Wednesday, October 14, 2015

I am Coffee - I think or at least I'd like to be!

Tomorrow is October 15, Stillbirth, Miscarriage and pregnancy loss remembrance day. 1 in 4.

Nearly 8yrs ago we experienced a pain that I'll never forget and wish I keep any other family from ever feeling. It changed us, even our then 8yr old daughter, but I truly feel we became a better family on the other side.

Six months ago we went through an expected miscarriage, its strange to think I could be sitting here hugely pregnant at this moment.

Reading through our remembrance blog,  and I came across this stories from years ago.

I hope that I am coffee....

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee...A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her.She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up, She was tired of fighting and struggling.It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.Her mother took her to the kitchen.She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil.In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners.She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl.She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.Turning to her daughter, she asked, ' Tell me what you see.''Carrots, eggs, and coffee,' she replied.Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft.The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it.After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled eggFinally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee.The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.The daughter then asked, 'What does it mean, mother?'Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water.Each reacted differently.The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting.However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak The egg had been fragile.Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.The ground coffee beans were unique, however.After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.'Which are you?' she asked her daughter.'When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond?Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?Think of this:Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat?Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff?Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?Or am I like the coffee bean?The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain.When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor.If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level?How do you handle adversity?Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes a long their way.The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past;

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Who are you ?

Four years ago when I started trying to lose some weight, it wasn't about a bathing suit, vacation or really even getting back a post baby body, it was just about feeling comfortable in my own skin again. 

My journey into motherhood has always brought with it this crazy antiquated notions of who I am supposed to be or who I should be or more legalistically who  I can't be or what I shouldn't do. 

Do I look like the right kind of mom, do I dress like the right kind of mom, stylish and trendy but not too trendy. 

So four years ago post the craziest whirlwind year of becoming an adoptive mom and giving birth while teaching our then 12yr old only child daughter how to become a sister, and surviving a layoff as a single income family, I decided I needed to feel like me again whoever that was. 

I tried going to the gym like I had always done, it was a challenge with our new larger family, somedays getting the kids into the playland was more of workout then I actually got from being at the gym. I tried running which I formerly lived doing more then anything but the extra weight made this a bit uncomfortable. 
I'll leave a for more pieces out for now but I eventually found Beachbody and challenge groups and that crazy online support community really helped me in so many ways ! 

And it has again led me to a great group of woman supporting each other - 
It's not just about being or getting skinny - it's about developing a network of support for wherever you are in your life today - and taking those people with you on the rest of your journey ! 

Do you need to find your people ?
Your lobsters ?? 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Prep Day!

Back to basics...

I love to cook, love to grocery shop, neither are fun or enjoyable while plagued with  an annoying cough. Plus although i did make the list mr mancave did the shopping this weekend and my sick self left a few things off of the list. 

Yes there is quite a bit of green in there but with good reason. 

Spinach - sautéed with eggs for breakfast, salads, add a cup to my shakeology for an extra boost, and my teenage daughters favorite spinach pesto!

Green leaf salad - kids request for lunches this week.

Hard boiled eggs- quick on the run breakfast, salad topping, after school snack for my son ( if I don't hide them he would eat them all in a day - no yolk! �� seriously though he doesn't eat the yolks.

Grapes- easy to wash prep and separate for snacks, lunches, slice up to throw on a salad. 

Last but not least my favorite quick healthyish busy family dinner trick

 - the rotisserie chicken! 

We buy one throw I chop it up portion it out for salads, tacos and my favorite chicken salad with Greek yogurt ! 

Is it the most healthy option ? Eh, could be better but I know this week I'm not 100% and its good choice !

What's on your menu this week ? 

Monday, January 5, 2015

The best Christmas..... Yet!

I really wanted to say ever... But I feel like that would be limiting the belief that we could achieve that again. It won't be the same, I know that but I will strive from now on for the same feelings of togetherness, joy and peace that we experienced this Christmas season. 

Ever since Caila was born her birthday has signified the start of the new year for us with her birth came a new life new beginning and once we celebrate her birthday each year it feels like ok let's get his year started ! 
So I'm a little late on the reflection but here it is anyway.

What made this year so magical ? 

Time - for the first time in our family life we were all home, no school or work for anyone the entire Christmas Break! 
No schedules, or rushing. Late night movies, midnight snacks and shopping Mario kart races and karaoke showdowns.

Ages and stages - 

I  am an only child, and we raised an only for 12yrs before we became a Party of 5 Christmas morning is quiet and quick, Christmas with  3 crazies is SO NOT QUIET and it's so awesome! 

