6.10.2016

Finding your Identity

A few weeks ago I spent a few days at Point Loma for our church’s annual women’s retreat. I’m not going to lie, I was very wishy washy about attending. In fact, I was so over committed the past couple months that I didnt think I could commit to one more thing. I felt like there were a thousand things pulling me in other directions not to attend. My sister in laws baby shower, one of my best friends 30th bday parties, and I had tickets to go see my favorite musical the Newsies. So clearly how was I going to fit in a women's retreat. Oh yea, I am still nursing my youngest. So I guess Ill be taking him with me. Needless to say, I ended up going down after a food show I was working and my awesome friend Alissa brought the baby to me at the retreat so that I could nurse the baby while I was there. I was so exhausted and in all honesty not really too excited about the weekend away and have felt in a bit of a slump with my Christianity lately. I was not motivated to go spend time with God at all. 
I am so happy that I decided to leave the family and go do something for myself. I had a great time connecting with awesome women and spending time getting to know others in my community. This year’s theme was all around our identity and how we value ourselves. Since there were so many great nuggets of information, I thought I would share some of my notes that I was able to grab in between breast feeding Elijah. 
- We need to recognize that we can’t place value markers on the identity we associate ourselves with

  • Often time I think as women and even as moms we place value on things that we have or our financial status or how well we think people like us, or how many followers we have on social media. 
  • We need to place value in what God says we are.

- We need to understand that its ok that we are not perfect. For me, it was knowing that I need to give myself some grace knowing that I cant do it all and that my house is not going to be perfect.
– We believe what God says about us, but we struggle to accept it.

  • This one in particular hit me really hard. I know God says I'm fearfully and wonderfully made, but how can I accept that. I feel constant pressure to be skinnier, more successful, a perfect wife, and be able to meet
  • How as women do we know and believe what Christ constantly says about us? 
  • What does my identity in Christ look like. 
– Set your mind on the things of the Spirit

  • This point is also particularly hard for me because I just honestly forget to do this at all. Love peace, patience, kindness, and self control. Do I do this daily?  Do you? 
– Jesus goes into His own testing to discover His identity – 40 days in the wilderness!

  • Have you ever given yourself time to reflect and really look at who you are? And Give yourself time to let God speak to you? I know this is something that I need to do more often. I have not made it a priority lately and I need to change that. 
  • I will make it a goal to do this by the end of the month.
And Thankfully my good friend Alissa was able to jot down these additional points for me since I was holding the baby and I had to share  some of her points she wrote down.

– Your wounds do not define you. You are who God says you are!
– God see’s you, He weeps with you when you are suffering. This isn’t the end, you will come out of this!

  • So often times I think we all get into seasons where we just do not know where God is in our lives, and we dont know why he is allowing what he is allowing to happen in our story. 
  • I encourage you to stay the course. This season although so hard will not be the end and God is going to use this pain and this hard season to better your story in the long run.
– Many of us struggle with how to integrate God’s word and let it transform us. 

  • Can I get an amen on this? I struggle with this so much lately that its sad. I have no motivation sometimes to just crack open the word like I have in other seasons before this. But I commit to do this more because  my life, my marriage, my kids all do better when I'm engaged in the word. 
– How can we practically integrate Him? 1.) With Gratitude – writing down 3 things each day that you’re grateful for. 2.) Being aware of what we’re filling our minds with – what we put in our minds shapes and forms how we see God. 3.) Lean into your humanity – find the things in your life where you come alive and feel like the fullest version of ourselves. Tap into God!



Scriptures for follow up reading and affirmation!
Romans 8:1-11; 15-17
Psalm 16
Luke 4:18-21
Isaiah 61:1-3
Ephesians 1:3-10; 15-19
Thanks to Alissa for jotting some extra notes that I missed, and I pray that you are equally as encouraged as I was going away for that weekend.

I am really going to try to put into practice some of these things.

Hope this blessed you like it blessed me.

5.12.2016

It's OK mama.

Work, Husband, babies,chores.  Repeat.

Does this sound familiar to anyone? Can I get an amen? Lately I have been feeling this way daily. Going back to work for any new mom is really hard. Who would have thought that I would wish to go back to those mornings where all I had to worry about was getting the kids their naps and wathcing mickey mouse clubhouse with my oldest. 

