Just checking in.....

Oh how I miss blogging.  And I miss keeping up with all of you!!  And soon I should be back at it!
  For now?!  Well in addition to saying goodbye to hubby and doing my best to help the boys adjust to all that goes along with that, I got to move our entire household!  Whew!  It has been a CRAZY couple of weeks of packing, painting, moving, unpacking, dealing with ridiculous issue after issue at our new house but we're getting there! 
I've been so incredibly humbled by the amount of help and work that our friends & church family have put into making this move happen!!  HOURS of help!  Asking for help is one of the hardest things for me but I am SO grateful for everything that so many people have done!
It has been a challenging, long, exhausting time for me but God has been so faithful to give me the strength to push through.  And so faithful to bless me with encouragement in so many ways when I feel like I can't go on.  Things are coming along at the new house and I will be back as soon as possible with some pictures and stories of our moving adventure!
Hope all is well w/ you!!  Be back soon!! =)
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
~Psalm 27:14~


Another No Menu Monday....

There is no menu this week. 
There is only me doing my best to hold it together for the sake of my family as we prepare to say goodbye to daddy this week.  We have been so very blessed to have John home with us for the last almost 5 years, but now?  Duty calls.  And so, its time to put my brave face on and be all that my family needs me to be.  To support my husband as he so bravely says goodbye to his boys and to me so that he can fill the role that the Navy needs him to.  To hold my boys, pray like crazy for them and do all that I can to reassure them of their daddy's love for them.  To remind them daily how blessed they are to have a real life hero for a daddy! 
The life of a military family is not easy, but we have been immensely blessed on our military journey and we are so so very proud of John!  We appreciate any prayer you can spare for our family as we work through the emotion and adjustment that comes along with these goodbyes! 
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
~John 14:27~


Menu Monday

Happy Monday Y'all!!
We are slowly settling into a somewhat routine with our schooling around here and gearing up for some major changes for our family.  We've chosen to not share details here, but our family could use your prayers ~ we are facing an incredibly challenging transition in the next few weeks and then a very tough few years.  If you'd like to pray specifically, please email me and I would be happy to share more!  But for now, lets get to the good stuff!
Here's what will fill Miculka tummies this week.....
*Monday ~ Crockpot Creamy Italian Chicken & Rice w/ Green Beans
*Tuesday ~ Chicken Pot Pie
*Wednesday ~ Crockpot Swiss Chicken w/ Broccoli
*Thursday ~Breakfast for Dinner ~ Breakfast Burritos
*Friday ~ Make your own Pizzas
*Saturday ~ Chili, Cornbread, & Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake
*Sunday ~ Leftovers/Clean out Fridge in preparation to leave for VACATION!!! =)
Hope your week is off to a great start and that it is full of love & joy!
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.
~Hebrews 3:13~


Menu Monday....on Tuesday ;)

Its Menu Monday time.....on Tuesday!!  I've got to keep ya guessing you know!  Ha!  In all reality life is crazy and I just got around to making a menu super late last night and I'm going grocery shopping today!  Better late than never right?!
First day of school here in our home was yesterday and it was a challenging day but I'm excited to work through the kinks and settle into the new curriculum we're using and make it work for us!!  A 7th & 3rd grader ~ I know I know ~ I don't look old enough to have a 7th grader!!  ;)  Totally kidding but it really does blow.my.mind that they are growing up SO fast!
Here's what will fuel our crazy this week.....
*Tuesday ~ Baked Lemon Poppyseed Chicken over Spinach w/ Strawberries
(have you tried this yet?!  if not then go to the store, buy the groceries & MAKE IT!  Quick....before summer is over!!!)
*Wednesday ~ Crockpot Asian Glazed Chicken over Rice w/ Broccoli
*Thursday ~ Breakfast for Dinner
*Friday ~ Crockpot Beef Stroganoff over Pasta w/ Asparagus
(see recipe below!)
*Saturday ~ Fajitas
*Sunday ~ Crockpot Potato Soup
I'm hungry just thinking about some of these and I'm excited to try the Asian Glazed Chicken for the first time!!  Here is the recipe for the Beef Stroganoff....it's super simple but sooo flavorful!
Crockpot Beef Stroganoff
2 - 3lbs beef stew meat
1 can cream of mushroom
1 envelope beefy onion soup mix
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (or more!)
1 C sour cream
Mix everything except sour cream in crockpot.  Cook on low 8 - 10 hours (or high for 6 - 8) until meat is very tender.  Do not open lid for at least the first few hours!  About 30-45 minutes before serving, mix in sour cream, & heat through.
Serve over pasta and Enjoy!!
**A lot of people like mushrooms in this....I'm not a fan of mushrooms, but by all means if you like them then throw those in too!!**
Hope everyone's week is off to a great start!!
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
~Isaiah 26:3~


Menu Monday ~ I'm back!!!

