Beets + Meatloaf = Beetloaf. Fun & healthy! [Recipe]

This week’s menu entails all the colors: pink meatloaf with roasted potatoes and salad, veggie loaded breakfast casserole, and slow cooker pork loin with spinach casserole. Eating colorful food is fun, interesting, and more nutritious. Nutrients (called phytonutrients) provide the pigmentation for fruits and vegetables, so the richer the color, the more nutrients!

raw beets

Roll that beautiful beet footage! #beauties


Our Differences Tell the Story… but Aren’t the Story

What do you see when you look at this picture?

Differences of mother's and child's feet

Do you look at it and draw comparisons about our feet? Do you chastise me for having a bunion, veins, and wrinkles? Do you belittle me for not having the feet of a toddler?


Grocery Shopping Old-School: Back to the Basics for Baby

Yesterday I went old-school grocery shopping – AKA, I shopped at the store.

Wal-Mart online grocery shopping started just about the same time that I had our little Penguin, and it was a life saver. I no longer had to walk Bryan through the grocery store throughout seven phone calls explaining where everything was and what substitutes we could accept. Pretty much since we started online ordering, we haven’t stopped. I faithfully make my weekly order without having to spend time away from Penguin or having to subject the two of us to a possibly-chaotic shopping trip.

The thought intimidates me. Bad.

Toddler eating mandarin orange purchased through old-school grocery shopping


A Spoon, Sadie Robertson, and Spiritual Growth

Tonight I realized that my one-year-old has a new trick: eating with a spoon. He’s been practicing this for a while, but tonight I realized just how much he has mastered the act. I loaded up the spoon with yogurt, set it on his high chair tray, and seconds later he had the scoop of the spoon in his mouth. Bite after bite, he showed me that he knew exactly what to do. The bites weren’t accidental, but intentional. I filled with pride.

baby eating from spoon


How I’m Making Boundaries for Exercise & Self-Care

I will do anything to help our little Penguin get his rest. All of our activities and errands get planned around nap time. The bark collars we bought specifically for this purpose go on the dogs, the TV is turned low, the thermostat is set, the camera is on, the sound machine is playing, and all activity is ensured to be quiet and peaceful. I even made a cute sign for the door, politely asking begging neighbors not to knock or to ring the doorbell. For a sleeping baby makes for a happy baby and for refreshed parents. This precious time is carved out twice a day, every day. No exceptions.

Can I tell you how long I’ve been planning to/wanting to do yoga regularly? Actually, I can’t. I’ve lost track. It’s been a long time.

self-care and meditation through coffee and yoga


Life in the Middle – A New Definition of Achievement

Confession: I am an achievement junkie.

What I would like to say is that I am a recovering achievement junkie. I get a high from accomplishing tasks, crossing things off my to-do list, getting all my errands done, and completing projects. A tidied house with an empty sink and all the laundry washed, folded, and put away is satisfaction to my soul. The problem is, I rarely enjoy the fruits of my labor, because I’m off chasing that high of finishing the next item on my agenda. Another problem is I’m realizing that everything is never truly going to be done. And finally, this isn’t what I want to get my kicks from either.


Raising Resilience: Wishes for Baby… and Me


It’s the word I had in mind for our first child throughout my pregnancy, before we knew who the baby was or would become. To me, it is a word that has meaning, strength, and character.

We were given a 100 Good Wishes for Baby book for our baby shower, and I immediately found the “resilience” page and claimed it as my own. As I wrote, I described my dreams for my first born to never give up, to break through challenges, to not listen to the opinions of others, and to be his best self no matter what. I told him that I would love him through every part of it, no matter the outcome.

“…You must know that you are made for a specific purpose that only you can fulfill. Chase after it with all of your will and might and love…”

As I finished writing, I sat back and felt satisfied with the thoughts I was able to express on paper.