Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday: Follow up on Fear

Oh man. It has been a WHILE since I have posted. Glad to be back tonight...writing posts is definitely theraputic and relaxing :)

I wanted to follow up on my post about Fear a couple weeks ago. Things are turning a corner and it feels SO much better. After writing that post, Adam and I had a long talk about everything. It was to a point where I was having mini-panic attacks and I felt like it was consuming me. The next morning, my sweet, godly husband wrote notes for me around the house for when I woke up (before he went to work). He put notes up telling me how much he loved me, and verses from the bible about fear and anxiety to encourage me.....and encourage me it DID! This wasn't the cure, but it was a huge step in reminding myself that I'm not alone, and that I always have Adam to lean on through the things that I struggle with.

From then until now, it seems that a lot of things have come up- Ellie got a really high fever (due to an ear infection), she hurt her leg and had a limp for a few days, and someone in our family had some not-so-good news. It all made me think that here on earth, we are not exempt from anything. And to add to that, I felt the Lord telling me that I should count my blessings right NOW and be thankful instead of worrying about what MAY or may NOT happen in the future. That was a pretty big deal for me. My prayer life has changed from prayers of worry, doubt, and fear- a sort of pleading with God, to prayers of thanksgiving, love, and humbleness that He is in control and cares for me. It's been wonderful. I am in no way healed from this, but I feel so much more hope, and I also know that God strength can take me through anything that may come my way.

Here is a verse I'm holding onto:

"Humble yourselves, therefore under God's mighty hand that He may lift you up in due time. Cast ALL your ANXIETY on Hum because He cares for YOU" - 2 Peter 5:6-7

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Wanted to check in for a few moments to just say that life has been pretty crazy lately. Having 2 kids is surely double the work! And Adam and I have totally been feeling it. At the end of the night, both of us collapse. It has been great at the same time though :) I had Ellie watch Bambi for the first time this week, and she LOVES it! It's so cute. Claire has been smiling up a storm and growing like a weed!!! She is a way pickier baby than Ellie was...she likes to be held 24/7, only likes certain positions being held, and wants to nurse way more often! Maybe she knows that since she had to share mommy from the get-go, she was really gonna log-in her time in closeness :) It may make things harder sometimes, but I really do love it and wouldn't trade it. And Ellie is such a sweet big sister. Always smothering (literally) her sister in hugs and kisses. When she wakes up in the morning, the first thing she wants to do is peek in at her little sissy sleeping :)

In other news, I've been getting back to working out! Been taking Zumba classes and doing Jillian Michaels (from the Biggest Loser) 30 Day Shred's to crossing my fingers that it'll work and I won't feel so frumpy! I hope to get back on track with my daily posts soon. I have just felt so exhausted that thinking about typing out a post and having it make sense has seemed almost impossible!

Until next time,

Friday, April 15, 2011

Frugal Friday: Library

We have found that we save a lot of money these days going to the library. It's free, they have activites for kiddos (storytime, etc), they hand out free passes to local places (Children's museum, the zoo, etc.), videos, and not to mention the main reason the library exists, books! We had netflix for a while, but cancelled due to the fact that almost EVERY video on our queue was at the library one day! So, we decided that we should do the free option instead of paying $10 a month. And it works! Sometimes, the DVD's skip, but most times, they're good :) I find that as a parent of 2, watching movies doesn't come as often as I'd like, so a random video from the library (or netflix for that matter) takes a while to get to. I don't want to pay money for something I may or may not get to watch! I also get lots of video's for Ellie there instead of paying to rent those as well. We try to go to storytime at least once a week, and Ellie really enjoys it. Even if the teacher is lame on occassion, she always enjoys the bubbles and songs! So, totally worth the $0 spent! So now, go become a member of the zoo, and get a library card and use it!!! :) Save money people! What are some things that YOU do to save money?! Lets help eachother out.........

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Toddler Tuesday: Potty Training Day 1

For some reason, my pictures turned out kinda weired (Ellie's mouth looks like super weird!) but ANYWAYS! Today is Day 1 of the 3 Day Potty Training Method by Lora Jensen! This is Ellie with her cup of Hansens Cherry Vanilla Creme soda (she LOVES sips of mine so it's her lucky 3 days!). She was really excited about putting the panties on. We have had 3 accidents already (1 poo & 2pee)-and she was pretty scared of even sitting on the potty. I'm aniticipating wayyy more accidents that victories today (and tomorrow) but wish us luck! I'll keep the blog updated as the days progress because it would be amazing if it really were to happen! :)
Ellie doing what she does best- Dancing!
And I had to sneak in a picture of Claire too...gotta love how chubby she's getting! :)

Love, Krystle

Friday, April 8, 2011

Monday Meals: Chicken & Rice Casserole

This isn't my the picture of my casserole (forgot to take one...oops!) Chicken Rice Casserole Ingredients:

  • 6 Tablespoons butter

  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (3 cups)

  • ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary

  • ½ cup all purpose flour

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 1 ½ cups half and half or whole milk

  • 4 cups chopped cooked chicken

  • 3 cups cooked rice

  • ½ cup dry bread crumbs

  • 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 Tablespoon melted butter

Additions: I added broccoli to my dish like the picture above to be sure we got a veggie in!

Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 baking pan. 2. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. 3. Stir in the mushrooms and rosemary, cook until softened (about 5 min.). Stir in the flour until well blended. 4. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and the half and half or milk. 5. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until sauce is thickened and smooth (about five minutes). 6. Mix in the chicken and the cooked rice, combine well. Pour into prepared pan. 7. Mix together the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and 1 Tbsp. melted butter, stir well. Sprinkle on top of the chicken and rice mixture. 8. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the topping is golden brown. 9. Serve with warm buttered rolls.3

This meal turned out GREAT! It was (fairly) easy to make, but worth the effort for sure! I will be adding this to my list of regular meals per my husbands request :) If you make it, lemme know what you think.

Love, Krystle

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Frugal Friday: Zoo Pass

Whew! Now that's a picture with a lot of flash on it :) Thanks babe! Sooooo it's Frugal Friday, and I'm posting about becoming a zoo member (if you live in phoenix- but I'm sure it's still a deal in other states as well). We became members about 3 weeks ago, and have gone twice! It has been a BLAST! They opened up a really cool splash pad area with a cavern type cave and lots of shade for the parents- this was defintely Ellie's favorite part! We're headed back to the zoo again tomorrow, and hopefully I'll take some fun shots of her water adventures :) Wondering how this is a definite deal if you have kids??? Wonder no longer! Here's the breakdown: If you go to the zoo and pay to get in it costs $18 per adult and $9 per child. Eek! That's $45 if both parents are going and you only have 1 kid. Pricey pricey. If you become a member, you pay $80 for the entire year! This includes 2 adults to get in and any children 2 years old or under. Plus they give you 2 free admission tickets for other guests. Score! Adam and I figured this was a good deal considering that Ellie is now interested & can really enjoy the zoo, and we figured we'd go at least twice this year. Thus paying for the membership completely! So instead of going twice, we can go anytime we'd like. Another bonus: You don't have to go and exhaust yourself by staying the entire day to get your money's worth! Both times we have gone, we have stayed 2-4 hrs and it was just perfect. We still had energy to do other things once we left and it wasn't overkill. Also, Adam thought I should include in here how we paid for this membership since there's no "become a member of the zoo" envelope in our budget. We allot ourselves $40 for "entertainment" each month. This is mainly for us to go out on dates (and that doesn't go very far if we spend it all on going out to eat and getting a full meal- which is why we either don't go out to eat, or do the appetizer thing!). ANYWAYS, we sacrificed our whole envelope in that category ($40) to pay for the membership, and used some money that Ellie & Claire's grandma sent to fund the rest- what a great way to spend grandma's money, aye?! :) Definitely worth the sacrifice on our part too, because he and I have been having a ton of fun on our outings. So there you have it. Go! Get a membership. Even though summers seriously SUCK in Arizona and you won't be seeing our faces anywere NEAR the zoo for those 4 months, there are another 8 months that you could literally go every. single. darn. day. if you wanted to! Here are a few zoo pictures:
Ellie & Farmer Jed (or Shed as Ellie says) She LOVES the farm area!!! Daddy and Ellie checking out the not-so-pink flamingos! Daddy & Ellie. Not sure why Ellie is looking so mysterious, but it's cute either way! Love, Krystle

Thoughtful Thursday: Fear

I have been fighting this post for a long time for a few reasons; 1) embarrassed to admit what I think about day in and day out, 2) afraid to admit it, and 3) worried of what people may think.

But I'm just going to go for it. I am so so so afraid of something happening to my kids. Like, really afraid.

I think it's the reason that I'm a crazy researcher on everything and doing non-mainstream things like a home-birth and not vaccinating my children. To think that I could possibly inflict harm on them is something that I don't know that I could live with. With the vaccination issue, I continuously find myself torn. To not vaccinate is to not inject very harmful substances in their sweet new (innocent) bodies that could possibly do irriversible damage. But I find myself wondering what if they got these diseases. I have researched enough to know that at the end of the day, not vaccinating is actually what puts me more at peace.

