Three 31


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Digging Deeper / Bible journaling and my study supplies

Like most things in my virtual social world, I don’t know exactly how I stumbled upon “Bible Journaling” but I’m glad I did. It has completely changed the way I look at and read Scripture. Plus, I’ve met some amazing people in a short period of time who have a gift for art and putting their thoughts and reflection in the margins of their Bible. Some are more artistic than others, but they are all pieces of worship and THAT is a beautiful thing. Bible journaling, at its core, is another way to read God’s word in a personal and creative way. Since I was in college, I have always underlined, highlighted, and circled words or passages in whatever I’m reading, including my Bible. I guess you could say I’m a doodler, but I never thought to make the connection with personal reflection and creative illustrations in my Bible reading time. When I discovered Bibles specifically for journaling (extra wide margins on each page), I knew I had to get one and give it a try. Though some Bible illustrators are really talented and artistic and have a professional’s arsenal of scrapbooking supplies, I’m starting with materials I’m comfortable with: pens, highlighters, and colored pencils. The 12-year-old girl inside me is jumping for joy right now. I love the smell of new colored pencils (and school supplies in general). I don’t think I’m crafty or artistic, places like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s scare me, but journaling in my Bible is a continuation of my personal time with God. And, as a result, I’m spending more time with Him and in His word. It’s a win-win. Even though I was raised in a Christian home and attended church since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, I’ve never read the Bible in its entirety. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. But I made a resolution (a goal, really) to read more Scripture this year and I’m making an honest effort with this year-long plan. Thirty-six days into 2015 and I’ve read 146 chapters in seven books. Not too shabby, huh? For some reason (divine intervention? clearer focus? more mature faith?), reading Scripture is easy right now. The stories are applicable and the people in them are real. This is likely due, in part, to my participation in The Story study at church every Wednesday morning. Having been to The Holy Land also helps me read Scripture. Seeing some of the places mentioned in Scripture puts it all into a clearer perspective. I’ve been in a cave where shepherds might have slept the night Jesus was born; I’ve stood on the ruins of Jericho; I’ve walked the Via Delorosa; I’ve trodded through the “wilderness” where Jesus went for 40 days to pray; I’ve explored King Herod’s palace ruins at Herodian; I’ve ridden a boat on the Sea of Galilee; I remembered my baptism beside the Jordan River and floated in the Dead Sea; and I’ve seen an empty tomb near the hill of Calvary. That trip of a lifetime made Scripture real. It’s no longer a book or just some stories of people in faraway places living in different times. No, the humans that lived then are just as relatable to me today. They endured hardships (Sarah’s infertility), suffered consequences of their decisions (David’s infidelity), and stayed the course when the cards were stacked against them (Ruth’s faithfulness to her mother-in-law, Naomi). Turn on the TV or scroll through the homepage of MSNBC and you’ll see similar headlines and stories today. The Bible is real, folks, I’m telling you. But, I digress. My current Bible study and doodle and journaling materials include: #BibleJournaling #BibleStudy

1. Pens, highlighters, mechanical pencil and eraser, and colored pencils I like to write and I’ve been blessed with decent handwriting. I would like to eventually learn more creative lettering and font styles though. But I have these pens, these highlighters, and this set of colored pencils. I’m a SUPERFAN of these Micron fine-tip pens too.

Bible Study WEB-7

2. Notebook I like this journal because it has lined and unlined pages, perfect for jotting down prayer requests, Scripture reflections, doodles, and, I’ll be honest, grocery lists. Not to justify my easily distracted mind, but, if I remember something in the moment, I have to write it down before I forget about it. I’ve considered keeping a prayer journal or reflective Bible study notes, but I haven’t found a system that works. I’ve tried the S.O.A.P. and S.O.A.K. methods but I don’t think I’m quite ready for this yet. Maybe I’ll get there someday. Maybe I won’t.

3. Twelve Women of the Bible DVD and Study Guide I’m leading a small group this summer with this study material, so I’m going through it now to be prepared. I’ve read through the participants’ guide but I haven’t watched the DVD yet.

4. ESV Single Column Journaling Bible This is my newest Bible. A blogger friend of mine suggested the ESV translation and, since being introduced to “Bible journaling,” this seemed like the obvious choice. I’d still like to get this one when it’s available next March as an additional study and reference Bible. I have just about every translation of the Bible, except King James because thou canst gez past thy fancy language.

