Monday, January 26, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Last week I was surprised by an unexpected dinner which turned into leftovers the next night so there are a couple repeats this week.

Monday: Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff over wheat egg noodles & Garlic Bread
Tuesday: BBQ Beef Casserole served with Salad
Wednesday: Greek Chicken Pasta with Homemade bread.
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Enchiladas
Saturday: Beef Stew
Sunday: Minnestrone, salad and homemade focaccia
I was talking to a friend last week about, well about everything really. That's what tends to happen when we talk. We sort of overtalk each other, talk all over the place about a WIDE range of topics, cover lots of bases, laugh and get each other, feeling good when we hang up the phone with each other. One part of our conversation that has stayed with me was when we were talking about being a woman in our thirties. I wouldn't go back to my twenties, they were wild, crazy and fun but I don't think I could survive them twice. (lol) I look forward to my forties ( aren't we girls always looking forward to the next stage of development? Jeez, I know I have been since I was 13, looking forward to 16,then 18, then 21 and so on) since I hear women older and wiser than me tell me that is the best decade, I'm looking forward to it.

Although, right now, 33 years old I am feeling very good about being in my thirties! I know other women out there struggling to figure out who they are, trying to find some more meaning in their everyday, searching for something to fill them up and don't get me wrong, I don't have it all figured out and I don't think I'm fully "evolved" yet, BUT I do feel successful and I do feel like I am right where I'm supposed to be. There can be so many distractions in life that try to throw you off course, try to do exactly that - "distract", and I'm guilty of falling prey to it at times too. But thank God for Chris, he always makes me see the reality and the blessings that surround me!

Sure, I thought I'd be a doctor or something in the medical field - that was my hope for success, to get me out of my house and succeed to something that my mom wasn't able to achieve and something that would make my dad actually be proud of me, but that wasn't what God had planned for me, those were MY ideas, MY plans, totally not HIS. As I reflect upon how in the world I crossed paths with Chris and how I was ever able to capture his heart, it just amazes me and again, I know that wasn't just MY doing for sure. It happened at the right time in both of our lives. Once we connected , a family came immediately to both of our hearts and minds. And sure, I still wanted to hold onto MY plans, just switched from Pre Med to nursing - still fighting to keep control of my destiny, but I didn't win. :o)

God had different plans for me. I've given up alot of control, which believe me is HARD. I'm still very determined, very strong willed, and very independent to a degree, a healthy one I think, but over the past 4-6 months, I've had to let go ALOT! And beliieeeeeeve me, it hasn't been easy but I'm starting to see why it has all happened the way it has and my faith is growing ever so strongly, I don't really have a choice. :o) I guess God already knows that though and may even get a little chuckle here and there, at least that's what I envision when I think of him as my Father watching over every thing I do. I'm married, I'm pregnant with my 3rd child, I'm just FINALLY starting to figure out this "parenting" stuff, I have alot of friends around me and I have a dog. Okay, I know the "dog" seems silly and I've wanted to ditch him at times, even VERY recently but I know I won't.

So I know I'm ALL OVER THE PLACE here, but try to follow me. My dream as a child, teen, young adult was to have a family, feel safe, be truly loved and have real friends. And lately with my crazy hormones and life's regular "stresses" all I've been consumed with is our major debt, our bills, money, being "renters" and not "owners" in the home we our currently calling "ours" that I started to not focus on those 4 key elements that have always been my heart's desire. Sure more money would be great, I'm not a total idiot, but I do KNOW that what I have is enough. I don't need to work on a new career, I don't need to trade my car in for a minivan (even though it would be nice), I don't need to "own" the home I'm living in to consider it "home", I don't need all of those things, my ideas of success, to make my life successful. What I need and always have needed were those four things I already listed and I have them.

I didn't make any New Years resolutions,because honestly I think it's a little dumb and I knew I wouldn't follow through with them anyway. :o) But what I did promise myself is that I will focus more on what I was put here to do. I am wife, mother, friend, and most importantly a special woman that God created and I want to live my life making HIM proud. By doing that, everything else will seem even richer.

I just finished reading "The Shack" and let me tell you, it was amazing! It has been what I needed to read. I am finally able to think of God in a COMPLETELY different way, more personal, more as MY father, my dad, my "papa" . . . the man in my life I never had and no other person could be to me. I read this book in one day and I'm NOT a reader at all. I have 3 books I've started and never finished, but this one, I didn't clean or anything on a Saturday, just read! It was a GREAT day!

