11.06.2014

Friends v People




  I saw this quote on pinterest and it stopped me right there and I thought how many? How many places do I go or have I lived that I walk by, I don't smile, I rush through a strore, I put my head down so I don't make eye contact. I am guilty of all of these. I hate that. The world is full of hate, but its also FULL OF LOVE. People have stories, they have hearts, even those who aren't as nice as we want them to be. This has made me realize that I want to live more like Jesus, more LOVE. I want to notice and care about others. I have read the quote everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle, and its true. Battles are different, loses are different. People handle things differently. Its a slow and humbling process to realize that you need people and those people wether they show it or not are just as broken as you are.


Ive always treasured being a nurse because I think God called me at a young age to serve others, but my service to others doesn't have to be within the hospital walls. It could be on my trip to Walmart….. I've got a lot of work to do. 
I have loved everywhere I have lived with that said it always took period of adjustment time A time to realize that God is leading your life and you are here for a reason. I met some incredible people who have loved me when I am weak and helped me when I needed it. They have talked, loved and supported me. I couldn't ask for more. Our life is adventurous because of the people we have met. They make this world amazing and I am thankful for the piece of their heart they have given me. That risk was designed by God for us. 
With our move coming quickly, I have met a lot of really sweet incredible people in the past few weeks. As we talk I always say, well I am moving in a few weeks. Like see ya we can't be friends. I quickly realized that I shouldn't say that. I need that person that day and they needed me . The future didn't matter at that point. LIVE FOR TODAY. Lesson learned. 

LIVE WILDLY, LOVE LOUDLY.


We won our kickball championship last night. We had so much fun and we were blessed with some really fun, sweet, encouraging team mates. Their friendship will always be treasured. Kickball was a huge blessing to us. 





Greek Chicken:

1/2 c soy sauce
2 c olive oil
1 1/2 c lemon juice
2 tsp pepper
2 TB greek seasoning

Mix and pour into a bag of individual frozen chicken breasts. Marinate 6 hours or overnight. Pour all in a 9 x 13 pan.

Bake at 350 for 45 min. Serve over rice. 
Easy and Yummy.


All my love, 
Melanie












11.01.2014

Trick or Treating in Seaside and Baytowne.


video
Just a little Halloween fun. 
This is the day the Lord has made and I am so thankful.

10.31.2014

Happy Happy.



My kids are so excited about Halloween this year. It makes it so fun and gives me a new appreciation for the joy Halloween brings to many. I hope today you can gather and take in the joy of Halloween in the eyes of a child. M&M dressed up last night and we went and took some pictures and got Pizza. why? because life is just worth celebrating and you should do what brings you joy. Today I am full of joy.



video

Happy Halloween from Batman and Elsa!

Find Joy in  the last day of October! 



I love this recipe and while it is not healthy, it is homemade :)
It makes a lot of bars and is easy!

Pumpkin Bars

4 eggs
1 2/3 c sugar
1 c oil
1 16 oz can of pumpkin
2 cup AP flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda


Mix all dry ingredients in a small bowl. Mix other ingredients in a large bowl. Gradually add dry ingredients. Pour in an un-greased cookie sheet with 1 inch sides. (jelly roll pan?) 
Bake at 350 for 25-30 min

Let them cool.

Icing: 3 oz cream cheese
1/2 c butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 c sifted powdered sugar

Whip together and spread on cool pumpkin bars. Cut and Enjoy !




10.28.2014

Time.



Time flies. Somedays I think what are we going to do next and others I am like can I have a second, where did the day go. I can't believe it is almost the end of October and this is my first blog entry for the month.  Wow. October in Santa Rosa Beach is the most beautiful month of the year. The colors and sunsets are breath taking and amazing. Its like it is making up for not having changing of the leaves and the cool crisp air.  I sometime waste my days in worry, self pity, loneliness and just plain boredom. Those days I find myself not asking for help, not reaching out, not loving my kids or my husband like I want to and living a fear filled life. I hate those days, but they happen and I find myself trying to fix myself. I fail. I need something else, not just me. I need FAITH. I need GOD. I need to find myself on my knees close to a LOVE THAT IS EVERLASTING. I know I need that, but why sometimes do I run so far away from it. I feel that the world influences me to control me, to value things that ultimately if I die tomorrow wouldn't matter at all. I am learning. I am looking. I am valuing GOD. I value the days when I wake up and meet God and go to bed and say Goodnight God. Thank you for being there with me all day when I need you the most. I am learning to seek. I am learning to be FAITH FILLED.
I need it as a mom, as a wife, as a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, as a friend. And all the time I spend hating life is wasted time. And time is a gift. A really big, amazing, valuable gift.