Well.  That was a ridiculously long and unexpected blog break but I'm back!!  I can't believe summer is coming to an end (even if the weather doesn't agree!) and that kiddos are all headed back to school.  The schools in our area start back today but I won't be starting with the boys quite yet.  I will, however, be getting us back into a routine this week so that we'll be ready to start!
Step 1 in getting back in the swing of things?!  Actually plan a menu and do real grocery shopping!!  Here's what will be fueling our week of summer recovery.....
Monday ~ Tacos
Tuesday ~ Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken w/ Jasmine Rice & Peas
Wednesday ~ Maple Walnut Chicken w/ Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Friday ~ Grilled Cheese Sandwiches & Veggie Soup (daddy will be out for the evening so I'm keeping it super simple!!)
Saturday ~ We'll be grilling at a friends party and I'm making Asian Chicken Salad!!
Sunday ~ Skillet Sausage, Rice Pilaf, & Asparagus
There is so much to blog about from the summer but our lives are about to be turned upside down (in a hard but not necessarily bad way) so I'm sure I won't get to share about all of it, but I'm going to try to back track a little over the next couple weeks and blog some of it!  Hope everyone has enjoyed the summer!!  And if you're anything like me, you are ready to welcome fall with open arms! ;)

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
~James 4:10~


Not so Menu Monday

A menu for this week just isn't happening for a couple of reasons!
A certain little someone in our home has a birthday this week and we are excited about celebrating him and all the joy he has brought our family the last 2 years!!
Also?  My mother in law is coming to visit this week and we are looking forward to having her here!  The big boys have been making all kinds of fun plans with her and she will get to be a part of Dylan's party too!!
And??  It's summatime.  We've been spending a lot of time at the beach and kind of throwing plans out the window!  For example, Saturday evening it had been rainy and stormy all day and was starting to clear up a little so we decided to head out to eat.  On the way, we changed our minds, picked up ice cream for dinner and headed to the beach!  The boys were all in regular clothes, we had no chairs, blankets, towels but ya know?!  We had so much fun!!  And in case you were questioning my standings in the race for mother of the year?!  My kids ate chips for dinner at the beach last night!  They did share with the seagulls so that counts as a lesson in sharing right?!!  ha!!  Ice cream for dinner one night and chips for dinner the next ~ whatevs!  I'm loving just being in the moment and enjoying time with family and friends!
This week will be busy and tons of fun and I have no idea what we'll be eating!! I'll figure it out as we go!!  Hope everyone had a great weekend and that you take some time to throw caution to the wind this week and just have FUN!!
I'll be back to my menu planning ways soon!


Menu Monday

This little blog of mine sure isn't getting much love this summer!  We've been so busy having fun that the week flies by and before I know it, its Monday again and I haven't blogged in a week! 
Our long 4th of July weekend was full of so much FUN!  We kicked off the celebrating on Wednesday night and didn't stop until we fell into bed last night!!  And this week we roll right into VBS at our church which the kiddos are super excited about!! 
Needless to say, several of the meals on this weeks menu are one's that I had planned for last week and they didn't happen!  (which just makes my job as a menu planner pretty easy this week!)  ;) 
Monday ~ Crockpot Potato Soup
Tuesday ~ Tacos
Wednesday ~ Grilled Carolina Country Chicken w/ Asparagus & Baked Beans
Thursday ~ Meatballs in Vodka Sauce w/ Green Beans
Friday ~ Creamy Italian Chicken & Rice w/ Broccoli
Saturday ~ Cookout & Swimming w/ friends!!
Sunday ~ Take Out or Leftovers
Hope everyone had a fantastic holiday weekend and that you are enjoying lots of summer fun in the sun!!!
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
~Psalm 118:24~


Menu Monday

Well ~ we officially wrapped up our first year of homeschooling and had our evaluation done on Friday!!  The boys are excited and I'm so grateful for the challenge & blessing that homeschooling has been!  This week brings one of my favorite holidays and lots of fun planned with friends!!
Here's what we'll be fillin' up on this week....
Monday ~ Lemon Bell Pepper Chicken w/ Jasmine Rice
Tuesday ~ Crockpot Chicken w/ Green Beans
(this will be 1st time ever cooking a whole chicken....)
Wednesday ~ Tacos
Thursday ~ Happy Birthday America!!!  We're going to a BBQ w/ some friends and I'm making Broccoli Salad!!
Friday ~ Crockpot Potato Soup
Saturday ~ Grilled Carolina Country Chicken w/ Baked Beans & Asparagus
Sunday ~ We'll be at a bday party!!
Hope your week is off to a great start and that you all enjoy celebrating this amazing country we are so blessed to call home!!! 
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
~Proverbs 31:30~



On Friday afternoon, when Dylan woke up from his nap, we loaded up and headed out to the beach to meet some friends!  Our friends were fishing and Tamra and Kyle decided to play a trick on Josh and make him think they had hooked something big!  Literally right as we were walking up, they realized that the joke was on them because there WAS something on the line!!!  So the excitement built as the guys slowly reeled in their catch, and as it got closer we could see the fins in the water....
It was a shark!!!  A 5'2" shark!!!  My boys were over the moon with excitement!!!  Can we say perfect timing?!!  We got there just in time to get to be in on the fun!
the big boys!
me & Tamra holding it!!
grrr...can't figure out why this pic is posting sideways but here's all the bigger kiddos holding the shark!

