for reals...

for reals...

A blog about parenting teens and other things. There are a lot of "mommy blogs" out there. I love many of them. However, they aren't really applicable at this stage in our parenting. A blog about parenting teens? Now that is something I can get behind!

Although, I will say, if you are looking for advice on parenting, I can mostly offer the things I've found that DON'T work. I'm not an expert. AT. ALL . Unless we're talking about eyerolls. And then, I've got that shizzle nailed...

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Why do they insist on dinner EVERY night?!?

It's no secret that I am not now, nor have I ever been known as a "foodie". I could eat a bowl of cereal at night and call it good. (And have on many occasions!) I don't really care that much about food. I'm not adventurous in what I eat. Although I am very thankful I can eat gluten again because no gluten = hell as far as I'm concerned. For real.

But, I have other people in my house. People who are growing into adults. Therefore, they need actual food. With a balance of protein, veggies, carbs...and whatever else makes a balanced diet. Clearly, cereal doesn't exactly fit the criteria.

With Sydney having swim practice every night, I knew we needed to come up with some way to feed her a good meal. Plus, we really try to have dinner as a family every night if possible. We have about 40 minutes from the time we pull in the driveway to get dinner on the table, eat, and be out the door to take her to practice.

Oh, and have I mentioned that I don't really like to cook? Yeah, I'm super awesome like that.


I found a great solution that has been working really well for our family. It's this! And it's fantastic!

Photo courtesy of website.

You can read about it/find it here.

I will, however, give you my opinion anyway. You're welcome. :-)

The beauty of this plan for us is that you take something out of the freezer the night before, put it in the fridge overnight and then throw it in the crock-pot on low in the morning. When we get home from work...dinner! Seriously, it's that easy. 
I am usually very skeptical when it comes to things like this. For one, I wasn't sure what an ALDI was. But it's just a supermarket chain. Secondly, we have a few (3 out of 4, ahem.) people in our house that are picky.

I was concerned about the prep time to create the meals. But, they make it so simple! The download comes complete with a printable shopping list. Plus, it has a pantry list, detailed preparation instructions, a blank calendar and recipe cards for all the recipes. I loved that the recipe cards had cooking instructions PLUS suggestions on what to serve with each meal.
Since we don't have ALDI here, I went to our trusty Winco. Syd and I did all the shopping in about an hour. Our total came to $168.74. For 20 meals! That's less than $8.50 for a meal for 4 people. I'm sure with a little preparation and planning, I could get it to less than that, but I was pretty happy with our total.

Mark and I put the meals together in about an hour as well. Everything just goes in a freezer bag. Very little prep work, which is excellent from my point of view. It was actually a little bit fun to work together like that.

The preparation instructions were super easy to follow. Here is an example:

Photo courtesy of website.

I was also nervous that we would have things that we didn't love. Not the case at all! I was especially leery of the rib recipe, since I don't really actually like ribs, but even it was great. Go figure.

Go check out the website. Really, I don't think you will be disappointed.

I mean, if I'd rather eat this than cereal, you know it must be good!

Also, I must add, if you don't use these, you are crazy. Seriously.

As I was driving to work the other morning, I felt like the grown-uppest grown-up ever! If only there were a plan like this for the rest of the areas in my life.  Ha!

Monday, August 24, 2015

First week...DONE!

The girls survived the first week of school. They are both exhausted though!

Sydney has swim practice every evening for an hour and a half. Thankfully, she hasn't had much homework yet. She eats a full dinner with us, and then as soon as practice is over, she eats another dinner. She's a good candidate for Taco Bell's famous "Fourth Meal." Minus the Taco Bell, of course.

This is her in the evenings...

Peyton has quite a bit more homework than her sister. But, her extra-curriculars haven't started yet, so I think it is fine. She had one bout of psycho-billy freak-out, but has been okay since. {Fingers crossed this trend continues...}

Only two more weeks until Labor Day weekend. But really, who's counting? Oh,!

Here's to week two!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

So, then, THIS happened...

First REAL day of high school for Sydney. Peyton is a Junior this year. Waaaaaiiiiiiittttt just a minute!

