October 22, 2014

Never Would I Ever


Thanks for stopping by for the Mamas Tell All Link up this week. We're chatting about all the things we swore we'd never do as parents, until we caved and maybe some of those things you promised yourself you'd do as a mom but just never quite got around to. 

We'd love for you to join our weekly linkup. Make sure to follow the hosts and put the button in your post and on your sidebar! Then read some of the other posts and leave some comment love...you may learn a thing or two, and you'll definitely meet some amazing mamas!

The Hosts
Everyday Thoughts The So-Called Homemaker That Southern Mama

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The Topic
Never Would I Ever, Until I Did - What things did you swear you'd never do as a mom and why (no pacis, no TV, etc.)? 
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I was never the girl with dolls growing up. I never wanted to cuddle little ones when I went through the middle school babysitting years. I don't get a degree in teaching and I certainly lacked that maternal instinct that all women seem to have the moment after they walk down the aisle. I'm pretty sure that from an experience standpoint, I was unqualified to be a mother. This self-perceived lack of eligibility terrified me when I learned I was expecting but it also gave me perspective. 

I knew from the moment I found out that I was pregnant I needed to rely on the advice of others and I prayed that the cuddle characteristics inherent to child-totting mothers would suddenly strike me like lightening. After my son was born the fear I had every time someone asked me to hold a baby disappeared. I'd never wanted to hold anything as much as I wanted to hold my premature child. My life-long fear faded away due to a sheer heart-wrenching desire to comfort him before he was totted off to NICU. 

I say all this to demonstrate that my inexperience with children left me untainted by modern-day lists of mommy no-no's: no pacifiers, no television, no red dye 40 and no processed foods. I was ignorant to trendy sleeping patterns and the go-to BPA-free silverware. And frankly, I think that's a good thing. I have a better understanding of these things now that I'm wrapped around a toddler's little finger but I still try not to get lost in lengthy lists of dos and don'ts. Obviously sometimes that's easier said than done. 

I wanted to make all my son's baby food - I wanted to speak in equal parts Spanish and English while at home - I wanted to have all his wash done at the end of every day. I didn't do any of these things completely - of course I tried them all - and still my son is doing just fine. I have his best interests in mind, always, but I try (try being the keyword) not to get caught up in what I'm doing wrong because every time he smiles I know I've done something right.



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Make sure to join us next week to discuss: Making time for Mama - How do you find time to relax and treat yourself? 

November 5 - Planning for the Future - Do you have a living will, guardianship and college saving funds in place. What's necessary and how do you make sure your child is prepared for the future? 
November 12 - Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle when you have children. 

Be Blessed,
Brittany
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October 21, 2014

Stuffed Peppers

Somethings never good old. For me stuffed peppers are on that list. They are just delicious and they remind me of childhood memories sitting at the kitchen table with my family. Almost every night the four of us; my mom, dad, sister and I, sat in our unassigned, but always the same, seats. We learned manners and conversational skills and we were responsible to demonstrate both during our family dinners. It's a tradition I hope to pass onto my son. Eating as a family seems like a lost art in the an age when parents appear to measure their success based on the number of after school activities which their children participate. 

So now that I've been all nostalgic I can't wait to share one of my favorite family dinner recipes, stuffed peppers. Stuffed peppers are such a great dinner option because they can be customized for almost any palate. Plus they are amazing reheated and they freeze well. 


Ingredients:
6 bell peppers 
1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp salt
15 oz. tomato sauce
1 cup rice, cooked
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese 


Preparation Instructions:
Remove the tops and inner membranes from each of the peppers. Rinse and drain. Brown the ground beef. Drain and set aside. Heat oven to 350 degrees.


Add the chopped onion to a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the beef, salt and garlic, warming throughout - another 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and make sure it's fully incorporated and finally add the rice.


Add the filling to empty peppers.


Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil add cheese to the tops of each pepper and bake an additional 10 minutes. 


There's only one thing left to do - Enjoy! 


Do you have any recipes that remind you of your childhood - please share! 


Be Blessed,
Brittany
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October 15, 2014

Making Motherhood Work

It's the most wonderful time of the week - well, kinda, but not really at all because we all know the weekend is really the best. But it is the Mamas Tell All linkup and that is pretty fantastic! 

If you're a blogger we'd love for you to join our weekly linkup. Make sure to follow the hosts and put the button in your post and on your sidebar! Then read some of the other posts and leave some comment love...you may learn a thing or two, and you'll definitely meet some amazing mamas!

The Hosts
Everyday Thoughts The So-Called Homemaker That Southern Mama

The Button
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The Topic
Making Motherhood Work - Are you a working mom, a stay at home mom or something else entirely, and how do you make that role work for your family? 
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I'm sitting here writing this post and I should be asleep. I'm exhausted from an overly stressful week of work. I bet you can infer that I'm a working mom. I leave the house for 40 hours each week and I sit inside a cubicle. My working arrangement has its ups and downs. I can't compare my situation to anyone else's because I've never walked a mile in their shoes. 

I can tell you I think I'll always need to work in some form or fashion. Maybe it won't be in an office but I feel like I can offer my husband, my son and my family more when I have the outlet that work seems to provide. I know that my choice means that I have to make certain sacrifices and some days it's harder to accept those than others. 