The first few years of the party of five the age gaps made things a little separate !  girl things, boy things, baby things. This year family nerf gun battles I must say are pretty awesome. 

Peace - for so many years I didn't feel our family was complete and probably missed out on the magical moments those years held, I am trying very hard not to miss anymore and just savor every moment because it goes.... So.... Freaking.... Fast...

Along with all of these emotions came a tiny bit of sadness that keeps creeping in on me no matter how much I try to stomp it down!

The reality is I may not get another Christmas like this. A driving working teenager preparing for college, no guarantees of a long break from work for mr. mancave and I next year. 

Even so, I truly hope at least one of the kids again declares next Christmas "The Best Christmas Ever!" 

Happy 2015 May this be your best year ever ! 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving - Christmas

Eek its Really here!

Go time for the Holiday Season!

Its crazy busy, we can stress ourselves out and forget what we are truly celebrating, faith family and friends.

Don't wait to start your goals on January 1st! Go for them now, it will make you more relaxed  proud of your accomplishments and easier to put a smile on your face when your kids melt down during your family photo shoot.

There are 21 Days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That means you can successfully complete one round of the 21 day fix before Christmas!  5-10lbs before Christmas not by being super strict and not enjoying yourself, but by make healthy choices and learning all about moderation and motivation.

Black Friday Deals Begin Today ! Message for the deals and check back later for some last minute recipes!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

In the blink of an eye!

Four year ago today our family was complete! 
After I said "we don't need a baby"! 
After one cerclage, modified bed rest, weekly injections, the most amazing team of doctors at AGH and West Penn, with a fully staffed OR prepped and ready for whatever this not quite built to birth body gave them they were prepared. 
The last four years have been amazing crazy sleepless stressful and so fun and have gone by so fast. When we sit as think about where everyone will be in another four it's a little too much emotion for me. 
So today  "Baby Soapie" as Kaden always called her - is four not to put too much pressure on her but she really did bridge the gap with her 2 siblings that had no idea how to be a brother or a sister and she will never know life any other way. 

Happy Birthday Baby girl! Always shine bright!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Winner Winner Chicken (well Fish) Dinner!

There are a few restaurants we go to that the only thing I order is a fish taco. They are great but generally leave me missing home and wanting to jump on a plane to get a California fish taco.

So I thought I would try and create my own. Something light, simple, the kids might it it and well yummy.

I really wanted to create one with a crunchy purple cabbabe slaw, but I needed to get the kids to try this first and I thought the color may not appeal to my picky one (I'll let you guess which of my three that may be ! ) So I went with a simple Napa Cabbage slaw (lime juice, evoo and a little red wine vinegar).  It was yummy but napa cabbage is soft and I really wanted crunch so next time I will try the purple!

Pictures and food did not happen that night, the weather was gorgeous I was running the teenager back and forth and my younger 2 were running in and out so I was all over the place while attempting to create this yummy goodness, which is par for the course for all of us right?

Here's How I started:

Cilantro Lime Fish Tacos

Tilapia Filets - Baked the night before,  The night of tacos I cut cubed and shredded it up a bit before tossing into a large pan with a drizzle of EVOO, salt and pepper to your liking.

Corn Tortillas - place them on a sheet pan in the oven at 350 for 10-15 minutes

Veggie Toppings - Chopped up fresh tomatoes, onions, peppers, plus the nappa cabbage slaw I really wanted a very fresh light flavor.

Cilantro lime Dressing  -

1/4 cup plus 1 large spoonful of greek yogurt
Juice from 1 lime minus 1 tablespoon (save the tablespoon for the cabbage slaw)
Cilantro to your taste - I used a pretty big handful from the fresh herb package I picked up at the local grocer.  If I was serving this to my grandmother I would have used quite a bit less, she makes pretty funny faces when you even mention the word Cilantro, however I love it! So be warned if I invite you over to try this, there will be a lot of Cilantro.

Salt and peper to taste.

Combine all ingredients in a blender and presto! Yummy light dressing for your fish tacos.

Now I believe the key is in the assembly, fish tacos are a little more delicate as are corn tortillas so I put a light spread of the Cilantro lime dressing in the center of the corn tortilla and build from there this way the ingredients seem to stay in place and not fall out when you take your first scrumptious bite.

Truly kid approved! The pickiest one int he house I never said one word about eating which is generally a nightly occurrence!

Hope you enjoy!

 ~ B