I'm not really sure if what I've written makes any sense at all. Yes I'm thirty something and feel good about stuff, NO I don't have being a woman, wife, mom and friend all figured out but feel like I am on track as long as I don't allow all of those distractions in. I have bad days as all of us do, but when that day is over, it's over, no need to go back to it. The more "good" stuff that happens and that I participate in, I want more. I am not a pessimist by heart but do allow myself to go there sometimes, I just don't stay there, I can't. And yes, being a stay at home mom can have days that seem boring, but when I feel that way, I just find something to do which for me usually means "fun" to get my mind back where it needs to be. Being home with my kids, everyday, pretty much all day, is what I'm supposed to be doing, it's what I need to be doing. This family of mine is what brings the most joy to my heart and to my soul, and when I think about those feelings, that is what I think is God's love, His way of showing me affection, his love for me, especially me.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Leftovers
Tuesday: Meatloaf
Wednesday: Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff
Thursday: BBQ Beef Casserole
Friday: Leftovers and fresh veggie buffet
Saturday: Date Night
Sunday: Kansas City Steak, Roasted Parsley Potatoes, Broccoli in Cream Sauce

Friday, January 16, 2009


That is how I feel today.

Not quite sure why.

Not sure what exactly was the trigger.

It's just one of those days.

That is one part of me that I struggle the MOST with. I get upset or irritated, annoyed, and it snowballs into all sorts of stuff. But one thing I have learned is avoidance. GINA, DO NOT CONFRONT! Do not call a friend to unload, sit still. Vent to Chris, spend time praying about it and move on. Things aren't always what they seem.

James 5:9
Friends, don't complain about each other. A far greater complaint could be lodged against you, you know. The Judge is standing just around the corner.

I keep reading that passage over and over again. I've also been camped out on the one below.

James 5:19-20 My dear friends, if you know people who have wandered off from God's truth, don't write them off. Go after them. Get them back and you will have rescued precious lives from destruction and prevented an epidemic of wandering away from God.

So for today, I am not taking phone calls, not making any, eating lots of junk food and playing with Christopher. That is all I need to be doing today and I know that!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I loved this!

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person..
When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support,
To aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
This person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons,
Things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson,
Love the person and put w hat you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Back to my Menu Plan Mondays :o)

Mon: Pasta Fagioli
Tue: Veggie Beef Stew
Wed: Burgers and Blue Cheese Wedges
Thu: Leftovers
Fri: Chili
Sat: Easy Chicken Parm
Sun: Chicken Spaghetti

James 3

So I've been reading the book of James, following along with my friend Amanda's blog and have been stuck on James 3. Oh how that chapter resonates with me so much, in fact to the point that I lay in bed at night thinking about it.

3:2 "We all make many mistakes, but those who control their tongues can also control themselves in every other way."

Verse 2 hits me with my parenting. It's no secret, I am a yeller, a screamer, at times I probably sound like a raving lunatic! I really don't like that about myself and when I do yell, I feel like I failed immediately afterwards. While I'm yelling, I feel like I'm in charge and if I'm commanding things that I want from my kids (stop fighting! Pick up this mess right now! Go to your room! etc.) at that level of voice they will listen to me. And yes, I could go back to my many visits to the psychologist's office back in my early 20's and say, well it's because I never felt like I had a voice as a child, nobody listened to me, blah blah blah, but that really isn't an excuse. It's a tendency, it's a sort of trigger, but not a good enough reason to react that way as a 33 year old woman and mother. This is an area I would like to see the most growth in my parenting and really feel like I'm on my way there. If you know my husband, you KNOW he doesn't yell, he doesn't spank, he just doesn't believe in that sort of discipline . . . FAR FROM the world I came from for sure! He inspires me at so many levels and that's why I believe without a doubt, God created him just for me.

3:5-6 "So also, the tongues is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness that can ruin your whole life. It can turn the entire course of your life into a blazing flame of destruction, fir it is set on fire by hell itself."

Verses 5-6, well that just screams out gossip to me. I LOVE to talk talk talk. I don't intentionally say things to hurt people, I truly don't. But for someone like me, well it's very easy for me to gossip. I never saw anything wrong with it in the past, but now I know it's truly wrong and just don't want to do, don't desire to do it. If there is one thing I've learned from my best friend Erika, it's to hold that tongue. Change the subject. Just don't go there, especially with other women, it's our weakness. It ruins relationships and breaks trust. Since meeting Erika, that is one thing that stands out the most in Chris's eyes, the biggest change or should I say "growth" in me. But I think it will always be a battle. It's one of those things, one of those easy things that we can rationalize that can be so tempting and so destructive for us as women.

There is plenty more in James that I can talk about but those are the big ones for me. It's such a short book but SUCH a GOOD one!! A must for us women to read for sure!

Now I just have to catch up on Matthew. Trying to read the New Testament in 2009 and I'm already behind! Never mind that I'm trying to get started on The Shack too. Oh boy! :o)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My mom shared this with me and I was shocked! I feel like an idiot! LOL

I had to go into the kitchen and check this out for myself. Whoever looks at the end of your aluminum foil box? You know when you try to pull some foil out and the roll comes out of the box.. Then you have to put the roll back in the box and start over. The darn roll always comes out at the wrong time.

