Meal Plan Monday and Back to School nonsense

Did the past two weeks kick anyone’s else’s rear like it did mine? I mean I’m all ready for my kids to start school… and then they do … and THEN they become tiny, exhausted hellions. By the end of last week it was straight up Jerry Springer in the mornings before school. We were all a disorganized mess. AND I ONLY HAVE LITTLE ONES. I don’t know how you momma’s of big kids do it. I love all the before school pictures on the first day of school… all smiley-happy-la-te-da”… I’m pretty sure no one could post the same shot by the 5pm at the END of the week. But lets be honest… THOSE would be some epic pics. Add to the madness that momma got SICK… Moms do not have time to be sick… and tore some chest muscles with a horrible cough AND Jack was cutting all 4 top teeth and last week was straight up amazing. And I was definitely in the running for Mother of the Year. Thank the Lord for a new week and healthy happy kids (& mommy).

Campbell started PreK and Sydney started MDO. {I know… it’s not the same as most of you mommas out there… but still…kicked. my. tail.} She thinks she’s big stuff and has literally been praying for it every single night for a year..”Dear God, tomorrow I go dance cwass, I go pee-school. Amen” I dropped her off and as I was waiting to meet her teacher she literally told me to leave….”mom go bye bye. I play.” Geez kiddo. College drop off is going to be brutal with this one. Starting school with an anxious, driven first born is kind of the was ROUGH…especially by Thursday. If you have one you know. Pray for me. {Sweet Jesus take the wheel} All the more thankful for such an amazing school that just swept her up in their arms {literally} and went along their merry way.

We celebrated surviving the week with a day on the lake with some of our good friends! Definitely nice to end the week on a high note!

With all that chaos, meal time was less than amazing.  It was survival last week. Here’s hoping this week is smoother for all of us mommas!

Sunday: Grilled Chicken

Monday: BLTs

Tuesday BBQ chicken wraps

Wednesday: chicken orzo salad with goat cheese {I like ours with more lettuce and less orzo..but its good both ways}

Thursday: sweet potato & black bean enchiladas {because it’s practically fall, right? And bc OSU football is officially back starting Thursday night!}


by bethany

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Thanksgiving 2034

My house is way too quiet… My two oldest are off at school and my baby is asleep upstairs. I’m not quite sure what to do with all this PEACE AND QUIET. And a to do list that actually gets checked off. And thoughts that come to completion in my head without interupption.

When we found out we were pregnant in December 2013, we had just come home from celebrating Thanksgiving in Denver with Mat’s family. We had a glorious time…but the whole time, every time I’d try to drink a cocktail or a glass of wine…it just didn’t taste quite right. By the end of the week, I was in straight up denial… I had a hunch, but I was praying I was wrong. Right after we got home, I headed up to Walgreens to buy a test. {And why is this still awkward when you are already a mom and have been buying these silly sticks for years??? It’s like the Walgreens cashier is going to slap you on your hand and send you to detention?! OR WORSE CALL YOUR MOM!} Anyways. Boom. We were prego. This was a surprise and unplanned.  A myriad of thoughts flew through my mind… starting with the obvious. Well the first was actually a four letter word (just keeping it real) but we can skip past that…”WTH????!!! We were careful-ish… I just FINALLY lost my baby weight…. I can’t even handle the two kids we have… another? AND THE NEWBORN PHASE? Lord have mercy I can’t do the newborn phase again. I mean kid #2 was a breeze… but #1???? I still have nightmares that involve a baby crying LITERALLY all night long. LITERALLY. And every time I hear a Dyson I break out into cold sweats. Lord I can’t do that again. Nope….” And then as the shock slowly marinated and eased up… my very first thought was… ‘Holidays with three grown kids are going to be a blast.’  I have no idea why I fast-forwarded 20 years, but visions of our kids, their significant others, grandbabies… (hopefully not TOO soon.. I mean I’m not even 40 yet) sitting around a big family table, laughing, sharing stories of years past flooded my anxious little heart. And suddenly I knew everything would be okay….that I wanted a big(ger) family and I was ridiculously excited for #3 to join our crew. {and if you’re a momma who has been trying LONG AND HARD to have babies – please do NOT take this the wrong way… babies are such an incredible blessing… these are just unedited thoughts that flew through my mind during the AFTERSHOCK}

I’ve had this intense desire lately for my kids to remember the “mundane” about life… the normal, every day “things” about our days together. Morning cuddles on the couch…walks to the pond…Monday trips to the grocery store (This is still just a little too hard to put into words. I mean the anxiety I have felt every time I have had to grocery shop with ALL my kids this summer almost turned my hair grey. Well maybe it did but I’ll never tell!) Sure kids will remember the vacations, holidays, birthday parties…but mostly I want our kids to remember the chaos of dinner time… the fact that mommy almost never sat down to eat, because if I did the entire crew played musical chairs to be right  beside or on top of me… and as soon as we all got {re}situated either a)milk spilled b)someone needed more of something c)Harley took food off of Jack’s tray (again) d)all of the above. This is on a good night. And I’m not alone… I know every momma is with me on this one… it’s called the mom diet… it’s how we successfully lose weight after our babies. WE CAN’T FINISH A MEAL IF KIDS ARE INVOLVED. Screw running… just try to eat only when your kids are eating and BOOM… instant weight loss. So do I want my kids to remember fancy Christmas dinners? Absolutely. But I really want them to remember the messy kitchen table…food everywhere…dining on our “fine” plastic ikea china… the dog licking up everyone’s crumbs (bc mommy couldn’t ever remember to feed her. oops) Sydney blurting out some sort of  “potty” word just for the thrill of reaction. Or choosing that moment to sing “God Our Father” at the top of her lungs… and then get in a fight with Campbell about the “correct” lyrics. Because even in the midst of that nightly, beautiful chaos, we were together, we were {mostly} laughing, catching up on each others’ day. And no matter what shenanigans were pulled that day…we could all sit down at dinner and it would be okay.

