Apr 16, 2013

{Spiritual Feasting}

I know this is a little late.
I’m working on getting better… I promise!
I’m going to be honest here. I feel like I can be honest with you guys and not be judge for it.
I’m really struggling today.
I’m a working momma and it’s killing me.
All my life I have only ever wanted to be a stay at home mom. My husband knows that and we talk about it often.
Today is a harder day than most.
We have a plan though which is good!!!!
We just have to pay off some of our debt and then I can stay home.
Right now the projected date would be the end of August and that’s only if something drastic doesn’t happen between now and then. But we all know what happens when we make plans right? Heavenly Father always seems to have something else in mind. Right now, I’m hoping that our goals are relatively similar and that nothing too drastic will come in the way.
Over the weekend we had our Stake Women’s Conference.
(That is when all the Women over the age of 18 in our area meet together for a day of Spiritual Feasting and Sisterhood.)
I didn’t get the go to the whole thing. In fact I only went to one class because we had a lot that we needed to get on Saturday that can’t be done during the week since both of us work.
The class that I went to was a short discussion about finding balance between your kids and your husband and ironically my parents were teaching the glass. They had called me and asked me what I remember that we did together as a family to create that balance and I told them about a few things that I remembered… But I also told them about a few things that I wish I had known before we had our sweet angel!
I wish I had known that my expectations were too high!
I had this idea of everything I wanted to get done on maternity leave and when I would talk about it, people would only laugh. No advise was given or anything. It was ‘you just wait and see’ kind of thing. Now, when expecting mothers ask me what it’s like, I’m honest. I don’t just laugh. I let them know the truth and encourage them. I let them know I’m here to help.

I wish I had known that the whole ‘Molly Mormon’ persona was incredibly fake and in no way real.
We are not perfect women (though we like to think we are) and there is no way that we can clean the house, have the laundry done and dinner ready all on time and be perfectly sane and happy. In the short 3 months I has home on maternity leave I was lucky to even shower some days and lucky to even want to make dinner. And now, for the few hours I have with my son in evening, I spend that time with him on the floor and our house is a mess!

I wish I had known that my time with my husband would be more precious than before and very limited.
Again, I had this expectation that my sweet baby would go to bed early and we’d have an hour or two together at night to spend time together and talk or even have at least one night a week where we could cook together like we used to. But we’re lucky to get maybe 5 minutes to stare into each other’s faces as I’m falling asleep or 5 minutes to cuddle and talk because we need to discuss something. Most nights I’m crawling into bed around 9-930 regardless of whether Royce is asleep or not because I have to get up at 445. Marvin is the best husband ever and I appreciate him so much. He will stay up with Royce until he falls asleep AND he gets up with him in the middle of the night. Most nights Marvin will sit in bed and read the news on the iPad as I fall asleep since he’s not ready for bed yet so that we’re at least in bed together and I can snuggle him as I fall asleep. But other nights, I unfortunately have to go to bed alone which makes for rough nights for me because I generally have nightmares or wake up feeling all out of whack. I miss those nights where we’d stay up late talking.

I wish I had known that not every baby is the same and some natural tendencies are NOT natural for all.
Everyone I talked to buttered up the idea of nursing and how precious that bonding time is and that I would love the experience. Well, I never got to nurse Royce. He never latched on and pumping was the most painful thing in the world. I didn’t even have colostrum for him until a few days AFTER we got home from the hospital. Four or five days after Royce was born, I had a serve emotional and mention break down because I felt like I failed as a mother. I wasn’t producing any milk and my son didn’t know how to latch and I felt like I was in more pain then labor pain (which is pretty bad). I was also severely sleep deprived as the lactation consultant wanted us up every two hours to simulate breast feeding with a syringe and it was a two person job. Again, my wonderful husband stepped in and told me that night that he was taking Royce all night and was giving him a bottle. This wasn’t worth the struggle I was going through. Royce has been a bottle fed baby since 4-5 days old and formula fed since birth with whatever I could supplement in with breast milk until I ran out of milk around 6 weeks. My baby is perfectly healthy and has gained weight just fine on formula. After the fact, some women but mostly their husbands, would let me know I wasn’t alone. It was nice to hear even if it was after the fact.