I don't even know how to describe this morning. I mean, there was chaos, of course. Hello, two teenage daughters. And there was anxiety. (Mostly from me). There was excitement.

And there might have been a teeny, tiny bit of annoyance at the approximately 1,000 pictures I took of them. Can you tell?

But there was something they didn't see. It's how damn proud we are of each of them! They can't possibly imagine how amazing it is to be their parents. We may be hard on them, we may make them mad occasionally, but they've turned out pretty darn well so far.

Happy first official day of school girls! We love you!


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Eye Roll Central: And so it starts...

Eye Roll Central: And so it starts...: Sydney's high school career starts today. It's not an actual day of school, but something called Freshman Academy. I think i...

And so it starts...

Sydney's high school career starts today.

It's not an actual day of school, but something called Freshman Academy. I think it's supposed to help them feel more comfortable with the school, and with all that goes on. It really is all new for them. New friends, new building, new laptop that needs to go with them to school every day, new outfits that aren't uniforms...

She is actually super excited. I don't think my 100 questions this morning on the way to school bothered her at all.

"Are you nervous?"
"Are you excited?"

I asked these because I was nervous and excited. For her, for me.

"What are you most excited about?"
"Who are you looking forward to seeing?"
"What class do you think will be the most fun?"

I asked these because I was curious, trying to get a read on her stoic personality.

As always, when I dropped her off, I said "I love you, have a great day!" I wonder if the girls will remember that phrase as they get older. Maybe they don't even notice that I say the same thing every school day? It didn't start out as intentional, but over time, I did realize I repeated this over and over and over.

I'm pretty sure it's as important for me to say it as it is for them to hear. Whether they realize it or not.

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Leap of Faith

Last year, Mark and I took on the task of cooking for the High School youth group at our church. For those of you that know me well, you know that cooking for a group was actually a leap of faith of epic proportions! I don't like to cook, nor do I think I'm very good at it.

This year, I've taken an even bigger leap. And without my safety net (Mark). I decided to become one of the group leaders for the teens. So, instead of hiding behind the food table, I will be interacting with them on a much more personal level. It's still a small cog in the very big wheel, but so not the norm of what I tend to gravitate toward.

This means a lot of "out-of-my-comfort-zone" activities. Like speaking in front of a large group. And helping plan activities that won't bore the heck out of teens. And helping to lead small group discussions. And sharing personal experiences. And now, my palms are sweating...

I'm not sure what pushed me to take this on. I think partly it was the girls. They are both involved in the group. They actually want to hang out with me. Or it may just be that I'm crazy?

This quote kind of summed up my feelings:

The only difference between fear and excitement is your attitude. 

I'm going to go with excitement!

That's not to say that I'm not terrified! The feelings of self doubt creep in. What if I'm terrible? What if I have nothing of value to offer?

What if...?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Happy birthday to this girl!!

How is it that my baby is 14?

 Funny, I remember thinking the same thing when she was is my baby already 14 months?

Sydney is amazing. But in some of the most hard to describe ways. She is the first one to offer to help. And she never refuses a request for help. That is a servants heart. She is who I strive to be.

Not only is she smart, like really, really smart (remind me to tell you how fun it is to be the dumbest person in your house...spoiler alert, it sucks), she is musically talented. She can SING, and she plays the piano beautifully.  Did I mention I want to be like her?

She also is a bit of a worrier. Wonder where she gets that awesome trait? And a bit of an introvert. Again me, sorry kiddo.

She's wickedly funny. She can throw out some sarcasm that none of us ever saw coming. It generally takes us a minute to even catch what she said.

This blanket? It went everywhere with her for her first 4 years. Then, it was with her at bedtime for another 4. Around age 8, she decided she was no longer in need of it. Of course, we still have it...

Syd loves to sit with us. Like, riiiigggghhhht next to us. I'll be sad if that ever changes.

She definitely has her own style. She couldn't care less if someone agrees with her choice of clothing or hairstyle. She likes what she likes. And I love that about her!

I'm super excited to see how she navigates high school. At this point, we are just along for the ride. I'm pretty sure she is going to be just fine.  

Happy birthday Tommy Waffles. We love you! XOXO