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Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2034… and lets be honest… we’re just hoping they will all have moved out of the house  & be contributing to the wellbeing of society as a whole by then… {Am I right or am I right?!} I mean we have high expectations and college funds, etc… but as long as the trio isn’t still living upstairs by then, we”ll call it good.  Campbell will be in law school (because the girl can ARGUE like no one’s business….Harvard Law here we come – Good luck with this one!) and Syd will be in acting school on the west coast and a fruitarian (does that even exist? If so… she will rock it like a boss. No carbs or meats… just fruit and the occasionally a red pepper when she’s feeling saucy.) and Jack is… well whatever he is going to be. He may or may not be my current favorite and I may or may not have promised him a Range Rover for his 16th birthday because I never thrwew him a 1st birthday party. So I’m just praying he’ll be driving his RR home from college to see his momma for Thanksgiving (no pressure buddy. really.) Basically I will just pat myself on the back  if by that time we all wear clothes at the dinner table. BONUS  points if they can figure out how to USE A NAPKIN (looking at you CAMPBELL) and we can stop spilling the freaking milk during dinner… and that Syd would finally give up the potty talk.


So Thanksgiving 2034… you’ve got a low bar… MAYBE we’ll actually eat in the dining room… but please 1) everyone come BACK home for the holiday 2) wear clothes & use napkins please. 3) And for the Love of God Syd, drop the potty talk?

by bethany

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The Good Life: A Plan for Clean Eating

We’re blogging over at the Oklahoma Heart Institute website today! We’re sharing one of our favorite meal plans along with a grocery list. I mean if that’s not a ticket to healthy eating then I don’t know what is!

by bethany

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My little man turns one tomorrow. ONE. I have no clue how this is possible. I’m pretty sure it was only a few weeks ago that he would keep me up MULTIPLE nights in a row eating and I walked around like a zombie for days on end. I constantly had to count my kids’ heads to make sure I had all of them & hadn’t forgotten one at one or in the car (there’s only three… it shouldn’t be that hard) This past year has been one of the most challenging years of my life. A few short months into life with THREE, motherhood was kicking my rear, big time. I remember crying one night, feeling so guilty that even with the help I had, it was just SO. HARD. I told Mat that I loved my babies, but I just didn’t love being a mom right now {then}. If you don’t have kids – don’t judge. If you do have kids – you’ve probably had that same conversation when you have a newborn…lol. A week later my mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer. Six weeks later my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Ten minutes later (literally) my dad got a call about a biopsy in which they THOUGHT he had cancer. ¾ of our parents. REALLY GOD?! REALLY?! Life turned crazy and we all dug deep and put on our big kid undies, grew closer to each other, closer to God and everyone is doing {mostly} well. Whew. In the mean time, Jack was referred for club feet (turned out he didn’t have them… thank you Jesus), reflux, a helmet, feet again and now an eye issue. oh. And he has the worst cradle cap EVER. LOL. And every single one of those things has turned out completely fine. He is healthy and happy and perfect. {But seriously – between any of my own doctor appointments, Jack’s and my parents’ – I should seriously get a job designing doctors’ offices.}

So when I think of Jack’s first year – I will ALWAYS think of the grit of this year. Sure…the blood, sweat and tears..the determination to get through… to figure out this new balance of motherhood… to not cry in front of my kids when they are pushing every last button…but mainly  when I look back over the last four seasons, I see God’s hand. I see his faithfulness, his gentleness, his grace. Because when you get that call that your momma has cancer and you’re in the middle of making lunch for your kids…you pull yourself together to get through lunch and get your babies down for naps… and then you weep, you yell and then you get on your face and DEMAND God to show His goodness through this journey. And you know what? He did. Jack. This season has been tough, but this little guy has kept us smiling and laughing the entire way. He has a way of lighting up our darkest days and making us all a little brighter. God definitely knew exactly what he was doing when he surprised us with this little guy. What a BLESSING during this last season. I’ll also think of amazing friends over the past year… friends who just know what to do, say, text. Friends who’ve offered to drop everything and drive to Tulsa to watch my kids… who’s sent starbucks gift cards, who’ve watched my kids while I go to doctors’  appointments, who’ve taken food to my parents, friends who’ve been there for phone calls and texts. The past year I’ve been THAT friend… you know, the “issue” friend…. the one who always has something going on. And every step of the way, sweet friends have known just how to help. 

Today my thought was: We survived. We survived another newborn…lol. We survived the first year with three kids. We survived ¾ of our parents having some serious health issues AT THE SAME TIME.  We survived the helmet lol! We survived learning how to run errands {not so} successfully with three.

So many late nights that turned into sleepy early morning… or middle of the night feedings that never ended… my thought… my mantra was “God’s mercies are new every morning {season}” Here’s to this next year… to a new season… to being a little stronger… a littler closer to God… to curve balls that we don’t see coming… to knowing that God’s goodness falls on us fresh each and every day. Just like Jack’s smile does every morning.

by bethany

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Letha Hemphill

Your sweet words just touched my heart. God is such A good God! And I treasure the opportunity to share your journey!

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