Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Different Kind Of Chaos

A few weeks ago, I was talking with a sweet friend who will be welcoming her third child a few months from now. While she is very excited about the family's new addition, she is also understandably nervous about how she will handle the chaos of having three kids under the age of five. As we talked, my mind immediately conjured up memories form that time in my own life. 

My third daughter was born exactly two weeks before my oldest started kindergarten and there was a 2 year old in between them. I was juggling sleepless night and breastfeeding a newborn while also parenting an active toddler and helping a five year old adjust to a difficult kindergarten year. It was madness and, honestly, there were days when I thought I would surely drown in the turbulent sea of motherhood. My life was an endless storm of diapers, car seats, toys, poop, and exhaustion. People told me it would get easier and I believed them because, it couldn't have gotten any worse, right?

Eight years later, I'm now at that stage of life - the one that is supposed to be "easier."  However, I'm not sure it really is easier. It's still chaos, it's just a different kind of chaos.

My girls are currently 8, 10 (almost 11), and 13. Sure, they are all potty trained and they rarely wake me in the middle of the night, but life is still tumultuous a lot of the time.

Instead of changing diapers and stressing about nap time schedules, I am juggling soccer practices, piano lessons, riding lessons, school events and ALL. THE. THINGS. I cannot even begin to tell you how many hours and miles I spend in my minivan each day.

The girls can shower themselves and get on their pajamas without help, but there is still the chaos of bedtime. Now, though, it happens at 9:00pm instead of 7:00 which means that, once it's over, it's pretty much time for me to go to bed, too, so I don't even get to enjoy any quiet time. I have never been a night owl and the only TV show I've watched alone in the past several years is House Hunters.

There are no longer toddler toys all over my house. Instead, there are shoes, backpacks, and empty food wrappers everywhere I turn. My kids have clothes on their bedroom floors and I have no idea which ones are clean and dirty. My kitchen sink is constantly full of dirty dishes.

We don't have toddler tantrums, but we do have tween girl hormone-fueled mood swings and meltdowns. We have arguments over homework and sibling disagreements. There are tears on a weekly basis and so much eye rolling that I honestly fear someone's face is going to end up stuck like that.  

I've spent hours upon hours packing lunches and we still have battles over what's for dinner. Plus? Event though mine are girls, they eat all. the. time. They are constantly starving  and, therefore, my grocery bill is ridiculous.

Don't even get me started on shopping for appropriate clothes to fit their continually growing and changing bodies.

Like I said - it's still chaos, just a different kind of chaos. And, sometimes, I still feel like I'm drowning in the busyness and exhaustion of parenting. 
As I was thinking about all of this and slowly starting to crumble under the weight of it all last week, I came across this quote: 

It made me stop and reevaluate things a little bit.

The truth is, even though the stage we're in now is still pandemonium sometimes (most of the time), I wouldn't want to go back to the baby/toddler days. I think there is chaos, frustration, and disorder in every stage of life and the chaos we have now is a good fit for us. As my oldest is in her last year of middle school, I know that high school and college are looming. Just like I blinked and my babies became big kids, I am certain that I will blink again and they will be off on their own living their adult lives. So, I am trying to embrace the current chaos. On the days when I feel overwhelmed, I have to remember to breathe and forgive myself for the mistakes I make as a mom and a wife.

Maybe some stages are easier than others OR maybe every stage is just different.  No matter what "Book of Life" chapter we find ourselves inside, we have to remember to hang on tight and enjoy the ride before it's time to turn the page again.

This post was part of the One Word Blog Linkup hosted by, Janine of Confessions of a Mommyaholic and me! This week, the word prompt choices were Happy & Pity. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Positively Fabulous Fall