After the excitement wore down a little, the kiddos all played!

whats better than football?!  football in the ocean of course!!
lil man had fun playing in the sand w/ baby K!
This was definitely my first run in with a shark in the wild and I hope the only time I ever encounter a wild shark it will be on the end of a fishing pole!!!  We had such a good time ~ we're so blessed to live by some of the most beautiful beaches and have some of the greatest friends!! We are doing our best to spend as much time as we can enjoying both before we move!

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
~John 10:10~


Menu Monday

I can't believe it's already Monday again!!!  The lack of routine in the summer is so welcome in some ways but it really does throw me off in a lot of ways too! (truth be told, I'm a routine kind of girl but I'm doing my best to just embrace this lack of routine and be in the moment w/ my sweet family) 
We had a great weekend!  You'll have to check back tomorrow to read about our experience with a shark at the beach!!  This week we will complete our 1st year of homeschooling and we have some fun planned too!
Here's what will fuel the madness in the Miculka home this week.....
Monday ~ BBQ Chicken w/ Green Beans
Tuesday ~ Crockpot Brown Sugar Chicken w/ Jasmine Rice & Broccoli
Wednesday ~ Breakfast for Dinner....Ham, Scrambled Eggs & Hashbrowns
Thursday ~ Enchiladas w/ Pinto Beans
Friday ~ Pecan Crusted Chicken w/ Peas
(i shared the recipe for this one HERE...last time we made it we used a mix of walnuts, pecans & almonds and it was even better!!)
Saturday ~ Lemon Bell Pepper Chicken w/ Jasmine Rice
Sunday ~ Baked Potato Bar
So...I'd love to hear what your favorite summer meal is!!  I'm always looking for new meal inspiration and tried and true recipes that you already love are the best!!  Please do comment and share!!
Hope your week is off to a great start!!
Therefore do no worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.
~Matthew 6:34~


Menu Monday

We had a great Father's Day weekend celebrating my hubby and the wonderful daddy that he is to our boys!!  We still have a couple weeks of schoolwork to finish up with the big boys, I'm knee deep in planning Dylan's 2nd birthday party, and of course we want to mix some fun in the sun in there too ~ we have lots to keep us busy this week!!
Here's what we'll be eatin'......
Monday ~ Italian Turkey Meatballs w/ Green Beans
Tuesday ~ Sausage, Potato & Veggie Bake
Wednesday ~ Fajitas w/ Homemade Guacamole
(the best homemade Guac....check it out. try it. love it!)
Thursday ~ Baked Lemon Poppyseed Chicken over Spinach w/ Strawberries
(this one is SO light, quick, & super easy! this isn't the first time I've linked to it and I'm sure it won't be the last!!)
Saturday ~ BBQ Chicken w/ Baked Beans & Salad
Sunday ~ Frozen Dinners <~~~ keepin' it real! ha!
Do y'all follow Sheaffer over @ Pinterest Told Me To?!!  If not, then start NOW!!  She's hilarious and fun and sweet and ya just HAVE to head over and check it out mmmkay?!  I will be eating a frozen meal that she swears by in THIS post!)
And of course, I'm linking to several of my favorite recipes from Shay @ Mix and Match Mama and if you haven't ever checked her recipe blog out then GO! NOW!  Lots of great recipes that are simple, delicious and do-able for busy wifey's and mommy's!!
Hope y'all all have a wonderful week!!!
Be kind and compassionate to one another, just as in Christ God forgave you.
~Ephesians 4:32~


Instagram Fun #5

Occasionally, I like to go back through my Instagram pictures and choose some of my favorites to share here!  Two reasons for this...1) Its fun to go back through and remember the circumstances from each picture!  A little trip down memory lane!  And 2) I feel like I blog about the bigger moments/events in life but really the little moments that make up each day are so special and I want to document some of those moments here too!
So...here are some my favorites from the last several weeks.....
Dylan wanted me to color with him one morning and of course I couldn't say no, but seriously?  My artistic skills leave much to be desired! ha!  But he loved it! ;)

playing with friends at the park.  is there anything cuter than toddler friends?!

Dylan figured out how to pop the door knob covers off so keeping him out of things is a full time job! I walked in the kitchen one day to find this...... {sigh}

I still rock and snuggle littlest everyday before his nap.  Its one of my favorite times of the day! (and the fact that he grinned behind his binky when I took this cracks me up!!!)

Headed to the beach one morning w/ my rowdy crew!

this day was a particularly rough one with Dylan and here he was upset because I wouldn't give him a donut from on top of the fridge (where they were strategically placed out of his reach) and he was very seriously trying to get one himself. crazy child!

