Quick Lunch #1

I’m sure there are others out there, who love stir-fry like I do. So here’s a quick and budget friendly lunch idea for you.

We are big meat eaters and usually try to cook enough to have leftovers, which was the case today.

All you need is in this picture.

Just combine the following in a skillet lightly coated with olive oil and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.

– 1 package, frozen Stir-fry Starters*

– leftover meat (That would be a grilled pork chop for me today.)

– Stir-fry Sauce, to taste.

*If going home for lunch isn’t an option grab a steamable bag of Stir-fry starter and use these awesome Pyrex Simply Store 14 Piece Round Food Storage Set with Colored Lids, Multi“>Pyrex bowls to heat it up in the microwave.

I’m nursing the baby, so my appetite is ravenous and I devour the whole thing, but it could definitely be split into two meals.

Enjoy!

I vowed to be authentic when starting my blog, so authentic is what you get and really I hope it helps other mommas feel like they aren’t alone.

I have NO clue what I’m doing.

Today, I had a large hot coffee, large iced coffee and a Pepsi in way less time than anyone should, used what seemed like a whole can of dry shampoo (Dove brand, I could never bring myself to spend more than $5 on dry shampoo), and stared at my computer screen for lots of hours wishing my big project at work could prep itself while simultaneously biting the bullet and working to get it done.

Much of my evening was spent with a cluster feeding baby and trying to wrangle our cute little messes. They were a real treat tonight. Please see ornery toddler who decided to take a bath in her shirt and diaper and came prepared with swimming goggles below.

You can’t be mad at that face! She was so proud. I wanted to blog about our delicious dinner and dessert tonight, but that’s far from on my mind right now – maybe tomorrow, because it was too good not to share.

Also real life – I misplaced the keys to my office a week or two ago, just kidding a couple of months ago. You’ll never guess where I found them tonight? In my purse that’s been hanging on the back of the dining room chair for months. I don’t carry it anymore because I’ve always got sidekicks who need diapers and wipes and back-up outfits and a purse would be just one more thing to carry. And in full transparency – I very, very rarely even remember the diaper bag. It’s usually a mad dash out the door with a couple of diapers and wipes in hand, if we are lucky.

To end our night, the 3.5 month old has decided that rolling to her belly to sleep is a great idea, momma does not agree. I know, I know she rolled over under her own power and I should leave her alone, but my anxiety ain’t having that.

I’ll be awake watching her if anyone needs anything at all, embracing this Monday. It’s been messy, but blessed.

9 to 5 or 5 to 9

I’m sure most moms can relate whether they work in or out of the home. I don’t have to be on my game from just 9 to 5, it’s more like 5 to 9. Sometimes I feel like I’m winning the game and sometimes I strike out before it starts.

Today started at 4:30 with a hungry baby, followed by 45 minutes of tossing and turning, and then several turns of sleepily hitting the snooze button. Of course, I find that I’m normally almost back to sleep right before the alarm goes off. When I finally rolled out of bed at 5:30 6, my cheeks were burning and my right eye was swollen shut. No clue what I’m allergic to, but after calling my momma for reassurance that I wasn’t dying and whining to my hubby, I got ready for the day.

I finally made it to work around 7:30, and the day was peaceful and productive (love those days). The baby had physical therapy at 2, and while I had a ton to get done at work, I was pretty excited to pick my big guy up from school. Between 3 and 5, we made it to Wal-mart for a hair cut and groceries, picked up the big girls, defrosted hamburger, dropped the big guy off at piano, made dinner, and picked the big guy back up. Things have been a bit quieter (hahaha) since then and even though the house is a disaster, we’re watching Harry Potter and enjoying the evening.

I’m also attempting to correct the color job on my hair, because I thought I’d pretend to be a pro and lighten it myself over the weekend. That was not a good idea! Lesson learned.

It’s been a day where I feel like I’ve accomplished so much, but nothing all at the same time. And now that it’s 9:01, I’m calling it a night. 😉

Wanted to share one of my favorite recipes tonight, and it comes from the Crockin’ Girls.