Did you know that October is Positive Attitude month? It's pretty easy for me to have a positive attitude in fall because it is one of my favorite times of the year! Some of the things I love about this time of year are:
  1. The colors - I love that I live where there are four distinct seasons and this one is marked by the brilliant colors  of autumn.
  2. The cooler temperatures - I'm a hot natured person and, while I love the lazy days of summer, I do not like the hot weather. The cool, crisp days of fall are perfect! 
  3. The clothes - I much prefer jeans and sweatshirts to shorts and t-shirts!
  4. Cozy snuggles - There is something so soothing about snuggling up in my big, fuzzy robe and relaxing by the fireplace with a warm cup of coffee on cool fall evenings.
  5. The food - Ah, yummy fall comfort food! White Chicken Chilli, Potato Soup, and Chicken Pot Pie are what's for dinner in fall!
  6. Holidays - There's Halloween which is fun. Of course, there's also Thanksgiving which is all about food, family, and gratefulness. Then, there is getting ready for Christmas! (There are 58 days left, you know?!?)
Another thing I love about fall is that i's the theme for Old School Blogging this month! In addition to sharing some of the positively awesome things I love about fall, I'm also linking up with Elaine fro the Miss Elaine-ous Life to answer some questions that are all about fall! 

What is your favorite Halloween candy?
Skittles. or maybe Starburst. and anything chocolate like Twix, Kit Kat, Reeses cups, Butterfingers. Oh, and I love eBaby Ruth bars. And Airheads - those are good. Can you tell I like candy??? Pretty much the only thing I don't like is anything sour or "twangy" (like Sweetarts).

What is one of the worst “treats” you ever received in your candy bag?
Raisins. When I was a kid, I used to hate getting those little boxes of raisins. I want candy, people!

What was one of your favorite costumes you wore when you were a kid?
Hmmmm . .  I don't really remember having a favorite. My most memorable was probably this clown costume I wore. If I remember correctly, my aunt sewed it for my cousin and I got it as a hand me down. I added the bowtie and the mask. I wore it in 1985 when I was 8 years old. 
How about your favorite costume as an adult?
Now that I'm all grown up, I'm not much for dressing up. The closest I come these days is wearing this monogrammed candy corn t-shirt my sister in law made for me. (Want one? Check out her Etsy shop!)

What scares you most on Halloween? Spiders? Zombies? Axe murderers? Eyeballs in a jar… (or something else)?
What scares me the most on Halloween is the price of store bought costumes! I'm not very crafty, so when my girls want to dress up, we usually head to the Halloween store. In the past, I've gone to great lengths and spent big bucks on their costumes! 

This year

So then, what is your favorite scary movie??
I dont' do the cheesy horror movies - Jason, Feddy Cruger, etc. - but, The Sixth Sense gives me chills every time! 

What is you favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal?
The dressing. Or, maybe the sweet potatoes. Actually, it's probably the dessert. Oh, I really like cranberry sauce, too. Do I really have to choose just one favorite thing?

What is your favorite piece of clothing or accessory to wear in the Fall?
Jeans. I can dress them up with flats or go casual with a sweatshirt and tennis shoes.

What is your favorite pie?  If you do not like pie I will forgive you but then what is your favorite Fall dessert?
Pecan. End of story. 

Do you live where there are four seasons? If so, where is your favorite place to see the fall colors?
I live in North Carolina and we definitely have four distinct seasons. I grew up near the mountains and I love to go back home to see the vibrant colors of the season.

What is your favorite fall tradition?
I think my favorite tradition is our Thanksgiving meals. We always do lunch on Thanksgiving Day with David's family. Then, the day after, we go spend the day with my family and another meal. The food is always awesome, but the company and family time is the very best part!

Is there anything else special about the Fall to you? 
Beautiful colors, great food, time with family - those are some of the best things in life!

Your Tuesday Ten hostesses are:


The Teacher Wife
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We hope you have enjoyed our #TuesdayTen lists! If so, please link up one of your own and share your post using #TuesdayTen!
 If you would like to be added to the mailing list without linking up, click here.

Next Tuesday, November 2, is Plan Your Epitaph Day (Seriously - there is a holiday for everything!) For Tuesday Ten, we want to know 10 things you want to be remembered for! 
The Golden Spoons

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Crock Pot Swedish Meatballs [#SundaySupper]

Back in January, I made it one of my resolutions to post a Sunday Supper post on the second Sunday of every month.  I kept that resolution for exactly one month, posting a recipe in February. I haven't posted one since then. #EpicFail

However, earlier this month, I did share a list of some crock pot recipes I wanted to try this fall.  Included in that list was a recipe for Crock Pot Swedish Meatballs. Well, I tried them last weekend with my own little adjustments and they were delicious! In fact, they were so yummy, I was inspired to revive my #SundaySupper series and share the recipe with all of you! (Who cares that it's about 7 months overdue, right??)

