Food Prep

I made a total of 11 meals…and it took about 3 hours to get everything done

I was recently at a meal prep party… let that sink in… a meal prep PARTY.

Basically you pay $120 and someone else shops for you and then you come together with other people and bag the food in freezer bags (these are meals for the crockpot).

I was actually pretty excited about the idea because life has been hectic and not having to think about dinner is actually a HUGE relief. These meals were supposed to be 4 servings each. They were not, most of the bags really only had about 2 servings in them.

So I decided to do host my own meal prep party… meaning I plan the meals, go food shopping, prep the fresh ingredients and fill the bags myself by myself (which is my favorite part).

I hit Pinterest hard and created a list of meals and of items that I needed to buy

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I broke the ingredients down into sections and did my shopping with my bum wrist and littlest man. I think I spent less than $100 on everything, so then it was onto the next step.

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Prep

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My partner and I were chopping and bagging different things

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I made a total of 11 meals that will feed at least 3 people and it took about 3 hours to get everything done, but I did have to take a break to put the baby down for a nap and I made a meatloaf for my son to eat over the week.

I will say if you want to do something like this and want/need advice I would love to direct you. Also, there are plenty of canned and prepackaged items in these meals so I wasn’t necessarily prepping for health, just convenience.

There were a lot of cans, your trash will look like this.

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Soulmates

My dad performed the ceremony at our wedding and he called us soulmates. He was right

Our anniversary was in August and I have been writing this blog since then. We were celebrating one year married and three years together.

Matt and I met in June 2016 and it was far from love at first sight, lol. He was this young kid and a disheveled mess, his hair and how he dressed was not appealing to me. I had to converse with him as part of my job so I got to know him a little, found out he was smart and funny and a sort of friendship started. He added me on Facebook and we were messaging back and forth, some light flirting.

One time at work he was on break with a team member from the store and we were talking while I did my job. I was walking back towards them and they were laughing, “what’s so funny?” I asked. They told me that I had something black all over my butt (I wore khaki pants). Without thinking I asked to have a picture of my ass so I could see what it was and Matt pulled out his phone willingly; realizing my mistake I quickly told him I was talking about Jack (the gay team member he had been talking to, I knew he wouldn’t ENJOY the picture later). That is one of Matt’s favorite stories to tell, lol.

So like I said, we were messaging back and forth but nothing serious. He did not come off as the guy who wanted the “happy meal” I was bringing to the table and I wasn’t bringing anyone around my kids who wasn’t 100% serious.

Long story short, while lightly flirting he asked me how he should get his hair cut and that triggered a freak out response in my brain( I realize that was VERY dramatic and he still laughs at me for it). I had been single for 3 years and I wasn’t sure I was ready to change that yet; I was terrified. So I took 3 steps back from him. I went from being flirty to gruff. When he sent me messages I would send a one word response, if I sent one at all. But he continued to message me, despite my behavior. He was never rude or put off.

It hit me one day that maybe this is the guy you should date. The one who sees you at your worst and isn’t phased by it. He still wanted to talk to me and still wanted me.

So I gave him a chance and it has been the smartest decision of my life.

My dad performed the ceremony at our wedding and he called us soulmates. He was right.

I love that man

Screenshots worth 1000 words

So I have a lot going on in my life currently, mom, starting a business, house, work, weightloss, wife, pet mom, friend, daughter and the list continues.

Sometimes I have a hard time keeping track of my life. I have a dry erase calendar that I write things, apts, parent teacher conferences, trips on but that isn’t enough.

One thing that I do to help keep my life in order is take screenshots of things that I have to do, remember, look up, laugh at, share with my husband.

These are some of the ones I plan to keep, some of them are Christmas ideas, murder mystery podcasts to check out, diet ideas to look up or try. The tattoo is a response to my sister, letting her know which one I thought was the best. Where to find renaissance festival coupons, measurements in cm for Wish presents. And of course my Hogwarts house, because that’s just important to know.

These are how I keep my life in order. I go through once or twice a week and clean out the ones I don’t need anymore.

