Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Things You Absolutely Shouldn't do Until the Last Month of Pregnancy

1. Start assembling your nursery. Because putting together a cheap cube organizer from Target with raging pregnancy horomones and a huge belly will not result in cursing and tears. 
2. Go to Sam's Club, by yourself. It's great exercise pushing a giant heavy cart around a warehouse. 
3. Pay for something really expensive like your dogs surgery. There's no better time to be completely broke than right before having a baby. 
4. Get in a minor car accident. Insurance agents are so comforting and nice to talk to. 
5. Pin a lot of freezer meal recipes but don't make any of them! 
6. Start reading the baby books that have been sitting on your shelf. Procrastination is always the best way. 
7. Google what a birth plan is. 

Disclaimer: This post is extremely sarcastic (shocking) and an attempt to make light of my bad luck and lack of preparation. I really am quite excited for my little one to make her arrival, and I'm sure my lack of freezer meals will not be the end of the world. :) I am actually very confident in my role as a mother, I just find it humorous when I read other "last month of pregnancy to do lists" and they include luxuries such as getting a mani-pedi... 😂😂😂 HILARIOUS. 

Thanks for reading :) 


Friday, May 1, 2015

June 3rd

"Be strong," I tell myself. Literally, out loud. I whisper it so the rest of my family doesn't think I'm crazy, talking to myself. Be strong. You are capable of SO much more than you think. I click the select button. Enter my debit card information. "Your card is about to be charged. Are you sure you want to proceed?" God, it's like they know I'm already hesitant. I click yes. Phew. Deep breaths. Be strong. Be strong. You are strong. Ticket is purchased. That's it. In one month and three days I will be back in North Carolina. I leave June 3rd. A red eye. Arrive the next day in the morning. A decent flight. Only one stop. It was the cheapest I could find. And I am terrified. 

Keegan left and I accepted that he would miss out on all the stages of pregnancy. I went to all the doctor appointments by myself. Heard our baby's heartbeat for the first time. Laid back and held my breath as the doctor rubbed that cold gel on my belly and all of a sudden there it was.. this long, weird, slight resemblance of a human.  Found out that "it" was probably, most likely a "she." I  face timed Keegan in the car after and he said he knew it. He had a feeling. Daddy's little girl. Thank god for modern technology. My belly grows bigger and he is amazed every time I show him. "I've never seen you with a belly.." He says. But he likes it. He talks to our little girl. I am so very thankful for the technology. it's still not fair. He wants to be here and he can't and it sucks for the both of us. 

I get tired of dealing with all the logistics of life by myself. I have to pay the bills, I have to make sure the house is ok back in North Carolina. I can barely remember to take my vitamins, let alone pay the Internet bill. Oops. Finally suspended Keegan's phone, three months into deployment. Go me. But I'm used to this stuff. 

I can do the bills, the payments, the budget. 

I can do doctor appointments and  people asking me a million times if dads gonna be there for the birth, and the big pregnancy milestones. 

But I couldn't buy my plane ticket, until now. 
Because I'm flying home on my two year anniversary. 
It's like the last obstacle in this deployment survival course.  (Ha, I wish.) And it's so... Funny. Because I always buy the cheapest ticket with the best flight. And that so happened to be it.
 Really, God? 
I refused at first. I'm going to be an emotional wreck, I thought. I always cry when I leave my family, add to that hormonal mess  my wedding anniversary being away from my husband and that's a recipe for a break down. 
But the thing is, the thing I had to realize, is that I am incredibly strong. I will be OK. I'm not going to make less of it and say it's just another day, no big deal. It is a big deal. It's my two year anniversary and I'm sad Keegan won't be here. I'm a deeply emotional being and that stuff is important to me. And also, I'm weary. I'm emotionally weary and I'm done doing all this alone. So when I realize the date and the significance I'm like, are you effin kidding me?
Buying the ticket was scary because it's our anniversary, and also because it means I'm leaving the security of my childhood home. It's official. It means shortly thereafter I will be giving birth... Which is another fear I have but apparently I am just conquering all my fears these days. 