Saturday nights get pretty wild around here ~ Chicago fire on Hulu and painting my nails! ;)

My happy place ~ on the couch in my comfies, glass of wine in hand, doing some shopping online, & watching The Bachelorette on tv!!  Multi tasking at its finest!
I just love that Instagram gives me an easy way to document the little moments and to connect with others too!!  So tell me.....what is your favorite way to be sure you remember all the little moments in your day to day?!
I'd love to have you follow along on Instagram ~ I'm @sassyaubs!!
A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all;
~Psalm 34:19~


Birthday Fun!

We had so much fun celebrating Colby and Brayden's birthdays for the last week!!!  They each woke up to a birthday banner, balloons, and a new book on their special day!  Then we went to visit my wonderful friend Teresa, who owns our favorite local coffee shop, and picked up the muffins she made for each of them on their day!  She made them their favorites ~ Colby chose lemon poppyseed and Brayden chose chocolate!  And we ended both days with their chosen birthday dinners & desserts!
Colby enjoying his birthday dinner!

the boys and Mrs. Teresa!

Sweet boys enjoying Brayden's dessert choice together!
Then yesterday, we had their birthday party with some of their friends!  I went super easy this year and just had it at a local arcade/laser tag place and they had a BLAST!! 
the whole crew!

lil man playing too!

pizza time!

12 candles to blow out!!

that's some serious candle blowing going on....haha!

not even sure what brought this on but yeah. cupcake smash. ;)

on our way out ~ we had SO much fun!
I'm so blessed to be these boys mom and I had so much fun celebrating them this last week!!  A new year has begun for them and I'm looking forward to seeing what God has in store for them this year!
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all - how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
~Romans 8:32~


Menu Monday

Another great weekend is in the books!!  Is it just me or is this year FLYING by?!  I feel like every time I blink another month has gone by!  We have the big boys birthday party today and the excitement level in our home this morning is pretty out of control!! =)  Looking forward to the week with my sweet little family ~ we're still finishing up our school year and I've got lots of planning to do for summer activities and littlest's birthday party!!
Here's what we'll be filling our tummies with this week....
Monday ~ Tacos
Tuesday ~ Carolina Country Chicken w/ Green Beans
(this is one of my trusty McCormick Grill Mates marinades!)
Wednesday ~ Breakfast for Dinner...Sausage, Scrambled Eggs & Watermelon
Thursday ~ Skillet Sausage w/ Couscous & Broccoli
(these sweet potatoes are one of our FAVE side dishes!!)
Saturday ~ Grill Burgers w/ Baked Beans & Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Sunday ~ Rotisserie Chicken w/ Peas
I've let busyness get in the way of my nutrition goals the last few weeks but I'm getting back on track this week!!  I am committing to turning in food logs to my trainer every week for the next 4 weeks and that accountability is a sure way for me to deny the temptation to indulge!! 
Have a fantastic week!!
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
~Matthew 11:28~


Happy Happy Birthday Brayden!!

We get to celebrate another birthday boy today!!  Brayden is 8!!  Where in the world has the time gone?!  I remember feeling like I would never get to sleep again.  And I remember feeling like those nights would never end.  But I blinked and here I am.  That sweet, no sleeping baby is eight years old.  And what a blessing that God chose me to be his mama!!
birthday boy!! =)
Brayden James, what a sweet blessing you are!  I wondered through my pregnancy how I could possibly love another baby as much as I did your brother.  And then they laid you in my arms that first time and you stole my heart!  I still don't know how, but I know that I do.  I love you more than you will ever know!  You are so full of energy and spunk.  You know what you want and you will stop at nothing to get it.  That strong will of yours exhausts me at times but I just know that God is going to use it in big ways for His glory!  You are the family clown ~ always making us laugh!!  You have a heart the size of Texas and you've yet to meet a sport you don't love!  Your giggles melt me and your love for life inspires me. 
I can't imagine our family without you!  You are so much like me and that challenges me in such unexpected ways! Your a blessing to everyone who knows you and you are so full of joy that its contagious.  You take your role as a big brother very serious and you do such a great job of loving your baby brother! (and your big brother too!)  You are my charming, sweet, loving, strong willed little man and I'm so thankful for you!
Keep your eyes on Jesus my love!  He has amazing plans for you and I can't wait to see that unfold!!  Your daddy and I are so very proud of you and always will be!  Never lose that determination and charm that make you uniquely you! 
Happy Happy Birthday to the sweetest 8 year old there is!!!
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
~Jeremiah 29:11~


Sarah's Visit

You know how there are girlfriends and then there are those friends that become more like sisters?!  Sarah's friendship is such a treasured blessing to me and she is definitely more like a sister!  We had SO much fun while she was here!!  We didn't do a whole lot of anything special, but still had such a great time!
We did dinner w/ some of my girlfriends here, had an Origami Owl party, and did lots of shopping...all of which I have NO pictures! Boo!!  I've got to get better about that!
I put Sarah to work one night helping me make decorations for a women's ministry event at my church!  We laughed so much and had so much fun!!
late night no make-up decoration makin' fools! =)
We went to the beach a couple of times.  The first time it was red flag, miserably windy, & crazy rough water so we let the boys get out for a few minutes but didn't stay long.  The 2nd try was much more successful!!  We did have to leave because of a storm rolling in, but we were able to let the boys play and we enjoyed getting sunburnt a little sun!
this lil stinker had just thrown sand right at Sarah and thought it was so funny! ;)

