A Day of Harvesting Basil and Purposefully Unpurposeful Parenting

I wrote this to remind my self of all the ways the perfect day can happen. And just how easy it can be if I simply stop TRYING to make the perfect day happen. May I always do my job well and provide her with the room to grow as she pleases!


I only just read the name for what happened here this morning, last night: “Slow Parenting”.

At first I thought it was going to be something I didn’t like. “Slow Parenting” lends itself to sounding unlikable, I think!

I tend to think of what happened here today as “Purposefully Unpurposeful Parenting”. And while that may be a mouthful (and possibly grammatically impossible!) I think it describes it so much better than “Slow Parenting”.

[Read more...]

As We Go about Our Day

I am working to find beauty in the simple things.

The precious times a midst the busyness.

I have written plenty about that so I will stop talking and share my heart with a few pictures.

{I recently read a blog post about having your camera set up to take pictures of you in your day to day lives with your kids… I loved the idea and here’s our result!}


{A test picture}

[Read more...]

Italian Sausage Sauté on Pasta

This is a dinner I have thrown together once a week for the past two weeks… And I’m planning it again tomorrow!
Its delicious.


I tend to prefer pasta dishes that are full of cheese and cream but… Claire-Rue can’t handle cheese so I have been forced to expand! This meal is basic, and yummy!


(^ this is what she looks like if I eat dairy! Kinda funny! Well… Actually not funny AT ALL! She looks much cuter withOUT dairy!)


(Not many pictures today… Hailee ate first and then dad and I ate later…)


[Read more...]

ABC’s Of Getting Married Young

A list of things I’ve learned about being married young. And being married period! The highs and lows. The truths. The “wives tales”. The things people were wrong about… And the things I didn’t expect!

David and I were married 2 months after my 18th birthday and he was 22. (And I wasn’t pregnant… Just in love! Always worth clarifying!) It was the best and sometimes toughest decision I’ve ever made. And soooo worth it!

I am not trying to convince people here that they NEED to get married young, for certainly no one should feel pressured to find a spouse. This is written in support of people who have already chosen to marry young, or might be feeling discouragement from people around them at the prospect of their marrying young. I certainly had some people like that and I enjoy seeing stories that support our decision. So here’s mine!


[Read more...]

Focused Toddler Projects

The following is a list of quiet, indoor, rainy or sick day activities for kids ages 0-2…

Some may seem obvious. Too obvious maybe! But I know those days… Those days where you are so BRAIN DEAD that you cannot think of even the simplest thing to entertain them with. So you turn to the TV… Well. This is here for me (and you!) to hopefully help bring ideas to mind more quickly and relieve a little stress!

I have another reason for this list. Slightly more complicated.

(So stay with me!)

I am a firm believer in teaching my kids how to focus.

(Yes. Teaching! I don’t think this comes naturally… At least not always. Especially not for very energetic, rambunctious, early movers like my girl, Hailee!)

[Read more...]

I hope I will always be “That Mama”

(Back from June 2013!)
As I am now nearly half way through my second pregnancy I have been… Reminiscing. Which might sound ridiculous, seeing as how my Hailee is only 12 months old, but it is already becoming so apparent to me that times are flying by!!!
The things that she doesn’t know she does during that day that just make me stop in my tracks, think gosh why is she so dang cute, and smile. The little things I’m worried I am going to be in such a rush that someday I will look back and not remember the tiny things. The things that make each day worth it!
Lately I have spent a little time going through her newborn photos, and today I found this poem that I originally discovered a few weeks before I had her. I decided that this was a good place to save it, in hopes of making it remain in the fore front of my mind even longer.
{Forgive me if I get emotional!}
Mother, O’ Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth.
Baby kisses

Our Favorite Shredded Beef Tacos

This is all I need to show you to convince you these tacos are AMAZING:
IMG_0726 copy


Here’s what you need:

3-4 pound chuck roast
3 Tablespoons butter
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cumin – lightly sprinkled over roast
1 can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup beef broth
lime, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream or other favorite toppings


Preheat oven to 400 degrees if you need this done in less than 3 hours, or 300 degrees if you have a longer amount of time. (Approximately 4 hours.)

Season the roast with spices. (Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cumin. More or less depending on how spicy you like- or whether you’re feeding a baby or just adults!)

Heat your Dutch oven over medium-high heat with 3 Tablespoons butter. Sear roast on all sides, 2-3 minutes per side.

Turn fire to low, and pour the can of fire roasted diced tomatoes and then 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa over the top of seared roast. Stir together carefully.


Turn fire off, put the lid on the dutch oven and put your Dutch oven in the Oven-oven. (?)


After a few hours (2 hours if on high, 3 hours if on low.) test with a fork. It should start to pull apart easily. Very clear that you could shred it with two forks. If not, put it back in the oven and test after another hour.

Once it pulls apart easily,  remove your Dutch oven from the Oven oven and the roast from the Dutch Oven.


Leave the lid off your Dutch oven so the sauce can cool while you shred the beef.

(Be sure to remove any fat while shredding beef!)

Now back to the sauce. It should be mostly cool by now, so that you can scoop it the fat off the top with a spoon. Throw it away!

This is the base of your sauce. Add 1/4 cup of beef broth to the pot and turn fire to low and let the sauce simmer. Squeeze the juice of one lime into sauce. Taste! And add more lime if needed. Add the shredded beef back into the sauce and stir gently but thoroughly.

Once your beef is completely rewarmed, its ready to serve! Feel free to taste again and adjust salt or other seasonings as needed.

IMG_0720 copy

Baby girl is my 3rd in line taste tester! Me first, Dad has second opinion, and then mostly she just feels left out and starving.

I mean, I was running 30 minutes late with dinner. How dare I!

A valuable lesson for parents of one year olds!

*No matter how many nights in a row you have dinner ready at exactly the time Daddy gets home, if you’re late one night, that all goes out the window! Along with her patience!*

Back to serving dinner! Get all your favorite toppings assembled.

IMG_0721 copy

And create some beautiful tacos!

IMG_0729 copy

For babies, Hailee’s advice is: serve “open face” tacos. Meat and toppings in a bowl with a tortilla on the side!