  We, me and my little girl, we will be ok. We're going home and she's gonna keep cookin', I'll get the nursery ready (I'm not setting up a crib by myself, that's where I draw the line), I'll make freezer meals and do all the third trimester things. Because, as I have learned, I am capable. I am actually pretty independent. Yeah, I'm scared. But I'm not really alone.  I never am. I am strong. I got this. I got this... 
~Darien




-Just want to give a shout out to all the moms who have had to do it all alone. You are amazing. 
Also, a huge thank you to my family. Blood and marriage related. I'm so lucky I can't even thank you all enough. ❤️



Sunday, February 8, 2015

Never flying again, ever.

Today I am flying home with my dog. We are going to Washington for a couple months to be with family while Keegan is deployed. I made all the travel arrangements. I called Delta about a million times to make sure I had everything I needed and that they knew the dog was coming. Relax, customer service lady told me. Everything will be fine. I got the special kennel, I took him to the vet to get a health certificate, I took care of everything. Sounds easy enough, right? Well. My friend drops me off. I walk up to the counter. And the middle aged balding scruffy man working says, uhhhh you might want to tell her not to leave, we can't accept your dog. I get hysterical of course.. I'm like what are you talking about, I called weeks ago, blah blah blah... And basically he said they did not have room for the dog, there was no other flights tonight, so we would have to look at rebooking. I tell him to move some damn cargo, I'm getting on that flight. He says no, you're not. I tell him to go to hell and walk out. I know, not my finest moment. We will just blame it on the pregnancy hormones. SO. I'm sitting outside the airport bawling with a dog, a kennel, and a suitcase. I call delta and the lady did not like my use of the "f" word and basically made me feel like the idiot even though I did nothing wrong. I then called cargo, who said the dog should have been booked with them and wasn't, even though after calling delta to confirm my reservation previously, NO ONE mentioned that. That idiot told me to call customer service again, and THAT idiot told me to call cargo!! I was about to give up and just go home, but I decided I would give it one more try. So I called cargo and a very nice English speaking woman answered and she called the front desk people at this airport and talked to them, and basically convinced them to get me AND my dog rescheduled tonight, with free boarding at a kennel for the dog tonight since I'll have to stay in a hotel. So then this lady comes out and helps me bring all my stuff in and apologizes for how the situation was handled. She  rebooked me, and made sure my dog would get to Portland. She had no idea what she was doing and had to call like a million people but she was so nice and she made the best attempt to do something she had never done before. I'm not entirely thrilled becuase I have to stay in a hotel by myself tonight in Atlanta, they didn't give me a voucher so that's coming out of my pocket, but... I'm going home. I wish I was 100% sure my dog is gonna get there but let's just keep fingers crossed. And I have to say I normally love Delta.. But I was very disappointed today with the customer service I received. I travel A LOT and I honestly don't want to give them my business anymore. And chubby scruffy man?? What I said before still stands. I hope you get what you deserve. 



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tears

I am writing this in my rawest state of emotion. I don't know if it's a good idea or a horrible idea. I don't know what else to do right now but write. I could make a cup of tea or do yoga but those things, while relaxing, would require getting out of bed and I just don't feel like I can even do that at the moment. 

 I forgot how hard deployment is to be honest.  I want my husband to come home. But I know my husband and I know he loves being out there doing badass stuff and I would never ask him to give that up. Even if he wanted to it's not like he has a choice. This is his job and this is part of our life right now. The sacrifices he makes reminds me why I fell in love with him. 

 I don't know how I will get through this, but I know I have to, for Keegan. Right now I feel like I can't do it. I feel like the world is ending and my life is over. That's the thing about feelings, they are rarely rational. 

I am telling myself that it will get better. It has to get better, right? 


I don't have my life together. I'm stressed out. I don't know how to live on my own and do adult things. I'm scared. I'm so, so scared. I'm scared they're not going to let me keep my dog here. I'm scared the stupid realtors won't let me get out of my lease at the old house. I'm scared of having this baby on my own. I'm scared to do "life" without my best friend. 