5. NRSV Wesley Study Bible This is my daily reading and study Bible. The New Revised Standard Version is a popular translation in The United Methodist Church, as is the Common English Bible. This particular NRSV Study Bible incorporates a lot of notes and reflections from Methodism’s founder, John Wesley, too.

6. The Story (a Bible, participants’ guide, and The Heart of the Story) By far, nothing has captured my heart, my spirit, or my attention quite like this study. My church began this comprehensive Bible study last September and it has been such a blessing and learning experience. As previously mentioned, due in part to this weekly study, I am diving into God’s Word on a regular (daily) basis and loving every minute. The Story is a new way of looking at Scripture from two perspectives: the Lower Story (our story) is really many stories of men and women interacting with God during the daily course of life and the Upper Story is God’s story and the meticulous way He interweaves all of the stories together in a beautifully woven masterpiece.

Bible Study WEB-6

Bible Study WEB-5

Bible Study WEB-3 I’m happy to share with my local (and virtual) friends that a small group is forming for Bible journaling at the First United Methodist Church in Joshua, Texas. We’re hosting an informal and very *BRIEF* information session on Sunday, February 15 at 10:30am in the gymnasium. Anyone and everyone is invited to attend, even if you simply want to get more information about Bible journaling. Plans are currently underway for an experienced Bible illustrator to come and lead a workshop for Bible journaling BEGINNERS. Yes, that’s me! Even if you are not able to attend this information session or join the small group, you can still create your own Bible journal and share your work online via social media. BibleJournaling-SmallSlide If you’d like to learn more about Bible journaling or start your own creative reflections, visit Pinterest or join the Journaling Bible Community on Facebook. There are A LOT of resources and tutorials available on blogs and YouTube. If you’re in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, visit the Little Blue House in Keller for Bible journaling workshops. It’s easy to get overwhelmed or intimidated by the incredible talent of some journalists and illustrators but remember that Bible journaling is a personal reflection of YOUR time spent in God’s Word. This isn’t a competition! So, dear friends, I’ve been digging deeper into God’s masterful and powerful words and I feel (no, I KNOW) it’s a good (GREAT) thing. I’ve even gone as far as to create a personal space just for my quiet time. Yes, the table is small and the lamp is too tall, but it’s the perfect place for me to read, doodle, color, write, or type this blog post while Kamden sleeps! Regardless of my artistic or illustration abilities, I’m excited to see where my study of Scripture and new set of colored pencils take me on this journaling journey. As my Bible becomes more colorful and filled in, I’ll be sure to share some of my creations in future blog posts. personalspace Tell me, what are you reading or studying or thinking about today?


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Finish This #57

FINISHTHIS2015

My favorite …

Magazines are Garden & Gun and Country Living. G&G makes me feel like a sophisticated Southern debutant with all her ducks in a row while CL knows there’s a family of dust bunnies setting up house in our living room and encourages me to run through a sprinkler or drink sweet tea from a Mason jar or play a game of corn-hole or sit on the tailgate and crank up the country radio station real loud while star gazing in the middle of a freshly plowed field where soybeans were harvested. And that is the longest run-on sentence in the history of ever.

Appetizer is stuffed mushrooms. I love them, and I love sharing them with other ‘srooms lovers, but they’re labor-intensive to make. I made some a while back just for myself to enjoy but I ended up throwing most of them away because stuffed mushrooms don’t make tasty leftovers. Hashtag hard lesson learned. And it was an expensive lesson to learn too, as I stuffed them with real – REAL – crab meat. Aye ei ei.

Board Game is …. oh gosh, I have to think a minute ….. still thinking …. pondering …… ummmmm …. Monopoly? No, not really, takes too long. Sorry? Meh. Pictionary! Yes, because I’m a terrible artist and my partner is screwed. Chutes and Ladders is a close second. Or Trivial Pursuit for the random, useless facts you pick up.

Perfume – I honestly don’t wear perfume. However, when I’m in need of a pick-me-up, I add a few drops of JOY or LEMON essential oils to my neck and/or temples. They both smell amazing. Lemon is, of course, citrus and energetic while Joy is uplifting and relaxing. I don’t consider myself an “oily” but I am enjoying the essential oils I’ve been using lately.

Chore is … seriously, what idiot came up with these prompts!? … it’s not laundry or scrubbing toilets or running the vacuum or dusting furniture or collecting the trash. I don’t consider cooking for our family a chore but it’s definitely my favorite domestic task. And I love going to the grocery, but I hate having to put it all away.