I was recently at a meal prep party and I mentioned that is how kept my life in order; to my surprise another mom chimed in that she does the same thing!!

It’s funny that the comment made me feel so justified in my actions, but in retrospect… it isn’t really.

Moms are so hard on themselves, we hold ourselves to such a ridiculous standard and it’s nice when someone else does something as weird as organizing our life with screenshots.

Bonus Dad not Step Dad

So I have never posted on here before but I have always spoke with my wife about supporting her in all of her endeavors so lets jump into the deep end, swimsuit tied and floaties left quite securely in the pool bag. Don’t worry that will probably be the only swimming reference you’ll get from me. I’m not entirely certain but we’ll see where the words take us!

I never really realized growing up what it actually meant to be a parent let alone step parent. After meeting my wife and her amazing kids I was still a bit lost and honestly the stigma to it all is a bit daunting. I personally felt very lost and confused when trying to find my place in the family dynamic and it took me a bit of time. Am I the stern parent, am I the loving playful one, do I cry when they do, am I stoic and steadfast, do I steal their cookies when they aren’t looking because Oreo’s are god’s gift to earth and the fact that my wife refuse’s to buy me a separate box (trying to be healthy) means I can never have them to myself which honestly just unfair……. Moving on……

I searched for a few hours online trying to find things that would help me in this, and there are books and information out there for everyone, New Dads, New Moms, Teenagers, there is even an entire series of books for dummies that can teach you a basic understanding of just about anything not to mention a slew of information on youtube and so many other places. All of it felt a bit distant and I didn’t really know what worked for me.

I’ll be honest:

IT WAS TOUGH.

Where do I find the owner’s manual, is there a guide book I can find online for this and please someone give me the cheat codes to make my daughter stop rolling her eyes so hard her heads gonna fall off. I will say that’s the one thing I embraced before anything else. I grew up in a divorced household where my parents treated me and my brother amazingly. Both parent’s did everything they could to be in our lives and that’s what I want for our kids.

What that meant to me was if our son wants to play with his LEGO sets… you better believe I was there with him building them. If my daughter wants to paint my nails… you better believe I’m going to work with the most glitter covered toe nails you’d ever see. If my son wants to play Minecraft… we are gonna marathon that until we slay the Ender Dragon. And when my daughter wants to see if she can cover my head (beard included) with bows… you best believe that’s gonna happen.

So I guess in the grand scheme of things it really comes to this:

I’m a step-dad because I am not their biological dad, I’m their partner in their games, and I’m their dress up doll when they want to try new styles. I’m stern when it’s bed time, I’m loving when they are sad. I love watching them succeed and I’ll always pick them up when they fail. I wasn’t there from the beginning but I’ll be there until my end.

So as the new terminology takes hold I guess I’m a Bonus Dad after all.

P.S. Majestic Glorious Wife can I please have some Oreo’s

The Inbetween

I realize that’s not a real word.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a blog and I’ve been feeling guilty about it! I really enjoy taking time out to write these and I’ve been working on the same blog for over a week and it just isn’t right yet.

This past month has been so busy for me it’s hard to concentrate on writing right now.

August is the home of our anniversaries (marriage and dating), both of our birthdays (husband and mine) and back to school for the kids. So we’ve been busy!

The business received several orders for artworks, signs and coasters.

I started working out 2-3 times a week with other moms (I am not a social person so that’s new to me). In the same category, I’ve been talking to the moms at the kids bus stop. I am almost considering a girls night out with them… but it may be too soon.

I got put back on meds for anxiety and depression, that is an ongoing adventure that’s getting a blog for sure!

I’ve been working some weekends cleaning houses, which is ironic because my house is usually a MESS!

My sister is talking to me again! I thought she was mad at me… I tend to say really stupid/hurtful things and usually not on purpose so I was really worried I did it again… but she was just busy (so she wasn’t really not speaking to me, but I felt unspoken to) .

Life has been pretty great lately, I’m feeling proud of myself for everything that I’ve got going on and the meds are working so well that I’m not worried about the other shoe dropping!