I am so thankful for my time here is Santa Rosa Beach/Destin. It will forever be HOME. After moving 8 times, I know that a HOME doesn't have to be a structure. It can be wherever your TIME awaited you.














Time is flying by. Lets use it. 


Time to workout ?---- I had my babies back to back, and I never lost weight after mattie and continued to gain with Mason. After I had Mason I was left the biggest I have been in my life and i was just unhappy, unhealthy and in depression of moving, taking care of two babies all day in a small condo…. and then the best thing happened to me! I joined baby bootcamp and they taught me fitness, about how to continue it for life and how to eat healthy( not diet food- REAL FOOD) In Moderation. 
To keep up what I have made it to I run weekly and I do the 7 minute HIIT ( high intensity interval training ) app or look one up on Pinterest. 





You can set the app for more than 7 minutes, but for all you moms struggling to fit in a workout or wanting to get back in shape this is for you!! HIIT burns lots of calories and it targets your whole body! 
 I still have some work to go, but I am happy with where I am at. Let your toddlers join you. They will like to jump around. Working moms can do this on their lunch break or before they shower. HIIT training is my favorite because it is versatile and you need little equipment. If you are not a mom it is also a great place to start to help you get to where you want to be!


Spaghetti sauce :

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

2 large cans of tomato puree
1 can water 
1 whole onion chopped 
5 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoons of fresh basil
1 tablespoons of fresh oregano
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
 salt to taste  
*the puree is strong so you need salt and sugar to kill the acidity of the tomatoes) if you prefer less salt and no sugar use tomato sauce instead and you probably won't need as much water. 
1 tablespoon of garlic pepper
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 pound hamburger meat 
1/2 pound of Italian sausage or a package of conecuh sausage chopped 
olive oil

use a fair amount of olive oil. heat in pan and add onions and garlic and cook until browned. remove from pan and place in crock pot. Use same pan to brown the meats.

combine other ingredients in crockpot with onions and garlic. add meat and cook on low for 6 hours or until you are ready to eat it.

I use tomato puree or sauce depending on what I have. You can cook it for 2 hours on low on the stove if you don't do it in the crockpot. 


 Its really yummy!! Enjoy!



One of the many lessons I learned from my Papa as he was waiting to meet Jesus : the value of Time. 

All my love, Melanie 










9.29.2014

Four years.

Saturday we celebrated our first child's 4th birthday. Wow. 4 years. It seems unreal. In those 4 years of her life, we have moved 6 times. She has been a trooper. She has endured change and we have tried to teach her to make the most of every situation. She was two when we moved to the beach and she immediately fell in love with the water. She now can swim like a fish. She loves to jump waves and she has fallen in love with dolphins. We wanted to do something for her birthday to really celebrate her together. We are so thankful for her and her love. Thank you God for making me Mattie's mom 4 years ago. For teaching me to love another, care for someone and constantly be needed 24 hours a day.

Here is how we celebrated Mattie :

A trip to Gulf World:

 The sea lion and dolphin show


petting the sting rays

                         This pink bird sophie said happy birthday to Mattie! Atleast she thinks he did ;)


                                                       They got to meet he dolphins!

        They got to shake the dolphins hand! 
She loved that and said after it was over " i think i got a little scared" 
                                              Ice Cream at Blue Mountain creamery!


                                             
She woke up on her birthday and got to go get sprinkle doughnuts by herself with her daddy.  She then immediately requested to :
                         Open presents. Thanks to all who mailed presents. She was so excited!
  I asked her if she wanted chocolate or vanilla her reply I think I want Strawberry and that ended up with her making her cake and decorating it! They had a lot of fun. 

