugh again.

Take a look at my garden!

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I must thin out the broccoli [far left]. I will pick lettuce this evening!

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My tomatoes are starting to get a few yellow blossoms here and there…

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The white planter has cucumbers in it. I’m not sure if they’re going to do well or not. The larger pot are my green beans. I bought the small trellises for them to vine up.

Back along the house, I’ve planted hollyhocks from seed. I love the way they look when they’re blooming. I am excited about transforming this side of the house and yard into my “Secret Garden”. I am also trying to grow some Lupine, Columbine and Delphinium from seeds. It takes time ….and much patience, but I have great hopes for this being a very colorful spot in our neighborhood. ….eventually.  Open-mouthed smile 

I am excited to write the next post. We leave this week for a mini vacay to Arkansas. One of my dear friends is getting married. I can’t wait to post pics and share with you next week why and how she became a lifelong friend. I am also excited to share about how a 10 hour drive goes with our two boys. I think it will be great….I’m sure it will be then, right?

To end this post, I leave you with a few pics from the week.

Love & Grace,

Beth

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Jacob was playing farmer. When I appeared, he asked, “What are you doin’ here, in these parts? I’m from the east and you’re from the west.”

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My Darling loves his baths. Smile

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The boys with their Father’s Day present to their wonderful Daddy.

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This is one of those pics…where it’s evident I’m not in my 20s anymore. It’s so weird, how in my mind, I don’t look anything like this lady. ???? But…we had a wonderful morning together on the golf course and I love him so much.

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Taken this morning – My Darling and Boy Wonder. We are blessed and grateful for happy, silly, determined, joyful, willful, healthy boys.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Abrasive? It’s not about you.

I wrote a poem....or something. I don't know what these things are called when I let them come out. It's after a life-long series of lessons on being emotionally available to people that don't deserve it. Don't be emotionally available to anyone but God and your spouse....maybe a close, close friend. Truly? Have some confidence that since God made you for relationship and He lives inside of us....that together you and Him can figure it out, move on and be fulfilled. He really does exist and He really is WHO we need. Only He knows all that we're capable of as individuals and can lead us to carry it out. Humans are not capable of this kind of love. I have been a fool to keep thinking and waiting and hoping they are - no matter what "position" they hold in your life. I was inspired to title this one "Worthy". A friend sent me a charm after Levi died. I would stare at it and not get it. I knew she was trying to tell me I'm worthy. But I really didn't get it. After starting this piece over a year ago....it flowed and came out and finished very easily this morning. It flowed out as if Eminem was throwing out the lyric.......it's not enjoyable, but it is freeing for me. I get it now.

Worthy

Just one beat and you dance to their tune. You don't know you, more than they do. Cut your strings, quit acting to keep the show on. You are worthy to live and to truly be who- YOU- are. No more threats or drama, no more lies or twisting. If you can't know you're worthy, no one else will! Love yourself, it's no one's job but yours. They don't like your dreams? your personality? your choices for happiness? A no-drama mess? Too bad! The only thing thicker than blood is the crap they choose to swim in. Get out! Quit waiting, and wishing and hoping they'll be different. They're not and you are- so quit fearin' and allowin' yourself to be stuck there with them. Stop sharing your problems and being vulnerable to them. They're vultures. Their mind games will chew through your guts and flesh, in order to scavenge your harvest. Just cuz they don't know how to love what is good for them, doesn't mean you should repeat the same cycle over. They already know that you love them. While it's not enough, they're about to learn that you've become indifferent and you're as good as gone. Love yourself. God is big in all of us and life is greater than what it has seemed. Go in peace, keep your heart clean, don't look back, and run with the wind baby. You are worthy to be free.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

boho baby bump: Heart Talk: Pregnancy after Miscarriage

My Readers, I read this post [in the title of my post, see link at bottom] last week and have been processing and finding freedom through the whole week as I reflect on this blogger's [boho baby bump's] similar thoughts. It's a heavy topic...but a real topic.
I went through such a long, dry spell for blogging because of this very topic...and then My Darling was born, after the pregnancy after a miscarriage and I allowed myself to finally join the club of thousands of women that clam up and guard. I don't know why so many women deal this way. I was so afraid of what people would think if I shared my heart on the matter. I have friends that can't have babies, and I was always afraid of offending them. I remember after I lost Levi, reading friend's facebook statuses that were complaining because of the discomfort of their pregnancy. I remember being mad at them and truly wanting to tell them to shut the eff up and just be grateful. Guess what? I got pregnant again and then I wrote one or two facebook statuses about the discomfort of pregnancy. Then, one or two more, after I got My Darling home about how I needed sleep. It's life. I can't be sensitive to all, neither can you. Even when I am doing my very best, I find out I offend someone. I wish now, I had blogged about the fight more within me, during Bennett's pregnancy. I wish I had been as transparent about his birth, but I was angry too...I knew it would border on hurting people that I love, when they were just living their lives too.
Bennett's birth was rather traumatic, for me. I won't relive all the details, because it's still a raw place for me. My surgeon wasn't discreet or kind in her delivery. Basically, Bennett's premature arrival by 5 weeks pretty much saved my life. The surgeon was very clear that he was making an arrival because my uterus was on the verge of bursting with any more contractions. Suffice it to say, the surgeon made it clear, while I was on the operating table, for the c-section, that I should not have anymore babies.
Different people have different opinions on this ...having more babies that is, over population and all that stuff. Understand that my vision and dream, from a tween, was 4-6 kids. I came from a small, disconnected family and I wanted to start a bigger family so that I'd have lots of grandbabies someday and they'd all have the fun of oodles of cousins. I imagined football every Thanksgiving....sounds awesome doesn't it? I mean, we'd ALL play football every Thanksgiving. Ah well....God has a different plan and I am learning the importance of being PRESENT....not always trying to plan and envision what I desire to such detail, for the future.
This week, I've succeeded in organizing and listing all the baby clothes to sell, along with other baby items. I've been in mourning this week. It's not mourning without hope, it is mourning nonetheless. All mamas go through it when you realize you are done having babies.
By letting the dream go of more babies, and no daughter....I am reminded that God knows what He's doing. I am thinking about the future in ways that are not so detailed. Rather, I'm paying attention to the details in my present surroundings and thinking of the future as an adventure...and what kind of things will open up for my family and I as we keep walking this path - it will be awesome.