People experience far worse things. Sickness, loss, devastating things that alter their world forever. 

I can certainly get through a seven month deployment. While it will be hard and I will miss him and each day will be a struggle, I HAVE to get through it. The reality of it is that I am incredibly blessed. I have a wonderful  husband, the love of my life. It's amazing how God has worked in our lives and our relationship. I mean we're going to have a BABY! It brings me to tears thinking about what a great dad Keegan will be. I can't wait. How lucky am I.  I have a comfortable place to live and a dog who licks my tears. A family who supports me through this all. Friends who have my back. I am the lucky one. 

Fingers crossed this is the last one, the last time we will have to be apart for so long. No more goodbyes, no more tears. And we can finally have our happily ever after. Can't wait. Xo. 







Saturday, October 4, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Latte (Broke Girl Style)

This morning was the first morning I haven't had to be at work at 5am all week, in fact I have this whole weekend off!! I woke up feeling so well rested and rejuvenated, it was amazing. I decided to wake my hubby up with a delicious, homemade, pumpkin spice "latte."

We don't have an espresso machine (I WANT ONE SO BAD!) or a milk frother or anything fancy! That's ok though, because it was still incredibly satisfying on this beautiful October morning.

Pumpkin Spice "Latte"

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups Almond Milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbs Raw Honey or Agave Nectar (or more to taste)
  • A few teaspoons of sugar or stevia (NO SPLENDA, EW)
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • HOT, strong, freshly brewed coffee OR 2 shots of espresso
  • Whipped Cream (Optional)
Directions:

  1. Add the ingredients to a small sauce pan except the coffee, stir to combine. You could add the coffee but me and my husband like different amounts of pumpkin in ours so I keep the mixture separate, giving us the option to decide the ratio of coffee to pumpkin mixture :) Heat over Medium heat until hot BUT DO NOT BRING TO A BOIL!!
  2. Remove from heat. I took my hand mixer that I already had out to make whipped cream and I tried to "froth" my milk mixture a bit. If you have a blender I'm sure that would work even better, or better yet a MILK FROTHER!! It's not necessary, just an option. 
  3. Divide the mixture between two mugs, and add coffee. I prefer about half and half, keegan likes more coffee and less of the Pumpkin Spice mixture. Stir well. Top with homemade whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. If you're trying to be healthy, skip the whip ;) Or not... it'll be our little secret. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

TACOS! (Fix Approved)

Hey Yall!! Scroll down if you don't want to read my blabber and you'll see the recipe :)

Food is so amazing. You take a few ingredients that on their own are, while beautiful and delicious, nothing spectacular. But when you put them together, they create pure magic. I am very passionate about food (obviously). The way I see it is the more you care about your food, the less likely you are to feed your body crap. I don't mean obsessing over food, counting every calorie. I mean seeing the splendor in the natural foods that God provided us. I am fortunate enough to be able to buy yummy, healthy foods for me and my husband. It's not that we are made of money...trust me, we are NOT...laughing out loud. We just put food at the top of our priorities list, after bills and that sort of stuff. We also made the decision to stop drinking, OH MY GOSH we have saved so much money! This definitely wasn't meant to be a budgeting post but really quickly..where is your money going?? If it's going to ALCOHOL over healthy food, maybe, just maybe, you should re think your priorities. If you can afford both then keep on keepin on! No judgment here. But sometimes you have to make sacrifices for your health. I would rather eat healthy than have cable, for instance! Anyways, rant over. Just remember, you are what you eat! Don't be cheap or easy ;)

We've established that I love food. OHMYGOSHHHHHH my husband made the most amazing dinner tonight. He is the best cook, way better than me! I usually do the baking, he does the cooking. Butlikeseriously I want to eat this dinner tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. It's that good. Are you ready for this?? It's super easy, promise. Your taste buds will thank you!!

