Thursday, November 29, 2012

settling into motherhood

oh, boy.  oh, baby boy.

motherhood is quite a trip.  a beautiful, beautiful trip.

i thought i half-way knew what to expect with motherhood.  oh, was i wrong.  i didn't think it was possible, but never in my life have i had a deeper understanding about being tired, hungry and in love.  the exhaustion, oh the exhaustion.  i can't even explain it.  and the hunger!  never did i realize i would be able to put away an entire dinner and then be famished again only an hour later.  these are important things, ya'll!  but, nothing matters when you hear little squeals and those chubby baby hands reach up to hold your face as their warm body molds to your chest.

another thing i didn't really know what to expect about motherhood?  the infamous 'mommy guilt' and the overload on information about how to parent.  i often times find myself wanting to make all the right decisions and do all the right things.  {which is crazy because who even defines what's "right" or "wrong" ... }

i'm realizing that the moment i release whatever expectations, pressures + guilt i have into the hands of the only one that matters is the moment i am able to rest in his grace and see intricate beauty in the mess and vulnerability of being a mom.  the moment i let the pressure go of making the best decision is the moment i'm able to actually enjoy being a mom as well.  because, as hard as this is, it is such a privilege to be able to love on and teach a little being.

i can't do it all or be it all.  and the moment i try, is the moment i forget that a gracious god sacrificed it all for me.  {gulp, swallow down that pride of mine ... }

i'm so grateful for every day that i'm able to spend with this little tiny nugget of energy and life.  by trusting and letting go of control and fear, god is unveiling his plans for how he wants to use me to minister to this tiny boy.

i pray that the days i'm struggling to make things work and look pretty on the outside, i'm able to learn to continuously let go and allow god to shape and mold the story he has for me.  i want to show this little one how being okay with messy and vulnerable and real life is so healthy and beautiful.

this story of motherhood is such a tender + humbling experience.

Monday, November 19, 2012

black bean + spinach enchiladas :: good eats

my husband and i love to eat simple and healthy.  it hurts to admit it, but we are definitely foodies.  i'm always on the look out for recipes that don't take too much effort to throw together, but still use whole and healthy flavors and ingredients.  last night we made black bean + spinach enchiladas (in the slow cooker!!) and i knew it was a recipe i had to share with ya'll.

i found this recipe in an issue of real simple magazine that was gathering dust next to our couch.  i'm a lover of spinach and my husband will eat anything with black beans + salsa, so i knew it would be a winner.  also, let's just focus on the amazing-ness of the slow cooker.  i love, love, love being able to prepare meals ahead of time instead of rushing around during the evening hours.

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  1. In a medium bowl, mash half the beans. Add the spinach, corn, cumin, 1 cup of the Cheddar, the remaining beans, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and mix to combine.
  2. Spread 1 jar of the salsa in the bottom of a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Dividing evenly, roll up the bean mixture in the tortillas (about ½ cup each) and place the rolls seam-side down in a single layer in the slow cooker. Top with the remaining salsa and Cheddar.
  3. Cover and cook until heated through, on low for 2½ to 3 hours.
  4. Before serving, toss the lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, and cucumber in a large bowl with the lime juice, oil, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Serve with the enchiladas and sprinkle with the scallions.

we added some additional cheese (we're from wisconsin, of course) and some greek yogurt on the top.  so good.  let me know if you try it out and what you think!  cheers! 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

grace for the good girl :: #thesamepage, week one

today i'm linking up with blair and rachael for #thesamepage.  
we're currently reading emily p. freeman's book, Grace for the Good Girl.  feel free to join in!  

"my idea of who i should be is at war with who i am. i want to be perfect in every situation. i just do" (17)

"not only do i want to do everything perfectly, i want to look perfect while i do it. ... all the time." (17)

"my solution to the disconnect between my perfect, imaginary self and my real-life self is to force life to look the way i want. ... and so i work and i labor and i do the right thing.  i stay strong when i feel weak and i fake happy when i want to cry because my ideal image has everything to do with put together and nothing to do with falling apart." (17)

"i desperately want to manage your opinion of me.  nearly everything i do is to convince you i am good. ... i must have worth, and it is up to you to give it to me." (17-18)

"fear of rejection drives me hard, eating away at my courage.  and so i am cautious in my love. ... i long to be seen, but i feel safe when i'm invisible." (18)

"i want to let go, rest, and believe, so that god can hold, refresh, and redeem.  but what if i do and he doesn't?" (19)

"my fear becomes my truth." (19)

oh, my goodness.  i could just keep listing quotes upon quotes, but my list would quickly become exhausting and so overwhelming.  while reading this book, i'm continually underlining, circling, and writing (!!!!) next to lines.  this book is wrecking me in such a major way.  