I wanted to share Boho Baby Bump's post for my readers that have experienced miscarriage and trying to get pregnant again or are pregnant again. Some of my friends didn't allow it to affect them. Some, like me, will totally relate to BBB's post. Let me say this, there will be people who just like to hear themselves talk and say things like, "Be grateful. or Don't think about the baby you lost, think about your new baby." Try not to let those people get to you. It doesn't matter their relationship to you - people don't get it, unless they've experienced it. Stay true to you. Our babies in Heaven or in our wombs or arms, can't get any better than a Mama being true to herself.



boho baby bump: Heart Talk: Pregnancy after Miscarriage: 27 week bump with my little handsome  (Sometimes I hold back from writing certain things because I just don't know what is appropriate...



Love & Grace,
Beth

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Woke up from peaceful slumber….

with this thought: How do I get some running shoes today – an excellent pair for about $30? Is there a website similar to priceline.com where I can name my price, click on the number of stars I want for quality [5 stars], submit my debit card for payment and “spin the wheel”. I’ve never been disappointed with my priceline or hotels.com leaps of faith. Then, my mind wandered over to the “watch list” on ebay, where I have marked some lots of clothes for the boys. “Hmm….maybe I can find a decent pair of running shoes on ebay!” So, I stumbled out of bed at 1:37AM and started surfing ebay. The boys’ clothes lots are a day out at least. I don’t bid until the last minute. I look for some running shoes. I found a pair for $30. A pair of New Balance, running shoes, in my size. But then, I looked at all the pics and became squeamish at the thought of putting my feet inside of someone else’s running shoes, even though they’ve “only been worn twice”. So….I went to Pinterest.
Pinterest is the purgatory of fabulous ideas and creativity MUST DO’s. I spent an hour on Pinterest. I know, I know…shameful! But the kids are sleeping,  so who cares? I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. Is it me or do all these pins appear to have come….from a neighborhood of Stepford wives? An hour after pinning and perusing and dreaming and realizing, #1- it all still costs $$ #2 – I am frustrated because I know I want to be creative and crafty…but how do I do that and keep my house in order, run my Mary Kay business and play with and parent my boys day in and day out? So, at 2:54AM, I googled, “How do I keep a clean house AND outlet creativity?” If I had Siri, I would have asked her. Google was no help. It pulled up websites on cleaning your house OR being creative. Oooh! I just thought I can’t be the only one that wants order and cleanliness [lord knows with little boys…things can stink up pretty quickly], and still wants to build a pergola out of beeswax, a hula hoop and newspapers. So if I can master this, maybe it’ll be my own empire and we’ll become rich and my husband can be home with us all day and we can vacation at Lake Tahoe and DisneyWorld and Tuscany…hahahaha.
At 3:19AM, I believe it’s time for me to say, “Fiddle-dee-dee.  I’ll go fix myself a stiff drink and conk out for 3 1/2 hours. I’m sure something brilliant will come to me at sunrise.”

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Rainy Delight!

ikat bag: Princess Pavillion Tent


It has been a rainy, dreary day here today...outside. It's sunny inside though! Jacob and Bennett and I have had great snuggles, cuffing around and snacking. We are very excited for tomorrow...when we head to get our nephews and bring them to our house for our first overnight. WithOUT their parents! :D  I've been planning sugar rotten snacks and activities to do ...because...I'm the aunt and I am fun, and every once in a while - I believe we need to bend the usual rules! ;) I was on Pinterest and seeking out some recipes, as I plan my grocery list and menus,for the next two weeks. I stumbled upon the link above.

This is fantastic. I am going to talk to my friend, Kim and see about us trying to make one of these buggers! I can already see our kids playing and imagining all kinds of stories in a tent like this!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Reality vs. Fantasy

Last night and this morning, I am struggling between the realms of reality and fantasy. I can’t go into what caused a flare up last night…..but I got angry and worked up about something….and immediately…..pain was present. This morning, it’s gone, but I am so tired and drained.

I was not born or wired to be an anger ball. Life….has brought me some things that I see now I haven’t handled in the best ways …which has led to me having picked up a bulldog characteristic. I could be the greatest friend you’d ever want….because of loyalty. When I love and believe in you, I will chew the ass off a rhinoceros, lose sleep, ignore logic and be willing to make a complete fool out of myself, on your behalf.

I didn’t follow my alkaline diet, over the weekend. By Sunday, I was noticing pain creeping back in. Monday, I did what I was supposed to diet-wise and by yesterday afternoon, felt myself again. So, something I thought would be healed by diet and nutrition alone [fantasy], reared it’s ugly head when I had too much negativity surging through me. The part I was so frustrated about is that I had no voice to do anything on behalf of someone. There was no action I could do…..except …..pray and thank God….and pardon me but sometimes that just seems so…….not enough [unreality], not when flesh and blood, in front of me, needs [unreality] to be told how ignorant, self-seeking, and foolish they are and how they mess with people’s lives…so flippantly. Would that help anyone? Nope. Would it bring some relief to be able to express, succinctly, to someone all the things I believe to be true? For a moment. The end result wouldn’t be changed though. We have free will and I can’t control these things. So….if I can’t control them, why do I allow myself to feel and bottle to the point of dis-ease growing in my body….then need to explode and have no where to go and no one to validate me?

Today’s post may feel more like a journal. Oh well. I can’t write a post on “A Perfect Tuesday”[yesterday’s post]  and choosing to see life perfectly…and not write how the same evening…..I allowed myself to be the worst version of myself. I am seeing that these health issues are manifesting because of not loving myself enough to keep my eyes on the beauty and lovely things, in my life. I keep jumping the same hurdles because I’m on the same track.  I have allowed defensiveness and the opinions of men and women to have a higher place, in my mind, than they ever should.