Sarah snapped this sweet pic of me w/ my boys ~ love it!

another sweet pic that Sarah snapped w/o me knowing!

love these 2 crazy boys!!

me and Sarah!! 

the storm rolling in when we were leaving the beach was crazy! top pic is looking out the drivers side window; middle pic is out the passenger window; and the bottom pic is looking strait ahead....crazy huh?!
Then before I knew it, her week here was over and we were headed back to the airport. 
one last pic before heading to the airport to drop her off.
Her visit was such a blessing for me!!  We laughed A LOT and I love that even though we go a couple of years without seeing each other, it's always like no time has passed!  I miss her already and can't wait for the next time I get to see her!

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
~1 John 5:14~


Happiest Birthday Colby!

My baby is 12. TWELVE!!  It seems like just last month I was walking through the house bouncing him for hours and hours because it was the only thing that kept him from crying.  And it seems like just yesterday he was playing in his first little soccer season and graduating kindergarten.  Now?!  He's 12.  Going into 7th grade and growing more and more independent all the time!  I wouldn't trade a single moment of being this boy's mom....the good, the ugly and every moment in between....I wouldn't change a thing!
wearing a waffle house hat during his birthday dinner tonight!
Colby, my sweet sweet boy ~ I'm really not sure that I can put my love for you into words.  You made me a mama.  And you have blessed me more than I ever could of dreamed.  You have the biggest heart and the best contagious laugh so full of joy.  Your love for the Lord humbles and inspires me.  You are so helpful and are the BEST big brother!  Your intelligence and love for learning fascinate me. 
Sometimes I am tempted to wish that time would stop.  That you wouldn't grow up so fast.  But then I would miss seeing you learn and day by day become the young man God created you to be.  You truly amaze me and I get so excited when I think of all that God has in store for you!  
Keep being you and never stop running after Jesus my sweet boy ~ he'll never lead you astray.  And know that your Dad and I are so very proud of you and will be your biggest supporters and cheerleaders every step of the way. 
Happiest Birthday to my absolute favorite 12 year old!!!!

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
~Jeremiah 1:5~


Menu Monday

This is a mega birthday week in our home and I'm so excited to celebrate two of our boys!!  One of our birthday traditions with the boys is that they get to choose the dinner menu for their birthday.  They LOVE this and look forward to it each year!  So twice this week, we will be eating birthday dinners chosen by our 12 and 8 year olds! {y'all...how is it possible that they are turning 12 & 8??!!}
Here's what will fuel our celebration all week....
**Monday ~ Grouch Chicken w/ Roasted Squash & Onions
**Tuesday ~ HAPPY BIRTHDAY COLBY!!  Waffle House {gag} ;) and Donuts for dessert
**Wednesday ~ Pecan Crusted Chicken w/ Broccoli
{click HERE for recipe!}
**Thursday ~ Carolina Country Chicken w/ Asparagus
**Friday ~ HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRAYDEN!!  He chose Homemade Pizzas w/ Meemi's Green Beans & Beets and Hershey's Ice Cream Shop for dessert
**Saturday ~ Tacos
**Sunday ~ Baked Lemon Poppyseed Chicken over Spinach w/ Sliced Strawberries
Okay.  So a few noteworthy things to mention here.....
*Before moving here I had always heard all about Waffle House.  We moved here and I was all pumped to try it and ummmm....no.  Far from impressed.  But Colby LOVES it and since its his birthday and all about him for the day, Waffle House it is. 
*Brayden's birthday menu cracks.me.up.  The boy is crazy!  Meemi's green beans just means that it is canned green beans and they are cooked in chicken broth....that's how my Meemi makes them and he loves them.  And beets?!  The boy will hardly eat anything with nutritional value without a fight but he loves pickled beets. So pizza, green beans & pickled beets....mmmmkay.  Hardly the norm but I'm rolling with it! ha!
*This baked lemon poppyseed chicken is amazing.  Y'all...we had it last week and we're having it again and for the love of all that is good and tasty would you just make this meal and then come tell me how right I am?!  I'm pretty surious about this ~ just make it. now. And then thank me later!
Alright...I'm off to enjoy our week o' celebration!!  Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!!
Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him.
~Psalm 127:3~



This week is turning out to be even crazier than I anticipated!!  Its all good crazy though and I'm having so much fun with Sarah!  Everything is just so much more fun when you get to do it with a friend!
Here's a peek at some of what is occupying my time......
The older boys both have birthdays next week so I'm finalizing party plans and finishing gift shopping!!  We're going super easy this year and having the party at a local arcade/laser tag place and they are SO excited! 
We have our last women's ministry event at church tonight before we take a break for the summer and we've been busy planning and getting ready!  Sarah and I were up really late last night making tissue poms and laughing a lot!!  The combo of exhaustion and time with a best friend make for some good laughter and a lot of it!
Sarah sells Origami Owl and I'm hosting a party for her while she's here!!  I'm totally looking forward to a fun girls night and still trying to decide what food I'm making!  Yeah...the party is tomorrow night and I still don't even have food plans finalized...ha!  It will all come together! ;)
Check out her page @ http://sarahsmith.origamiowl.com!
But for now?  This morning we are headed here.....
Life is a little crazy for now but really I'm just crazy blessed!!  What are you up to this week?!  Hope you're all having a great week!

