Wednesday, January 15, 2014

when all else fails make some chili

Here's the thing, I work in 24 minutes, so we'll have to make this quick.  Hmmm... 

I know!  How about a recipe?

I made this chicken chili a while ago and it knocked my socks off.
Seriously, I was downright prideful of the results.  I love it when a new recipe gives a big payoff! 

This isn't a "white chicken chili" with a creamy base, but a more traditional, tomato-based chili
with shredded chicken, and at the risk of being redundant, all I can say about it is YUM.

I did tinker with the ingredients just a little bit.  I upped the spices some to taste (it seemed a little bland at first),  added some cooking wine to the veggies (maybe 1/4 cup...maybe a little more?  who remembers?), and I think this was the best part - I added a couple of cups of pinto beans that I had cooked previously, complete with the bean-y broth.  It added a richness that made me several different kinds of happy.

Oh yeah!  Be sure to cut the veggies chunky.  Trust me, is all I'm sayin.'

Gotta scoot - Happy Wednesday :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

ripple effects

So I'm just going through my day today, minding my own business and blowing my nose, and Bam! I realize that once again a marriage has crumbled and people are left scrambling to pick up the pieces.

This comes after recent months, when marital breakdown has once again hit hard and personally within my own family, and y'all I'm not going to lie.  I am so, so, very tired of it.

I remember years ago, as I was beginning to heal from my own divorce, and she sat in my kitchen in the middle of a party and casually said " yeah, my dad moved out today," and the room was spinning and I couldn't even make sense of her words.  And my heart broke right in two there at the kitchen counter.

And then, y'all, I was fired up!  I felt a personal mission to stop the certain disaster to come and I begged and pleaded and warned and wept on their behalf, all to no avail.

Sadly, many other families that I love followed.  Over and over I've seen spouses just give up and walk away, with little understanding of the decisions they're making and the ramifications certain to follow.

(Oh y'all, it is a hard, hard thing to know deep in your bones that a person is throwing away everything good, and they flat out will not, or cannot, believe you.)

A lot of years have passed.  My daughters are all grown up, and all around me people are still throwing in the towel, looking for something better, and destroying their beautiful, messy, precious lives.

Y'all, I know that marriage is a hard thing, and I know it can seem like anything would be better that what is right now, and calling a do-over can seem to be a best-case solution to a miserable set of circumstances, but if you want to avoid a world of hurt, and I mean a rest-of-your-life kind of hurt, please hear me...

Just... Get Over Yourself.

Because, quite frankly, the rippling effect of our decisions is much, much  bigger than one unhappy person who has decided that their happiness is more important than everyone else.

(And here's a little secret, when you walk away from your spouse,
you are throwing away a life you likely value far more than you realize right now.)

I assure you, you are trashing a lot more than a series of arguments and mounting frustration.  You don't know it yet, but you're throwing away your children's trust and sense of security (young or old), and you're trashing the future you all would have had if only you'd seen things through.

Unless you've been married for 10 minutes, you're turning away from parents-in-law and siblings and brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews, and a myriad of other relationships that inevitably die when there is a marital fracture.

This is so much bigger than rejecting your partner.  You are rejecting nearly all you had before
...and I've yet to meet anyone after the dust settles who feels the end result is worth the price you pay.

I'm not saying to live your life in defeat and misery - of course not!  That's not what God wants for any of us.  If you are truly unhappy, if your spouse is driving you nuts, or you feel stuck, do something about it, STAT!  It is very dangerous to pretend and simmer for a sweet forever until you blow sky high.  Find some help for the legitimate problems going on in your home and proactively fight for the health of your family.

For the sake of everyone you have ever loved...Keep your promises, work hard on the life you chose,
and by all means, get over yourself.


*This message brought to you today spur-of-the-moment and mostly unedited.

*If you need to talk, give me a call or email me...

Monday, January 13, 2014

card shark

So it looks like Owo has a new hobby.


He takes it very, very seriously.

Is there a problem?

We dump 'em out.  (All 104 of them...)

And then we name them one. by one.  It's practically like preschool except not so much.

I suppose we could call it educational.

In a weak moment we might call it super messy. 

Personally...I just call it Big Fun.

Friday, January 10, 2014

sweeter than the sweetest tea

Norah likes her mama!

Wednesday Katie & Kari brought all the littles by for the afternoon.  I like to think they just love to spend time with me, but truth be told they were in it for the poppy seed chicken.