Here’s a reality and something I saw on my facebook feed this morning which really resonates in me:

“If it is detrimental to you emotionally, physically and spiritually, what choice do you have but to let go and flourish with self-respect.” ~Dodinsky

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” ~Phil. 4:8

I hope you don’t find my posts, preachy. I write what comes to me, as I am dealing with my own crap, for my own reference and to keep me in line. I don’t even pretend to be able to advise anyone what they should do. I’m just processing, out loud.

Love & Grace,

Beth

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Perfect Tuesday...

I think it is perfect.

Sometimes, I think my diet changes have allowed scales to be removed from my mind, sight and soul. Sometimes, I think the commercials and marketing of all things FOOD, in American society are not only to make a buck…but to keep the average human/american from hungering what life is TRULY about for ourselves. Preservatives, fast food and convenience, to me are a tool to dumb us down. “Let’s profit by keeping them in the dark, while we fatten them up, keep them sick AND they pay us to do it.” You may ask, “Beth, who do you accuse of such a conspiracy?” Hmm….I don’t know how to answer that question without certifying to you, my Reader, that I may be nutz. But surely, I do believe that if God has plans to prosper us and not harm us, well….there has to be a force of the exact opposite to keep us from that path. I’ll just call him the emperor….yes….like the emperor of Star Wars. I LOVE those movies!

At any rate, I attended our recently founded Indee SAHM[Stay-At-Home-Mom] group, this morning. I got to visit with other moms and a dad we were lucky to have join us. As I listened to our kids screech and scream, in our lovely city park, and watched the babies crawl and scoot around on the blankies AND discovered Bennett’s serious love of grass... [haha I crack myself up.] I found myself soaking it in and thinking how great it all was. Then, came home, took a nap while Bennett napped and Jacob played with toys. I awoke and couldn’t wait to go out to check on my “farm”. I was out there this morning, but simply had to go see if there were any changes. :)


From left to right, I introduce you to: broccoli, two rows of sweet peas, 1 row of green onions, one row of gourmet lettuce, and one row of green leaf lettuce. In the bed further back, are my tomato plants and pots with seeds for green beans, cukes, parsley, dill, basil and oregano. Just one week after planting the seed, all have sprouted that are going to sprout and soon, I will have to figure out where to plant the “thinning out” of plants. I need to go put up the fencing to keep bunnies out. Then, as I was going around the back of our house to the patio, I smelled a lemony-mint fragrance. I knew which plant it was …as it kind of has crept all over the area back there. I picked up a sprig, came in and googled it. It is called Lemon Balm.



It is good for teas - hot and cold and to even cook and bake with! I found recipes for ice cream using it. Lemon Balm may also be used as a garnish. It is also good for relieving mosquito bites! How awesome…because here, under our noses is the answer growing to combat the pesky bugs, which often keep us from enjoying our patio.

As I was entering our family room from the patio…this is what I found ….




Be still my heart! Yes, life IS perfect. Because this moment, I choose to view it as perfect.

And again…



Boy Wonder enjoyed his chocolate donut. He also got his first sunburn on Saturday from his slip and slide. No. Wait. I didn’t apply sunblock clear down his back to his buttcrack….which is why and where he got burned, lower back to buttcrack. This is why he doesn’t have his shirt on. He loves getting aloe vera applied. He giggles because it tickles while it cools. My Darling Bennett is so thrilled to have Jacob home. He will be one sad baby when school starts again. Bennett is getting up on all 4s and rocking back and forth. He will be crawling soon.

I hope each of you has been able to let go of the expectations and pressure to do more to be perfect and just rest, in the fact, that you are perfect...just the way you are. :)

Love & Grace,

Beth

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Own Little Farm...

Today is Boy Wonder’s last day of Kindergarten. My Darling is 8 months old. For some reason, these two facts are really tugging on my heart strings and causing me to cry. Of course I am excited for what the days ahead have in store for me and my boys. I find that this morning I grieve a little bit at how fast time goes and condemning myself for not being a perfect Mommy. Let me get another cup of coffee………….

Well, let’s divert my attention to our project that I’m calling my own little “Farm”. My family has a small farm in Pennsylvania. I am originally from there. As a child, I used to imagine all the good times we’d have there. Then, we moved to Iowa and the Farm, as we’ve lovingly called it, is no longer a place I can call home anymore. However, farming and planting and cultivating is kind of in my blood. The story of how we got from PA to Iowa is a great one. Must table that for another post.

This summer, I am not pregnant AND we have removed old shrubbery and trees and overgrown landscaping so that we could have our own little farm. I should call it tiny farm. Nope, should probably just call it a garden....but what fun is that? ;)

Hubby built me some raised bed frames and stained them to match our play set. He and my MIL put landscaping fabric on the bottom of them to prevent grass and weeds growing up through.



Last Saturday morning, Hubby and Jacob went to get dirt to fill our garden beds.




Look at Boy Wonder directing his daddy on backing up the truck. Have I said how much I love having boys?


Next? Well, for Daddy and I, we shoveled and raked dirt out of the bed of truck, into the garden frames. Jacob? He got in the back of the truck and had some fun. I love Iowa dirt!


Oh ya, Jacob insisted I take another picture of him with the dirt. heehee
The next night, I was prepping to plant my seeds of two different lettuces, onions, sweet peas and broccoli. I enlisted the help of Farmer Boy Wonder to haul away the big clumps of dirt.


I was sure to get a photo of him working so hard to rake those clumps into the extra dirt pile. By the way, we totally ruined his pair of tennis shoes with this whole process. Thank goodness school is out today so I don't have to buy a new pair!


There are my two beds side by side. The one on the right has just the tomato plants. The one on the left has my seeds in it. I hope the seeds grow. I was trying to be frugal and not buy actual plants. Um….yes, we know we need a couple posts to get that chicken wire to look right. I am still going to put up two trellises for my green beans and cucumbers to grow up.

My final photos for today are of my boys. Jacob, with pink eye, on his last day of school. No worries, we’ve been using drops, and the doc and pharmacist say he could go to school. The photo of Bennett is while he was eating his supper last night of green beans and sweet potatoes. After each bite he would use his kung fu grip and try to chomp on the wrong end of the spoon to relieve his gummies. Only 3 hours and 45 minutes to go until Summer 2012 begins for my boys and me.


