Weekly Dinner Menu {10/21 – 10/26}

Weekly Dinner Menu

It’s Monday and I am back in action! I took a small vacation, which I’ll talk about after the menu. First, let’s talk food! I like to make a weekly dinner menu for myself so I know what I’m getting at the grocery store, and also because I have a lot of people ask me for healthy meal ideas for their weekly menus. You should know that my definition of healthy is simply eating real foods (including butter). I’m not about excluding one certain type of food or food group (except processed foods).  I may include one processed ingredient like pasta, but it’s going to be the healthiest, least-processed pasta I can find! So the following recipes are from-scratch recipes. Get back in your kitchen and be in charge of what goes into your kiddo’s bodies!

Monday – Butternut squash & Chicken pan-roast

Tuesday – Beef Goulash Soup

Wednesday – Leftovers from Tuesday night

Thursday – Simple & Sweet Stir Fry

Friday – Pineapple, Gorgonzola, & Sausage Pizza with this Light & Fluffy Crust

Saturday – Grilled Salmon with Asparagus & Roasted Red Potatoes

I’m not including Sunday on purpose. Our in-laws may be in for the weekend, so it might be an out-to-eat night. We’ll see!

About this vacation…I didn’t mention it here for home-safety reasons, but my little family and I took a trip over to England to visit my sister, brother-in-law, and my niece, Annabelle.  We had loads of fun and saw all the cool sights around London and took a day trip to Bath. I won’t bore you with photos of castles you have already seen in pictures, but I will bore you with a few family photos.

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

A fun telephone booth in Windsor.

A fun telephone booth in Windsor.

Windsor Castle (Milo is on my back)

Windsor Castle (Milo is on my back)

My sister and her husband, and Annabelle.

My sister and her husband, and Annabelle.

Milo and me at the Roman Baths.

Milo and me at the Roman Baths.

Have a fun Monday!

Advertisements

It’s Grandparents Day!

I’ve been very blessed by having my grandparents around my whole life. Only recently have we lost my mom’s mom, and my great-grandma. Most people don’t have their grandparents around, or they aren’t a big part of their life, well into their 20’s!

photo copy 2

This handsome couple is my mother’s parents, Charles and Janice. I never got to meet my grandpa, since he died when my mom was about 10 years old, but my Mamaw was around until just a few years ago. We have lots of funny stories involving her. She lived with us a lot over the years so we got to spend a good deal of time with her. She always walked around mumbling things under her breath like “well, I swan!”.  She was a funny lady. She was always warning us about things and she would always start her warnings out in a really low voice saying, “ooh, amber….”  She died the month before Sam asked me to marry him, but we had been dating for a while and she thought he was such a handsome young man. I really wish she could be here to see the life we have made. She would be head over heels in love with Milo and Annabelle (my sister’s daughter).  I miss her so much, but I’m so thankful for all of the years I had with her.

photo copy 3

These two are my father’s parents, Bob and Sharon.  They are both alive and well and still a big part of my life. They have been a wonderful example to me and my cousins of what a marriage should look like, which is anything but rainbows and unicorns. I grew up close to their farm in Florida near two of my cousins. The four of us (me, my cousins, and my sister) would run around in the woods, building forts and exploring, what we thought was the wilderness. It seemed so big when we were so small. Anyway, occasionally we would do something completely idiotic like climb grandpa’s pear tree and we knew we were in trouble. He’d catch us, make us go back and pick a switch off the tree. We only did those things once, and we learned quickly to stay away from trees and bushes that had skinny, whip-like branches. Haha. My grandma only punished the 4 of us once. I can’t remember what we did, but all four of us were laughing when she lined us up, bent over her bed, and she pulled out a yard stick so she could take care of us all at one time. Haha. She always made us play outside, which I am so thankful for! She would give us a few old pots and some spoons and we’d go out on the front porch and play house all day. She also taught me and my sister how to play the piano and read sheet music, which is knowledge I will cherish forever.  I have been very blessed to have such a close relationship with them my whole life.