What, then, shall we say in response to this?  If God is for us, who can be against us?
~Romans 8:31~


Memorial Day & Menu Monday

Memorial Day. 
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
~John 15:13~
Words fail me.  I feel there just aren't words to adequately sum up the sacrifice.  To truly express the gratitude to each person who's heart is incomplete because their loved one left to serve and didn't come home.  Maybe my tears?  Maybe that's as close as it gets.  The tears that fall every time I allow myself to really consider it.  The selflessness of it all.  These men and women lay down their lives for me.  For my family.  For you and the ones you love.  There just aren't words.  So I'll pray peace and comfort that only the Lord can give.  And I'll remember....not just today but often.  Every time I see our majestic flag flying, I'll remember.  When I hear our nation's anthem play, I'll remember.  As I worship God freely each week, I'll remember.  The sacrifice will not be forgotten.
I hope you're enjoying your long weekend!!  We are loving having John home with us today and had such a great weekend full of friendship, laughter, and family!
This week is looking like it will be a crazy one but it will be full of fun!!  Here's what will fuel our crazy and fun all week....
Monday ~ Smokin' Sweet Tea Chicken w/ Broccoli
Tuesday ~ Spaghetti & Garlic Bread for my guys.  I'm going to dinner w/ some girlfriends!!
Wednesday ~ Grouch Chicken w/ Roasted Squash & Onions
Thursday ~ BBQ Sandwiches & Ranch Style Beans for my guys.  A women's ministry event at church for me!!
Friday ~ I'm having an Origami Owl party and the boys will be going out!  So far I know I'm making Sausage Balls and I've got to figure out what else! ;)
Saturday ~ Lemon Poppyseed Baked Chicken over Spinach w/ Sliced Strawberries
A busy fun filled week that will be fueled by some amazing food!!  And my bestie Sarah will be here TOMORROW!!!!  Eeeeekkk....I cannot wait!!!
Have a great week!
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.
~James 1:12~


I've Hit a Wall

This is a post I don't want to write.  But this is a post that I need to write.  Because I want to keep it real but also?  Because I need to own this part of my fitness journey.
There has been frustration and tears and questions and far too much over analyzing the last few days.  But I suppose it is best summed up in the title of this post ~ I've hit a wall in this journey.  I keep hearing my trainers voice as he hugged me ~ "you've hit a wall kid."
So what now??  The only option is to keep working hard.  To knock this wall down and turn around and give it the middle finger cherish the feeling of defeating it!  That's not what I feel like doing. I feel like giving up and saying forget it.  I feel like saying "why bother".  I feel like I've worked SO hard for the  last 6 weeks for nothing.  But feelings can lie and that's just what all of those feelings are.  Lies.
So I'll push on, keep working hard even when I don't feel like it and I'll be beyond ready to celebrate when I can write the next post about this journey of mine and say "I did it!!" 

YES.  YES I will break through this wall and YES I will keep going and Yes I will choose to not believe the lies that my feelings are.  NO I won't give in and NO I won't give up. 
So here's to shooting the middle finger at breaking down the walls we hit in whatever journey we may be on!  I'd love to hear of times in your life that you've hit a wall ~ maybe in your own fitness journey?  Or in your career?  Whatever it may be, I'd love to hear about it!!  And to hear about your triumph when that wall came tumbling down!!
All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.
~Proverbs 14:23~


Build 'em Up

I'm linking up with Kelly, Erin, Courtney & Jennifer again today for their Build 'em Up series!
Today's topic is confidence in motherhood.

There are two things that i know without a doubt.  Absolutely for sure.
1) Jesus is my savior & His grace and love the sweetest gift.
2) Women hold SO much power at their fingertips.
It's so true, isn't it?!  A woman on a mission is not to be messed with.  But it's so hard to watch it over and over......women use this power of ours to criticize. To tear each other down.  What if we used all that power to encourage each other!  What if we used all that power for good?!  What if we quit spending so much time and energy worrying about how so-and-so does it?!  And just be confident in doing what we see as best for our families?!  For ourselves?!  I saw this on facebook the other day and i wanted to scream it from the mountaintops because it's SO true......
*To the mom who's breastfeeding: Way to go! It really is an amazing gift to give your baby, for any amount of time that you can manage! You're a good mom.