Somewhere, along the line, I’ve developed pretty severe allergies to this time of year. I am hoping a new allergy medicine will clear me up to be able to get out and plant all of this today.


Plants for hanging baskets and bedding flowers for a flower bed in the front yard.

A busy day ahead!

Love & Grace,

Beth

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Food and Fuel for Thought...

The past 3 weeks, my diet has changed completely. Monday, was a day I wanted to bake a treat for Jacob’s “un-birthday” at school, since he has a summer birthday. Jacob requested demanded Monster Cookie Bars. I pinned the recipe from Pinterest. Here’s the website: http://domesticatedduchess.blogspot.com/2011/08/monster-cookie-bars.html

They are SO delicious! I love monster cookies. It’s really nice to make the bars because they’re quicker and oh-so-yummy-gooey! I was hoping there would be some leftover from school at the end of the day. Sure enough, there was. I had 3 over the course of that evening. I haven’t been eating sugar like that. I’m not saying I haven’t had any….but I’ve really not had added sugar except for the brownies I blogged about last week. All I am going to say is my digestive track didn’t do well. Two days later, I’m still recovering. While, I am bummed that it seems I can no longer do shuga….I’ve been thinking about what I have been doing. I’ve been learning about fueling my body properly. I also haven’t eaten much meat. I’ve had a little chicken breast and fish. But last night I had hamburger. I don’t think that did so well with me either. I’ve been eating veggies, salads, eggs, beans, nuts, and juicing. I drink an occasional coffee, and drink water and almond milk. I’ve eliminated pain! I did what I set out to accomplish! NO pain! I had nagging pain on Friday, but since then, none of that sluggish, achy, shooting pain and inflammation through my joints and limbs. In fact, I took a pain pill Saturday evening, then not another until Sunday evening and not another since!

I have had so much more energy and clarity of thought. It’s been wonderful. I’m playing on the floor with My Darling again. Last night, Boy Wonder and I played Monopoly on the floor. The only soreness I’ve been feeling is from planting my garden and the one walk I took last week for 2 miles. I am 4lbs. from my pre-Bennett weight. Although, until I get my serious exercise on, my jeans still fit strangely….baby-related.

My next post will be about our garden. I’m so excited and hope it will be a success. My passion for fueling our bodies properly, leads me to ask, “Do you love yourself enough to give your body what it needs to function according to it’s truly amazing design and so your soul can flourish and be the driving force in your daily life?” We are fearfully and wonderfully made!

Love & Grace,

Beth

The basis…

I’ve been thinking about sharing, with you, why I named my blog “Hallelujah Mama”. It is as simple as this:
I love God. I haven’t always been as close with Him as He would like. A fundamental truth that rings true in me, no matter what is - I give him praise for whatever I’m experiencing. If it’s good – He is worthy of credit. If it’s not good – He’s worthy of my gratitude and love as I let Him bring me through it. Most importantly, when daily life is neither good or bad – He deserves my praise for who He is.
I will never forget how close God was to me as we lost Levi. I will never forget singing How Great Thou Art and how His presence showed  up in the room where they performed the D&E. Losing Levi, is what made me want to get creative with writing and blogging, amidst other things. It’s what awakened, in me, God is alive and so much bigger than all I imagine and dream. Remembering Levi, is what reminds me of being true to me and what my Creator put me here for. There will be no “You’ve arrived!” sign. It’s a daily walk – one foot in front of the other. The most brilliant blessing in my life are my children – here and my son in my Father’s arms. Hence…..Hallelujah [an exclamation of praise to God] Mama.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Asparagus makes me happy? AND it fights dementia? I'm in!

Jacob came home from school yesterday and wanted us to make brownies. So, we did. Then, the pan of brownies was sitting there. I was faced with a serious dilemma. Do I grab the pan with both hands, pull it up to my face and dive in OR do I take the butter knife and keep slicing off the edge......until the edge is at the other end of the pan? Just then, I saw my neighbor outside....be aware of your surroundings. You never know when a little divine intervention is waiting for you! I went outside to visit with our neighbors and they offered me asparagus, already grilled. They had too much for their supper and were willing to share with me if I liked it. Holy Cow! Yes! I love asparagus! Jacob was in the mood for PB &J last night, and daddy was at work late. So, I didn't feel like cooking and the pan of brownies was calling to me to eat it for supper. Here, my lovely neighbors shared their asparagus and didn't even know that it was going to be my nutritious supper. The asparagus was seasoned and grilled wonderfully and I am very grateful. Later in the evening, when I was relaxing with my Kindle Fire, I downloaded a book for free about how food affects our mood. Mood Boosting Food Mood Boosting Recipes
I noticed that I was feeling sublimely happy, content, at peace. I don't know when the last time was I felt this way...which is why I noticed I had such energy and patience and was giggling with Jacob the whole evening as if I was part of a Lisa Frank picture with rainbows and unicorns and for some reason I was so happy that I got to hug a koala......ok..ok....I digress. But you get the picture. I was a happy girl.

I start to read the book after the boys went to bed. First chapter: Asparagus - and I quote: "Asparagus is a great "brain food" and is loaded with folate. (A lack of folate has been linked to depression.) Just one cup of asparagus has 66% of the daily recommended amount of folate. It is also full of compounds that are necessary in order for your body to produce serotonin, which helps boost your mood. There is some evidence that asparagus might also be able to help ward off dementia. ....... Asparagus also helps your body produce enough red blood cells which help to keep your brain supplied with enough oxygen to keep it alert......"   I about fell out of my chair. I squealed with glee, as I put my recliner mechanism down, making my husband jump, and exclaimed, "Honey! Listen to this!" I bored him to tears with my new knowledge and a confirmation that it wasn't because he walked through the door that I had transformed into Mary -Frickin-Poppins. Though, he'd be goofy to think anything other than me being completely happy to see him. ;)

I will be buying asparagus this weekend. Unfortunately....something ....has penetrated through the Mean Green and I am having a lot of pain today. At first, I thought it was from my walking yesterday. I took a break this morning and didn't go walking today. As the day has gone on....the humidity is increasing or the heat is...or both...and I feel like someone has popped an IV in me that is circulating poison/acid through me. I did have 3 brownies between last night and today...could it be that? I don't know. I need to get this over with so I can attend our first coach/pitch game tonight. Jacob declared after his last practice, as he walked in the door, "MOM! I smoked them balls!" Aaaahhh....so grateful to have boys I can talk like boys with!