There are days that I cry - guilty for leaving my son in the care of others while I'm at work. There are days when I'm tired. Well, let's be for real - I'm literally exhausted every day and I don't think that would change if I was at home with my little guy. There are days when I feel so tremendously grateful that I can help provide for my son and our family. Days when I run into the house after a long day at work and his giggle ignites a feeling in my heart that floods me with joy. There are days when I battle with my decision. I question the path I've chosen. I waver, almost daily. 

One thing I know for sure is that moms need to uplift and support the decision of other mothers. Whether they choose to work away from the home, stay with their children full time or manage a delicate balancing act of working from home, we all deserve the respect that we're doing our very best. We all make sacrifices and I'm sure we all struggle with our decisions at some point. We need to do what's right for ourselves, our children and our families. 

So bravo moms. You're all doing amazing. I'm here to be your support and your cheerleader. 
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Make sure to join us next week to discuss: Never Would I Ever, Until I Did - What things did you swear you'd never do as a mom and why (no pacis, no TV, etc.)? 


October 29 - Making time for Mama - How do you find time to relax and treat yourself? 
November 5 - Planning for the Future - Do you have a living will, guardianship and college saving funds in place. What's necessary and how do you make sure your child is prepared for the future? 
November 12 - Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle when you have children. 

Be Blessed,
Brittany
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October 8, 2014

Understanding the Heart of a Mother

We've been at this for a month now. And the Mamas Tell All Linkup is helping women from all over connect and be encouraged with the realities of motherhood.

If you're a blogger we'd love for you to join the weekly linkup. Make sure to follow the hosts and put the button in your post and on your sidebar! Then read some of the other posts and leave some comment love...you may learn a thing or two, and you'll definitely meet some fun new mamas!


The Hosts
Everyday Thoughts The So-Called Homemaker That Southern Mama

The Button
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The Topic
The Crappiest & Happiest of Motherhood

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If I had written a post a week ago about the happies and crappies of motherhood it would have looked a lot different than what you're about to read. I might have made a couple lists outlining my absolute favorite moments as a mom and detailed the trying, real-life struggles we sometimes face as mothers and caretakers. This last week gave me perspective. Really it's the last couple days that have shed new light on my once very superficial ideals of happies and crappies.

Now I can say with some certainty that for me, the happiest and the crappiest part of motherhood is understanding the heart of other mothers. 




Let me explain.

My husband and I have an incredible support system but a fairly small group of close, married friends. Those people with whom we go out to dinner, those who we've invested in their relationship with prayer, time and support. Those who have or will have kids that we will love and support throughout their lives. Our group is small but right now that group is hurting. Hurting in so many ways. And we are praying daily for miracles.

Monday was one of the most emotionally draining days I've ever experienced. I received news that after about a month of close monitoring our dear friends needed to admit their two-and-half-year old daughter to long-term ICU as she awaits a heart transplant. This family of four now has to bow their heads and pray for one of the world's most selfless gifts. They must pray for a family to volunteer a child's organ in their time of great sadness and loss. Their youngest daughter needs a new heart to survive and the sacrifice, courage and support they need right now is tremendous.

Moments after receiving this news, my husband called and knocked out whatever wind was left in my sails when he told me that another set of our close friends who had a baby just three days earlier discovered that their beautiful baby was battling for her precious life. Not long after that we learned she passed to sit with her Heavenly Father.

I cried all day. My eyelids are swollen and my heart is heavy. 

I believe that we can't live through all that life offers so God introduces you to people so that you can learn from their victories and their struggles. I believe that we're challenged to extend our hearts to reach through to the lives of those that make up the fabric of our everyday; our friends, our family and our coworkers. I believe that through such introduction, God has laid a great obstacle before me and those I love. And I believe that this is the best and worst part of motherhood. 

Understanding the heart of a mother means that I now know that fuzzy feeling mothers get when their little one has a bad dream and they're the one that can make it all better. The feeling that they protect and provide and love their children like no one else ever could. It also means that I understand the horrible pain mothers feel when, for whatever reason, you can't do those things- protect, provide and care. 

I will never fully understand what these mothers are going through but I know that the strength and pain and courage they must experience are beyond normal comprehension. My heart feels like it experiences the highs and lows of motherhood to a completely different extreme. 

If you're interested in learning more about the strength of one mother's love, please read more about our friends, and their daughter Mallory Kate, as they venture down the long path towards a heart transplant. Their goal is 100,000 prayers, 100,000 shares and 100,000 dollars.





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Make sure to join us next week to discuss: Making Motherhood Work - Are you a working mom, a stay at home mom or something else entirely, and how do you make that role work for your family? 

October 22 - Never Would I Ever, Until I Did - What things did you swear you'd never do as a mom and why (no pacis, no TV, etc.)? 
October 29 - Making time for Mama - How do you find time to relax and treat yourself? 
November 5 - Planning for the Future - Do you have a living will, guardianship and college saving funds in place. What's necessary and how do you make sure your child is prepared for the future? 
November 12 - Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle when you have children. 


Be Blessed,
Brittany
Email Me Follow Me On Bloglovin Follow Me On Facebook Follow Me On Twitter Follow Me On Pinterest Follow Me On Instagram Follow Me On Google+