1001533_10201509095227084_1064928677_n

I feel that I should also include my great-grandma in this celebration of grandparents! She lived right down the road on the same farm, so we saw a lot of her.  We’d stop by her house sometimes on our way to her part of the woods. She lived through the Great Depression, so she had tons of canned food stockpiled in her house. My dad always told us not to eat anything over there since she like to keep food around a little longer than it wanted to stay around. Haha. She was a sweet lady, and I never fully appreciated having her around until after I was married and had Milo. She lived a long and full life and passed away just a month or so ago.

I am very blessed to have such amazing grandparents. I know many people have strained relationships or no relationship at all with their grandparents, so I definitely consider myself blessed in this department.

Happy Grandparent’s Day to all of mine! Thank you for being such a big and important part of my life. You all have helped shape me into the woman I am today. I love you all!

What are your favorite memories with your grandparents, or how have they impacted your life?

DIY: Babies

Just kidding. I’m not going to tell you how to make babies, silly. But today is normally the day I share my DIY projects, and it’s not like I don’t have many ongoing projects (hat for friends baby, piano bench, couch slipcover, afghan for couch, etc…), it’s just that I have something that I wanted to share with the world that involves babies!

I’m pregnant and it’s……

photo

…one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen!

Just kidding, it’s a beautiful skull.  Anyway, it’s a girl! I’m due sometime mid to late January, so yay! Sam is super excited to have a little girl to spoil. I’m terrified because I’m scared she’ll be just like me: mean, stubborn, and persistent. Milo has no idea what is about to happen. So many mixed emotions!

Honestly, though, I’m very excited to be having a little girl. I’ve already discovered how much more fun it is to shop for little girls than it is to shop for little boys. Sam didn’t like that discovery very much. Anyway, I need to get back to some of those DIY projects so I can have something for you for next Thursday! Have a wonderful day!

Husband, I appreciate you.

My amazing husband has been hard at work lately with house projects that I put him up to. He has happily agreed to do them all without complaining, and, well, I’m not always as nice and agreeable as he is. I just want to stop and say that I truly appreciate my husband and all that he does for our family. And to show my appreciation I decided to make a dish with beef in it for dinner tonight! Haha. I’m not big on red meat, therefore we don’t eat much of it in this house, so this is a real treat for him.

Speaking of husband appreciation, I found a cute little list of ways to show your husband appreciation. {Here}

I thought it was important that she included “take care of yourself and your appearance”.  I have seen many people get married and just let themselves go, whether they gain 20lbs or just stop looking nice. I think this really has a negative effect on marriages. Whether you mean to convey this message or not, I believe it tells your partner that they aren’t worthy of your efforts to take care of yourself, which, I think, conveys a sense of disrespect. Anyway, just my two cents on that subject.

**Just wanted to clear up any misunderstandings here. I didn’t mean that people who gain weight are being disrespectful to their spouses. I know some took it that way. I totally understand that weight gain is something that some cannot help and am sensitive to that. I was mainly just talking about “letting yourself go” just because you’ve got the ring on the finger. I know some people might not agree with me, but I just think it’s important to keep that same regard for your husband after the wedding bells have rung. Do marriages work well when a spouse lets himself or herself go? Yes. I’m not saying you’re doomed for failure if you never change out of sweatpants. I was simply saying it speaks volumes to your husband if you take care of yourself and care about how you look in front of him. That is all**

Well, I’m off to start my Monday. My little guy starts part-time preschool tomorrow (I know, I thought it was going to be last week, too). Today will be dedicated to talking all about preschool and giving extra snuggles and kisses.

New beginning for year 4

I’m coming up on the 3 year anniversary of The General Specific, and while I’m proud to still have this thing going, I really want more for my blog. I’ve decided to start something new for the month of August. I’ve purchased a planner, since I actually have things to write in it now like our bill schedule, my internship hours, dr.’s appointments, etc…I have written out topics for the whole month of August, and I plan on posting every weekday during this month, starting with today. If I am successful, I am going to treat myself by purchasing my own domain name! So that is my challenge for the month of August.