Crock Pot Swedish Meatballs

- 2 1/2 pounds frozen homestyle meatballs
 (I used the Dinner Size Angus Beef meatballs from Cooked Perfect)
- 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 1 can condensed golden mushroom soup
- 1 packet brown gravy mix
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Combine soups, gravy mix, onion, and Worcestershire sauce. Place meatballs in crock pot and pour soup mixture over them. Cook on low for 6 hours. Serve over warm egg noodles. 

That's it! Easy Peasy and so very yummy!! It's a great comfort food for fall and it makes a lot, so we had leftovers the next day. 

#SundaySupper - Crock Pot Swedish Meatballs from @TheGoldenSpoons make great fall comfort food!

If you give it a try, let me know what you think!
Do you have a crock pot recipe to share? 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Apparently, October is Photographer Appreciation Month. I've never been a great photographer. Nowadays, though, everyone is a photographer regardless of their skill because we have the ability to take pictures at our fingertips everywhere we go. 

In honor of Photographer Appreciation Month, we thought we would celebrate ourselves as photographers - no matter whether we're good at it or not - by sharing some of the photos we have taken recently! 

I snapped this picture a couple weeks ago when Tuesday Ten was all about our pets

If you follow my Facebook page, you may have seen this picture there. I'm not usually a big pumpkin flavor fanatic, but this stuff is amazing!

This picture was taken the weekend before last at my 20th high school reunion. It's kind of a big deal because my husband makes it his mission not to smile in pictures (I have no idea why he does that!), but he is obviously smiling in this one because we were with friends who made him laugh. I honestly think it's one of the best "candid" photos that has ever been taken of the two of us.

While we were at my reunion, we stayed at my parents's house. My youngest daughter was looking through wedding photos and my mom mentioned that she still had her wedding veil. Of course, my little princess had to try it on! 

We moved our two youngest daughters to a new school this year and we are all very happy. The school had a big family picnic last week and I snapped this sweet picture of Emily and one of her new found friends.

Originally for this post, I had this grand idea to take 10 selfies. I rarely take selfies because, truthfully, I usually don't like what I see, so that plan fell apart pretty quickly. Except for one day when I was wearing a new sweater and I actually thought I looked pretty good! (I snapped this in a gigantic mirror I walk by a thousand times a day when I'm at work!)

Second and final attempt at my post full of selfies - at the gym getting ready to work out.

The new school my girls are attending is across town which frequently makes for some awkward timing - not enough time to go home, but too much time to go ahead and get in carpool line. When that happens, I get a little bit of blissful alone time and one of my favorite things to do is find a coffee shop and do a little blogging.

Friday afternoon snuggles!!! (I guess this counts as the third selfie, but I'm not the star of this one!)

I recently shared some crock pot recipes her on the blog. some were mine and some were new ones I wanted to try. The list included a recipe for Swedish Meatballs. I made them on Saturday and they were yummy! I tweaked the recipe just a bit and snapped a photo so I can share it here sometime soon!

My oldest is playing soccer for the first time this fall. Thanks to two weekends worth of rained out games, we actually missed her very first one while we were away for my reunion. Saturday was her second game and the first one we got to watch! 

Just realized that:
A) I actually had 11 photos, and
B) none of them included my middle daughter, so . . .
Here's #12!! (That's 4 selfies in case you're keeping track!) 

It's a #TuesdayTen #Photobomb! We are all photographers, so come link up yours! @MamaRabia @TheGoldenSpoons

These picture posts are always so much fun! Hope you enjoyed my photos and I can't wait to see yours! 

Your Tuesday Ten hostesses are:


The Teacher Wife
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We hope you have enjoyed our #TuesdayTen lists! If so, please link up one of your own and share your post using #TuesdayTen!
you would like to be added to the mailing list without linking up, click here.

Did you know that October is also Positive Attitude Month? Next Tuesday, October 27, come share 10 positive quotes; 10 ways to have a positive attitude; or 10 things that squash your positivity! 
The Golden Spoons

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