motherhood

Thanksgiving.

7:12 PM



We went ahead and celebrated Thanksgiving the Sunday prior to, just a small gathering of our immediate family (only hubby had to work and sadly couldn't join us, but lots of left-over were brought home for him). My mom insisted she do a turkey, all the sides, multiple desserts, the whole deal, even though we all had plans to celebrate again on Thursday. Though I thought it silly (and a lot of work!) we joined in. I am SO glad we did. Little did we know, our Holland would come down with his first raging fever the night before Thanksgiving. Talk about timing. Today is day three and he is finally on the mend. So, needless to say, we canceled our plans and stayed in, just the three of us.

It was a far from "traditional" Thanksgiving, but joyous none-the-less. We took a morning walk, stopped by a coffee shop, listened to lots of music, watched a lot of Curious George, dished out a lot of pedialite, and a lot of infant tylenol. And despite Holland being ill, it was actually quite enjoyable. And the little guy even managed to have a dance party or two. We cooked up my husband's favorite dish of Korean chicken (I shared this recipe here a few days ago) and snuggled in. Once my husband went to a nearby friends on a dessert recon mission that is. ;) 

All in all, the consensus was that it was a very good day, and though there was no turkey, no potatoes or yams, we were together and that is what really matters. And thanks to some friends, there was dessert! Being together was enough to be thankful for. And that our son simply had a fever and nothing worse. We hope however you spent your day, it was joyous too regardless of the circumstance.


Happy Thanksgiving.

Here are a few photos snapped from our early celebration. I must say, looking at these photos makes me grin ear to ear. Can you tell Holland was the light of the night? I can't even imagine life prior to this little kiddo anymore. One thing I know, is there was a whole lot less laughter before him, from all of us. Holland, we are thankful for you buddy.

He comes running into the kitchen like this ^^^
Selfies with grandpa.
Sillies with auntie.
Giggles with uncle.



Shoes to fill.
This one melts my heart. Grandpa snuggles.

and grandma time!

♥.


Until next time!






recipe

Korean Chicken

7:11 PM


This is my husbands favorite, and chances are if you've been over for dinner, we probably served you this. Korean chicken is on rotation over here. We cook it about once a week, though I am sure I could get away with cooking only this chicken for the rest of our lives and my husband would never complain. It's that good.
We tend to double or triple the recipe,which works great. Left-overs for him, a batch made with tofu for myself. We almost always serve this chicken alongside a big bowl of edamame, and a heaping pile of sticky white rice, though a cabbage salad is a great accompaniment too. This chicken makes for a great weeknight meal, yet looks good enough to serve at a dinner party. Whichever you choose, it is sure to be a hit.
It is loaded with ginger, garlic, lemon, and green onion, which is sure to warm your belly on a cold winter night, and is great for warding off a cold as well. This is our comfort food, and we are happy to share it with you.



Korean Chicken
Yield: 2-3 servings

Ingredients: 
1 pound boneless chicken thighs

Marinade:
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon rice wine
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon sesame oil
pinch black pepper


Garnish:
1 teaspoon sesame seeds

1-2 green onions
Method:


Rinse the chicken pieces. Cut each of the chicken pieces into small sizes (about 2-inch long and 1-inch wide).
Mix all marinade ingredients in a bowl until the sugar has dissolved.
Coat the chicken pieces with the marinade. Marinate overnight.
Preheat a skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken pieces, plus 1-2 tablespoons marinade. Cook until cooked through and slightly caramelized. 




Serve on top of steamed white rice. Top generously with sesame seeds and green onions. 

Serve alongside a bowl of edamame.

*If using tofu, choose a firm to extra firm tofu. Drain well, pressing down firmly with a paper towel or cloth being careful not to break tofu, but squeeze out excess water. The more, the better. Cut into medium sized cubes. Likewise, marinate over night. 


There you have it, from our home to yours.




motherhood

Perspective

2:17 PM






I don't know about you, but I find it all to easy to get caught up in things. Be it what I want to buy next, what I want our home to look like, where I want our home to be, what I "need" to get done. But then a moment like this happens. I am "busy" (most of the time making myself busy because of what I think *must* get done), and my husband calls me out of the house. It's early, we're sleepy, and I roll my eyes, but go anyway. I go outside frustrated from being interrupted from whatever it was I was doing…tidying up the kitchen I think (big whoop, right? and oober important….not). I see this precious moment. My husband and my son, elated, sleepy faced, and in the morning sunlight. Everything else just melts away. I run back in the house, grab the camera, and take a few shots. With everything in me, I hold onto this moment. Not what I was doing, nor my never ending to-do list at hand. This memory, that is far more important than any task will ever be. It is mornings like this I earnestly pray I never forget. A simple reminder that life is all to short, and a gentle reminder of what *really* matters. Not the stuff, not the clean house, not the wishlist of wants, but the people, the memories, the moments, the love and time we share with together. I thank God for his grace and mercy upon me, that He is a forgiving God, that He cares and that He is involved in our lives, that He is active.

“For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord GOD. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice."
Ezekiel 34:11-16 ESV

recipe

Cocoa Almond Banana Muffins

8:29 PM



Today, something amazing happened. Do you remember those yogurt banana muffins I posted a couple weeks ago? Well today they melded with a little Trader Joe's Cocoa Almond Spread and became out of this world good. If you don't have a Trader Joes near by, I assure you Nutella will do you just fine. I, on the other hand, happened to have an open jar of this goodness sitting in my cupboard waiting patiently for someone to do something other than spread it on toast for the billionth time (not that that is a bad thing). The result, fluffy, moist banana bread muffins with warm gooey centers and the perfect touch of cinnamon. The chocolate just sort of sinks in and looks ridiculously good if you ask me.