Vacation, Meant to be Spent Alone

When I go on vacation with kids or in general, I want to make the most of it AND relax… kind of contradictory

So when we arrive at the AFB after 11 hours in the car we meet my brother at the gate so we can get tags on our car, long story short my husband is really impressed with his picture here….

He wanted me to post this, lol.

Seriously though, obviously we got to my brother’s and relaxed, got the car unpacked and we settled into our vacay mode. My goal for this entire trip was to read a book, a whole book. I used to love reading when I was younger but since working full time, having kids and getting married, it’s been hard to finish a book. I start lots of books but I have so much going on that sitting down reading a book gets pushed to the back of the priority list. So I made a goal for myself, other than hanging with my brother, read an entire book. So I started reading as soon as we get settled. I should take this time to explain this is a 250 page book meant for middle schoolers; but I have to start somewhere.

When I go on vacation with kids or in general, I want to make the most of it AND relax… kind of contradictory. So in the morning, after feeding the baby and making my coffee I was trying to decide what to do with the beautiful day

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The kids were already pestering me to go to the pool, or go to the park… my desire to relax meant less than nothing to them, lol. So we came up with a plan to take them to the splash pad, mostly so I don’t have to put on a swimsuit

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I did take some pretty fantastic pictures!!

The rest of the vacation was pretty rainy, so we spent time inside. We walked around the exchange, which is an on base store and just looked around. There was an author who was selling her books and I proudly bought one! Her name is Joy Garcia and she writes children’s storys about her dogs and their adventures. I was super excited to be able to support her and her dream because it is mine!

The kids enjoyed playing on the Switch with their uncle and I got to read and finish my book. I loved every morning waking up to this beautiful view

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The vacation was over way too soon, and on Monday morning we got up at 5am, I said goodbye to my little brother and started the stupidly long journey back home. It was basically uneventful except we hit more traffic so it was a 12hr journey. We got home safely and our lives went back to normal.

Vacation, Had To Get Away

Less than an hour into the trip we had a baby screaming and 2 kids whining, asking if we were there yet…. SERIOUSLY????

So here we are, 2 adults, 2 kids and one baby packed into a car for what should have been a 9hr drive to go visit one of my brothers in Florida. Tobias is not happy because I woke him up instead of the other way around, he wouldn’t latch on (I am breastfeeding him, which I do not know if I have mentioned) and he is already in his car seat, which he hates. I was hoping the kids were going to go back to sleep since we woke them up so early, but not so much.

Less than an hour into the trip we had a baby screaming and 2 kids whining, asking if we were there yet…. SERIOUSLY???? To say that I had explained how long this trip was going to be 100 times is an understatement.

My plan for the trip was to pump milk by hand and have the kids feed him with a bottle to help prolong stopping. So when the baby started getting fussy I looked in my diaper bag for my pump, not there. I looked in the Walmart bag of snacks, not there and my brain flashed to the kitchen counter where I remember them being last and I start freaking out. My husband being the calm rational soul that he is pulls over into a parking lot so I can feed the really upset baby before anything else. It takes Tobias a few minutes to calm down before he will finally latch on, but first feeding is successful and I change his diaper to get that out of the way. Next Matt proposes we look for a Wal-Mart to buy a pump for the trip to continue with my plan, he stays so calm and tells me over and over again that I am not a terrible mom because I forgot something. As I start to calm down I remember picking up the pump and putting it in the glove box with the nipples and the milk saving bags. So we are back on the road, only 40 minutes behind schedule.

Being in the car for 9(according to GPS) hours with your spouse could bring some to commit murder, and probably has. I on the other hand LOVE car trips with my man, he is my actual best friend and I love our time together. We make the kids use headphones in the car so we have some privacy to discuss whatever we want. Matt and I have some pretty funny conversations together because even though we are pretty different, we both think in a very similar manner.

