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Captain’s Log: A Hot Mess.

December 31, 2019. We are home owners. The family was seeing some awesome things happen, I’d just gotten a full time job, and it looked like things were going to be awesome. We celebrated New Year’s Eve and started January with bright eyes and bushy tails.

February 2020. It seemed that nothing was right. Family life was tiring- the kiddo’s disabilities made me feel like a failure as a mother. Mom-in-law had moved in and it wasn’t a good fit for her, so she moved out. The Husband was frustrated with MIL moving out. The new job, though I loved it, wasn’t exactly the dreamiest of dreams. I was doing my best, though it felt like I was putting out fires everywhere. My social life was suffering. Little did I know.

Friday, March 13, 2020. We were in lock-down. My job was furloughed, and over before it could even begin. It was deflating to find out that I received more money on Unemployment than working my full-time job. At first, I was freaked out by the isolation. Me, the hubby, the kid- all very extroverted. We were always out and about. Being at home, spending quality time with one another was really good for us. And we were saving more money by not going out all the time. Little did I know how much we would need it.

April-May 2020. I started using my free time, reading recipe books and watching YouTube videos on how to cook. I learned how to cook. I roasted lots of chickens. I even learned what spatch-cocking was. Before this time, the husband was responsible for the cooking. Then I took on the responsibility. And I cook very well now. It’s the clean up that’s now the struggle.

June-July-August 2020. Lots of virtual meet ups with friends and family. My Kiddo turned 2 Years Old! Lots of Zoom Birthday Celebrations. I was “officially” fired from my job two days before we were supposed to be brought back on. Grief. Relief. Lots of depression.

September-October-November-December 2020. I started a small pod. Wrangling toddlers. Birthday for the Hubby. 8 Year Anniversary. Halloween. Thanksgiving. Christmas.

January-February 2021. Just terrible things happening in the world. Rays of hope: Biden & Harris are the new leaders for America. Texas gets a little snow. The kiddo plays in snow. Texas Blizzard aka SnowVid2021. More Quarantine. More Cooking Food.

March-April-May 2021. Weather changes. Beginning to burn out with teaching. CoVid scare in the pod. Me and the husband get tested and vaccinated as soon as we possibly could. J&J- one and done. Symptoms were headache, fever, and muscles soreness which lasted for a day and a half for me, and only a day for the husband. The site of the shot was sore for a full week for me, the husband didn’t notice it too much.

June-July 2021. Finally socializing again! Lots of Camping. Beach! So Many Birthday Parties! Kiddo turns 3 Years Old!

August 2021. Delta Variant shuts down plans. Another CoVid exposure. Depression. Anger. Grief. Frustration. Toddler Pod Ends. I am toast.

August 31, 2021. Things are awful, great, weird, tiring, full, and just a spaghetti jumble of feelings and thoughts. So I’m going to blog again to make sense of this hot mess. It may not stick because I just flit here and there, and we’re in a pandemic. September is coming. Let’s do this.

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It’s Been a While…

And no, I’m not talking about that song by Staind.

I have gone a lot longer without posting, but usually, November is the month that I amp up on writing.  This November is a little different.  I am not doing NaNoWriMo formally this year.  I am opting to write with Rob on a project we’ve been talking about for years now.  It’s very loosely based on our first year of marriage.  There’s a lot of misunderstanding and love involved.  And that’s all that I’m going to reveal for now.

At this moment, I feel full of hope for the future.  Weird, given the global climate of the country, and the state of things.  In spite of the trauma and despair that the world is going through, a lot of things that are personally happening have filled me with joy.  Rob and I have been steadily getting rid of unnecessary things, I’m getting closer to feeling like heaven is my true home, and all this material nesting stuff that pottery barn has told me that I needed is really just crap.  I’ve been really trying to weigh the value of the stuff I have.  Asking myself, do I really need this?  I am minimizing, while also storing up those treasures for heaven.

We’ve been living in 390 square feet of space for the past two years. We originally wanted to build a tiny house, but we moved into this efficiency apartment to see if we could live in a small space and still stand each other.  It was a great move for us.  Not sure if the tiny house thing is still going to happen because we’ve gotten real comfy with our situation. We have two cats and a dog, and moving is just hard on our critters. With the rise of property costs in Austin, we’ve been resting in the present, while also staying mindful of the future.  If we do have to make another move, it will likely be in the home where we root and raise a family.  Austin might be our home, but heaven… I’m keeping my eyes fixed on it.  Not worrying about my current living situation because I am well taken care of at the moment.

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33

Growing up, my family always had a big party for my sister and my birthdays.  Our birthdays are four days apart, and it was always easier to have a big party for the both of us, so I’ve grown accustomed to having big birthday parties.  I won’t lie, I’d love to have a big celebration, but I also have one big fear.

What if I throw a party and no one shows up?

I know, it sounds stupid, but it’s a legitimate worry that I have, so I usually try to do several events.

Here are thirty three ideas that I have for birthday events.  I’m not going to get to do all of them, but at least there’s a starting point.

