This Badge…

This Badge means different things to different people. In our home, this is Daddy’s badge, and he wears it as a symbol. It’s a symbol of protection, of courage, and of service. But to some it means hatrid, racisim, and injustice.

These events going on in our country has my heart heavy. Because I know that the man who wears this badge is a good man. He is courageous, and honorable, and he would gladly lay his life down for an innocent. But I know that today, he will leave home and not everyone will see the man I see. They won’t see the loving Daddy who makes silly voices for his son’s pets, and who always has something to laugh about. They’ll see just another white cop with a badge and assume the worst. They’ll assume he’s racist, that he’s corrupt, and they’ll have a sense of fear around him. They’ll tell their children not to speak to him, or he’ll haul them off to jail. He will have young children run up to him and say “Don’t shoot!” And he’ll calmly explain to them that he would never hurt them, and that he is there for help and protection.

Today I am afraid, I am afraid that the next time I see this badge, a Chaplin will be handing it to me. I’m afraid because I know the people he comes into contact with. I have seen their faces and seen photos of their crimes, and I know that they hate him. 

But today, I will pin this badge onto his shirt, hug and kiss him goodbye, and say “See you tonight.” We never say goodbye. 
And please, as you remember those in Dallas, please remember when you come across a Police Officer, that they are someone’s husband, son, wife, daughter, brother or sister. They are everything to someone. They are a person. And remember that they have a family waiting for them. 

Mothers Day

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Edible Finger paints!

This year will be my first Mother’s Day celebrating as a mother. I look at my son and think how awesome and wonderful he is, but I also see all the things I wish I had done and I begin to feel like a failure. He’s only 9 months old, but in those 9 months, there is so much I wish I had done differently. I wish I was brave enough to put him in his own room at 6 months, I wish we did more tummy time so he would be crawling now, I wish I breastfed him longer, etc etc etc. But it’s times like this when my husband will come home and comment on how I’m doing such a good job. Now, my husband has never raised children before, but I love hearing him say that to me. Because in our society we mothers second guess nearly every single thing we do, and if we’re not questioning ourselves, believe me, someone else is doing it. Everyone has an opinion on how you’re raising your children.
But, unless abuse is involded, no one else’s opinion matters unless you let it matter. People will tell you that your 2 year old shouldn’t be drinking out of a bottle, that your 3 year old should be potty trained by now, or that your 9 month old should be crawling, but those people aren’t your child’s parent. They don’t know your child the way you do, no one does. You’re the one responsible for that little person, no one else. That’s sometimes a hard pill to swallow. You look at the little person you were blessed with and you think, “How on earth am I going to do this?!” But you can. It’s hard, but it’s so rewarding. You don’t think your baby is watching you, or learning anything, but then he turns to you and starts clapping and saying “Ma ma ma ma”. It’s one of the best feelings ever.

I posted something on my Facebook page a few months ago with a picture of my smiling son, and the caption said this.
“My son is formula fed, uses a pacifier, wears disposable diapers, synthetic fabric blends in his clothes, has watched television and eats store bought baby food. But he’s healthy, happy, thriving and he’s loved. He’s no better than a baby whose breastfed, doesn’t use a pacifier, and wears organic cloth diapers. But he’s no worse either. Putting mothers down just because they’re raising their child differently than you would, is hurtful. Mothers are supposed to help each other, not tear each other apart.”

So, no matter how you had your baby, by natural or medicated birth, cesarean section, adoption or surrogacy. No matter how you choose to care for your baby, with cloth or disposable diapers, breast or bottle, baby led weaning, or not. Your baby is beautiful and you’re a beautiful Mama. We’re strong, we’re capable, we have little ones who depend on us, and we are awesome. So happy Mother’s Day to all you Mama’s. Love and squeeze the people who made you what you are, then go take a hot bubble bath, because you deserve it 😉 

Tonight’s Dinner, Deconstructed Tacos

Tonight’s Dinner was super easy and delicious and, for the most part, healthy! I made Deconstructed Tacos. Now, I for one adore tacos and I’m usually not a fan of anything but the real deal, but these were awesome.

