Thursday, August 25, 2016

Date Night: August 2016

In January my husband and I committed to dating each other this year. This meant that we'd set aside one day or evening to purposefully go on a date with one another. This would require planning around his schedule and the kids, and so far, it has worked. Our June and July "dates" were more like "hey, let's grab a bite before going home from Lowes." We've been super busy and these past two months have reminded us why this time together is so important. With August winding down, we needed to get a date on the calendar. Every weekend was taken by his work schedule so we dared to opt for a weeknight. I know, we're such rebels. My in-laws came and watched the kids and we were off.

I've lived in our little part of VA for 9 years now and I've still yet to visit all of the local favorites. We decided to try Robin Alexander's. It's a lovely bistro set in downtown.

We loved the atmosphere. It was a place you could get a little dressed up for, but would find yourself perfectly comfortable in a pair of jeans. And the food...the food was delish.

We started off with their wings as an appetizer. We chose bone-in.

My husband chose a specialty drink as well since this place is known for its drinks. He got the James and the Giant peach martini. I don't personally drink but he said it was excellent.

We then chose our main courses. Their menu is pretty versatile and it was hard to make a selection. We eventually decided to try their gourmet burgers.

I loved their Big Kahuna Burger. It's a delicious combo of Hawaiian flavors.

My hubby tried their Bison Burger. Yum!

The meal did not disappoint and our time together was much needed. I'm really looking forward to our next date.

Linking up for Mommy Moments

Sunday, August 21, 2016

School Lunch Toddler Edition: August

School days are in full swing around here. Our 3 year old began preschool this year and is loving every minute. With three of us needing to leave the house by 7am so that I can drop off baby boy at the sitter and G at her preschool, I needed to find a way to shave off some minutes in the morning so that we aren't running frantically out the door. My friend was telling me how she has started prepping her kids' meals for the week. The week! I typically try to do them each night, but if I'm too tired, I convince myself that I can just get them done in the morning. This clearly has not been I decided to give this weekly meal prep thing a go.

I try to carve out about an hour of time on Sunday evening to compile all of the meals. It does not typically take this long unless I need to make muffins or something else that needs to bake so that it can be frozen for future meals. We are going on week 3 and I like the way things have been playing out. The prep takes a little time but it is well worth it. I have chosen to rotate out the same 5 meals each week for the month. G eats breakfast at home before heading to preschool and N eats at the sitter. Their breakfasts vary but are quick (and I try to keep them generally healthy-protein packed and full of whole grains- as much as possible.)

Here are the meals that I've been rotating out for August. I hope this will help you save a little sanity in your crazy, beautiful life.

The Pumpkin Muffin recipe can be found here.

Linking up for Mommy Moments

Monday, August 15, 2016

Weight Loss Journey Update...the Good, Bad, and Ugly

With all that has been going on lately, I totally missed a July weight loss update. Granted, there was not much to report. I figured I'd hit the highlights honing in on the good, bad and ugly.

Let me begin with the Ugly...
Mid July we went on vacation. I should leave it at that, but seriously, I bottomed out. I made very few "good" choices despite knowing I needed to. I had opportunities to make healthier choices but threw them to the wind. It has been a major struggle to get back on track. I'm up 3lbs and holding.

The Bad
I have not jumped back into full commitment mode. I keep telling myself everyday that this is it. This is the day I pick back up where I left off.
The Good
I recognize my shortcomings and I've identified some areas of weakness. The majority of temptation has been removed from the house (again) and I have a game plan for next week. Monday will be my first day back (with students) for this new school year and I am looking forward to having the support I've missed over the summer. I will get back on track. I will get down to my first weight loss goal. I will be healthier for myself and my children.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

It May Never Stop Hurting: An Infertility Truth

To those of you still waiting on your miracle, this post is in no way meant to seem selfish. The Lord has given the desires of my heart and I am trusting Him to give me a sense of completion when our family has reached His goal for us. I by no means want to come across as ungrateful or greedy. Our journey is part of our testimony, just as your journey is your own. Please know that my heart goes out to you in your time of waiting and possible loss. My experiences have led to a new ministry in which I try to serve as an example of hope for those who have yet to receive their miracle. We just never know where our journey will lead.

I have not blogged on infertility in a while. I've been pretty caught up in life and I've been trying to keep certain feelings at bay. To most, it may seem ridiculous that I am even blogging about infertility since we've been blessed to conceive two children. Most days, I do not think too much about how they came to be or else I find my mind wandering to places I do not want it to go. The anxiety and painful memories of the journey that led us to becoming parents only typically arise these days when I begin allowing myself to dream of adding another to our family. Do I want more children? I get asked this question regularly these days and the answer is "yes", but as soon as I say it out loud, the feelings come rushing back. Will the meds work? Am I being greedy? Is it selfish to want more? Will our dream of another child come to fruition? Will I learn to be content with what we have been blessed with if this is where our journey ends?