And last but not least,

I wish I had known motherhood is not easy. That you will never be the perfect mother but striving is enough.
Like I said today is a rough day for me. In my parents’ class, they said the best thing you can do is choose the better option.
Examples: You’re child is sick and you have a test to study for… be with your child, they need their mother.
The house is a mess… spend time with your little one, those moments will pass quickly and the house will never be perfectly clean.
There is laundry to fold and you’re 2 weeks behind… spend time with your little one better yet, throw then in the laundry pile and make a game of it.
I am trying my best to choose the better option every day. But my messy house and piled up laundry gets to me and sometimes, I have to step aside and let my husband help balance me out. Every evening when I get home from work, I spend all my time with Royce while Marvin makes dinner and cleans up the kitchen. Every evening Marvin gives Royce a bath while I fold laundry, pack the diaper bag for tomorrow or straighten up the house. When all of that is done, then I can put my feet in the tub water and hang out during bath time (like I did last night.) Then we have our family time of reading stories and scriptures before it’s time for a bottle and bed (which isn’t always perfect like I described.) But I’m trying. I’m trying to let everything else go and just spend what time I do have with my little one. I have to remember to be patient with myself and remember that I am striving and that is all I can do.
It’s definitely not easy.
That’s for sure.
But now that I’ve share with you my struggles and my ‘what I wish I had known’ moments, I do feel a lot better.
I know that there are those of you out there who know exactly what I’m going through, and seeing your imperfect pictures in your blog posts reminds me that I’m doing just fine. It’s helpful for me and I’m grateful for your honesty in showing that no one is perfect despite what we want to believe!

Thank you for letting me share, and even though this post isn’t exactly spiritual, it has help to ease my spiritual burdens knowing that imperfection = perfection to those who love you!

Apr 10, 2013

{wednesday weekly meal} English-Muffin Egg Pizza

My husband is too funny!
I got back on FaceBook after a 2 year hiatus due to small businesses that I’m starting up.
I was on FaceBook checking on a few things and Marvin says ‘I miss you being on Pinterest all the time.’
I sat there alittle dumbfounded and then he finished his thought with ‘I miss you finding new recipes to try.’ Again I was dumbfounded!
This blog is more than just a blog.
It was and is a place for us to spend time together.
It was our excuse for ‘date night’ once a week where we would find something new and learn it together and spend time together in the kitchen.
I was surprised to hear that he missed it as much as I was missing it.
One day he went looking around on some recipe sites and found this cute little recipe for Egg Pizza’s.
It seems a little weird at first but after eating it…
I think that we should make it a traditional Sunday Snack.
You’ll have to try it out and let me know what you think.

4 English Muffins*
Olive Oil
Tomato Slices
2 Hard-boiled Eggs, sliced*
Mozzarella Cheese, grated
(*or as many as you want to eat and share)

Make hard-boiled eggs
Toast the English-Muffin halves and put on cookie sheet
Drizzle each half with olive oil
Layer on the tomato, egg, and mozzarella
Sprinkle with oregano & salt
Broil for 5 minutes or until cheese melts


Apr 8, 2013

{Spiritual Feasting} General Conference April 2013

I know this is a day late, but I did start writing it yesterday.
Royce wanted lots of attention so I couldn't finish it.
General Conference was amazing!!!!!
There were so many amazing quotes that I wasn't quite sure what to do. 
As conference was going on I kept checking Facebook and Pinterest to see the quotes that were coming up from other feeds and boards that I follow so that I could share them and re-pin them for later use.
There were lots of funny stories and jokes and an amazing talk about marriage that I REALLY loved.

As you can see from my notes I couldn't write enough down.
I can hardly wait until the talks come out in the Ensign so that I can read them again and high-lite all the parts I missed.
We also had our traditional Coffee Cake
I made a mistake when I was making it. I was so upset! I will tell you though, if you ever forget to mix the crisco in the dry ingredients first don't worry, it will still turn out just fine. Just smash it so its cream-like and then blend in at the end. 
Still tasted amazing!!!