I started my browning a pound of ground chuck (you can use ground turkey, but my husband won’t touch the stuff) and adding a packet of low sodium taco seasoning. Once that was thoroughly combined, I added a drained can of whole kernel yellow corn, and a drained can of black beans.

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I mixed it up and added 1/2 a cup of salsa to the mix. While this simmered, I cooked a pot of brown rice, about 2 cups, and added it into the ground chuck mixture

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I let it sit for a few minutes while I grabbed myself a bowl, and lined it with large leaf Lettuce.

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Then, I added the ground chuck mixture to my bowl, topped it with plain greek yogurt and a little mexican blend cheese. You can use sour cream if you wish.

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And thats it! You can add onion or tomatoes if you wish, but not everyone in out house is a fan of them so they weren’t added here. But it was SO delicious! The baby even loved it. This will be something that is added to my go to recipes.

Ingredients
1 pound ground chuck or turkey
1 packet low sodium taco seasoning
1 can whole kernel corn (drained)
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
2 cups of cooked brown rice
1/2 cup of salsa (I used chunky salsa)
Large leaf Lettuce
Plain greek yogurt or sour cream
Mexican blend Shredded cheese

Recipe
Brown your ground meet and add a packet of low sodium taco seasoning
Add drained corn and black beans and mix. Then add 1/2 cup of salsa. Let simmer for a few minutes and then add your cooked brown rice and mix together.
Line bowl with large leaf Lettuce, and place mixture in bowl. Top with sour cream or plain greek yogurt and Shredded cheese. Feel free to add Tomatoes or onions. 

Tonight’s Dinner: Salmon, Rice, and Roasted Asparagus

So tonight’s Dinner was super delicious. We had pan seared salmon, with rice and roasted asparagus. I used to make it all the time but I stopped because Salmon had become too costly here. But yesterday, while grocery shopping, I saw that they had some wild caught Alaskan Salmon on sale, so I bought a pound.
I removed the skin, cut it in fourths, and then sprinkled a little salt and pepper over them.
I then heated up my cast iron skillet with a drizzle of olive oil, then I added my Salmon and seared it on both sides until golden brown and cooked through. Once it was cooked, I took half of a lemon and squeezed the juice over the salmon.

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While it was cooking, I began cooking my rice by adding 1 and 1/2 cups of rice and 3 cups of water to a sauce pan on medium high heat.

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Then I got to work on my asparagus. I cut about 2 inches off the bottom of the stems, then I laid them out on my roasting pan, drizzled some olive oil, and sprinkled salt and pepper over them. Then I placed them into the oven at 375° for 30 minutes.

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When they were done, they looked like this.

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They were so tender and flavorfull. I love me some roasted asparagus.

After everything was cooked, I plated our meals and we ate! It was L’s first time having salmon and asparagus and he loved them!

Recipe

Salmon fillets
1 and 1/2 cups of Rice
Asparagus
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of butter
1 half of a lemon
Olive oil

Add a drizzle of olive oil to your skillet and heat to over medium heat.
Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste over your Salmon fillets and place them in the skillet. Sear until golden brown on both sides and cooked through.
While Salmon is cooking, add 1 and 1/2 cups of rice to a sauce pan with 3 cups of water and cook over medium high heat until done.
While rice is cooking, cut off 2 inches off the stems of the Asparagus. Lay them on your roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Then place the roasting pan in the oven at 375° for 30 minutes or until the asparagus is a little shriveled looking and the tops are crisp.

Once that’s done, squeeze lemon juice over your salmon, place the rice on your plate, salmon on top of the rice and Asparagus on the side, and enjoy!