Cocoa Almond Banana Muffins
Yield: 3 dozen muffins 

Ingredients:


  • 6 medium/large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 12 ounces plain yogurt
  • 1 cup mild olive or vegetable oil 
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon, or to taste
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt, to taste
  • cocoa almond spread or nutella to top
Method:
Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin pan with liners or parchment paper, set aside. 

In a large mixing bowl, mash all 6 bananas. Add the egg, yogurt, oil, sugars, vanilla, and cinnamon. Whisk. 

Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until just combined; don't overmix or bread will be tough. Pour or scoop batter into prepared muffin pan, filling three-quarters full. Top with little spoonfuls of cocoa almond spread or nutella. Spread slightly with butter knife. Bake for  20 to 22 minutes, or until tops of muffins are set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean. Muffin tops should feel springy to the touch when done. Allow muffins to cool in pan for 10 to 15 minutes before removing. 

Muffins will keep in airtight container for up to 5 days. Freeze extra muffins if you won't consume them within a week or drop off a few to a special someone.





Enjoy!!

MAMASTUFF

The art of getting out.

8:05 PM


Today, I battled myself. I don't know about you, but it isn't always easy for me to get us (Holland & I) up and out of the house. It takes motivation on my part. Major motivation. My toddler on the other hand...he wakes, slings his backpack over his shoulder, and heads to the front door to wave good-bye  just about every morning. Diaper still bursting at the seams from the night before, footie jammies on, no breakfast eaten, not a worry in the world. Oh to live like that! He just wakes ready to go. Myself on the other hand, it is not so. I am a have everything in order type of gal. That means I am dressed and mostly presentable, snacks are packed, plans are made, the house is orderly, breakfast is eaten. Perhaps my son and I are a good match for each other, we can learn from each other. For myself, to learn to let go a little. For him, to learn being prepared *can* be a really good thing. I say it like that because I think being overly prepared can also be a hinderance….but back to my point. The outside world is daunting, even as a single person, and definitely with a toddler…or two. And I know to some of you that might sound really, really silly but it is. Or so I tell myself over and over again. And you probably do too from tie to time. Yet once we do get out, we both do better, so much better. A breath of fresh air can really do the soul good. It feels SO good to be out and about amongst other people, sometimes even strangers.



Today was one of these days. I battled and battled (internally) and in the end, we traded our plans for a day in the city for a day staying in our own town. We just could not manage to get out of the house at a decent time this morning. Nor could I muster up the motivation. If I was motivated we totally could have, but it just didn't happen. Not even close. After ten, and with a short temper, I finally got it together and managed to drag us out to a park a few neighborhoods over. And as I sat at a stoplight I have sat at so many times before, I thought how good it felt to be out. Haha, duh. Isn't it always so? And then it clicked. It feels good to be out because that is how we are meant to live. In fact, that is how we were created to live. We were created to live amongst other people, in community with God, in community with each other, in fellowship. It makes perfect sense it would feel good to be with one and other, it makes perfect sense that we have a yearning to do so (even if we try to push it aside and ignore it and be homebodies). Yet how often do we live shut up in our own little boxes? Don't get me wrong, I get it mamma, it is hard! And home is comfortable and easy easier. But it just isn't the same. We need community. We need each other and so do our kids! So for me, here is to getting up and out more. For mustering up the motivation to just get out, to just do it, even if the process is messy, because that is just real life. And as messy (or not) the process of just getting out may be, I know I will be glad I did and my child will be glad I did regardless of what state the home is left in. And I think you will be too. So I encourage you, let's do this together. Let's just leave whatever may be keeping us at home and get out. Or at the very least, invite someone in. Invite someone in to that beautiful mess of yours because it really is beautiful. It is. Or go to the park. Grab a coffee. Take a walk. Whatever it may be, just get out and leave the excuses behind. And know on those tough mornings, you are so not alone. Not even close.


"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:24-25

….and thanks for listening to my rant.




motherhood

A day with Max, King of the Wild Things

10:25 PM



Yesterday, I had the honor of spending the day with Max, King of the Wild Things. And my Holland might have been the cutest Max I ever saw. Totally not biased. Yeah….right. ;)


I sort of want him to wear this tail forever.

See what I mean?


We aren't real big Halloween people but felt like we should do something, so to celebrate we carved a pumpkin together, sorted the seeds, did a whole lot of laundry because let's be real, it never disappears even when it's a holiday, and then headed out for a little trick-or-treating and a visit at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Last year it rained and we skipped the whole going out thing opting to hand out candy instead, so this was Holland's first year out. And he caught on quick, I mean real quick! Not that he had any idea what people were giving him nor what he was putting in his bag. But it was fun, and our little wild thing tromped down the sidewalks, tail swinging from side to side, happy as a clam raaaring all the while. Never have we heard him raar before nor growl, nor did we practice but it was absolutely fitting and absolutely adorable. I thought my heart might explode. My husband and I definitely shared a couple is this, is HE for real?? glances at each other. I guess it still amazes us that this is our son and this is real life. Our life. And what an absolute gift it is. What a gift our son is. The joy he brings us is immeasurable. Forever ingrained in my mind will be the image of our little wild thing last night, Halloween people or not.

And to those who gave our 15-month old goldfish, pretzels, fruit snacks, tattoos, raisins (no joke, he actually danced for the raisins), and mixed nuts (ahem, Grandma) THANK YOU! He will enjoy all of them!

And to those who passed out loads and loads of candy giving even a handful or full-sized candy bar to our little 15-month old, THANK YOU! :) We feel like big kids and are throughly enjoying it! Seriously though, no self-restraint when it comes to candy in the house like this though. It's a good thing I don't buy it!


And now back to Max.











Did he lay it on or what? ^^





With Auntie. Errr…I mean a hippie?!




And one last time, Happy Halloween. 




 

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