Here are a few of my favorite quotes... 
I still haven't quite figured out how to do work with the HTML coding.
Some day I'll figure out it out so all these posts look better.
I hope you all have a great Monday and a great week!

Apr 3, 2013

{wednesday weekly meal} Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes

For Easter dinnerwe didn’t really try any new recipes.
We remade some old favorites and made a new dessert!!
We made a different ham from last year but it came with its own glaze.
We also made 2B or Not 2B Casserole, Garlic Brussel Sprouts and my mom made a turkey for family members who can’t have ham and we made a little bit of rice for those who couldn’t have potatoes.
There was a TON of food!
After we got home from church everyone was hungry, so we had dessert first!!!
Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes with Raspberry Filling
I follow The Pampered Chef fan page on Facebook and they posted the recipe so we thought we’d give it a try!
They were delicious!!
(Best part… NOT a box mix, it’s all from scratch. It’s been so long since I made a dessert from scratch.)
I would want them a little lighter and with more lemon but they were still great!!
(Turns out after I wrote up the recipe, that I saw I missed adding in some extract. Oops!)
Let us know what you think.

1 Lemon
¾ cups Sugar
3 tbsp Canola Oil
1/3 cups +  2 tbsp Plain Nonfat Yogurt
1/3 cup 2% Milk (we used Whole Milk)
1 tbsp + 1 ½ tspLemon Extract (I forgot the tsp part)
1 ¼ cups All Purpose Flour
¾ tsp Baking Soda
¼ tsp Salt
2 Egg Whites, room temperature
¼ cup Raspberry Pastry Filling
(Pastry Filling is sold in jars, or you can use ¼ cup jam and 1 tsp cornstarch)

 Ganache & Garnish
3 squares White Chocolate for baking, chopped (1 oz for each square)
2 tbsp Plain Nonfat Yogurt
1 ½ tsp Lemon Extract
12 Fresh Raspberries

Preheat oven to350*
Place cupcake liners in your cupcake pan
Zest your lemon so you have 1 tbsp of zest
Combine sugar and oil and whisk well
Add zest, yogurt, milk and extract and whisk until blended
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a separate blow and mix well
Sift flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until blended
Clean whisk and whisk egg whites vigorously for 1 minute or until very foamy and fold into batter
Scoop batter into liners about 1/3 full
Place about 1 tsp of Pasty filling on the batter and push down gently with back of your utensil
Bake 15-17 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly pressed
Let cool in pan for 5 minutes and then remove to cooling rack

 For Ganache…
Place chocolate in microwave save bowl and microwave for 45-60 seconds or until almost melted
Stir until smooth
Stir in yogurt and extract
Dip tops of cupcakes into ganache coating tops evenly
Garnish with Raspberries!

 Yields: 12 servings

Royce had to help! He didn't want to be in his jumper and kept whining. So I put him in his carrier and he just observed. He was very well behaved! I can hardly wait until he can help too!!!

Apr 2, 2013

Oh How I Miss You Guys!!!

Dear Fellow Bloggers,
I’m sorry that I’ve been MIA over the last few months.
A lot has happened.
I went back to work on January 28th L.
(That wasn’t exactly the best day or week for me.)
Life has been crazy ever since.
I don’t get home until close to 5pm and then it’s time to feed Royce and then make dinner.
We don’t have a lot of spare time anymore or the money to do a lot of things right now.
In fact, there was one week I think we had cereal or eggs 3 days in a row!!
When we can and we do have time, we do make new recipes. It just hasn’t been as often as we would like. I do have several recipes that we need and want to share with you.
The other day Marvin was so sweet. I was venting about how frustrated I was that I don’t have time to blog anymore and he said ‘teach me how to blog and I’ll do it for you so you can spend time with Royce.’
That was so sweet of him to offer! But, we haven’t had time for me to teach him.
Maybe this Saturday during General Conference?
I also wanted to explain that another reason why we haven’t been posting is because I became an Independent Consultant with The Pampered Chef and part of their policy is that we can’t use personal blogs for self promotion. So over the last 2 months we have making their recipes and using their products so that I have everything put together for cooking shows and I can’t post about any of that without running the risk of losing my contract as a consultant. I recently contacted them and they said they are working on revising policy so we may be able to start posting more often soon. There are a few recipes in the mean time that I’m going to try and post.
(I'm also on FaceBook now. I not sure how to add that icon to my blog at the moment but I'll get there. Come find me so you can keep up with what's going on while I get back into the swing of blogging again!)
 It’s just still an adjustment finding the time with a full time job and being a new momma and I’m sure there are those of you out there who know what I’m talking about! J
I also wanted to share my Easter experience with you. I know that I haven’t done very well with my Spiritual Feasting posts and I want to work on getting better at that.
I know that it’s Tuesday and usually it’s ‘tip day’ (which I need to get better at that too) but we’re going to change the schedule up a bit and have Spiritual Feasting today.