i always knew i was a "good girl".  i grew up in a loving home with parents that cared about me, but we had some unique struggles (like every family ... more on that later).  on the outside looking in, it seemed like i lived a "storybook" life growing up.  i was voted into student council more times than i can count.  i was always the girl that gave the speeches at assemblies or graduations.  i was on sport teams and i got good grades.  i graduated in the top few of my class.  i was president of key club and president of our senior class.  i even spent time outside of class and sucked up to our vice principal by filing papers for her.  i was on homecoming court and was voted prom queen.  

listing all of that makes me so uncomfortable and feel ashamed.  i thought all of these things were so important.  and i definitely acted like they were important!  i was the nice + quiet girl, but i definitely thought i was better than everyone else because of my long, running list of "good things" and accomplishments.  i could befriend anyone (and was friends with everyone), but i neglected to build many lasting friendships.  i felt alone.  all of these things and hard trying catapulted me into a full-blown eating disorder throughout all of high school + college.  if i couldn't "wow" people with my achievements, i sure would do it with good looks!  when that didn't work, i continued to work hard throughout college by acquiring internships every semester in lofty businesses in large cities.

i graduated college scared and worried.  worried that i didn't "live it up" enough during my 4 years there because i was so busy chasing and achieving and proving.  this fear drove me to volunteer to open a coffee house.  (because, of course, to make myself feel better and i had to achieve more. then, people would like me and i would feel better about myself. ugh.)  our church was wanting to open a coffee house in our downtown, and they needed someone to step up and take charge with all the planning, implementing, and actual running of the business.  after careful prayer, i really thought i was the best person for the job.  i could do it.  

(cue freak out.  what?!  open and run a business at the age of 22?  i had no idea what i was agreeing to.  i was out of my mind, but thank goodness god graciously had his hands in this mess.)

today, i still wrestle with where i find my worth and identity, but it is evident how god is working through my story.  he continually pulls me closer and closer to him and his view of me + my life.  i struggle with regret for how i lived my life in my past, but the freedom i feel when walking right along with god breaks me down and reminds me how empty that way of living is.  it's a daily battle.  

i'm only through the first two chapters of this book and i can't believe the feelings and realizations it is unearthing in me.  i can't imagine what the next few chapters will bring.    

Monday, November 5, 2012

loving the fall season

i have to admit, i am a true summer girl.  i love bare feet, the hot sun, iced coffee, fresh produce, and living + eating outside.  when fall rolls around, it's hard for me to let go of my summer ways.  it always seems like summer flies by way to quickly.  but, this fall seasons is different for me.  i'm finding myself falling in love with crisp mornings, wrapping up in scarves {i may have a mild obsession...} + tights,  coffee dates with strong + foamy lattes, autumn scented candles, and roasted squash + apples.  watching the change of seasons is beautiful and i want to soak up the beauty of it all.  

well, what's fall without pumpkin carving?  right?!  we decided to have a little fun this year with our pumpkin ...   

oh. baby boy.  if you only knew. 

well, hello there.  snuggle bug. 

phew!  he likes it.  

yep, you're in a pumpkin.  the weird things parents do, i know. 

have fun celebrating these fall days with family and friends.  
sending you some cinnamon-scented + leaves crunching + warm loving.    

Friday, November 2, 2012

living life in the fast lane

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life continues to move.  if you don't hang on tight with your eyes peeled wide open, you'll wake up one morning confused and with your mind swirling thinking about how you ended up where you are.

life moves so fast.  so fast that's it's some times hard to slow down.  it's easier just to ride along and keep the pace up.  one foot in front of another.  moving from one place and thought to the next without hesitation.

i truly believe there are seasons in life.  ((cliche, but true.))  seasons for fast paced living--seasons for getting projects done, deadlines met, and meeting people.  but, hopefully, there are also seasons for moving slow.  appreciating the way the sunlight filters through the kitchen windows.  the sound of your babe giggling and babbling in the next room over.  the way a warm cup of coffee feels in your hands.  the way your lover feels laying next to you in bed.  the smell of dill that reminds your of your grandma's gardening hands.

some times living life in the fast lane is needed.  there's a project happening with a big end goal right around the corner.  there's a big life change that you're gearing up for.  or, it's just a busy season.  i like living fast.  running from one thing to the next.  it makes me feel energized and important (oh goodness, if only we could stop using "busy" as a badge of honor).  but, as i get older, i'm realizing that living life like this without allowing slow times isn't all that meaningful (or healthy for that matter).  i want my family and friends to remember me as the person that would actually stop to listen when they spoke.  i want to remember as best as i can how my babe felt in my arms as an itty bitty baby with his head nestled up against my chest.  i want to take the time to create a home full of life and love and community--not being concerned about perfected walls and furniture neatly placed.        

i hope with all my might that i'm able to return back to living simply and slowly after a fast season.  i am blessed.  it's so nice to be able to slow down and remember this before it's too late and my life it too far ahead of me and i'm unable to catch up.