On Mondays, I’d like to start the week out with the topic of marriage & family. It might be a lesson in marriage or parenting I have been learning lately, or an awesome article pertaining to one of the two topics that I came across. I think this is a good topic for a lifestyle blog, plus I am on my way to becoming a marriage and family therapist, so why not talk about it?!

Tuesday will be all about music! It might be an old tune, or a new one that I’ve been loving lately, but there will be a music video every Tuesday.

Wednesday is all about food.  I love food. I cook every night. So food must be included here!

Thursday is my craft day. So I will share what I’ve been working on around the house or maybe something that Milo did since he’s getting to the stage where he can do crafty things!

And Friday will be a list of my 5 favorite things for the particular week. I am a list person, so I enjoy reading other people’s lists, and I just thought other people who like reading lists will like to read mine!

Saturday and Sunday will be my off-days. Off from my internship and my blog so I can enjoy the maximum amount of time with both of my boys.

I have high hopes for August and for my blog.

Today I will leave you with a simple poster I pinned on Pinterest the other day. I think many parents forget this truth, then scratch their heads when their kids do the very things they advised them not to do. I’m not quite there with Milo yet, but this is something that my husband and I need to remember every single day as we interact with Miles and interact with each other.

 

Don't know where this originally came from, but I found it on Pinterest!

Don’t know where this originally came from, but I found it on Pinterest!

See you tomorrow!

Hope springs eternal

Yesterday afternoon, as we were winding Milo down for bed time, Sam and I found ourselves watching a movie we normally wouldn’t watch: Hope Springs.  When I heard the title, I couldn’t help but to be annoyed they they forgot the word “eternal”. That is the quote after all, “hope springs eternal”, which means that you believe that even out of the darkest and most impossible circumstances, there is hope.  Being that this movie is about marriage, I think “eternal” should not have been left out, but that’s just my outlook on marriage.

The movie centers around a middle-aged married couple who have grown so distant that they sleep in separate rooms and have lost all physical closeness with each other. This got me thinking of some of my friends who are in their early years of marriage and are having trouble. Unfortunately, I can think of 5 couples, right off the bat, who have either given up and are going through with a divorce or who are going through some difficult times with each other and are trying to decide whether to push through or give up.

This breaks my heart, and it should break yours too.

I understand the roots of the problems with marriage run far deeper than I can get into today, so I won’t even go down that road. I mainly wanted to share this quote that Dr. Fields (Steve Carell’s character) said that really resonated with me, so much that it brought tears to my eyes (which is not something that happens often with movies..books, maybe…).  Anyway, my hope is that it will stay with anyone who may be going through one of the difficult times that are inevitable during the course of a marriage.

“Even great marriages have terrible years – so bad that you’re just tempted to give up. But don’t. Hold on. There will come a time when you’ll look back on this moment as the prelude to something fuller and richer than you’ve ever experienced.”

Normally, I am annoyed with the way Hollywood portrays marriage, but I think they did a wonderful job with this movie and I think it’s a great example for all couples going through difficult times, whether it be loss of communication, unfulfilled expectations, or even infidelity.

Don’t give up. When God is in control, hope springs eternal.

He’s Home!

It’s been 8 long months. I’ve had a few good cries, a few days that felt like they would never end, but my husband is finally back where he belongs. I was lucky enough to have my sister-in-law with me to capture some sweet moments. Enjoy!

First hug!

First hug!

Milo is thinking, "Who is this guy?"

Milo is thinking, “Who is this guy?”

95750e82acec11e2a37d22000a9f50cd_7

My handsome husband, glowing sister-in-law, and my beautiful son.

My handsome husband, glowing sister-in-law, and my beautiful son.

Another deployment under our belts. Hopefully this was the last one ever!

Another deployment under our belts. Hopefully this was the last one ever!

Also, apologies for being such a slacker with my blog. I have no acceptable excuse, only that I am lazy and usually fill my free time with aimless internet surfing and cooking. I promise to be better now that my family is back to normal! Xoxo…