Honestly, I feel I've done well to work through the feelings of bitterness and longing that arise when "easy" conceptions are brought to my attention. I don't cry the instant I am alone, I do not allow my mind to dwell on their "luck" and I thank God for my own miracles repeatedly. I feel like I've come so far...and yet, there are still moments when I am not sure if I'll ever truly heal. There are moments when I still hurt, when I still feel the aches from the scars that our infertility journey has left on my heart. I was reminded of this earlier this week. I ran into a woman who gave birth not too terribly long ago and unbeknownst to me, she was expecting #4. I am elated for this little blessing that will soon be gracing the world, but for the first time in a while, I felt the old, familiar ache. I felt the jealousy, the anxiety, and the tears welling up. I attribute most of these emotions to hormones...but still.

I've been reflecting on this experience. I don't want to be that woman. I don't want to constantly be reminded of my bouts with pain. Instead I want to constantly rejoice in all the good that He has done in our lives. I want to revel in the joy that is our children. The truth is, the emotions, memories, and aches from one's infertility journey don't just go away. In time, I believe they can soften, but from personal experience, I just don't know. I sincerely just don't know if they will ever stop surfacing. Maybe I'm just not strong enough yet...but I have hope.

  Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Friday, August 12, 2016

Kids Behind the Blog: August 2016 has officially happened. My little gal has become a preschooler. I'm still kind of in shock. She has loved her first week and cannot wait to go back on Monday. She is soaking up everything!
I loved Amanda's post that included questions posed to the littles in our lives and I just had to join up for Kids Behind the Blog.

I asked G this month's questions and clarified as needed in parentheses. She makes my heart so happy.

1. What was your favorite thing you did over the summer?
Swimming in the big pool (on vacation).

2. What’s your favorite thing to learn about at school?
Singing "God our Father" for our food and snack

3. Who is your best friend from school?
Tessa and Callie

4. What do you want be when you grow up?
"Do fire" (be a firefighter)

5. What is your least favorite thing about school?
I like everything!

Her first week at school was nothing short of amazing. Her lead teacher is phenomenal both in the classroom and with communication. I get a report of how G's day was everyday and I love the little notes about things that she is learning and what seemed to really interest her. She is making new friends while rediscovering some of her old buddies from her previous sitter. We have truly been blessed by this placement.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Currently: August 2016

Looks like I am headed to MTL:
I apologize for my absence. Life lately has been nothing short of chaotic. Over the month of July and into (now) August, we have been going non-stop. We went on vacation in mid-July. We returned to find out that an opportunity for us to move from our house into a rental had presented itself. This will prayerfully make our selling of the house easier. Because of this opportunity, the last 2 weeks solid have been filled with moving, unpacking, and working on the old house…I go back to work for Teacher Work Week August 8 and our daughter will start preschool for the first time that day as well.
I’ve also been presented the opportunity to serve as an instructor for some local art projects at a new art studio in town. The Makery is my friend’s dream and she has done an amazing job putting it together. I am so proud of her!

So…here’s what we have currently…
Thinking About: The lengthy to-do list that we have to finish before putting our house up for sale.
Working On: Projects at the old house, unpacking at the rental, stressing over lesson plans and School Open House this week.

God’s timing is ultimately perfect despite whatever inconveniences I might perceive.

Watching: The Olympics…and old videos of G when she was smaller. How is it that she is going to preschool already?!

Listening to:
Anything Lauren Daigle

Trying: I’m trying to feel less overwhelmed…but seeing as I’ve been doing a lot of stress baking lately, that’s not happening. While the change is good, it brings with it a lot of upheaval. I’m ready for our new normal and getting back into a routine.
Gods timing is not always the timing we would like. That's when patience is a virtue.:

Loving: I’m loving that Fall is right around the corner. I’m so over these summer temperatures and Fall means football!!!

Linking up with Mommy Moments

Sunday, July 31, 2016

August 2016 Photo Challenge...Join Me!

I have been slammed by life. We're still in the midst of moving...which I'll share more about later. In order to get back in the swing of things (and gain some sense of normality) I created an August Photo Challenge to help remind me to stay focused on the present. I hope you'll join me! Just use #randrblogaugustpc on IG for each day. I can't wait to see your photos!