Enjoy your weekend my dears!

Love and Grace,
Beth

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cheers!

A Health Cocktail. My Mean Green this morning:
4 stalks of kale, 2 stalks of celery, 1/2 lemon, 1 inch of ginger root, 1 cucumber, 1 green apple
First time I'm adding ginger root. I've been meaning to but I kept forgetting it when I make my fridge veggie round-up each morning. I actually don't even taste it. I'm surprised because ginger has a distinct flavor.


Kale is full and I mean cup overfloweth full of Vitamins K and A and C. It is a natural detoxifier. It is loaded with omega-3 which aids as an anti-inflammatory. Kale is an antioxidant and a powerful one. Kale aids the liver by lowering cholesterol intake. Knowing these qualities of Kale get me excited about my lifestyle changes.

Celery is packed with vitamin C, so it strongly supports my immune system. It is also a blood pressure lower-er [oops....a Bethanese word]. Celery is rich in potassium and sodium - originally known as a diuretic- a powerful regulator of fluids.

Cucumbers have nutrients that also aid in detoxing, preventing cancer and eliminating inflammation.

THE Apple. The word "apple" is a noun a verb and adjective and adverb. The old adage: "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." No joke! It's fiber. It helps slow down the digestion of carbohydrates. It reduces glucose absorption. Helps regulate blood sugar by sending a message to our pancreas to make more insulin. The apple has cancer-fighting benefits as well as anti-asthma benefits. I didn't used to like apples unless they were baked in something. Knowing what I know now? I HEART them! :)

Lemons are full of vitamin C. The polyphenols in lemons fight cancer and protect against rheumatoid arthritis as an anti-inflammatory. Get a pitcher of water and squeeze a fresh lemon in the water. Drink that for a day. It's a natural cleanser. Lemons are so refreshing!

Ginger is a great aid in fighting inflammation. It is also a protector against colorectal cancer.

I just googled "benefits of __________" to give you this information this morning. The website I was consistent to pull up is www.whfoods.com .

I had another day without pain yesterday. This morning, I am sore. But that is because I met friends and walked this morning. I got approximately 2 miles in. I have people keep throwing up to me about weight loss since I'm juicing. I'm down a little bit. I have not been doing a juice fast. For my lifestyle, that is not practical. I eat breakfast usually eggs as an omelet or a hard-boiled egg. I am also a huge fan of steel cut oats! I just saw a recipe on Pinterest about some oatmeal cakes. I'm going to try that this weekend. My son got me started on toast with honey on it. So, since it's morning, I go ahead and have that. I try to pack my most calories in before 10AM so that I have the rest of the day to pack in the juice and allow my body to not work at digesting as much as repairing cells. Lunch time, I've been having a huge salad, with dark leafy greens. Supper time this week, I am drinking a juice. Last night, I had a beet juice.
4 stalks of kale, 1/2 cucumber, 2 stalks of celery, 1 Pink Lady apple, 1/2 lime. Check out www.nosugarsweetlife.com for her beet juice recipe. It is delicious!  

Everything on the plate above, makes this tall glass of juice. It's sweet and I really love the color. I want to paint a wall in my house this color!


For snacks, I eat a handful of nuts or fresh fruit and veggies. I make guacamole and dip celery sticks in it. I don't eat anything after 6 PM. I do have a cup of green tea once my babes are settled into bed for the night, usually 8-8:30'ish. I am not doing this to lose weight. My motivation is to eliminate PAIN by getting healthy. The weight won't really peel off me til I can really get moving with exercise. I'm listening to my body on that. This morning, I felt like an old car shaking apart trying to go 90 down a highway. I definitely lost a muffler and maybe the carburetor. ;)

Grapefruit juice is one of my absolute fave juices. Straight up...grapefruit juice!
This is the juice from one grapefruit. It's plenty! Now...where's the vodka.......?
I'll leave you with this thought, which someone shared on Facebook a couple weeks ago:
It's none of your business what others think of you!

Love and Grace,

Beth

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Mean Green

For the past couple of years, I’ve been dealing with pain. I didn’t know what chronic pain is..but have since learned I have chronic pain. I don’t remember when it started exactly. I know that the past 2 months it has reared an offensive ugly head. I was scared. It happened on a Thursday. I could barely walk. I truly looked like a 98 year old woman trying to get around the house. I couldn’t get on the floor with Bennett. It was extremely difficult to navigate the stairs going from the main floor to the basement. Either I felt like I was losing control and going to fall down them and going up them was like climbing a mountain for a 98 year old woman. Such pain in my joints – all of them. I was bruising very easily, and just a general pain and ache all over my body. For years, I had been telling myself, “You fatty…get off some weight and then you won’t hurt. You carry more than your body is built to carry!” Real loving, right? The Fall that Levi died…I had shed 30lbs. really fast but looking back the whole time my self-talk was SO hateful towards myself.