Same thing with my home-birth and birthing center birth with Claire. No one actually knows how much epidurals and other inducing drugs will effect the baby. Not to mention they actually haven't been around for that long, and for that reason I don't trust it. I try not to treat anything as " a medical procedure" that shouldn't be. If I'm healthy, and my baby inside is healthy, then it makes sense to me to not expose them to anything that could be harmful at such a young age. This is not to say there aren't instances where it truly is medically necessary, but like I said, I tend to go the more natural way.

With those issues out of the way, there is still something even deeper. If one of my kids even gets a tiny cold, I am SO worried. I'm in to check on them like a billion times a night. My mind always goes to the worst places- is this something bigger, are they going to develop and infection from this, is there a chance they could die? (This is honestly where my mind goes at least once a week) I have only been to the ER with Ellie once for Croup and hospitals just get me nervous when I'm (or my family) is the patient. I feel so out of control.

I have experienced death. Both in my family, and to others around me who I love. It's unbearable to watch and experience the process. I just feel like I don't know if I could take it if it happened directly to me. I'm not sure though that anyone feels like they are ready for something like that to happen to them.

I recognize though, that as I spiral out of control in thinking about the worst, that God gently reminds me that I need to start telling myself the truth more often. I have so much hope in Him. I don't need to worry, and as the bible says, it won't add a single day to my life, or my family's. I need to remember that I am certainly not in control and that He is in control. I need to remember that I may not be able to make it through if something were to happen, but He can help me make it through. He equips us with the strength we need when we ask for it. I think it's a daily struggle of giving up my fears and starting to trust Him with every area of my life.

I follow this blog (also on my sidebar The Sullengers). It scares me so much to think about what they are living through, but gives me so much inpiration and hope at the same time. They are truly relying on God to get them through their situation and it is so encouraging and challenging.

Okay, now that I put it out there, please tell me that I'm not alone. That's a reason that I'm so afraid to admit it- in fear that no one else will relate and think I'm crazy. So, if you been in my shoes, please tell me about it. It's nice to know that I'm not alone.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Random: Thoughts on being FRUMPY!

I was hoping this picture would blow up a lot bigger, but I think you get the point! Ha! Feeling Frumpy? I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I find that when you are a mom, it's SO SUPER EASY to get the "mom" look. Loose pants, a t-shirt, hair thrown up, no make-up, etc. It's really hard to be motivated when you change stinky diapers all day, get food on your clothes from all the meals/snacktime clean up, or are just busy cleaning the house and doing the daily duties. Since having Claire, I have found that anytime I go out, I want to feel my BEST. I have done my hair so much more, and even though I'm not at the weight I'd like to be at, I'm still wearing nicer clothes that give me a little "grace" in the belly region :) I think I'll go out on a limb and say that never getting ready is probably a mild sign of depression. I'm using "depression" lightly plus adding the "mild" so please don't leave any mean comments! I just know that from my experience, the times that I have had no motivation to really look good or go places, has generally been a time when I've been down. Also, I think that it can contribute to down in the dumps feelings if you are down! I think they go hand in hand. Do you??? Not to mention, it's probably nice for the hubbs when they get home to not see their ladies a slobby mess (ok, I feel the need to give lots of disclaimers in this post! This is not to say that there aren't days where that all you can do! Believe me, I have a lot of those). But in being a mom, I still have to remember that I am a wife. At one point all Adam came home to was me and I had no one else to be responsible for- I'd like to think that we still have that kind of spark in our marriage and all the beauty and good-looking-ness isn't gone! This post is to inspire me (and hopefully you!) to say NO to being frumpy. Do some things that make you feel good about you. Take you hair out of that bun-jump in the shower- put some mascara and lip gloss on- take the stretchy clothes OFF and put something more flattering ON! Do a little dance in the mirror to make yourself smile, and stand a few inches taller! :) I'm motivated! Haven't showered today- see what I mean about having "those" days? But I'm going to. And I'm gonna do my hair and leave it DOWN! What are your thoughts on this topic?? I'd love to know! Love, Krystle

Toddler Tuesday: Art

During the time I was breastfeeding Claire, THIS happened! Hahaha! I ran to grab the camera to snap a quick picture, then it all went downhill from there. Ellie was covered in paint, even her hair (which you can't see here, it's on the other side), and then my dog ran in and put his paws in the paint...needless to say there was a big mess to clean! If there are ever moments you really feel like a mom, this is definitely it! I did get a good laugh about it though, and Ellie was super proud of herself!
Oh my sweet girl. Since my last postings, Ellie's whining has REALLY improved. I think her understanding that it does nothing for her has changed things. She has been so much fun lately! She's really taking more of an interest in playing independently, which has been SO NICE for me :) And it's a lot of fun to just sit and watch her do her thing! Lately she is really into singing & dancing- just like her momma! :) I love it.