In true Becker family fashion, we didn’t know this morning what we would have for dinner tonight – InstantPot to the rescue. We love this Most Amazing Pork Chops Ever recipe. The gravy is delicious and really warms your soul. Our only recommendation is if using a pressure cooker to reduce the amount of chicken broth significantly to make it more of a gravy. We also substituted pork steaks for pork chops tonight in an attempt to empty out our deep freeze before our hog comes at the end of the month.

Sweet baby,

Tomorrow, our life changes. Tomorrow, momma is headed back to work and your care will be entrusted to someone else for eight hours each day. I’m ready to go back, but I’m not ready to leave you.

We have been through so much together during my time off and that’s time that I will forever be thankful for. I know you don’t really understand yet, but when I drop you off for the first time tomorrow and again in the days ahead, I hope you know how much I love you. We’ve been inseparable for the past year, and carrying you and caring for you is what I’ve lived for.

Today, I hoped that time would slow to a crawl. I spent every available second staring at your face, talking to you and watching my tears fall on to your sweet, chubby cheeks.

Now here we are, at the close of our full-time togetherness and I’m watching you through the bassinet praying that tomorrow goes well for both of us and thanking God for letting me be your mommy. These are days and moments I could live over and over again. I love you!

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Fall is in the Air

We’ve had such an awesome weekend at our town’s festival, Chillifest. Did you know that Taylorville is the chili capital of Illinois? Well, we are and aside from official Chillifest chili, you can taste chili from the sanctioned cook-off, stroll through the vendors, take in some local entertainment and entertain the kiddos with carnival rides, pumpkin painting and more. I’m so proud to be from this little town and to serve on the board for the Chamber of Commerce.

We were all pretty tuckered out from our day of fun, so when 6pm rolled around and we hadn’t made anything for dinner, take out sounded pretty good. However, we are trying to be budget conscious, and needed to free up some room in the deep freeze and the pantry and finish off the produce from our garden. So we tossed what we had into our Instant Pot. It was so hearty and delicious!

We thought we should share the recipe, so here you go!

– 1 bag of baby carrots

– 4 medium sweet potatoes (cut into 1.5 inch wide sections)

– 1 medium yellow onion chopped

– 15 to 20 cherry tomatoes

– 2lbs beef stew meat

– 1 family size can of French Onion Soup

– 1/2 clove garlic (minced)

– salt and pepper to taste

The Instant Pot is great because all you need to do is just put it all in, program it and go. And that’s exactly what we did with the ingredients above. We served it over brown rice and it was such a big hit with everyone.

And for the sake of being authentic, I decided not to stage pictures or use our real dishes. Our lives are chaotic, so we use a lot of paper plates and bowls. It’s not the most environmentally friendly, but it’s real life and we don’t like doing dishes.

Open Hearts

This morning, while we laid in bed, and started the day with our six year old, we saw the news. So did he. His face looked puzzled and he turned to us and asked us why someone would hurt so many people. Did they hurt him? Was he sad? Was he sick?

We didn’t have the answers for him, and it would have been much easier to redirect him. Most of the time we try to shelter our children from the atrocities occuring around the world, but not today. This was the perfect opportunity to talk about loving others, praying for those affected and the person who did the hurting.

Over and over the Bible tells us to love our enemies, to pray for those who persecute us, to provide for them if they are in need. This is such a difficult concept. Even as an adult, I don’t typically think about praying for the people who hurt me, who hurt us, who hurt others. How do we teach this concept to our children, when it’s a concept that we fail at daily?

My words to our son were that God loves us all, no matter how great our sins. That we aren’t meant to always understand why things happen. That the most important thing that we can do, especially when we don’t understand, is to pray and to pray hard. I encouraged him to leave his heart and prayers open for God to guide (big concept for a little guy, but I think he got it).

What’s equally important though, is for my husband and I to lead by example, to pray out loud for those who hurt us. Our children are always watching us and leaving our hearts and prayers open for God to guide, especially in moments where we don’t understand, will show them how to do the same.

So, tonight and in the coming days, we will pray with our children for those around the world who are affected by their enemies and we will pray for their enemies as God guides us too.