I went to the doctor. He ran some labwork that showed high auto-immune levels and inflammation. He referred me to a rheumatologist for further examination and a diagnosis. I had an exam with the specialist and he ordered lab work. Almost 3 weeks ago, Steve and I went to meet with the rheumatologist. He had taken 13 screenings. The inflammation screening got missed. This was the most important of the screenings to me, because I know I have inflammation. Instead, the lab did two tests on the auto-immune levels which were a non-issue based on the newer technology and science, ordered by the rheumatologist. He told me I’d have to have another round of labwork drawn up and then he’d call me if the inflammation levels were alarming. I haven’t don’t his yet. I keep putting it off, because I’m annoyed. In the meantime, he gave me pain pills - a medication they prescribe for fibromyalgia patients. We left. As we drove out of the parking lot I learned that Steve heard everything positive – because the specialist ruled out rheumatoid arthritis and lupus –though it “may be the beginning stages of it”. I didn’t receive it positively. I heard him telling me that based on the lab …I don’t have anything. As if the pain and excruciating pain was in my head. So, two days later, I started taking the pain pills and I also started juicing at least twice a day, for meals. Why? Because I want to give my body a shot at healing itself if I fuel it properIy. I also decided to drink only water [no more than 60oz./day] and an occasional cup of coffee and the occasional gin and tonic or martini. It’s about balance for me. I need to program myself that it’s not an all or nothing gig. There are “sometimes” foods and beverages. I basically cut out sugar except for a seldom treat. I’ve been using agave nectar and honey and Stevia in the raw. I’ve been successful thus far in mostly cutting out aspartame and the likes. It’s long been known the damage those agents will cause to joints. I’ve been doing the common sense things like portion control and listening to my body and asking myself, “are you hungry or trying to fill up some hole that keeps eating away at you?” Rarely is it hunger. So, I give the hole to God. This happens over and over. The pain pills worked the first 6 days. Then, they started working less and less. I’ve continued to take them because once when I missed a dose by 3 hours – I was laid out again and could not believe the pain. So, I know they tame the pain down. Then, last Thursday, I had a relatively pain-free day. Mother’s Day and most of Monday – zero pain. Tuesday was good til the afternoon and I had a Mean Green juice for supper and within an hour [and I accidentally missed a med dosage by 2 hours] I was pain free. When I say pain free it’s what I mean. I am limber, can almost run up and down the stairs…it’s amazing. That is how I want to live! Knowing the benefits of juicing and how it’s helping me feel, I’ll soon be able to start aerobically exercising. I had such energy last week, even with the pain. I’m occasionally doing pilates. Very occasionally. Like twice in the past 15 days.  ;) 

After talking to my mom, we are believing the pain is less because I’ve gone to a more alkaline diet instead of acidic. All I know is that I’m more in the moment and happier without the pain. It’s about being good to myself. I bought a Kindle a couple weeks ago. I love it! I’m reading more. A couple weeks ago, we organized a stay-at-home-moms group, in our community. We’ve been attending church regularly and are in the process to become members. Eating naturally has been a growing passion of mine and I am excited to share this journey with you. There are some fantastic resources and blogs available to inspire and guide me on this adventure. Here’s the recipe for the Mean Green juice I drink. One can put any kind of produce in a juicer and all of it is good for us. However, for detoxing, blood cleansing, alkalinizing, and overall strength – drink green juice!

My Mean Green:

4 stalks of kale, 2 stalks of celery, 1 green apple or green pear, 1 cucumber [with peel on], 1/2 lime[optional] and 1 kiwi


I really do like what 1/2 lime does to the juice. It jazzes it up a bit with that tang. I love it!

My Breville juicer cleans very easily. The container which the juice goes in to, has a lid that will prevent the foam from pouring into your glass if you prefer that. I guess I mostly like it without the foam on top.

It takes some getting used to..but hey...who ever drank beer or wine for the first time and said, "Damn! I got to have more of that NOW!" ;)


Here is a picture of my Darling Bennett. He is wearing 18 month clothes and he’s not quite 8 months old! He is such a lover. He eats well, sleeps well and still loves to snuggle. He’s starting to get up on all fours to prepare to crawl. We are super excited for big brother to be done with school so we can all be together this summer – only 7 more days to go! We have so many plans….swim lessons, coach/pitch, gardening, riding bike, mom’s group, reading, a wedding in Arkansas, their Mimi [my mama] is coming to Iowa! Jacob is reading! I’m so proud of him. His year of kindergarten was a huge success and he’s so good at school. 



So, stay tuned. Blogging has been an outlet I have missed tremendously.

Love and Grace!
Beth

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pineapple Coconut Smoothies

Pineapple Coconut Smoothies


I MUST share this from PBS's website and another blogger I follow at EatLiveRun.com. I can't wait to try this recipe! Since purchasing our juicer, I only purchase a fresh pineapple. I won't buy canned pineapple anymore! I don't have to worry about it going bad, because I throw in the juicer with an orange and a grapefruit and It. Is. Heavenly. [end of that sentence] :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Nickelback - Lullaby



While I was feeding Bennett this morning, I stumbled upon this video on VH1. I love Nickelback and they're videos to interpret their songs. That's all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tenderness

I feel inspired to write my guys a ....something.  I had always desired a daughter to do "girl" things with....whatever "girl" things are that I currently don't do with any girls in my life.... However, some "dreams" die and it's all so much more fun than I could have imagined. I am crazy in love with my own group of guys. I have years of being the girl in their lives....of course, one of the guys is stuck with me forever.... ;)

Little brings me more pleasure than measuring my day in giggles, loud voices, and slobber. For these days do not last forever...in fact they're gone as quick as tomorrow!

Early I wake to the bed shaking, when Jacob comes bounding in. It is our time, Boy Wonder, to catch up, to snuggle,for just a few moments we have each other all to ourselves, as it used to be.
Next, I get out of bed, to the sounds of Bennett, jabbering with glee. I open the door, exclaim, "Good morning My Darling!" He greets me with a smile so big, so bright - there will be no storm to snuff out his light.
There is always a time, in the morning, before everyone goes their separate ways, when my waist feels the hand of my Favorite Person, he always brings a grin to my face.
May you each know, now, tomorrow, the next and everafter - no greater love grows, in my heart than the love I have for Steven, Boy Wonder and My Darling!


My Darling 6 months old

Same morning, last week. I LOVE the "just woke up" eyes!

Today, was early dismissal for Boy Wonder. Daddy went to get him and together they picked these posies for me! Jacob is getting to a new "place" where taking pictures over every little thing just isn't as fun as it used to be...for him!

Hubby knows I love gerbera daisies and the little green button'ish mums - though I don't think that is what they're called. Jacob picked out the butterfly.

