Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Little Things...like Meatless Monday

I won't lie...it's been a season of feeling icky, and blue, and a time when all the blogs I read tend to scream, "Loser!" at me because my life doesn't look like theirs. I get it...you want to post the good stuff--I do too. But sometimes I want to say...don't you EVER have a bad hair day? And don't any of your seven perfect kids ever have a bad hair day either???

I know it's probably a combination of many things...the gray weather...the tiredness of a mommy who goes to bed too late and doesn't wake up early enough...the hormones...the stress...the mundane...the regular life of a mom. But it's one of those times where things don't feel like they're going so right.

SO...when there's a bright spot, you hold onto it, I say! That's why I will tell you about our Meatless Monday!

First off, I have to admit I stole this idea from my friend Emily a year ago and she doesn't even know. Thanks for the idea, Em :)

Secondly, you have to know that at the beginning of December I put out a public plea on facebook for any and all tips on making it through my most loathsome time of day: Dinner. I received 16 comments and had various discussions with other moms. I cannot tell you exactly what happened, or any well thought out plans, but suddenly things changed. I do know that Insoo and I changed our attitude a little. (As he says, "we gave up".) It didn't feel to me like giving up, but like more of a letting go. I did not want to despise the time of day that we were all together for a meal (that I slaved over), with our time reeking with tension and the only words from our mouths being, "Take a bite, Elliot. Eat your food, Isaiah". That's what it had become. So we backed off a little...if for nothing else than my own sanity.

And then...miracle of miracles...they started eating! I mean, eating MUCH much better than before.

And Elliot started complimenting me at every single meal! "Mmmmmm, what's that smell?"..."Mommy, this is really yummy for me!"..."Mommy, you make the best..____...ever!" Seriously...it was like someone paid him to say these things because I was ready to lose it!

So I stole the Meatless Monday idea from my friend as an attempt to...well...ultimately lose weight I guess. Or at least focus on building a repertoire of meatless meals that we like! But this past week it was like an internal contest to see how many healthy foods I could get my kids to eat.

If you are in need of any ideas, feel free to steal :)

Breakfast was spinach pancakes (and I mean, chalk full of spinach!)
and Elliot asked for carrots and celery (thank you, Wonder Pets.)

I knew he wouldn't like the celery--he's asked before and not liked it--but I have made a commitment to let him try whatever he asks for--if it is good for him!
Since that morning he has requested celery (with peanut butter) at almost every single meal!

So lunch was more carrots, more celery with peanut butter, snap peas, tomato and red pepper soup (LOVE!) and...don't judge...macaroni and cheese.

dinner was edamame (soybeans...one of the few veggies my children beg for more of!)
and pasta with olive oil and garlic and salt and green beans and garlic bread on the side.

And I know there were mandarin oranges thrown in there (Isaiah LOVES "Cuties") and applesauce and apple slices. And we must have had chocolates for dessert.

It made me think, Hey! Maybe things aren't so bad after all.

So...if you're at all like me...hang in there--through food trials, and gray days, and keep trying to appreciate the little things.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Freezing in Florida

So every year we have a great excuse to get out of the cold winter weather and soak up some sun in the warmth of Miami, Florida--the greatest excuse of all, really...FAMILY!

This year, though, things were a bit different when we arrived. You see...brilliant me...instead of listening to the weather report, I thought Florida would certainly feel warm to us...so I very stupidly packed shorts, tank tops, t-shirts, and sandals. At the last minute I threw in a pair of jeans and long sleeve shirts for everyone.

Guess what we wore the entire time we were down there? Yeah. Glad I threw those in. Oh, and we had our sweatshirts from the plane, and a passed-down jacket for me...so they came in handy. I suppose the weather was actually warmer than it was in Ohio...but it sure didn't feel like it.

The last day we were there, I kid you not, we layered up in our warmest clothes as we spent the day with Halmonee (Grandma). She never needs heat, so she doesn't have it, and her house...was...seriously...fah...reezing. She pulled out her electric-blanket-type mat for us all to sit on...or lay on...getting as much of our bodies as possible onto the heat. Then we put comforters over ourselves and we breathed into our hands to try to feel our fingers. We drank the hottest tea and filled our stomachs with the spiciest soup, trying desperately to stay warm. I just couldn't believe this was taking place in Miami, Florida. It was the strangest thing.

I suppose it made coming back a little easier.

And at least we did get what we were going for...Family.


If you're interested in seeing a few photos, click here! But there certainly won't be any beach photos...or any outside for that matter. Hopefully next time.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Special Christmas

We expect Christmas of 2009 to be the last one at "the house". Mom's house. The house that is "home" for me even though I did not grow up there. It is the place that resembles her most because it is what she always wanted. It looks like her, smells like her, and feels like her. It's where she was most herself. And the place where, with her family surrounding her, she passed from this life into glory. That is the house that will always be etched into my heart as home.

Because of this, it was all the more important to me to make it HOME for Christmas.

I was pretty certain it would not happen, when I heard about the horrendous snow storm coming. We had decided (b/c of last year's experience) that we could not make the trip if the weather was looking bad. So when Insoo called to tell me that at the very last minute, he had actually taken one extra day off, due to my rambling and pleading voice mail message begging him--could we please, possibly, maybe, by any chance leave town one day early to beat the snow storm, tears streamed down my face. We would be making it home for Christmas.

Then followed a roller coaster of emotions when it looked like Joel and the Hydeens would NOT be making it home! But in the end, due to determination, brave people, slow driving, and God's protection, we were all together--Dad and Judy, us 5 kids and our families and 2 dogs, to celebrate Christmas in that place, probably for the last time.

And, for me, everything was perfect. I tried to savor every moment. I didn't get as many photos or videos as I had hoped, but I got enough. I felt like I found the balance between wanting to document, and just enjoying.

I really want to share the little details here, but it would be a really long post in this format. So if you would, please see the photos & captions on my picasa Christmas Abum.

Because it may look similar to Christmases past...but it really was a special one.