Tacos Carne Asada
Carne Asada
Pico de Gallo
Guacamole
Corn Tortillas
 
 
Carne Asada
Ingredients:
 1lb Flank or Skirt Steak
Keegan's Special Marinade
Marinade:
Handful Cilantro (chopped)
3 cloves Garlic (minced, crushed, whatever) 
1/2 of a  jalepeno 
1 Lime 
2 tsp olive oil

Directions: 
Put your steak in a bowl/dish. You can either slice it or leave it whole.. Depending on how you're going to cook it. We cut it up into small pieces. Throw on your cilantro, minced garlic, diced jalapeño, and squeeze the juice out of the lime, then just toss it in there with everything else. Add your olive oil. Mix it all up.  Cover and let marinate for anywhere from one to eight hours. It will look like this. 



Not that pretty... YET!! 
 
When you're ready to cook it:

You can grill it or do it how we did, just on the stovetop in a pan on medium heat for about 5 minutes, depending on how well done you like it. Dump everything in the pan just remove the limes. No need to add extra oil. If you grill it, leave the steak whole and brush some olive oil on the grill to prevent it from sticking.

Next, let's make some Pico De Gallo!! 

Pico de Gallo 
Ingredients: 
1 onion 
1/2 of a jalapeño (depends on how spicy you want it.. You don't even need to add the jalapeño if you're a baby like me) 
2 tomatoes 
Handful ? Cilantro (Use however much your little heart desires)

Directions: 
Dice the tomatoes, onion, and jalapeño. Chop up some cilantro and mix it all together. Cover and let sit for at least a half hour to let all the flavors mingle. Easy peasy. 




Now.. GUAC!! 

Guacamole
Ingredients: 
2 avocados 
Salt & pepper 
Garlic powder 

Directions: 
Mash up the avocados. Add salt and pepper and garlic powder to taste. That's all. We are simple folks.

It should look green and mushy... if not, you did something wrong.
 
Ok, let's cook the steak!! Directions are above but in case you are challenged, just remember medium heat for about 5 minutes. The marinade already has enough juices and oil you don't need to add anything extra. 

You can eat it as a steak or as tacos.. We made tacos! 



I soon realized I would never fit that all in my mouth and rearranged it to two tacos. 



Oh and if you're doing the 21 Day Fix, check it out 👇👇👇



BAM you're welcome. 
Easy, healthy, DELICIOUS!
Enjoy. 

 
 
 
 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

September 11, 2014-Chicken and Dumplings Simplified

Hey ya'll!

By popular demand here is the recipe for Chicken and Dumplings, which was actually given to me by my Mother in Law, so thanks Meaghan! It's so easy, even I, the challenged one, can make it.

Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings

Ingredients:

-Three chicken breasts (I just cut mine in half, you can also cube them)
-One carton chicken broth (I used three packets of chicken bullion and five cups water)
-One can cream of chicken soup
-One bag frozen mixed veggies
-One can buttermilk biscuits
-Seasoning of choice (My MIL uses Johnny's)

Directions:
Place chicken, chicken broth, cream of chicken, veggies, and seasoning (I used salt, pepper, and garlic powder) in crock pot. You want there to be enough liquid so that it's covered. Cook on high 4 hours or low 6-8 hours. The last hour of cooking quarter the biscuits, roll each one, and drop in the crock pot. Don't stir, just close the lid and let it be. Come back and TAAA- DAAA! Delicious chicken and dumplings. Talk about comfort food.. this hits the spot. Spoon that goodness into a bowl and enjoy! Don't forget to share with your loved ones.

P.S I had to buy everything for this except the bullion and the seasoning...spent only $8.00 and it made a ton, AND I have a chicken breast left over that I can use for lunch tomorrow.

I also bought generic brand veggies and biscuits, cause I'm poor.

I would love to try and healthify this because this is more of a cheat meal for me, and I already have a sodium headache. (It was so worth it, though) I'm thinking homemade chicken stock, try to find a sub for the cream of chicken, and make my own dumplings? I don't know, I'm definitely not a chef! If I figure something out I will definitely let y'all know.


I couldn't get a good picture. I know, I know, I'm sorry.
But here's my cute dog :)