                                        She wanted to help her daddy wash cars……...
                                   if its your birthday you can spray your brother right? :)

                The last thing we did was sing happy birthday and blow out four candles!!!

Mattie, I pray you get to celebrate many birthdays! 



Celebrating a four year old makes you realize how precious life is and how important it is to truly live because it goes by so fast. How important it is to have friends and family to live life together with. How important it is to die young as late as possible. Try this week to spend life like a 4 year old! 





Growing up green onions!
 I am always cooking egg casseroles or soups that need green onions so I have been growing green onions for several years off and on. It is so easy! Buy a bundle of green onions at the store and cut what you need off. Place the roots of the onions in a glass jar and place in a place with some sunlight. Change water every couple of days and cut the onions every 3 days to 1 week. I cut and place in a mason jar in the fridge or freezer so I always have them on hand.

                                                                   This is day 1.
This is Day 4. 


Really cool and EASY!



All my love, 
Melanie










9.23.2014

Real Life….Is this normal?

      I was talking to a friend last week and I was telling her I HAD THE WORST DAY yesterday. She said really? you wrote a great blog and I couldn't tell you were having a bad day and my response was I WAS WRITING AT NAPTIME!
     That had me thinking that real life isn't always perfect. That there are days I feel like I barley make it. There are days that I compare my life and children to others and it brings me down every time. There are days when I say, God, I am not sure if I was cut out for this. It takes some quiet and Jesus time to recharge my soul at the end of the day and 5 minutes in the bathroom where i can tune out the knocks and little finger under the door. I use a lot of quotes to help me, to encourage me.
    My kids are more WILD then most. They are so different, but a lot of the same. Mattie is quick to anger, full of drama, but is a caretaker and is already worried about you from the time she meets you. Mason is WILD, ruff, tuff as nails, but is soft and tenderhearted. He likes to be cuddled, but Mattie doesn't. Mattie likes perfection, Mason is king of messes. Id like to treat them the same, but they have different needs and wants and desires. I love both of them for who they are even if somedays I only survive on the edge. I have learned to NEVER compare.




    With all this I say that yes, I live in an amazing place with amazing friends, but all moms are in this together. I always have to remember this :


My number one rule is no matter how hard it is GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. Thats why I like to go on adventures. Go walk, explore, or do a simple lap around the neighborhood. 


This has been a quote that I have had to work on. I wear my emotions on my sleeve and i have been working hard to try and not let my frustrations get control of me, but to use my frustrations to better me and my children. THIS IS HARD and I am still working on it. In writing this I want you to know that someone else is where you are at. Raising children is hard. It isn't always easy and it isn't always fun. Keep your head up and keep trucking!!

Here are some real life photos:

                                  This is typical, Mattie pouting and Mason laughing at her.
This was dinner…homemade popcorn in bed. 
Brushing teeth is always endeds with Mason squirting water all over the bathroom 

This is how they eat a sucker!!!!!!!!! 
IPAD time. 30 minutes of quiet time for me!
I don't want this. Can I have something else?????
They never wear pants in the house. They come off like shoes. I have to laugh it off. Some fights just aren't worth it. They are always changing clothes. 


See we are just a crazy little family surviving on prayer, humor, grace and imperfection. 





All my love, 
Melanie


I love overnight oatmeal, waking up with breakfast already ready is amazing and this one is so good! 

Overnight Cinnamon Oatmeal

1 cup steel cut oats
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup brown sugar,  (I have made this with as little as two tablespoons)
2  TBS butter
1/2  tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
Combine all in crockpot and cook on low for 8hrs. 
Variations:
Add up to 1 C raisins/dried fruit or nuts before cooking.
----->> Add 1-2 chopped fresh apple before cooking. ( i do this one, but my  kids are too fond of cooked apples)
Top with fresh fruit (in season) or canned fruit (drained).
Add a pat of butter or a dollop of jam/preserves.
Drizzle with honey.
MAKE SURE TO SPRAY YOUR CROCKPOT WITH COOKING SPRAY OR IT WILL STICK BADLY!