Bloggers, please add your post to the link up through the link below. :)

Prompt for Week #58
My first time in a foreign country …


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Meal Planning … February 2015

 

Meal Planning 2

The first round of meal planning was an epic fail as the homestead’s executive chef and grocery shopper. I had a menu created for the last week of January and I only prepared three of the 10 dishes because of poor planning and even worse execution. I should never be responsible for making spaghetti sauce, unless, of course, you need to feed 350 of your closest friends. Seriously, if you have company coming for dinner and have nothing to fix, give me a shout and I’ll hook you up with some homemade sauce. All you need to do is boil the pasta and set the table!

Now that the first of February has come and gone and I’m already doomed, let me make another menu and plan to fail again. Aye ai ai. Here’s what we are (most likely) eating in the next couple of weeks:

Recipes to Prepare
*denotes a Husband-approved meal

Jumbo blueberry muffins
*Hamburgers and tator tots
*Roast beef, potatoes, carrots, biscuits and gravy (Crock Pot)
*Grilled pork tenderloin and green bean casserole
Lettuce Wraps
*Chicken Fried Steak and mashed potatoes
Beef Enchiladas
*Breakfast for dinner (pancakes, bacon or sausage, scrambled eggs)
Honey Glazed Shrimp and quinoa or wild rice pilaf
Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole

Stay tuned for updates on my meal planning adventure. I’m sure there will be some adjustments, tweaks, and changes along the way. If you’re an experienced, veteran meal planner, share your tips, tricks, techniques, and favorite recipes in the comment section below!!!!


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Monday Musings

Every Monday, I will TRY to post whatever is on my mind (consider it a smorgasbord of thoughts and randomness) as a way to clear my head and prepare for the week ahead. By doing so, I hope to calm the chaos and organize the scattered. Cheers to 2015 and blessings to you!

monday musings

I’m typing this post at 12:41am and intently watching the monitor screen in hopes that our teething toddler gets a decent night’s rest. Between seasonal allergies and three more teeth poking through his gums, Kamden’s happy-go-lucky world has been out of sorts for the past 24 hours. He was fine Friday and Saturday, when we were in East Texas visiting Husband’s parents and oldest brother, but as soon as we got home, the sneezing, coughing, and fountains of snot began. Welcome to Central Texas where mountain cedar (juniper tree) reigns.

Since starting The Story study with my small group at church, I’ve never been more excited to read The Bible on a daily basis. In addition to the weekly study materials, I am also completing a Bible reading challenge each day.  At the rate I’m currently going, I think I’ll finish reading the Bible before the end of the year.

#BibleJournaling

I’ve recently been introduced to the world of Bible journaling. If you’ve never heard of it, this is a great place to start. Or here. Or here. There is A LOT of material on Pinterest and I apologize to all of my followers for blowing up your main page with my obsessive pinning yesterday afternoon and evening. Kamden took a short nap and Mommy went pinning! I purchased a new Bible (the ESV translation) that is a journaling Bible because the font type is smaller and both of the margins are blank. And, because I’m a nerd-dork, I also bought extra-fine pens and colored pencils. I don’t consider myself artsy-fartsy and I certainly don’t think I’m artistic, but this Bible journaling concept is really interesting and I want to learn some tricks and techniques. I joined a Facebook group for moral support and inspiration and look forward to what I create as I deepen my spiritual discipleship by reading God’s Word. If you are a Bible journal-er, please, please, PLEASE share anything and everything with me. I am the village idiot and newbie all wrapped up in one package. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and intimidated by the vast amount of talent on Pinterest and Facebook, but I’m determined to see others’ work as inspiration instead of competition. Here’s my first attempt at Bible Journaling:

#BibleJournaling

I still have some doodling left to do, but, overall, I’m satisfied. My earth (globe) has a lot to be desired, but an artist I am NOT! Thanks to some research and insight from another journal-er nearby, there is a craft store in Keller that hosts Bible Journaling classes and workshops. If I get brave, I might attend one.