For example, I am not sure what brought up Alaska, but I mentioned that my brother(the one we were not going to see) used to want to live in Alaska. That made me think of the movie The Proposal and as I was getting ready to bring that up Matt says “That was something they got right in The Proposal….” and he drifts off “You mean the shades to block out the sun which doesn’t set for awhile??” I reply because I was thinking the same thing. “Yeah, he says” and I say “Just like 30 days of night… or is that the sex movie, you know, with Josh Harnett??” He tells me I was thinking of the correct movie, the vampire one and then we start racking our brain for the name of the sex or lack there of movie that he did (40 days and 40 nights btw) and that makes us wonder, what happened to Josh Harnett??? Then we get into a discussion about how Chris Pine, who Matt insists came on the scene at the same time as Josh, just picked better movies and Josh just went away. I knew this wasn’t accurate so I risked getting extremely car sick to research this on my phone and I was correct. I did get extremely nauseous, but won that knowledge competition.

There isn’t much to do in a car when you have pretty bad car sickness(???) so you can talk, keep messing with the thermostat or radio volume so his OCD fixes it without him realizing it, watch your husband’s facial expressions as people act stupid on the road, laugh at him when he does something stupid, LEFT LANE ENDS, oh I should get over!! What did you think it was going to say??

Well we were in the car for 11 hours and made like 6 stops, mostly because of Tobias, but we finally got to the base and we started our vacations; but first, we had to get passes to get on base…

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

Did you remember your camera

Have you ever been on vacation with kids??

Was it relaxing and stress free???

Hahaha, nope. But we take trips anyway. So we packed our car up and took 2 kids and one 6 month old on what should have been a 9hr trip to… dun dun dun… Florida!

No, we didn’t go to Disney or take the kids (me) to Harry Potter World at Universal Studios. We went to the panhandle and visited my brother who is stationed there with the Air Force.

We have been planning the trip for a couple of months and I was super excited to go see my brother but preparing for a trip with pets, kids and a husband is a lot of work.

I had to get someone who would come over and clean out my rats cage and the cat litter boxes; introducing the best of friend you could have, Jude! She so graciously agreed to clean the 2 nastiest things in my house while we were gone and that was a huge weight off my shoulders. The rest was cleaning, packing and preparing 5 people for a really long trip in a vehicle that could defintely be bigger(Honda Accord).

Luckily both kids used their birthday money to get a tablet this year AND Netflix, YouTube and MoviesAnywhere let you download movies/videos/episodes to watch offline…. THANK YOU!!!! I don’t know how my parents put up with us back in the day (other than placing the fear of God in us). We went through several days before and made sure that they had their movies and videos downloaded.

When packing we had to make sure to condense the clothes into 2 suitcases because even though the Accord has a pretty big trunk, fitting everything was going to be a tight squeeze. Years of uprooting my life as a military brat payed off!! Got it all in, with barely any room to spare.

With the plan in the place and the coffee pot set to start at 4:30am my husband and I finally went to be around 10; ready to rush out the door the next day by 5am (in reality 5:30 because we have kids).

The first alarm went off at 4 in the morning and I was not ready to adult, lol. I used to have to get up at 2:30 in the morning for work and my only thought when I heard that alarm was HOW???? I immediately fell back asleep and then my backup alarm went off at 4:15…. I had forgotten about the trip in my exhaustion, but that was why there was a backup.

But with the second alarm I was up and ready to go! I started my rounding up of the humans in the house; the baby was awake a lot that night/morning so he was not happy that I was waking him up.

We were in the car all ready to go by 5:15am!! I was super proud and as we were pulling out of the neighborhood my brilliant husband says to me, “Did you remember your camera?” NOPE… So back we went because I don’t want to go anywhere without that right now. But still 5:25 on the road, I was pretty content with myself!

Thus begins the road trip…

A picture is worth 1000 words

Hopefully I didn’t scare away my 4 followers.

So I am not a sad person, I suffer from depression and anxiety BUT I’m not sad. Reading through my posts these past few weeks makes me seem like a sad, kind of (really) whiny/bitchy type. I can be this way Fo Sho… but in general, I’m happy. I think that I have had a lot on my plate and with the new baby, house and marriage I’m struggling with ME.