*To the mom who's formula feeding: Isn't science amazing? To think there was a time when a baby with a mother who couldn't produce enough would suffer, but now? Better living through chemistry! You're a good mom.

*To the cloth diapering mom: Fluffy bums are the cutest, and so friendly on the bank account. You're a good mom.

*To the disposable diapering mom: Damn those things hold a lot, and it's excellent to not worry about leakage and laundry! You're a good mom.

*To the mom who stays home: I can imagine it isn't easy doing what you do, but to spend those precious years with your babies must be amazing. You're a good mom.

*To the mom who works: It's wonderful that you're sticking to your career, you're a positive role model for your children in so many ways, it's fantastic. You're a good mom.

*To the mom who had to feed her kids from the drive thru all week because you're too worn out to cook or go grocery shopping: You're feeding your kids, and hey, I bet they aren't complaining! Sometimes sanity can indeed be found in a red box with a big yellow M on it. You're a good mom.

*To the mom who gave her kids a home cooked breakfast lunch and dinner for the past week: Excellent! Good nutrition is important, and they're learning to enjoy healthy foods at an early age, a boon for the rest of their lives. You're a good mom.

*To the mom with the kids who are sitting quietly and using their manners in the fancy restaurant: Kudos, it takes a lot to maintain order with children in a place where they can't run around. You're a good mom.

*To the mom with the toddler having a meltdown in the cereal aisle: they always seem to pick the most embarrassing places to lose their minds don't they? We've all been through it. You're a good mom.
**I don't know who wrote it to give credit but if you do know, please share so I can give credit!!**
We all do things differently.  We are all different people, with different husbands & families, with different needs, etc, etc.  What if we all celebrated our differences?!  And looked for what there is to be learned from each others differences?!  How much sweeter would life be if we weren't always judging or worried about being judged?!

There's one more thing I know for sure....God doesn't make mistakes.  Your circumstances, your marriage, your family, your career, your friends.....none of it is a mistake!!  Embrace who God made you to be!  And the life He has blessed you with ~ no matter how different that may look from Sally or Sue or the "has it all together" chick next door.  Be confident in the choices you make for you and your family and find joy in learning how differently someone else does it!!  Differences are like the accessories of life ~  how boring would it be if we were all the same?  And did everything the same way?  Just like accessories spice up an outfit ~ our differences make life & relationships interesting!
Let's all use the power that we, as women, possess for good!!  Let's embrace our differences and choose to cheer each other on instead of tear each other down!!  Motherhood is beautiful and hard and crazy and emotional and you get the idea.....ain't nobody got time for being judged or criticized! ;)

Be sure to head over and visit Kelly, Erin, Courtney, & Jennifer to read what they have to say about being confident in motherhood and then check out all those who link up!!  Building up instead of tearing down ~ it's a beautiful thing!!

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.
~Hebrews 3:13~


Menu Monday

Happy Monday Everyone!!  We enjoyed spring weather for longer than usual here in Pensacola but that is OVER. =(  The temps are rising and the humidity has made itself at home.  Yuck!  But it does mean that it's time to bust out the water toys and the boys may even get to go for their first swim this week! =)

Here's what will be fuel for our fun this week.....

Monday ~ Bacon & Corn Risotto
Tuesday ~ Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, & Green Beans
Wednesday ~ Beef Fajitas w/ Peppers, Onions & Homemade Guacamole
Thursday ~ Smokin' Sweet Tea Chicken & Broccoli
Friday ~ Skillet Sausage, Cous Cous, & Mixed Veggies
Saturday ~ We're having friends over and grilling burgers & hotdogs!  I'm also making the homemade guacamole again ~ it's 2 times in the same week kinda good y'all!!!
Sunday ~ ha! we couldn't think of anything so we're leaving it open and we'll figure it out this week!
(just keepin' it real~haha!)

I've never done a riostto before but Shay over at Mix and Match Mama says not to be nervous and she's never led me wrong so I'm goin' for it!!  The smokin' sweet tea chicken?!  Hubby is uber excited about that one ~ it's another one of my trusty McCormick marindes that I posted about here so I'll have to let ya know how it turns out!  It sure sounds interesting!

Hope everyone enjoys the week!  Holiday weekend comin' right up ~ woo hoo!!!!

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
~Lamentations 3:22&23~


A Collection of Random Thoughts.....

There is alot of random stuff floatin' around in this head of mine so I figured I'd share some of it with all of you! Lucky you huh?! Ha! ;)
*Felt like a true Floridian for the 1st time last night ~ top down, wind in my hair, headed to a beach yoga sesh!!  So fun!!  It was a night of firsts for me....1st time in a convertible & 1st time doing yoga!
being silly!