Blessings to you, dear reader, and happy Monday. If you’re wondering where my meal planning post was yesterday, I forgot about it. Honestly, I’m not so sure about this meal planning business. Husband, bless his pasta-loving heart, still has spaghetti in the fridge from last week (I told you we like leftovers!) and he bought a ton of barbeque yesterday before we watched the Super Bowl. (Obvious question: what was your favorite commercial? I always look forward to Budweiser’s Clydesdale horses but Coca-Cola really did it for me with their social media and anti-bullying campaign. Kudos to them for a powerful, poignant message applicable to so many people!:)


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Resolution Update // January 2015

Like I thought it would, 2015 is gearing up to be a really great year. According to this update, I’m off to a good start. However, I have a lot of work to do and, in some areas, I’m going to need a lot of accountability and support from family and close friends.

health2015

HEALTH + FITNESS

Lose 20% of my body weight
Take advantage of health coach provided by insurance Registered for LM Healthworks again, which includes speaking to a health coach throughout the calendar year. In addition, I enrolled in the fitness tracking program that includes wearing a pedometer and uploading my physical activity on a daily basis. If you’re on MyFitnessPal.com, find me (nicolemhutchison) and add me as your friend!
Eat breakfast every day This is becoming easier because Kamden eats breakfast every morning. We’re eating fruit, cereal, yogurt, and, every now and then, homemade pancakes and blueberry muffins.
Take a daily multivitamin I take prenatals, DHA, calcium,  vitamin D, lysine, and biotin every day.
Exercise four days a week
Work out with a personal trainer
Drink 150 ounces of water every day
Complete a juice cleanse
Complete a 90-day challenge
Eliminate something from my diet each month (i.e. sweets, fried foods, sugar, fast food, etc.) January – Instead of eliminating anything, I think I ate everything. Except tomatoes. I still avoid tomatoes like the plague because I think they are causing my eczema flare-ups. I also discovered that my dairy (cow’s milk) allergy has mysteriously disappeared. I think it has something to do with pregnancy and childbirth and the eczema is an outward sign of something out of whack balance in my innards. Basically, I’m a walking phenomenon and science experiment.
Be showered and in bed by 10:30 every night This is not going as well as I had hoped because I get distracted by technology (laptop or Kindle) or I’m engrossed in reading a book.
Learn more about and use essential oils I have a lot to learn but I’m using the oils more often, either topically or diffused. Every night, before putting Kamden to bed, I add a few drops of lavender to the diffuser and it runs for several hours. His room smells divine and spa-like, so dark and cozy and relaxing. Lavender is also good for eczema. I apply drops of lemon to my face for acne, along with Frankincense, and drops of grapefruit and/or peppermint oil to a glass of water to curb hunger or overeating. A few days ago, I started mixing two drops each of lemon, Frankincense, and peppermint to a small amount of moisturizer cream and apply it to my face.
Find a skincare routine that works for me
Participate in a “new-to-me” group exercise class January 9 – tried a 60-minute cycling class for the first time, January 24 – tried INSANITY for the first time
Schedule annual appointments with OB-Gyno, eye doctor, and dentist January 16 – comprehensive eye exam; January 19 – purchased eyeglasses at Warby Parker; January 20 – teeth cleaned; January 21 – cavity filled (booo!) 

BLOGGING

Create a blog post calendar … and use it!
Attend a blog conference
Attend a creative writing workshop
Publish a blog post every day for a month
Publish a “how to” post
Publish an original recipe
Continue the weekly FINISH THIS link up Week #53 was posted January 7, I’m hoping participation will increase as the year progresses.
Start a blog series January 5 – Monday Musings began; January 24 – weekly meal plan with menu/recipes
Meet five bloggers in person
Host a sponsored giveaway
Host a bloggers’ watch party for 50 Shades of Gray
Continue writing for MOMquery

PHOTOGRAPHY

Organize and back up my photos
Sell my current camera and upgrade to this one I still don’t NEED a new camera, but I’ve changed my mind and WANT this one. It’s a full frame and I’m in love.
Acquire a 85mm prime lens
Acquire a telephoto lens
Expand Three 31 Photography by scheduling at least 10 sessions
Take a Lightroom class
Join a camera or photography club January 19 – first meeting with Cleburne Photography Club