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Beginning of Change

I’ve been overweight most of my life. I’ve never been a very active person, and as a child and teenager, I would have rather had my nose in a book or my pencil to my art pad, than play basketball, or soccer. I also had bad eating habbits. I’ve struggled with my self-esteem for about 12 years now. When I became pregnant, they classified me as “Obese”, and told me to try not not gain any more than 10 pounds. I didn’t have diabetes or gestational diabetes, and I didn’t actually gain any weight, I lost over 30 lbs, because I was eating healthy foods and drinking nothing but water. After I gave birth to L (who was a whopping 9 lbs 6 oz), my stomach was stretched out, with stretch marks as wide as a half inch. My skin sagged, but I felt great!
Now here, after 8 months, I’ve gained a little bit of the weight back, but not much.
When I first got pregnant, I weighed 282 lbs. At the end of my pregnancy, I weighed 248 lbs. As of right now, I weigh 257 lbs. My goal is to weigh 235 lbs by the time my son turns 1 year old. Now, that only gives me 4 months, but I think I can do it. For the next 4 months, once a month, I will be posting my before and after pictures, my activity, tools I use, and my diet for that month. So, for today, I want to share some pictures I took of myself this morning and my lunch. If you dont want to see the photos, then please end youre reading here. I can’t believe I’m actually putting these out there, and I’m very nervous doing it, but I figure this is the first step. I took these after I got out of bed and dressed, so you’ll forgive the “I need coffee” face, hahaha.

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Spinach wrap with ham, spinach, and cheese and a cup of Greek yogurt

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This is my 25 year old, Mommy body. This may sound crazy to some, but I’m actually pretty proud of these pictures. Mainly because I know what my body can do. And then because I know what I looked like before. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures from then of my body. But I’m hoping that by this time next month, I’ll have made a little bit of progress and lost an inch or 2.

I hope you go along with me on my journey, and we’ll see where it ends!

Tonight’s Dinner: Makeshift Shepherds Pie

I thought I’d take a small break between Spring Cleaning posts, and share with you all what I made for dinner tonight. I was having one of those days where nothing on our weekly menu looked good to me, so I decided to whip up a Shepherds Pie. Shepherd’s Pie, or Cottage Pie, is a meat pie with a crust of mashed potato. The dish is commonly made with beef or lamb, with added carrots, peas, onion and celery. Well, I only had a few of the ingredients, but I went with it anyway hahaha.

I started with browning 1 pound of ground beef in my cast iron skillet. Once it was nearly cooked, I added one small diced onion and let it cook together until the onion was translucent. Once that happened I added 1 and 1/2 cups of frozen green peas. While this was cooking, I mixed 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1 cup of beef broth to make a gravy. I added it plus 1 teaspoon of salt to the ground beef mixture and let it thicken. Then I removed the skillet from the heat and started on the mashed potato topping.
I used 1 and 1/2 cups of potato flakes, and 2 cups of milk. I added them to a pan and heated them on the stove, stirring frequently. Then I added 4 tablespoons of butter. If the mixture becomes to thick, you can add more milk. You want a whipped, creamy like texture. Once I finished the potatoes, I added them to the top of the ground beef mixture and spread it evenly over the top. Then I added 2 tablespoons of butter, cut up, to the top. Once that was finished, I placed it in the oven at 350° for 30 minutes or until it’s golden brown.
And that’s it! It’s a super yummy comfort dish and we like it best served with yeast rolls.

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Ingredients:
1 pound of Ground beef, lamb, or turkey
1 and 1/2 cups of frozen green peas
1 small onion, Diced
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup beef broth
1 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 cups of potato flakes
2 cups of milk
6 tbsp of butter

Recipe:
Preheat oven to 350°
In a large skillet, brown 1 pound of ground beef. While it’s still a little pink, add your Diced onion and let cook until onion is translucent and beef is cooked through.
Add frozen peas and let cook. Next, mix your beef broth with the cornstarch. Add the salt and the beef broth mixture to the ground beef mixture. Stir, let thicken, then remove from heat.
Next, mix your potato flakes with your milk in a pot and heat over medium heat, add 4 tablespoons of butter and mix until you have a whipped and creamy texture. If mixture is too thick, add more milk. Once mashed potatoes are finished, spread them evenly over the top of the ground beef mixture. