Monday, February 28, 2011

Mommy Meltdown

At first, I hesitated to post this. I mean, who really likes to reveal their worst moments to the entire world (or the 3 people who read my blog)? However, after some discussions with friends and after reading a very similar post on another mom's blog (which you should totally check out - here), I felt compelled to share my story.

I realized that one great thing about sharing your weak moments is realizing that everyone else has those weak moments, too. Maybe theirs aren't exactly the same, but it is nice knowing that someone can relate to you when you're feeling your craziest.

So, it all went down on Friday night/Saturday morning...whatever you want to call it. It was 3:00 a.m. Before I dive in, I need to give you a brief history, so you can gain the full context of what was going on.

For the past few weeks, Will has been waking up every night between 2 and 3 a.m. Nothing is wrong. He is not hungry, he does not need changed, he does not have a fever...nothing is apparently wrong...he just wakes up. I would walk across the house, put his pacifier in his mouth, and he was back asleep almost instantly. Sometimes I would end up doing this 2 or 3 times within a 30/45 minute period, but then he would sleep for another 2 hours or so before he wanted to eat. I know that doesn't really sound terrible. I understand that it's not difficult to walk into the other room and stick a pacifier in his mouth. What it is is annoying. Who likes their sleep to be disturbed? Definitely not me!

After several nights of this, I decided it was time to let him cry it out. I won't go into all the controversy surrounding the "cry it out" method, but I believe it is sometimes necessary. If you don't feel this way, that is fine, we can just agree to disagree.

So, back to Friday night. Will wakes up around 2 a.m. I am weak. I walk across the house and give him his pacifier. Back to bed. Around 2:30 a.m., he is up again. I am still weak. I make the trek back across the house and once again, give him his pacifier. Again...3:00 a.m. This time, I decide to be strong. I tell myself I will not get up. I will just let him cry. After about 20 minutes of crying, Theron wakes up (how do dads sleep through this stuff???). The following conversation follows:

T: Are you gonna go give him his paci?
M: I have already been up twice. I am not getting up again.
T: Do you want me to go give him his paci?
M: No. We need to just let him cry.

Silence in our bedroom. More screaming down the hall.

10 more minutes pass, and something inside of me just explodes. By this time, my blood pressure is through the roof, I'm sweating profusely, and my heart is beating out of my chest. Out of frustration, I yell, "Will, just be quiet and go to sleep!" (I know what you're thinking...what kind of terrible mother would yell at her 3 month old...that would be me). Theron tells me to calm down, at which point, I turn my yelling to him.

I start on some rant about how he doesn't understand what it's like to get up multiple times in the middle of the night because he never does it. He doesn't know what it feels like to be constantly sleep deprived because he gets a full night's sleep every night. I even throw in something about how all he does lately is work. Definitely not my best moment.

In the midst of all my yelling (and did I mention sobbing?), Will goes peacefully back to sleep. However, it is now 3:45, and Theron and I are nowhere near sleeping. I slowly calm down. My heart rate slows. I cool off. I am still sobbing. I roll over to Theron. I am so sorry...I say between sobs. We talk it out (at almost 4:00 in the morning), and finally, get back to sleep.

In the morning, when I am back in a more rational frame of mind, I have incredible feelings of guilt. I hold Will close and hug him and kiss him and tell him how much I love him over and over again. Then, I think...Why did I scream at a 3 month old? Why did I yell at my husband in the middle of the night? Why is it so difficult for me to control my anger? Then, these thoughts crossed my mind:
  • I'm so thankful that my baby can cry. I'm thankful that he's healthy...just so thankful that he is alive and that he's mine. Of course he cries. Even in the middle of the night. He is 3 months old, and he doesn't know any different. Perhaps I should allow him to act like a 3 month old, even if it disrupts my sleep from time to time.
  • I'm so thankful my husband has a good job. I'll admit...I hate tax season. I miss seeing him and spending time with him. But it's only for a few months, and it could be so much worse. I am thankful he works so hard and is willing to put in 65 hour weeks. I am thankful that he is able to provide for our family, so I can stay at home with our son. Maybe I should tell him how much I love and appreciate him and his hard work rather than yelling at him for not getting up in the middle of the night.
  • I'm so thankful I have a loving Savior who doesn't give up on me. I have always struggled with controlling my anger, but He keeps loving me in spite of my weaknesses. I am thankful that He allows me to be broken, so I find my completeness in Him and not in myself. Believe me...nothing is more humbling than having a weak moment to slap you in the face.
I am not the perfect mom. I am not the perfect wife. I am not a perfect person. I never will be. I am blessed beyond measure with a wonderful son, an amazing husband, and a glorious savior.

I hope by sharing this someone will think...whew, I'm not the only one who deals with this stuff (instead, Meagan really is crazy!). I hope you will see that I do my very best every day, but I have my own set of struggles, my own weaknesses, and honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. If I could do it all on my own, why would I have a place for God in my life? Thank goodness...when I am weak, He is strong.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Our Schedule (and some recommended reading)

Hey all! The past couple weeks I've been working really hard at getting Will on a consistent schedule. We've had a "routine" for awhile now, but it hasn't really been very consistent. I am happy to say the consistency has greatly improved! Our typical day looks something like this:

Sometime between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. Will typically wakes up to eat and goes back down for a few more hours.
6:00 - I am up and out of bed, cooking breakfast and making Theron's lunch
6:45 - Theron and I eat breakfast (usually while watching Mike and Mike in the Morning)
7:00 - Theron's off to work, and I check my email, Facebook, etc.
7:30 or 8:00 - Will is up for the day and ready to eat!
9:00 - Will goes down for Nap #1 and usually sleeps for about 1 1/2 hours; I try to shower and get ready during this nap time; then, I start on things I need to get done for the day
11:00 - Will is ready to eat again; after he eats, we play on the floor, read a few books, etc. until he is ready for Nap #2
12:00 - Nap #2; this one usually lasts about 2 hours; this is when I try to do any cleaning or laundry I may have; I also use this time to do some Arbonne work
2:00 - Time for Will to eat...again; usually after this, I let him play in his play gym or in his swing while I work on things I still need to get done
3:00 - Nap #3; this nap usually only lasts 45 min. - 1 hour; I try to prepare for dinner or make a dessert during this nap time
4:00 - Will's usually up from his nap, but not quite ready to eat; sometimes we play, other times he spends some more time in the play gym, swing, or bouncer, depending on what I need to do
5:00 - Time for Will to eat (while I watch re-runs of How I Met Your Mother)
6:00 - Will goes back down to sleep; For now, I will call this Nap #4, but eventually, I'd like him to have a little longer wake time and an early bed time (around 7:00 or 7:30). After I put him down, I cook dinner.
7:30 - Theron gets home, and we eat.

*This is where our schedule varies a little bit* Sometimes Will wakes up around 8:00, and I feed him around 8:30 or 9:00. If this is the case, we do our bedtime routine between the time he wakes up and the time he eats. It looks something like this: bath, diaper change, pj's on, read a book, eat, to bed.

Sometimes, though, he does not wake up before 9:00. If this is the case, we get him up, change his diaper, pj's on, eat, to bed. I try to disturb him the least amount possible.

Will is usually in bed by 9:00 or 9:30, and Theron and I are usually in bed by 10:00. Then around 4:00 or 5:00 the next morning, we start the process all over again.

This schedule actually works really well for us. I know the times would not work for everyone (we are early risers!), but the basic concepts can be applied in any time frame you wish. Having a schedule helps to keep my day organized. I know when Will needs to eat and nap, and when I can get things done. It helps me plan activities away from home, as well. I know some of you are thinking "you are a slave to your schedule." I would argue, however, that actually the opposite is true. Having a predictable schedule allows me to have more freedom. I have the freedom to do things and make plans and to adjust our schedule as needed. Even though I have included the "times" we typically do things, they are never exactly the same...they are simply guidelines. If Will is hungry and needs to eat a little early, I feed him. If he naps a little long, I let him sleep and adjust his feeding time. If we are away from home, and he doesn't nap well, he might go down for a nap a little earlier when we get home. Above all, I make sure the needs of my child are schedule will never come before his needs. However, using a schedule makes life easier for both of us, and like I said, it works for us!

If you like to plan and organize your day and you have or are expecting a baby, I have some suggested reading. Both of these books have helped us tremendously in establishing a schedule and helping Will to get the sleep he needs.

On Becoming Babywise

I will warn you, there is some controversy over this book; however, if you actually read it, you will see that all the criticism is unfounded. A lot of people who criticize this book have never actually read it and believe the author is too harsh. If you read it, you will find that is truly not the case. This book does a great job of helping you learn how to establish a schedule for your baby. It offers some great guiding principles, but always keep in mind...You are the parent. You can take as little or as much as you want from this book, always doing what is best for your baby.

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

This book is great on helping you establish regular naps and good night time sleep. This fits in perfectly with establishing your routine. This author gives a little more information on soothing  your baby and age-appropriate expectations, which differs a little from Babywise. I would have to say I agree a little more with this author, regarding sleep and sleep expectations; however, I still think the basic principles of Babywise are very good.

I would really recommend reading both of these books if you are interested in developing a schedule and helping your baby sleep well. I have struggled from time to time because apparently babies do not read these books! Sometimes my baby does not do exactly what the books say he will. Nonetheless, they have still been tremendously helpful for me.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Job

So...apparently, this thing called "life" occassionally gets in the way of my blogging. Yesterday was another one of those days where I felt constantly busy, but when I looked back on the day, I didn't really feel like I had accomplished that much. Maybe it is because I clean the kitchen, then I cook, and the kitchen is dirty again. Or maybe it's because I do a few loads of laundry, but I am wearing clothes, Will is wearing clothes (sometimes several outfits a day), and Theron is wearing clothes, so there is always more laundry to be done. Sidenote: I keep threatening to only do laundry when everyone is naked, but I haven't actually followed through with that. Yet. Or perhaps it is because I pick up around the house, vacuum the floors, clean the bathrooms, etc., and a few hours later, it looks like nothing was done! Maybe, just maybe, those are a few of the reasons why I feel busy without seeing the results of my efforts. Oh well. I will just keep doing what I do.

I have mentioned being a stay-at-home mom (plus all of the above-mentioned tasks I take on every day), but I also have another job! When I decided to stay home with Will, I knew I still wanted to do something to earn an income. Even if it was just a small income. Thankfully, I knew exactly what I could do.

I had dabbled off and on in Arbonne for almost 2 years by the time Will was born, but I had never really taken it very seriously. However, I had seen how it had changed the lives of so many people and knew what a great opportunity it was for my family and me. Now, I am able to stay home with my son, to take care of things around the house, to spend time helping at church and volunteering in other areas, and to have a social life...all while working and earning an income for my family!

As an independent Arbonne consultant, I am able to set my own hours, work when I want, and I can even work in my pj's! How many other jobs will let you do that? I get to be my own boss, which allows me to do things the way I want to do them. As much as I love control, this works out perfectly!

Another great thing about Arbonne is that I get to be a part of a team.  I won't go into all the details of exactly how this works, but it is nothing short of amazing. Being part of a team means I get to work smarter not harder. If I devote myself to just 10 hours a week, and I can find 3 other people to devote themselves to 10 hours a week, together we have done 40 hours worth of work! Of course, I can devote myself to more (or less) time each week, and I can find more people to join my team and help me leverage my time...and theirs!

It really is such an amazing opportunity to work from home, to meet new people, and to provide people with excellent products! If you're not familiar with Arbonne, you should check out their website, here. Today, I would like to share my Top 5 favorite Arbonne products:

1. RE9 Advanced Skin Care Set 

I cannot say enough about this skin care line! It is a comprehensive, anti-aging skin care regimen that can be used on all skin types. The set contains a cleanser, toner, serum, eye creme, day creme, and night creme. The products can be used separately, but they work best as a set. I love them all and love the way they make my skin look and feel!

2. ABC Arbonne Baby Care

All of the ABC Arbonne Baby Care products are awesome! I have used these on my little guy since he was born and have had nothing but positive results. The diaper rash cream is especially wonderful...when I apply the cream, I can see a difference by the very next diaper change!

3. FC5 Shampoo and Conditioner

This is the best shampoo and conditioner I have ever used, and it is great for all types of hair. I have very flat hair, and I have noticed that this shampoo and conditioner give it A LOT more body. They also add great shine. A hairstylist friend of mine also told me these are great for color-treated hair, helping to make your color last longer. They are also very reasonably priced, which is just an added bonus!

4. Makeup Primer

Oh.My.Goodness. This stuff is amazing! I had never used a makeup primer until I tried this one, and I had no idea what I was missing! This magical stuff makes your skin feel like velvet. You just apply it before applying your makeup, and it creates a smooth, silky surface for perfect makeup application. Not only does your makeup look better, it also lasts longer. If that's not enough, the primer also contains vitamins that are great for your skin! If you haven't tried this stuff, you definitely should. You won't be disappointed.

5. Arbonne Protein Shake Powder and Ready-to-Drink Shakes

Arbonne has an excellent new health and wellness line that I can't get enough of, but the protein shakes are probably my favorite. You can get the powdered protein shake mix in a large container (like the one above) or in single-serving packets. You can also get ready-to-drink protein shakes that come in individual drink boxes with a handy little straw (added bonus: you get to feel like a kid again when you drink them!). I love BOTH the powder and the ready-made drinks. You can use the powder to make shakes, as well as the best protein bars I've ever tasted (I will post the recipe for these soon!). The ready-made drinks are very convenient and perfect for a meal-replacement or for a healthy snack. They are also a perfect post-workout drink option.

I just realized that showing you my Top 5 favorite products does not even begin to touch on all of the products I really love, so I will have to post more later. I should also mention that all of Arbonne's products use natural ingredients that are pure, safe, and beneficial.

Arbonne personal care products are
formulated without:

  •  Animal products or animal by-products
  •  Formaldehyde-donating preservatives
  •  Petroleum-based ingredients
    • • Benzene
    • • Mineral Oil
    • • Petrolatum
    • • Phthalates
    • • Toluene
  •  PABA
Arbonne nutrition and weight loss products are
formulated without:

  • Artificial colors
  • Artificial flavors
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Animal products*
  • Animal by-products*
  • Cholesterol
  • Saturated fats
  • Trans fats
If you're interested, you can check out their full ingredient policy here.

I really cannot say enough about this amazing company and the products they offer. I feel so honored to get to share this business and these products with everyone I can. If you are interested in learning more about Arbonne...the business, the products, or anything else, please let me know!

P.S. Stay tuned because I'm thinking my very first giveaway might be just around the corner, ;)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Food Philosophy

Happy Tuesday, Everyone! I didn't have time to post much other than my weekly menu yesterday, but today, I am back in the swing of things. I would also just like to mention that my baby is 12 weeks old today! Can you believe it?

Anyway, back to the task at hand. Today, I thought I would share with you my philosophy on food. Weight and weight loss are such big issues in our nation, and it seems there is a new diet, a new drug, or a new surgery everywhere you turn. People are constantly trying the latest gimmick in an attempt to be healthy and lose weight. Yes, the gimmick usually works for awhile, but then you slip back into your old way of life, and the pounds start coming back.

I have been very active my whole life. I have always been involved in some sort of sport or physical activity for as long as I can remember. Because of this, health has always been important to me. I always wanted to be healthy, so I could do my best in whatever sport I was doing at the time. I was fortunate to be in a family that was (for the most part) pretty healthy. With a mom who is a nurse and a dad who is a physical education teacher, there was always somewhat of an emphasis on our health and well-being.

Through different events and experiences in my life, I have developed my own philosophy on eating well and being healthy. I too, have struggled with weight issues. No, I have never been overweight, but I have dealt with issues of my own. While I may eventually share more details of these issues, I am not ready to share them today (plus, it would be a really long post). Needless to say, whether your struggle is indulging too often, or depriving yourself of the food you need, many people constantly battle with food.

So, while I am NOT an expert (I do not have any fancy licenses, certifications, or degrees), I am going to share with you a few things I believe are important when it comes to your relationship with food. I think these are good guidelines for all people in all situations, regardless of shape or size.

  1. MODERATION is the key. I firmly believe this to be true in many areas of life, but especially when it comes to food. I try to maintain a healthy diet and to eat things I know are good for me most of the time. However, I do not deprive myself of the not-so-healthy things. I love sweets! I know different people have different weaknesses, and while yours might be potato chips or something else, mine is anything sweet. My meal just doesn't seem complete without something sweet at the end. Since I know this is an area where I struggle, I pay attention to it more closely. I allow myself to indulge my sweet moderation. Most of the time, a small piece of dark chocolate, one cookie, or even a piece of gum is all I need to satisfy my craving. Of course, there are times when I want a giant piece of cake or a slice of pie piled with whipped cream, and I allow myself these treats as well. However, I don't allow myself the "big" treats all the time, when I know a little treat will do. I pay attention to what I'm eating (cookie, pie, etc.), how much I'm eating (small piece or giant slice), and why I'm eating it (I'm really craving something sweet or I just had a bad day). When I take these things into consideration, I tend to be more responsible in the choices I make. Do I really want that dessert, or does it just look good? Am I still hungry, or am I eating in response to my emotions, or simply just because it's there? Would I be satisfied with just a small taste, or do I really want a whole piece? Thinking it through helps me make better decisions. If I choose to indulge, I enjoy every bit of what I'm eating...big or small. I take my time and really taste what I'm eating, so as to get the most satisfaction possible. So, I would say, don't ever completely deny yourself of anything. Focus on eating healthy the majority of the time and allow yourself the occassional treat, always keeping portion control in mind (no matter what you're eating).
  2. Along with moderation, you need VARIETY. Do you find yourself eating the same foods over and over again? It is essential to eat a wide variety of foods to get the nutrients our bodies need. While it is very easy to get stuck in a rut (I do it all the time), it is important to try to vary the foods we eat. I try to plan our meals each week so that we get a variety of proteins, vegetables, and yes, even carbs! We typically eat fruits with breakfast or lunch or as snacks. I also try to look at each meal to see if it has a variety of colors. Different colored foods meet different nutritional needs, so making sure you have a colorful plate can be very beneficial. Eating a variety of foods provides a nice nutritional balance, and in my opionion, makes eating more fun.
  3. Another important part of my food philosophy is eating foods in their MOST NATURAL, UNPROCESSED STATE. Yes, I eat processed foods. Not everything I eat is organic, all-natural, or even unprocessed. However, I prefer to cook my own food and to snack on whole foods rather than processed ones. Our bodies more easily absorb and digest unprocessed foods. We do not need all the additives and preservatives that have been added to most foods you buy at the store. Nor do we need the extra salt, sugar, and fats that a lot of processed foods typically contain. I know I cannot make everything my family eats; however, I try to make as much as I can. Boxed mixes and pre-made meals are all very convenient, but they are also very unneccessary. I can usually make the same thing myself, and it is typically healthier and cheaper. As I mentioned earlier, I also try to eat whole foods. Instead of eating a packaged snack, I eat fresh fruits or veggies. I try to stick to the perimeter of the grocery store where the fresh produce, meats, and dairy (when I can eat it) can be found. I also love going to the farmer's market! This is a great way to get locally grown, fresh, whole foods. It helps you eat healthier and helps to support our local economy. Theron and I even grew a few things in our garden last year and plan to grow even more this year. Nothing crazy...just tomatoes, peppers, onions, potatoes, carrots, and herbs. This year we are thinking of adding sweet potatoes. It is such a great feeling to know exactly where your food came from and how it was grown. Like I said, I cannot (and would never try) to grow or make ALL the food we eat, and of course, I eat processed food just like the next guy. is all about moderation, balancing the processed foods you do eat with plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins.
  4. I think the most important part of my philosophy is simple...ENJOY FOOD. Don't obsess over food, but enjoy it. I mentioned this a little bit in my first point, but I really can't say it enough. Think about what you eat. Think about why you eat. Educate yourself on what is healthy and what is not. Read labels and know what is in your food. When you can, know where your food comes from. Know when you are hungry and know when you are not. So much of our eating is mindless. We are not enjoying our food...we are eating because it's "time" to eat, or because we're at a social event, or because we had a bad day. I think if people took time to really enjoy their food, they would actually eat less and feel more satisfied.
Again, I am NOT an expert. This is my opinion and what I have found works for me. I think these are good, guiding principles, but I don't think this is a comprehensive guide to eating. I would really just encourage you to educate yourself, think about what you eat, and find what works for you. I would also encourage you to include some sort of physical activity in your day (or at least in more days than not). No more diets or gimmicks, just a healthy way of living every day of your life!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Chicken Burritos (re-posted)

Chicken Burritos (re-posted from Menus and Recipes page)

These are the chicken burritos we had for dinner Monday night. I wouldn't really even call this a recipe because you can build your burrito any way you like! Here's what I did, though:

First, I baked several boneless, skinless chicken breasts on Monday afternoon. I only needed one for the burritos, but I put the others in the fridge or freezer to be used at a later date and time. For the chicken, I just put them on a greased baking sheet, drizzled a little olive oil over them, sprinkled them with salt and pepper, and baked them at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Next, I cut one of the baked chicken breasts into small pieces. I also cut up half of a red onion, half of a tomato, and some fresh cilantro (I love cilantro!).

Then I took some flour tortillas (I didn't make them this time...but homemade tortillas are on my list of "things I want to make"). I heated the tortillas for about 35 seconds in the microwave just to soften them up.

I started by smearing about 1 Tablespoon of guacamole on the tortilla. Then I piled on the chicken, veggies, and cilantro. I sprinkled this with a little lime juice and cumin.

Then I rolled it all up and placed it in a greased casserole dish, seam side down. Then just lather, rinse, repeat...OR just repeat the process until you run out of tortillas.

After you have placed all of them in the casserole dish, pour your favorite salsa on top.

NOTE:  I would have added cheese to both the inside of the burritos and on top of everything if it wasn't for this pesky I can't eat dairy phase I'm going through right now. Breastfeeding. That's all I have to say about that.

Anyway, your burritos should look something like this:

Except yours probably have cheese on top!

To finish them off, just stick them in your oven (that has been pre-heated to 350) and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until your cheese is nice and melted and gooey.

This is a super simple, fast meal that is great for a busy weeknight. You could also make these ahead of time and put them in the fridge or freezer to eat later. It never hurts to have something on stand by!

Still Learning

OK...I will admit it. I'm not really a blogging pro...yet. I am still learning all about this blogging stuff. Until I get it all figured out, you will probably see some changes due to my "trial and error" method of learning.

The Menus and Recipes tab will now just be called "Weekly Menu." I will update it at the beginning of each week, but the previous week's menu will NOT be archived.

I will post all recipes as a regular post on my main page, so all recipes will be archived.

Thank you for your patience as I continue to learn!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Great Weekend

What a great weekend it has been!

My college roommates, Kelsey and Katie, made a stop in Oklahoma as they moved from Virginia to Nevada. I have to say, I DO NOT envy them on that trip. I hated moving a few miles away, and I can't even imagine moving across the country! Nevertheless, I was so glad they were making this stop along their way.

A few friends of ours decided it was a great opportunity for a reunion and invited everyone over to their house. I looked forward to it all week, and I was not disappointed. It was so much fun to catch up with everyone, finding out what was going on in their lives and everything that had happened since our time together at OBU. It has only been 4 years (4 years?!?) since Theron and I graduated, but it was amazing how much our lives (and the lives of our friends) had changed since then. There were boyfriends, fiances, spouses, and kids. There were people who had moved, changed jobs, and experienced major life changes in just these few short years.  It was so great to remember our fun times together. Of course, there was plenty of track talk since almost everyone there was a member of the track and/or cross country team. So many great memories that we got to look back on and enjoy all over again. I hadn't laughed so hard in a really long time. It was a great night, and I am already looking forward to our next reunion!

Then, yesterday just added to the great weekend I had started on Friday night. My sister spent the night with us on Friday, and it was fun to have some quality sister time on Saturday morning. We are almost seven years apart in age, but we have always been close. We don't get to spend a ton of time together, but when we are together, it is always great.

After a lazy morning at home, we went to my grandma's house in Norman to celebrate my dad's 50th birthday. For those of you who know my dad, you know that age is just a number! Some days he acts 5, other days he might act 15, and there are some days he even acts 35 (maybe). No matter what age he is on any given day, he is always a great dad. He is always good for a corny joke or a goofy story, but he is also there for a big hug or a serious talk. I was blessed with amazing parents, and I am appreciating them more and more the older I get.

Now that I have a baby of my own, I am just beginning to understand the way a parent loves a child. I always thought I understood how much my parents loved me and cared about me, but I am finding out I had no idea. It is truly indescribable. Now I am getting to watch my parents become grandparents, and I am thinking that is another type of love you just can't understand until you experience it.

I am so thankful for every opportunity I have to spend with my family, and yesterday was no exception! It was a great way to spend a Saturday.

Now, I am having my typical lazy Sunday, which I absolutely love. We had a great time at church this morning, picked up some lunch to eat at home, watched some basketball, played with Will on the floor, and now both of my boys are napping before we go back to church this evening. Perfect!

It really was a great weekend. Maybe it doesn't appear too exciting  or spectacular, but  it was absolutely perfect in my opinion. I hope you've all enjoyed your weekend as much as I have enjoyed mine!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Short and Sweet

Today has just been one of those days. I feel like I've been busy all day, but also like I haven't really accomplished anything. So, today's post will be short and sweet.

That's my boy...he's short and sweet. Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Little Known Facts about Me, Fact #1

After yesterday's post, I decided I needed to lighten things up a bit. For those of you who know me well, you know I am not always the most serious person. OK, I'm hardly ever the most serious person. Sure, I know there is a time and place for being serious, but I would much rather have fun and act silly. I have been known to laugh at VERY inappropriate, graduations, and even though I hate to admit it, funerals. So, while it wouldn't hurt for me to be a little more serious from time to time, I never want to take myself too is too short for that. Since I let my serious side out in yesterday's blog, I knew today needed to be much more fun.

I decided that I will feature a little known fact about me from time to time to add some fun and humor to my blog. So today, you get Little Known Fact #1:  I was run over by a motorcycle at a Christmas parade.

Here's the story:

By:  Meagan Stoltzfus

I grew up in Altus, a small town in southwest Oklahoma. Technically, I grew up in Elmer, which is an even smaller town in southwest Oklahoma; however, since Elmer has no school, no grocery stores, and basically nothing besides a post office and a small gas station, I generally just tell people I'm from Altus. Not that Altus is a booming metropolis, but it does have a population in the thousands rather than a population of 94 (Elmer's population according to the 2000 census).

But, back to my story. The small town of Altus has a Christmas parade every year. It is your typical small town parade, featuring the school marching band, the cheerleaders, different businesses from around town, etc. Basically, anyone can sign up to have a float, ride their horses, or ride their motorcycles in the parade.

When I was in first grade, my family went to the parade just like we did every year. When I say family, I mean parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins...everyone. So, we're all there together, sitting along the curb just like always. I was enjoying the parade, watching all the floats, cars, horses, and even the Shriners (you know, on their tiny little motorcyles with their funny little hats?) go by. I was also enjoying my favorite part of the parade...the CANDY!

I remember innocently sitting and watching the parade go by. I remember seeing a group of people on motorcycles coming down the street towards me. This group happened to be riding their motorcycles in circles as they moved down the street. I remember the motorcycles getting close as I sat on the curb. I don't remember too much after that.

One moment I saw the motorcycles coming toward me, the next thing I knew, I was on the ground in the street and everything was black. Once I regained consciousness, I remember getting up, running toward my aunt and uncle's pickup truck, and leaping a small ditch to get there. They had parked in the K-Mart parking lot, and my mom was inside at the time having my little sister's pictures made (of all the things I remember, I'm not sure why this is one of them). I climbed into the back of the pickup and laid down. I'm sure I was screaming and sobbing, too. My aunt came over to check out the damage, and someone went inside to get my mom.

The motorcycle had run over my left foot/ankle, and the force of the impact had knocked me over. When I fell over, I hit my head on the curb, knocking me out and ultimately, leaving me with a concussion. My ankle was immediately swollen, and my head was bleeding right behind my ear. After a thorough examination by my aunt and my mom, they rushed me to the emergency room.

Miraculously, I was fine. No broken bones, but I had what they called a "crushed" foot. Basically, every ligament and tendon around my ankle and across the top of my foot had been stretched or torn. Like I already mentioned, I also had a slight concussion, and a small cut on my head, which did not require stitches.