HOME LIFE

Execute our living wills
Create a gallery wall in the living room
Hang a family picture above mantel/fireplace
Rearrange the living room furniture We’ve temporarily moved furniture to accommodate foam floor tiles for Kamden’s larger play space. Our living room is oddly shaped so placing furniture correctly and effectively is a challenge. Making it work for an active toddler is perhaps the biggest challenge of all. So far, Kamden loves having his toys spread between the living room and bedroom so he can walk or push trucks/tractors on the floor. If I need him “safely contained” for a moment, the Pack-n-Play fits perfectly between the wall and Husband’s recliner, blocking Kamden in the living room. This method is our alternative and compromise to those pesky corral-looking panels and gates most people have in their home. I don’t want Kamden to get hurt, but I want him to explore and be a kid too. It’s a fine line, of course, but so far this method is working.
Buy new comforter + bedding for guest room
Buy new side tables + lamps for master bedroom
Repaint the side table in Kamden’s room
Install new kitchen sink + granite countertops
Make our home more energy efficient
Have a technology-free weekend
Find a cleaning schedule … and use it! Right now, the only “regular” cleaning I’ve done is scrub toilets once a week, rinse bathroom sinks, and sweep the floor beneath Kamden’s high chair after every meal. I’m convinced if we had a dog, he’d be the happiest fur-child on the planet for all the food that gets tossed by the toddler who lives here.
Eat at a celebrity chef’s restaurant
Try a new recipe every month January – Loaded Baked Potato and Chicken Casserole (Husband’s reaction was meh.)
Make the perfect omelet
Host a dinner party with other couples/families
Host a “Friendsgiving”
Host a game night
Meal plan for a month … and stick to it! I meal planned the last week of January to get my feet wet. It was an epic fail because the first thing I prepared was spaghetti and I made enough for five Army platoons. Seriously, Husband ate it four straight days at dinner and there were still leftovers. Awesome wife, yes I am. Awesome meal planner, not so much. Moving forward, I need to utilize quantity control. Aye ei ei.
Use the Crock Pot once a week for a month I’ve prepared three meals in the Crock Pot this month: beef roast (twice) and pinto beans. Brandon Z shared his recipe for FABULOUS pork tenderloin that I’m going to try soon.
Save loose change and cash out at the end of the year
Purge the entire house and donate or toss things we don’t use
Have my car detailed inside and out
Sell my car and buy a used SUV or crew cab pickup truck

PERSONAL GROWTH

Find a Bible reading plan (such as this one) that works for me … and use it regularly! January – I’ve read my Bible every day for 31 days using the reading plan linked. 
Read and study Scripture regularly and more thoroughly Due in part to the reading plan above, and this marking technique, my Bible is becoming more colorful as I study it more carefully. Plus, I’m still doing The Story study at church every Wednesday.
Seek opportunities to improve (i.e. parenting, photography, blog writing, etc.)
Have regular conversations with Lisa January 14 – the shenanigans have begun!
Create a new resume
Get a job with new resume
Join a professional organization and get involved in the local chapter
Finish The Story Bible study
Create and lead a small group for parents with young children
Read 12 books (one per month) 1. Being Christian – Rowan Williams; 2. Captivated By You (Book 4 of The Crossfire Series) – Sylvia Day; 3. Chic & Slim: How Those Chic French Women Eat All That Rich Food And Still Stay Slim – Anne Barone; 4. Fighting Back With Joy – Margaret Feinberg
Keep a prayer journal
Keep a blessings/gratitude jar
Participate in a book swap
Get my hair cut at the start of each season January 16 – hair cut
Have my eyebrows “threaded” by a professional
Get a facial/mani/pedi every other month

FOR KAMDEN

Create a 529 Savings Plan – Opened account and made a significant deposit on January 30
Potty train (no more diapers) by second birthday
Continue weekly classes at The Little Gym January 8 – Kamden was promoted to the “Birds” class (for kids 10-18 months)
Enroll in Kinder-music
Schedule one play date a month
Mommy + Me photo session for Mother’s Day
Plant a tree
Make a special craft or memento
Install book shelves in his bedroom
Read a book before bedtime every night We read books every day, but not before bed. Kamden gets a bath, massaged with lotion, dressed in pajamas, takes a bottle of milk, and goes to sleep. This routine has worked beautifully since he was a newborn and I hate to make adjustments right now.

FOR OTHERS

Surprise Husband with a meaningful gift
Continue donating breast milk to the Mother’s Milk Bank of North Texas January 5 – Donated 332 ounces. January 22 – My pumping days are officially over. You can read why here. As sad as I am, I was able to donated 3,300 ounces to the MMBNT.
Donate to a charity
Throw a surprise party for someone
Attend a wedding
Attend a baby shower
Leave a 100% tip for excellent service
Volunteer at least five hours each month January – FAIL!
Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity
Send a “just because” gift to someone
Send 12 handwritten notes (one per month) January – mailed thank-you notes for Kamden’s birthday and Christmas gifts plus cards to Lisa and Jenny for being amazing and wonderful
Send a care package to a soldier
Celebrate special milestones (i.e. birthdays, anniversaries, etc.) with snail-mail greeting cards January 6 – sent cards to Nana for her 84th birthday