I needed to make sure and include a picture of my guys. This was taken on my birthday last month. It's easy to see the love and closeness between them here and for me, behind the camera. It's one of my favorite pictures.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

To do what one loves....

takes training, practice, years. I have loved writing on my blog and am out of practice and would very much love to continue with my blog. However, I trust my instinct for topics to write about, in this moment, as much as I trust a fickle person. ;) Allow me to share a very short chapter from an excellent book, which I am reading over and over again, called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. It may sound familiar -  it is a book that propelled me into scratching the surface of being.....me, shortly after losing Levi.

"A Professional Acts In The Face Of Fear" p. 79 of The War of Art:

The Amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist.
What Henry Fonda does, after puking into the toilet in his dressing room, is to clean up and march out onstage. He's still terrified but he forces himself forward in spite of his terror. He knows that once he gets out into the action, his fear will recede and he'll be okay.


In light of me being out of practice of writing/blogging/creativity - I am reading this book from cover to cover almost daily to spark the fire of creating again. I no longer want to fear being a stay at home mom, of being an artistic soul, of being afraid to ask for help when I'm lonely or really need some help, or of what people think of me. I think I have painted a picture of myself on Facebook and in interactions with people that I'm a tough cookie. Internally though? I want to be vulnerable. I want to live out loud. I want to embrace the things inside of me that are not meant to be dormant.



Monday, March 26, 2012

Best wishes to the happy couple!

I am basking in the glow of a wonderful weekend. Boy Wonder got to be a ring bearer in our dear friend's wedding. Mrs. Dodge [her married name] is a woman that was tender, precious, sweet and so loving to us after Levi died. She performed the memorial ceremony in remembrance of Levi and the dedication of our Jacob to God. She instantly was discovered to be a kindred spirit - we both love Jesus, music, theatre, singing, football, Mr. Darcy and Gilbert Blythe. :) We are so happy for her and her husband!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Gazelle

Wheeew Boy! It's been a week. I keep flip-flopping between, "I am going to kick this week's &*%@!?!" and "There has got to be more ....." I won't bore you with details, but the you-know-what hit the fan this week and I'm processing. Like an old DOS operating system, I'm processing. I know all will work out fine. The stress and weight of waiting to see it done is....something that I'm realizing I don't have to carry. I need to trust that it will be fine, because it will be and the stress and energy depletion is counter-acting my Mary Kay. I feel like my face looks like the "sick" face a Mac computer in high school used to make. Do Macs still make that face?

In the meantime, let me share a delightful blog with you! www.iowagirleats.com You're welcome. She's a breath of fresh air with realistic organizational solutions, tools, tips, her own interesting life stories, and the smoothie recipe that has rocked my world:
Recipes | Iowa Girl Eats

I love that the combination of the ingredients in her recipe taste like the best milkshake of my life. :D Bennett loves it too!



I spoonfeed him just about 1/2oz. when I make one for me. WHAT a great way to get the nutrients in our kids! Jacob hasn't had one yet, maybe this weekend.
That smoothie is also my very favorite color! When asked what my favorite color is, I tell people green. But I mean THAT green. :)
In the midst of freakishly violent hurdles [read my post on hurdles http://hallelujahmama.blogspot.com/2011/01/every-day.html] I am reminded that they have no place except to watch my undercarriage jump over them like a freaking gazelle!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Change of Seasons

As I get older, I find myself appreciating all 4 of our seasons. My favorite is, and will always be, Autumn. To me, there is nothing cozier, more comforting than the smell of the leaves as they dry and blow, in the wind. I also love the crunchy sound they make when we're outside. I could go on and on about Autumn, but we are entering SPRING!!! 

Maybe it's because I'm not pregnant this Spring...or moving - can't believe this week marks TWO years since my hubby became the city manager here. Maybe, it's because I am realizing how ready I am to move on from the "growing our family" stage that I've been in for the past 4 years. Whatever it is, Spring has sprung, in my heart and I am loving it!

Each of the seasons has their own merits. Each are beautiful, in their own way. I find that each reflect a wave of change, in my own soul as they begin to move from one season to the next. It's refreshing, inspiring, motivating. Spring is a time to clean off and plant new seeds of creativity.

This week, I'm in the throws of organizing my home...again. Each time I do, it's an improvement on the last organization frenzy. I am very much looking forward to having both my "little" men home with me later this week. I have fun crafts and projects for us to start. I am so looking forward to taking Jacob out on his bike and Bennett in his stroller for long walks.

This week, I am also exploring recipes that are vegan. I'm not saying I desire to go without meat all together...I'm just exploring. It's fun! The world of food is vast. I am looking for healthier alternatives for my family that are outside our box. I still love our juicer! Almost every day I have a juice of some sort and the days I skip, I can feel a difference. The days I wolf down homemade pizza or a package of Thin Mints...man...it isn't good. I love that I can feel the difference, in my body. It is fascinating. I also find myself grieving a little bit because ignorance was bliss! ;)

Enjoy your week my sweets! [Especially if you're an Iowan experiencing May weather!]





Thursday, March 8, 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012

Ketchup

I am the worst blogger because of how inconsistent I am at posting. I want to post more often. I miss blogging. Like now, I thought I had enough time to eek out a post of recipes I’ve tried over the past month and LOVE….but I hear my Darling through the monitor starting to stir from his morning nap.

My most exciting news is that Baby Bennett has been sleeping more regularly, through the night. I believe I’ve found my “groove” to getting more sleep. May I say, sleep is not overrated.

So…back to those recipes:

I got this from a friend. She brought it for New Year’s Eve. I am addicted. I had no idea how much I love beans until this recipe:

Texas Caviar

1 can black beans, drained & rinsed

1 can black eyed peas, drained & rinsed

1 can white, shoe peg corn

8 oz. (or a skosh more if needed) Zesty Italian Dressing…(it does make more juice as it sits)

1 tomato, diced

1/2 onion, diced

1 green & 1 red pepper, diced.

*I have also used a can of chick peas [drained and rinsed] because I was using my memory….and thought I was to use chick peas instead of black eyed peas. It’s still very delish.