 Sunday was GORGEOUS!!!!!!!
Blue skies and about 62*
I sang in church.
The Bishop pulled me aside about 2 weeks ago after singing with a group of sisters in Relief Society and asked me if I would sing on Easter Sunday. I was super excited! I LOVE singing.
(We have been in this ward since August and I have done pretty well of staying under the radar with my ‘hidden’ talent, but now the cat’s out of the bag.)
So I went home and started looking up songs.
The one that I chose is called “I Have Not Seen, Yet I Believe” by Sally Deford.
My mom and I practiced for two weeks. It’s a beautiful song and over the last two weeks it has really become a part of my testimony about the Saviors Atonement. It gave me goose bumps every time we practiced.
On Sunday morning as we were practicing before church, I had this feeling that I wasn’t going to make it through the song. All my life, whenever I hear stories or watch movies about the Crucifixion I cry. I’ve always felt like I had a close personal relationship with our Savior.
Well, I should have heeded the prompting that I had…
I should have tried to separate myself from the song a little better.
I lost it in the middle of the third verse.
I couldn’t make it through the rest of the song.
I spoke the remainder of the song as could not stop crying enough to sing.
Here are the lyrics…

They heard his voice; they saw his face
The promised Savior come to earth in days long past
They saw him heal the sick and cause the lame to stand
They watched as wind and waves were stilled at his command
And though I did not see him calm the raging seas
His hand has calmed my troubled heart
And I believe

They heard his voice; they saw his face
They heard his teachings of forgiveness, love and faith
He blessed their little ones; he taught them how to pray;
He fed the multitudes who hungered by the way
And though I did not taste the bread he bade them eat
His word is manna to my soul
And I believe

They saw him scourged and mocked to scorn
They heard the angry crowd, they saw him crowned with thorns
They watched him bend beneath our burden in the streets
They saw the bitter nails that pierced his hands and feet
And though I was not there to watch with them at Calvary
My spirit weeps
I have not seen
Yet I believe

They heard his voice; they saw his face
The risen Jesus, crowned with vict'ry o'er the grave
And though I did not see his triumph over death
Though I did not see him draw immortal breath
I know he lived and died and lives again for me
My faith is sure
I have not seen
Yet I believe

 I was so mortified that I had messed up and couldn’t hold it together.
As I sat down and finished crying, Marvin said there really wasn’t a dry eye left in the room.
Everyone pretty much echoed what he said after the meeting and that even though I didn’t sing the song as perfectly as I had intended, the Spirit was present and strong and they enjoyed how my testimony shown through.
I have never before had the experience of truly feeling the Spirit through song and it was an amazing experience.
I can say now, that I do have a testimony of the Atonement and of the price the Savior paid for our sins and that I’m ever so grateful for his Sacrifice for us.
The rest of our Easter was spent with my family as we made them dinner and it was really, the perfect day and weekend!
I hope that you all had a marvelous Easter weekend!!!
And I have to mention that this weekend is General Conference.
For those who don’t know what that is, it’s when the leaders of our Church speak to all the members throughout the world via broadcast and offer advice and encouragement to continue on in our daily lives and endure to the end. It’s a wonderful weekend full of amazing Spiritual Feasting and I may, if I can, have to do a double post on Saturday and Sunday to share what I’ve felt, heard and learned! I hope that you have all have a great week!!!