  1. Go Camping
  2. Ice Cream Social
  3. Birthday Breakfast
  4. Birthday Lunch
  5. Birthday Dinner
  6. Tres Leches Cake Tasting
  7. Karaoke Room
  8. Picnic Party
  9. Swing Dancing
  10. Wine and Cheese Tasting
  11. Board Game Party
  12. Escape Room
  13. Make Art
  14. Make a Movie
  15. Pool Party
  16. Tea Party
  17. Mall Rats Scavenger Hunt
  18. City Scavenger Hunt
  19. Blazer Tag
  20. Food Crawl
  21. Build a Bear
  22. Lush Treatment
  23. Get a Massage
  24. Rock Climbing
  25. Rent Bikes and Ride
  26. Cocktail Crawl
  27. Musical Marathon
  28. Crazy Outfit Thrifting
  29. Cupcake Decorating
  30. Amusement Park
  31. Costume Party
  32. Day Trip
  33. Birthday Blessings/Prayers
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Holy Hamantaschen!

Chag Purim Sameach!  Or Happy Purim, Y’all!  I’m not Jewish, but I like holidays.  And this one strikes a particular chord because it’s the story of Esther- the “foreign” queen who saves her people from genocide.  Yaaaas, queen!  On a side note, can we please have more celebrations of women who do awesome things?

In honor of this day, I made some hamantaschen.  What is that, you ask?  They are cookies that symbolize the holiday’s origins.  You see, Haman was the evil dude who wanted to get rid of the Jews.  So he bribed King Xerxes, but Esther helped to save her people, and Haman was executed.

Some say that hamantaschen are supposed to be “Haman’s Pockets” as in the money that he bribed King Xerxes with; others say it’s “Haman’s Ears” as in the cutting off of criminals ears which happened to Haman, as well as being executed (?).  I didn’t do a thorough fact check on this, so forgive me if that’s incorrect.hamantaschen

Now, I am on a very particular diet, which is grain free, gluten free, sugar free, caffeine free, alcohol free, gmo free, cage free, organic, grass fed, wild caught, fair trade, and a lot of other hippy dippy stuff that limits what I can eat. So I’ve had to look up ingredients from every where and modify my own hamantaschen recipe.

ANYWAY.  COOKIES.  YOU WANT THESE COOKIES. Here’s what you’ll need:20170311_101705-1 20170311_104556-1 20170311_175735-1

1 & 1/2 cups of almond flour
2 tablespoons of xylitol (can be found at whole foods/natural grocers/wheatsville)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons softened butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon almond extract (or vanilla, I prefer almond)
Circular cookie cutters
Jams that you like (with no sugar added)
Parchment paper
Baking Sheet
Time

Step 1: Mix your dry items together in a bowl.  On a slow speed (if you’re using a mixer), mix in your wet ingredients.  This is the order I mixed it in: started with butter, then milk, then extract, and lastly coconut oil. The consistency may seem crumbly at first, but if you mash your finger into it, and it seems soft and doughy, then it’s good for the next step.

Step 2: Get two pieces of parchment paper and roll out your dough between them.  You can make them as thick or thin as you want, but thinner dough is a little bit more difficult to shape them and cut without it crumbling apart (because almond flour is not as sturdy as regular).  Then refrigerate until your dough is firm (30 min-1 hr).
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Step 3: Once your dough is firm, using circular cookie cutters, cut out your dough.  My first attempt, I rolled it too thin in spots, and the dough would crumble.
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Step 4: Set your oven to bake on 350 degrees, and add your jam!!! Now, I’m not going to tell you how much or how little to put in your hamantaschen… that choice is yours.  You might want to test. I put in one spoon for the smaller ones, and two spoons for the bigger ones.  The choice is yours.  Oh, also, you might want to do a test run of folding them before you put all your jam in them… because I ended up getting jam all over my arms, but eventually found a way of folding the dough into triangles that worked for me.

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Step 5: Bake for about 8 minutes, let them cool off for about 5 minutes, and then eat and enjoy!!!

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31-derful

Yesterday was my 31st birthday, and every year, I aspire to become a better version of my current self. I am in dire need of an upgrade, as is my blog. So in honor of this new year of life, I have a list of thrity one-derful (that’s oh-nedder-full) things I want to accomplish by next April.

1. Grow my relationship with God through prayer, Bible study, and worship
2. Run a 10K – this is already in the works, I’m running one April 12th
3. Complete another 365 picture challenge
4. Make and sell some bath bombs, cupcakes, and costumes
5. Write a ten minute play
6. Finish reading the complete works of Jane Austen
7. Get to the 1960’s in my Oscar Winning Movie Watching
8. Write a song on the Ukulele
9. Start a Vlog with my hubby Rob
10. Build a loft for our bed
11. Finish our Wedding Album
12. Find a job that I love
13. Run a 1/2 Marathon
14. Get back into Yoga once a week
15. Get all toxins out of my home and change to homeopathic cleaners
16. Volunteer with food banks or homeless ministries
17. Keep mentoring and focusing on youth and kids
18. Send more letters and gifts to friends and family to let them know I love them
19. Finish Baby Steps 1 & 2 of Dave Ramsey FPU.
20. Make it a ritual to Skype with my family every Sunday
21. Get a new stamp in my passport
22. Host a Wine and Cheese Party
23. Go swimming at Barton Springs
24. Get BBQ at Franklin’s
25. Go hiking at least once a month
26. Get back into Bouldering and Rock Climbing
27. Volunteer at a Horse Ranch and Ride
28. Reread and Own Madeleine L’engle’s Wrinkle in Time Series
29. Start and Finish Madeleine L’engle’s Meet The Austin Series
30. Get a massage for each season, spring, summer, winter, and fall
31. Begin to train for a marathon