I’ve been doing better about setting time aside to work on the behind the scenes part of my business, reading books on marketing and creating a successful business… stuff like that

I even made that bookmark… I know, its awesome! And I have actually been taking pictures again. I have actually always enjoyed being behind the camera. When I was in high school, my family lived on Okinawa, Japan. My parents would drag us around the island to see the sights and the history; I usually got to capture the moments with my parents MASSIVE digital camera that used floppy discs (yeah, I’m THAT old). I took videos and made deep I insightful commentary on what we were doing (my dad would threaten to take the camera away and I would stop). I really enjoyed that. Whenever we went on family vacations or whatever, I took pictures. I discovered the “selfie” one day and stopped taking pictures of other things…. until I had my babies, then I had to capture all those moments. With the advent of smart phones with pretty good cameras I put down the physical camera and just used the super portable thing I was taking anways.

I was given advice by my family photographer (you don’t have one of those??)

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She takes pretty great pictures!! Anyway, she was giving me advice for pictures of my products. So for the first time in at least a year, I took my real camera out of the bag. The feel of the camera in my hand and the strap around my neck (I am SUPER clumsy) felt amazing!! It just felt natural and some of the pictures turned out really nice!!

Here’s a screenshot because they are actually saved on my computer, not my phone. Honestly, the screenshot doesn’t do it justice. But anywhoser… I loved having the camera in my hands again.

I actually got a free Nikon N50 from a Facebook resale page. It takes film so I have been working on my photography again, kind of old school style. I will be taking 2 rolls of film to be developed on Monday and I am really hoping they turn out well, but either way, I am having fun capturing moments and that is all that matters.

So that is my non-depressive blog post. Stay tuned for another whiny one soon!! Hopefully I didn’t scare away my 4 followers.

SAHM

I am exhausted and should sleep but if I do I don’t know when I’ll have time to write this.

I am writing this at midnight after taking my first REAL shower in about a week. I am dripping wet, sitting next to my bed. My legs are stinging because I rushed through shaving again. Better to have smooth legs in pain versus the forest that was growing. I am exhausted and should sleep but if I do I don’t know when I’ll have time to write this.

For the second time in my life, I am a stay at home mom (SAHM).

This was not my game plan after I got out of my first marriage. My game plan was actually to remain a recluse for the rest of my life BUT that is another blog for another time.

Now, I love my kids (as most moms would say) and I know that I am blessed to be at home with them, but I hate having people(women) tell me that in their bitchy tone. “I wish I was in your shoes…” “I would love to be at home all day” “what do you even do with yourself…”????

I’ll tell you Karen.

I work. My days start at about 530am and I’m working until 9pm. And guess what??? There are no state mandated breaks or lunches. I usually have to eat while holding a baby, in case you haven’t done that, it’s not pretty.

Today I was peed, puked, pooped on. I usefully have breast milk on me And now baby food as well! I had a migraine and a fever for the majority of the day. My son still screamed in my face for an hour because his gums and ears hurt and he was also running a fever!

A picture of us after running our errands this morning. I cleaned the kitchen, living room, my room and did about 6 loads of laundry. I had to cook dinner, lunch and breakfast and remember medicine for 2 kids. It’s summer vacation so I also had to have my big kids do their summer work. I also have my business to run so I have to continue on the website and plan new pieces. I an reading books on how to make my business successful AND occasionally I have to work out because I’m fat. Oh and I’m married so I have to make sure I don’t let wifey duties slip up.

So that is my day and it’s pretty average. So, I’m not just sitting around on my ass (though my ever expanding waist line says differently) AND I’m not getting paid. So maybe, Karen, have respect for the SAHM or shut your mouth. I earn absolutely every dollar, I don’t get paid.

Seriously though, I love that I get to be at home with my kids. I love that I’m reading, The Littles, with them and that we do science experiments. Only having the one income means that we don’t have a lot of extra money for fun, but I love finding cheap or free stuff to do with them. They are only young once and I want them to have great memories to look back on!