ADVENTURE

Go to Bova for a custom ring design consultation
Go to Bova and have my ring and earrings cleaned
Have a ladies’ night once a quarter
Attend a college sporting event
Attend a professional sport event
Invest in quality luggage … and use it!
Visit three museums January 6 – Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas
Visit Ruthie in Austin
Visit Lisa in Virginia
Visit Jenny in North Dakota
Visit Jacqueline in Houston
Visit Heather in Houston
Visit Jen in Arizona
Visit a Presidential Museum
Visit a popular landmark I’ve never seen before
Go to Lake Ouachita (Arkansas) with Husband’s family
Go to Fredericksburg, Texas
Go hunting
Play a round of golf
Go to a drive-in movie
Shoot a bow-and-arrow
Compete in a shooting sport
Complete a fitness challenge
Go paddle boarding
Attend a cooking class
Atend a line dancing class at Billy Bob’s

And for good measure …

JANUARY
Read and study the Bible for 31 consecutive days following a specific reading plan. DONE!

FEBRUARY
Exercise 1,500 minutes in a month, or 75 minutes every week day, and avoid “bad for me” foods.


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Finish This #56

FINISHTHIS2015

My thoughts on chocolate …

Chocolate. It’s not my favorite food group in the world, but I enjoy a taste of it every now and then. I really dislike the taste of dark chocolate, just the smell (like coffee) gives me a massive headache. I do, however, love chocolate desserts, specifically cupcakes (yellow or chocolate cake) with towers of chocolate icing. Mmmmm, icing. You know those tubs of icing they sell at the grocery? Yeah, I just need a spoon and a tub of icing to be happy. I also love brownies, double-stuffed Oreos, and cookie dough. And chocolate chip cookies. If you need a recipe, this is my favorite – feel free to omit the oats and flax seeds if you don’t need to boost your lactation supply!

Bloggers, please add your post to the link up through the link below. :)

Prompt for Week #57
MY FAVORITE
Magazine…
Appetizer…
Board Game…
Perfume…
Chore…


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Monday Musings

Every Monday, I will TRY to post whatever is on my mind (consider it a smorgasbord of thoughts and randomness) as a way to clear my head and prepare for the week ahead. By doing so, I hope to calm the chaos and organize the scattered. Cheers to 2015 and blessings to you!

monday musings

What a week. As of last Thursday, I officially ended my breastfeeding and pumping journey. It lasted 13 months, 399 days, to be exact. It was a fine, very productive ride. Though bittersweet, I am grateful. I have about 200 ounces in the freezer that I will feed Kamden. He’s transitioned to whole milk but we’re still mixing it with a few (usually two or three) ounces of my breast milk.

Being a “transplant” in the oh-so-great State of Texas means an abundance of mountain cedar pollen coating every surface and inner lining of my sinus cavity. Sneezing, coughing, scratchy throat, and itchy eyes are some of my favorite things. I’m not being sarcastic AT ALL.

The eyeglasses I ordered from Warby Park arrived over the weekend. Stay tuned for an update post!

I started a meal planning adventure over the weekend and Husband’s first request was spaghetti. That’s a Husband-approved staple meal in our house, and quite an easy (albeit messy) one to prepare. My biggest issue with spaghetti sauce and noodles is not quality, but rather quantity control. Giant really doesn’t describe the amount of sauce (and mess) I create. I have to use the biggest cooking vessel I own, and even that is filled to the top. By the time I’ve cooked ground beef, Italian sausage, and a host of tomato-y sauces and spices, I end up with about six quarts. In another large pot, I boil water for spaghetti noodles and I always have enough to feed two small armies. Once the noodles are cooked and the water is drained, I add plenty of sauce. Then I add some more for good measure. I divide the extra sauce into two or three containers and freeze for future use. Husband has eaten two big meals from the pot of spaghetti (noodles and sauce mixed) already and has a long way to go. I should invite both teams playing in the Super Bowl over for a pre-game meat and carb fest, or all 853 Facebook friends and their families. Basically, all of this to say: I made a ton of spaghetti over the weekend.

Two words: blueberry muffins. I’ve been craving them so bad and finally indulged by trying this recipe. I halved the amount of sugar the recipe instructed and the muffins are still plenty sweet. Next time, I’ll add more berries (two cups instead of one) and make regular-size muffins instead of jumbo ones. But they are delicious and this recipe is a keeper.

Yesterday for lunch, I had a salad with Ranch dressing. The real kind. I’ll let you figure out the significance of this statement.

Have I mentioned how much I loathe seasonal allergies? Or that I have more spaghetti sauce than sense?

Blessings to you, dear reader, and happy Monday. :)

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