My days now look like 1.5 hours of sleep, barely making it out the door in time for a customer meeting, and being extremely lucky to remember puting on that mascera. Im not going to lie, often time that mascera is applied during each red light so that I dont smear it all over my face. Can anyone relate to this? It's even better when I get to the office and my co workers notice some lovely breast milk spit up on my new shirt. I have learned I need to keep a change of clothes in the car at all times. I never know when Im going to need to switch out a shirt. The best is when Im driving to see a client and I have to pump and drive! Yes, I said it. I pump and drive. These are real working mom problems. Before I know it, the day has flown by, customers have been seen and taken care of, reports, presentations are all done, and my food is prepped for the next day. One of my favorite things to try to do throughout the work day is to stop while im out on the road to recharge and refuel myself for at least 10-15 minutes to gather my thoughts. This is KEY for any mom. Even if its not stopping at a quick coffee shop, go into a break room, take a small 10 minute walk outside or heck, close your office door for a few minutes just to regain some sanity! ONE  side note, I will say its imporant to always have a cute bag you can take with you everywhere. I love my Black Magic Ju-Ju Be bag because its cute and literally fits in any situation. You can take this out while you work, or it can double as a cute diaper bag carrier when you are out with your kids. What women doesnt want a bag that can double as fashionable and functional?! 




Anyways, back to my rant on no sleep and having it all done...........

Can anyone else realate to getting home, and feeling like you can literally fall asleep standing up? Lately that has been my reality. Luckily I have an incredible mom that helps me out so much while im gone all day. Can I get an amen for incredible grandma's that will do anything to help their grandbabies? Well I know that Im so lucky! Regardless, I come home. Baby needs breast feeding, older baby needs cuddles. But wait! Hubby is on his way home, I have to make dinner?! Did I forget the crockpot recipe!? I did! Rumage through the fridge and come up with something healthy because Im trying to loose this baby weight. These are real problems. You are not alone. Somthing that I learned is critical is ask your partner for some help. My husband is amazing at this. I have learned that i need to give him some time to debrief and have his unwind time to be a better partner for me and an amazing dad. But after this communicate that you need some help, and know that its ok to not do it all sometimes! Wait, did i just agree with myself that its ok for me not to do it all? I have the hardest time with that. I am a type A personality with OCD and have to have everything in line and perfect all the time.



Motherhood has quickly turned this around. I have learned that its ok to not get everything done in one day. It's ok to ask your partner for help, Its OK to go out to eat because you just havent had time to do the groceries. Its ok mama. You are fabulous, hard working, and you already do it all. Dont be so hard on yourself. Dishes will get done, in time. Oh and that laundry that is piling up? Thats ok. Its more important to spend some time with your babies. You have been gone all day. Before we all know it, our babies will be grown and out of the house. That laundry can wait. Minutes and hours and moments are passing us by. Your spouse needs you to stop and say hello, give them a kiss, hug them a little extra long today. When we are old and gray, these are the moments that we will remember. Not getting the laundry, cleaning and yes we wont remember how we felt on lack of sleep.



 What we will remember are these incredible moments of time we get with our families after a long days work. We are working moms, we work non stop, 24/7 and 7 days a week. Its ok to rest and let the mess pile up for a minute. We are strong, multi-taskers and we do amazing things. Sleep and rest will come. These moments wont last forever. So take a break, snap these photos and enjoy all that God has given you. This family. This family, that is so special and growing before your eyes. Enjoy this momma. You deserve to preserve these moments. You are doing great. Work will be there tomorrow, Laundry will be there tomorrow. So for now, take a few minutes to take a break, and always remember, you are a super mom. You are the BEST for your family, and you are doing a great job. 




5.06.2016

Did Someone say Good Mexican Food Recipe?

Queso Fundido Con Chili a la Tequila



I don't know about you but Cinco De Mayo May just be one of the best excuses to indulge in some yummy chips and endless tacos. Post baby weight or not, I will always go for a good Mexican recipe! Luckily, I get to work with some incredible chefs and a great company that make these incredible recipes. Although Cinco De Mayo isn't here year round, This is a go to recipe for any fun party or potluck you attend!


Not your average margarita, the Queso Fundido Con Chili a la Tequila. For those of you that failed high school Spanish that roughly translates into “The best chili you will ever eat and oh yeah it has tequila in it BAM. This chili will supplement your famous margaritas this Cinco de Mayo and you will be the hit of the party. Want to make this recipe with your kids? Just don’t add the tequila.