I've got some gorgeous friends don't I?! Love them!
*Ever heard of no-see-ums?!  UGH!!!  The tiniest most obnoxious little bugs EVER.  They bite and leave red welps that itch and last for days!  We have been getting eaten alive at bootcamp!  And?!  We've tried bug spray ~ doesn't even phase these punks!!
see that tiny black speck?! that's a no-see-um. tiniest bug ever.  worst bites ever!
*One of my best friends, Sarah, will be here from Washington in 11 days!!!  But who's counting right?!  Cannot wait!!
*Has anyone out there heard of the show Ready For Love?!  Erin, over at Bringing Up Burns, introduced me to it and I'm hooked!!  It was airing on NBC, got chopped, but they are showing the remainder of the season online!  I'm hooked!
*Speaking of reality tv ~ Its almost time for Des's season of the Bachelorette!!!  And Big Brother starts next month!!!  To know me is to know my deep deep love for the Bachelor/ette and Big Brother!  It's a serious relationship y'all!!
*I'm making Mix and Match Mama's chicken tortilla soup for dinner tonight and I'm far more excited about it than one should really be about food i think!!  ha!!  I have been looking forward to this allll week ~ its THAT good!! =)
Anndd....I think that's about it for now!  I'm looking forward to a fun, relaxing weekend with my sweet little family and hope you enjoy yours too!!
**FYI ~ I've scratched my legs about 871 times while writing this. Grrrr.  No-see-ums are jerks.**
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
~Hebrews 12:3~


A Special Gift

I received the following text the other day from an amazing friend.....
"Need to thank you for something. Watching you weather this storm in your life is teaching me a lot about reliance on God in times of trouble.  Sure, you break down....but then you get back up and smile again.  You are helping me learn what it is to have faith in the storms.  I think you are doing amazing. So thank you."
I'm so incredibly humbled and honestly blown away!  Y'all.....I feel like a big 'ole hot mess lately.  I certainly wouldn't pick myself as a prize winning package on how to deal with huge life struggles.  But from the very beginning of the storm our family has been facing, I have cried out to God in the lowest of times and begged that if nothing else that He would somehow be glorified in all of this.  That He could somehow takes this overwhelmed, tearful, mess that is me and use it.
Please hear my heart and know that I'm not sharing this to say "look at me" or "look how good I am".  But I just think its so important to be open to sharing our stories.  To be authentic and real about it!  When I look at myself all I see is the "sure you break down" part.  I feel like that's all I do!  ha!  But God can use that.  All He asks is that we trust Him.  Follow His lead.
The other thing this text did for me was reinforce what a gift encouragement is!  There are times the thought of emailing or texting someone crosses my mind and I blow it off.  I fight that little nudge.  But we just never know how God may use that seemingly insignificant little bit of love or encouragement!  Listen to those little nudges and do it!!  I'm pretty sure that my sweet friend had NO idea how much that text would bless me!  I cried and cried because that text was the encouragement I needed from the Lord that day. 
Sharing.  Authenticity.  Encouragement.  Love.
These can all be such special gifts!  So don't hesitate to share the seemingly uglier parts of your story ~ be authentic in sharing and God can and will use that!  Don't hesitate to call, email, or text that person that's on your mind ~ it may just bless them more than you could ever dream!
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another......
~Hebrews 10:24&25~


Mothers Day {2013}

My Mothers Day weekend was simple which makes it perfect for me!!  I really am so incredibly blessed by these 3 boys of ours and I am so overwhelmed by the realization that they are mine! 

The weekend kicked off on Saturday morning w/ some time with girlfriends.  Our plan was to hang out by the pool, drink mimosas & eat good food.  The weather had other ideas!!  It was rainy all morning and then too chilly to get in the pool but that didn't stop our fun!  We relaxed in the hot tub, drank mimosas, ate good food and laughed a lot!!

Jamie, Kim, Marci, Despi, & Me ~ they are the best!

look one way, there's the pool!  look the other way, the ocean! 
Then I came home to THE best hubby and sweetest boys who gave me the gift they had been working on.  I had been wondering all week because John had been working on something in the garage for me and I couldn't figure out what in the world it might be!

LOVE it!!  Wish I would of taken a before pic of my jewelry mess but I was too excited about getting it all organized and I forgot!  But here is the after pic and I love it!!
I had talked about wanting to make a jewelry organizer/holder a few months ago and then it never happened.  I was so shocked that he remembered and made me one!!  So sweet!  And he took all 3 boys to his office Saturday and used the copier to make a handprint card!  He got the idea off of pinterest!!!  I about died when he told me that!  His theory?  I love pinterest so if he wants to do something I will like, he'll go to pinterest!  Smart man!!  Oh how I love him!!
Sunday we went to church and then the boys had their buddies over afterwards.  I SO enjoyed listening to their laughter and seeing the joy in their eyes as they played tag & basketball & hide-n-seek & all kinds of carefree games!  I couldn't think of a better way to spend the day!
best friends! =)
I'm so grateful for this Mommy gig and all that comes with it!  They challenge me in ways I never imagined possible and they bring me more joy than I ever could of dreamed.  I'm thankful that God knows what he's doing and that He gave me the perfect boys for me!!  And I'm so blessed to have an amazing husband and best friend to share it all with!!

"Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."  Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
~Proverbs 31:29&30~