I'm not proud...I'll take what I can get :)

Noodle likes her Doc McStuffins!

It was a really nice day.  The kids were all overtired and overdone what with their holiday hangovers, miscellaneous maladies, and the previous night's sleepover with Kate.  Kari kept apologizing for the mayhem but honestly I just laughed my way through it. 

What else is one to do when you have toddlers marching around announcing to anyone who will listen that there will be NO HUGS - or manners (ha!), naptime accidents in Naynay's bed, multiple episodes of spitting up coupled with at least one wretchedly foul-smelling diaper situation, in the course of one innocent afternoon?

They ALL really like making messes!

Well.  I say you too would laugh your way through the madness, you know you would.

Peyton likes...everything!
Sadie likes her paci!

And if you ever doubted the day was a success,
when your daughter tells your grandchild that it's time to go home, you might just overhear her say, ever so wistfully, "I just wish we could stay here forever and ever and ever."

Audrey likes making eggs!  After rejecting lunch!

 ....and then, just for sheer fun & comic relief, a few hours later it's possible you'll receive an urgent Facetime invite from the nearly-two-year old, who is tragically and hilariously calling Naynay to tattle mightily on his mama, who has made an unacceptable pronouncement of no sweet tea before bed. (The horror!)

Apparently Norah now likes falling asleep in the middle of bedlam!

...and as you fall asleep that night, you'll thank God for every minute of this life that is oh. so. sweet.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

i wish to slow down all the days

Sadie-Pie at about 2-1/2 months.  She's 3 months old today!  (Photo taken by Kari)

I know I should be using more than a few words to try to catch up on...well, everything, but mostly I just want to take my now-routine dose of the NyQuil and sleep the sleep of the oldish. 

(I fear for all of us once I find the time to actually sit down and start with all the updating of all the things)

(But that's for another day.)

For now, let's all just take a moment to enjoy these current-ish pictures of our two littlest littles ;)

Norah is already six months old! (Photo taken by Katie)


It's hard to handle all this yummy, but I do the best I can ;)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

sweeping over

Audrey spent the night with me on the 26th.  She told us she just needed to snuggle with Naynay for a while. 

(Just go ahead and Insert swoon here)

Here she is early in the morning (after trying her hardest to push me out of my very own bed all night long.)  The precious little angel...

The next morning we hit the road to Virginia to celebrate Christmas with my family.

She pooped out in less than an hour and spent the rest of the drive looking a little bit exactly like this:

I don't have photographic evidence, but I might have felt pretty much exactly the same way :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

two little monkeys jumping on the bed

And I just realized in none of these pictures are they actually...jumping.

I assure you, however, there was jumping a-plenty!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

sunday six: where've y'all been?

 Well.  Apparently if I'm ever to get back into my bloggy groove I'll have to dive straight into the drivel.

So without further adieu, here are my six on this very rainy, foggy, COLD Sunday...

1.  I made this today.  Suffice it to say it DID NOT disappoint.  I know it's ridiculous so early in January because everyone knows the first two weeks of January should be spent eating salads and kale (yuck!), but I made mashed potatoes, and y'all...YUM. 

2.  Peyton and I had some fun this afternoon Facetiming.  Is Facetiming a word?  Who cares, it was fun and it works for us, and he never ever notices if I engage in some unpleasant nose-blowing whilst we visit.  That kid is so hilarious and adorable.  You should ask him sometime to tell you about his dad's yuckies.  Toddler perfection is what it is.

3.  Speaking of yuckies.  Peanut spent NYE with that precious stomach bug that's been going around, sending the rest of us into sheer panic mode.  We've been on what I affectionately bitterly refer to as #vomitwatch2014, but so far he is the only one who has completely fallen.  Kari, Drew & I have had varying degrees of discomfort, but that might be because we've spent the last several days on high alert, ha!

4.  Y'all know how I hate to complain, but I am on approximately week 37 of requiring DayQuil/NyQuil just to get through the day/night.   I've been just a delight to be around in recent days/weeks/month.  SIGH.

5.  I haven't nailed down my word for 2014 yet.  I hate to make a final decision while under the influence of the aforementioned medicinal agents.

6.  I hate to brag but I scored a bag of M&Ms at Target for 70% off Friday.  I was so excited - it took everything in me not to buy 70% more just to balance things out...

I guess that's it for tonight y'all.  I've missed you :)