I copied and pasted this recipe as my friend emailed it to me. I laugh at the word “skosh”. [pronounced skoash] She is the only person I have ever known to use the word. I like it.

texas caviar

 

This next recipe is for the BEST cinnamon rolls I’ve ever made. I’ve had one recipe that I’ve used for years now and thought IT was the best. Well, it now takes a far second. When I saw the recipe for this I thought it looked like it was going to be ridiculously sweet, to the point, of cutting my throat. You know that feeling when sugar actually feels like it’s scraping your esophagus as it slides down? I thought this recipe may do that. It did the exact opposite! It was light and allowed me the pleasure of enjoying the roll itself. It complimented the dough….which…by the way was fabulous to work with. Anyone who knows me, knows that I like to roll in the dough. Winking smile No, not money. I mean dough…it’s so sensual. It’s too bad that it’s not that good for us because it totally turns me on. When I am working with dough, I feel like I’m learning something new. There is something beautiful about being vulnerable to elements and pliable at the same time.  Also, working with dough, like putting a rub on meat, allows me the honor of applying my love into the food I’m preparing. This recipe for cinnamon rolls came in my holiday Taste of Home publication that I bought the day Bennett was born on my final trip to Walmart. That’s a funny story.. I was nesting….but didn’t realize it.

Majestic Cinnamon Rolls [copied from Taste of Home’s website]

  • Prep: 40 min. + rising Bake: 35 min.
  • Yield: 12 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 3/4 cup warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4-1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • FILLING:
  • 1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • TOPPING:
  • 1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half cream

Directions

  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in warm water. Add the milk, eggs, butter, salt, remaining sugar and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Punch dough down. On a lightly floured surface, roll into an 18-in. x 12-in. rectangle. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter and cinnamon; spread over rectangle to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal. Cut into 1-1/2-in. slices.
  • In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter and cream; pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Place rolls, cut side down, in brown sugar mixture.
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in dish for 5 minutes; invert onto a serving platter. Serve warm. Yield: 1 dozen.

Lastly, for today, go to www.afarmgirlsdabbles.com and to the February 24, 2012 post for

Chocolate Chip Scones with Peanut Butter Glaze. I saw this recipe on Pinterest [my newest addiction along with….did I mention….Three Olives Cake vodka?] The recipe from “a farm girl” was the first time I’ve made scones…ever. They were SO delicious! We paired the scones with the 100% Kona coffee which my MIL brought home for us, from her trip to Hawaii. I had no idea scones were easy to make. Truthfully, I didn’t have interest in scones because they always looked dry. Well…hello…they look dry but they’re moist and light and I’m kind of a dingbat for waiting this long to try them, because, guess what? Making scones means working with dough!

Enjoy the recipes. Also, enjoy the “farm girl” blog. There are so many blogs that I enjoy. She is one I just discovered and totally admire. I want to be a farm girl.  I really, really do.

 

 

 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Goal Setting Session

We had a great weekend. A couple highlights:

Steve and I had a goal-setting session for our family. This is part of his duties, working for the city. However, we’ve never applied it to our family. It was a lot of fun. At Steve’s direction, we each made a list of accomplishments from the past year to year and a half. Then, we each made a list of goals we’d like to achieve over 2012. After that, we balanced our own financial budget. It was fun and we got to realign our focus on the things that really matter. I’ve heard of couples doing this and I wish we had started this sooner, in our marriage. Alas, no regrets – Onward Ho!

After the fast last week, I have clarity, and much more energy. I am still juicing twice a day. I have a juice packed with fruit and some hearty green for breakfast. I have found that when I eat a baked treat, ie., the chocolate chip cookies I baked for Jacob’s snack today, or chocolate cake – I instantly get heartburn, very unpleasant heartburn. The only time I’ve ever had heartburn is when I was pregnant. This development is an affirmation to how my body is telling me what it wants and doesn’t want. My mind is what gets in the way. I am still sleeping very well, while I juice and eat more balanced even though Bennett is still waking for a feeding a couple times a night.

Yesterday, Jacob and I roller skated! It was so much fun for a couple different reasons:

1. I could still heft this body around the rink and I never fell. I looked ridiculous at first. Then, I relaxed and remembered the key to balance is not gripping air and clenching butt muscles to the point of knuckles turning white or ….  ……moving on….the key to balance,even with wheels attached to our feet is to RELAX!

2.Jacob learned the lesson, for this activity, anyway – to fall and get back up is a great accomplishment! Watching Jacob want to let go of me and sport  his own independence was very gratifying. Seeing the joy on his face as he made it around the rink each time – well, there is just nothing quite like it.

3. It was something I got to do with Boy Wonder while Daddy looked after our Darling Prince.

4. It was a superb workout!

What did you do over the weekend?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Day 4 1/2….I’m done.

Ok…so, it turned into a stressful afternoon. Then, I was making a fabulous supper and I’m just too dang good of a cook to fast on veggies and fruit alone, especially, in juice form. So…scratch the fast. I know it was good for me. I’m ready to move on. I discovered I’m not a soldier for the cause of Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead….unless maybe I was nearly dead and sick. As we have it, I’m just fat. Winking smile I will definitely be incorporating juice in my family’s menu. I believe it is still the best way to get the required amount of veggies and fruit our bodies require.

The demise began when I wanted to cook hubby a splendid meal after a rough day. He will be in meetings far into the evening tonight. I had it ready and called and offered to take it to him. By the way, it’s Ragu Bolognese. Even Jacob walked in after playing outside and was instantly hungry and exclaimed, “It smells GOOD in here!” Well, the sauce was to die for, and I knew it, so I tasted it. I didn’t stop there. I had a 1/2 cup serving on my own plate and sat down and ate with Jacob. Since I find therapy in cooking and baking, I decided to see if Jacob wanted to help me bake a cake. Of course, he was very excited to! We put on our matching gingerbread men aprons from Aunt Krissi, several years ago and got to work on a Peanut Butter Meltaway cake. Here we are:

 

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Enjoy your evening lovely readers. I truly hope you don’t find me a quitter, I am just creating experiences and ….experiencing them. Open-mouthed smile