This Recipe Makes 8 Servings:
 
Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • ½ cup tequila
  • 1 (15-ounce) can Hormel® chili
  • 1 (8-ounce) block sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 (8-ounce) block Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Garnish: jalapeño slices, corn tortillas


DirectionsHeat oven to 400°F. In 12-inch cast-iron skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté onion and next 4 ingredients until softened. Remove from heat. Stir in tequila, return to heat and cook 2 minutes or until reduced by half. Stir in chili. Remove from heat. Sprinkle evenly with cheese.  Gently stir and bake 30 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with cilantro. Garnish with jalapeño slices, if desired. Serve in martini glass with corn tortillas.

5.05.2016

This thing called Motherhood

What is modern motherhood?...

Sometimes I often sit in my bed at 3am in my middle of the night nursing my newest son thinking to myself, man where did my late night girl time go? Or when on earth did I ever have the energy to be out dancing all night with my friends and come back home and hang out until the sun came up? Now I feel like I won a jackpot lottery ticket when my kids are in bed by 8pm and I get to indulge in some real housewives of OC, and eat my ice cream for 30 minutes with no interruptions. Now although my late nights are not the same, let me tell you what MY modern motherhood has turned into and why I wouldn't want it any other way.
I recently have been through the journey of two back to back pregnancies that overall were quite healthy and normal. The one difficult part for me was that I am very career driven and I had to tell my employer twice in one year that I was going to be gone for about 8 months. Now any working woman may already feel like they are being treated differently, or that they may not have the same opportunities as someone else, and let me tell you all those thoughts went through my mind too. But fortunately for me, I work for an incredible company Hormel Foods and they were more than supportive of my unplanned little blessings. For me, working for a great company definitely made a world of difference. So now I just had to deal with swollen feet, peeing every 15 minutes, and all those lovely corporate responsibilities that I had all day. Easy right? No. Very difficult. I often times would feel sick smelling meats and being in kitchens with the chefs I worked with and found that I would need a nap after being at work for 30 minutes. Who can relate? This is what I was discovering would be what modern motherhood would be for me. I would need to learn how to juggle growing a human while finishing forecasted numbers and business reviews. Working overtime and long hours would be my new normal as business was still booming although I was going through this life changing transition.  Oh yeah, and I have a husband who needs attention. We will get into that one later. I was quickly learning that the painted photos in my mind about pregnancy were not the same. Stepping into motherhood was going to be hard work, a lot of stress, and probably the most difficult journey I will ever go through. These were a 10 tips that got me through the 9 months of stretch marks and weird food cravings.
 
  1. Make sure to eat!
    • Eating is a must while you are working all day. If you don't eat, you get sick. So I would stash some goodies at my desk and in my car at all times to make sure I was getting some good food.
  2. Drink a lot of water!
    • I know. you will pee. A LOT.
  3. Walk and exercise as much as you are able to!
    • Even if its once a day, you will thank me when you are in labor.
  4. Sleep!
    • If you are anything like me you wont have time for sleep. But Girl.. make it happen.
  5. Get a pedicure as much as you can!
    • Pedicures will nearly be a distant memory soon so take advantage of treating yourself whenever you can. Plus, those swollen feet will feel in heaven with those foot rubs.
  6. Any creative project you think from Pinterest you need to do, Do it before 30 weeks!
    • All of the sudden you will have this urge to nest. Do it in your 2nd trimester, before you can barely waddle around the house!
  7. Baby moon with your husband!
    • After the baby arrives, a few moments of alone time with your spouse will emerge and you will just look at each other and go take a nap. So, jump on that exciting trip for the two of you while you can.
  8. Find that perfect Diaper Bag!
    • My favorite bags are the Ju-ju be diaper bags.. Machine washable! Can I get an AMEN?
  9. Get a prenatal Massage
    • Trust me, you will thank me later.
  10. Enjoy your body changing.
    • Enjoy each kick, each stretch mark, each restless night, or nausea filled moment. Although its horrible now.. you will miss these milestones, so enjoy.
 
So enjoy these treasured moments, work hard, love your spouse, and get all that quality girl time in! These moments go so fast. Remember that!