When my mom asked if I knew what the person driving the motorcycle looked like, I told her it was a black woman. It actually was not a black woman (I guess I didn't realize everything looked black to me at that time), but instead, it was one of my mom's best friends. My aunt and my cousin had also been hit. I don't remember the extent of their injuries, but I know my aunt's pantyhose got torn. My mom's friend (the one who had been driving the motorcycle) came to check on us in the emergency room. She, of course, felt terrible and ended up buying me a very pretty bracelet (which I still have). I'm pretty sure she also bought my aunt some new pantyhose.

All in all, it was a Christmas parade I will never forget. I also NEVER sat on the curb to watch the parade ever again. The city also made a rule that motorcycles could no longer ride in circles down the street during the parade.

Every time I think back to this story, it makes me laugh. I acutally kept the shoe I was wearing that day for a long time because it had a big tire mark going across it, which I thought was pretty awesome. It did not seem so funny or so awesome that day, but I'm actually really glad it happened. Not everyone can say they have been run over by a motorcycle at a Christmas parade.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Being a Stay-at-Home Mom

I have officially been a stay-at-home mom for 11 weeks now! I still cannot believe it has been 11 weeks since I gave birth to my sweet little Will. Before he was born, and actually, before he was even thought of, Theron and I decided that when we had kids, I would stay home with them. It was something we both wanted for our family. We agreed on this at a time in my life where I had a job I absolutely hated, and the thought of staying home sounded absolutely wonderful! Little did I know, when the time actually came, I had a job I absolutely loved and couldn't stand the thought of leaving. I was truly torn. I really did want to stay home with my baby, but I also really wanted to stay at my job.

These feelings lead to much prayer! I would pray to God for clear direction, for peace about staying at home, for peace about leaving my job. He would answer, and I would feel confident in my decision to stay home with my son. Then, a little time would pass, and I would start questioning things all over again.

I started thinking about the real reasons I didn't want to leave my job. Some of them were very legitimate - I loved my work, my co-workers, and I truly believed in the mission of The Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma (which I still do and would highly recommend you check out their website). The other reasons were not so legitimate - I was scared...scared of not having my income, scared of a lack of security, scared I would never find a job I loved so much ever again. So, I would pray some more, desperately wanting to feel like I was making the right decision.

One day God made it very clear that all of the reasons I wanted to stay home with my little boy came from Him, and all of the reasons I wanted to stay at my job were lies from Satan. I knew we didn't really need my income. I knew we were financially secure. I knew I could find another job some day. I even knew I had opportunities to make money while I stayed at home. But, my selfish desires for worldly pleasures kept getting in the way.

I exprssed my concerns to Theron (several times), but there was one night in particular that solidified my decision. I said something to the effect of..."I just want our kids to have the best of everything. I don't want to worry about money. I want them to be able to do things and to have nice things." To which my oh-so-wise husband replied, "Do you think our kids would rather look back on their childhood and say, Wow, I had a lot of really nice stuff, or Wow, I had a mom who loved me and took care of me every day."

Now, I just want to say, I understand that not everyone has the opportunity to stay at home with their kids for a multitude of reasons, and I DO NOT think this means you love your children any less or that they will one day resent you for it. However, I am very blessed to have this opportunity, and I knew I had to take it. I knew what my kids needed more than money or stuff was a loving, caring mommy.

I wish I could tell you that I absolutely loved being a stay-at-home mom from Day 1, but that would be a total lie. I actually hated it for about the first two months. I missed my job. I missed my co-workers. I felt lazy and worthless. I didn't shower. I didn't wear "real" clothes for days at a time. I often felt about as significant as a cow - providing milk and grazing all day long.

Thank goodness, I snapped out of it and embraced my new "job." That's exactly what it is, too. It is a job that I have to work diligently at every day. I am loving staying home with my son more and more every day. I am seeing what an amazing opportunity it is. I'm just trying to take it...One Step at a Time, :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New Page!

2 posts in one day? Yes, I'm definitely setting the bar high for myself. We'll see how long I can keep this up. This is just a little post, though, to direct you to the new page I added. You will notice you can now click on a tab called "Menus and Recipes." This tab should be right next to the "Home" tab at the top of your page. On this page I plan to feature...Menus and Recipes!!! (I'm sure you can already tell I'm a blogging genius)! Anyway, I will try to post our weekly menu, as well as featuring a few recipes from time to time. Enjoy!

Valentine's Day

Don't worry. I know Valentine's Day was yesterday. However, since I didin't write about it yesterday, I thought I would fill you in today. Theron (my sweet husband) and I actually celebrated on Saturday. He had been away on business for 10 whole days...the longest amount of time we had ever been apart in our married life! Considering this and the fact that our only other "date" without our son was to the Deacon's Banquet at church, a date night was much needed.