Well, I would like to share this with you. Yesterday I went to throw out an empty Reynolds foil box and for some reason I turned it and looked at the end of the box. And written on the end it said, Press here to lock end. Right there on the end of the box is a tab to lock the roll in place. How long has this little locking tab been there? I then looked at a generic brand of aluminum foil and it had one, too. I then looked at a box of Saran wrap and it had one too! I can't count the number of times the Saran wrap roll has jumped out when I was trying to cover something up.

I'm sharing this with my friends. I hope I'm not the only person that didn't know about this.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I can't believe I've been around for 33 years now, it's mind blowing! Sometimes I have moments when I still feel like I'm in my 20's, I just got married, my almost 6 year old was just born. I remember distinctly my feelings the day I moved back to Florida, it's just nuts! I can't help but think of the time line we made at our women's retreat and how disfunctional mine looked compared to everyone elses. :o)

Here is a brief timeline of my crazy life thus far.. (believe me, there's a ton more I chose to omit to cyberspace)

1976 - born in Mount Vernon, NY
1980 - family moved to Florida
1984 - mom and dad called it quits on their marriage
1988 - my sister and I moved in with my dad
1989 - dad decided to move us all up to NH
1990 - dad moved us to Massachusetts, I started High School
1991 - moved to a different city in Mass, changed schools for the last time ( went to 8 schools in 12 years!)
1994 - graduated HS
1995 - got kicked out of the house; put myself in college at a local Comm. College while working 2 jobs, living with my boyfriend
1997 - moved to Florida to "escape", went to mom's house & enrolled at a Comm. College there.
1997 - started waiting on tables and bartending for the easy cash, moved in with a new boyfriend
1998 - met my husband through work, fell in love!
1999 - moved in with Chris, started dating, engaged 4 mths later
2000 - got married, spent honeymoon in Aruba
2000 - kept going to school part time switching my major to nursing.
2001 - went on my first trip to New York as an adult, with my "City Boy" for a romantic weekend!
2001 - miscarried our first baby
2002 - got pregnant with Adrianna and decided to move to Texas. Put school on the back burner to do what I really wanted, be a mommy and wife.
2003 - Adrianna was born
2006 - Christopher was born
2006 - Got involved in Resonate Community Church
2008 - Well, you just saw my year in review! :o)
2008 - Highlight * Pregnant with our 3rd little angel!

And here I am now, 33 years old, married to the man of my dreams, blessed with beautiful and healthy babies, surrounded by family and friends who love me . . . could it be any better than that? :o)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008 A Year in Review

I can't believe it's 2009!!!! Chris and I were talking about now we've been married almost a decade, it's crazy. It seems like just yesterday we celebrated the new millennium as newlyweds. :o) Boy does time fly when you're having fun.

The last quarter of 08 was a whirlwind to say the least, but it hasn't kept us from thinking and reminiscing about our special moments in 2008.


*Spent my first New Years Day with my sister in years!
*I had my first grown up slumber party thrown by my girlfriends for my 32nd birthday.
*Christopher climbed out of his crib and became a talking machine.
*Both the kids actually started to play together, laughing and having fun.
*My little baby became a little boy.
*Adrianna played her first sport on her "Lil Horns" Teeball team.
*Chris and I did our first home improvement project, Laminate Flooring.
*We had two awesome birthday parties for the kids, they had so much FUN! (it was worth the work)
*Our church started meeting biweekly and has grown so much.
*We hosted our first Southern Boil party with lots of new friends, it was a BLAST!
*Our family vacation was spent at the beach in Corpus this year. It was the kids' first time fishing, very cool. They both have cool fishing poles for this spring, can't wait!
*We took a trip to Brownsville for the 4th and spent the weekend with family, much needed and SO relaxing!
*Chris and I committed to start making monthly (sometimes biweekly) date nights.
*I grew accustomed to having my acrylics done on a regular basis having my sister living here now. :)
*I went on my first Women's Retreat and have built some amazing new friendships.
*Adrianna gave herself and her brother haircuts. Not a fun day, but DEFINITELY memorable.LOL
*We started a new tradition, "Back to School Party" and called it her Kindergarten Kickoff Party this year, it was WAY FUN, the water slide was the best!
*We continued all of our Italian Holiday traditions, even though I didn't feel well.
*My little girl started school, a very sad day for mommy.
*Adrianna lost her first tooth.
*Adrianna became a Daisy Scout, her first year as a Girl Scout with many more to come!
*We moved into a new house.
*We became landlords.
*We got a dog.
And last but certainly NOT least, we found out I was pregnant!!!

Like I said, crazy, busy, whirlwind of a year, filled with lots of wonderful moments! It ended in a very stressful way, but I wouldn't let that take away from all the amazing moments I've shared with my husband, my children, our family and all our friends. I am SO looking forward to 2009. With the way 08 ended, I just know God has some wonderful plans for us in 09, I just know it!