So, we dropped our boy off at our sweet friends' house and ventured out to dinner. We had originally planned on eating at Sophabella's. I have never eaten there and had been wanting to try it for awhile. Unfortunately, when we called to get a reservation, they could only get us in after 8:30, which being the old people that we are, was too late. No big deal, we'll just go somewhere else, right? Wrong. 4 restaurants later we finally ended up at Cafe 7. Because it is an "order at the counter" type place, we assumed there would not be an hour wait (like at the previous 3 restaurants we tried). Thankfully, we were right! There was no wait, but we did get one of the last two available tables in the restaurant! Anyway, Theron had their Margherita pizza, and I had penne pasta with pesto sauce, tomatoes, and onions. If you haven't tried Cafe 7, you should check out their website at the link above. It has good food and an interesting concept. Probably not the BEST food you've ever tasted, but it's definitely worth checking out. So, we enjoyed a couple hours of good food and good, non-baby related conversation. (OK, maybe there was a little baby-related talk, but not too much).

After we ate, we made a surprise stop by Barnes and Noble. I really didn't want to stop when Theron suggested it because I was so anxious to get back to my baby boy. But, I reluctantly agreed. Good thing I did because my hubby surprised me with my Valentine's Day gift! What else but the Pioneer Woman's cookbook! I have given this cookbook as a gift 3 times, but I still did not have my own copy (until now). Way to go, hubby! Thanks for paying attention to my not-so-subtle hints. It was a fun evening, but I was definitely ready to get back to my sweet boy. He also gave me a present that night...9 hours of sleep!!! Best.Present.Ever. (Sorry sweetie, I really do love the cookbook).

It was a great evening with my Valentine, even though it wasn't technically Valentine's Day. Just in case you're thinking Theron got left out in the whole Valentine's Day gift area, I did do something for him too. He's not really one for gifts, but he is definitely one for food! I made him a peach cobbler (I will be posting the recipe sometime this week) and wrote him a mushy (but very heartfelt) love letter. He's pretty easy to please, which is fine by me.

All in all it was a wonderful Valentine's Day. I am so thankful for the two men in my life and glad they make me feel loved EVERY day...not just once a year when they calendar tells them they should. I am one lucky girl.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Welcome to My Blog!

Let me just start by saying...I love blogs! I could spend an entire day reading blog after blog (and sometimes I do). It all started with my favorite blog The Pioneer Woman. How could you not love her, right? After that, I was hooked, and now I spend my time endlessly searching for more blogs to follow...pathetic, I know, but it's the truth.

Anyway, I've wanted to start my own blog for awhile now. So what's been holding me back, you ask. I hate to admit it because it's so silly, but I didn't want to start a blog until I thought of a name for it. Not just any name...a name I really loved, a name with meaning and purpose. It really shouldn't have been that hard to come up with a name, but it was. So...months later, here I am, finally starting my very own blog named...drum roll please!...One Step at a Time.

I know, I know. Nothing spectacular. But I think it's perfect, and I'll tell you why. I.LOVE.ORDER. Absolutely love it. Chaos makes me crazy and being thrown off my schedule really challenges me. Lists and spreadsheets make me happy and bring peace and joy to my life. Yes, I'm sure it's wonderful for all of you flexible, non-structured, go-with-the flow type people...that's just not me. I do TRY to be somewhat flexible from time to time, but it is ALWAYS a struggle and totally against my nature.

But back to the name...One Step at a Time. I think my love affair with all things orderly influences other things I enjoy doing. For example, cooking and baking. Especially baking. I know I can follow a recipe, step by step and end up with a delicious treat. I also love running. While running may not seem "orderly" to you, it totally is to me. Think about it. What is running...really? It is step, after step, after step. When I run, I am in control of where I go, how fast I go, how long my stride is, etc.

So one day it finally hit me. Everything I do happens one step at a time. Yes, my baking and my running, obviously start this way, but so does every moment of my life. I have been trying to focus on "living in the moment," if you will. Not holding on to the past and not looking into the future. Simply embracing right now...each and every moment...approaching life, you guessed it, One Step at a Time.

I don't know what this blog will become, but I'm hoping it will at least be a place for family and friends to keep up with what is going on in my life and in the life of my family. No matter what, I am excited to see where it goes. I'm planning to have different things on here from time to time (recipes, money-saving-tips, health and wellness info, and of course, stories about my wonderful family!). Today, however, keeping the theme of ORDER in mind, I thought it would only be appropriate to start with a list. Enjoy!

- I love being a wife and husband and my son are my life.
- I love laughing with friends. Actually, I just love laughing in general,
   but it's better with friends
- I love cooking my own food. It is healthier and much more satisfying.
- I love a really hard workout. Sweat makes me feel good.
- I love dark chocolate.
- I love pizza (which I unfortunately can't eat right now, but I'll tell you about that later)
- I love coffee...especially in the morning
- I love a good book
- I love stupid TV shows that I shouldn't love but do anyway
   (The Bachelor, all of The Real Housewives shows, etc.)
- I love my church family. I'm not sure what I'd do without them.
- I love my parents and my in-laws and feel so blessed to have all of them in my life.
- I love my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I am grateful for His grace and
   humbled by His love for me.

Just a few of the things that make me happy and make my life what it is. That's enough for today. See you tomorrow?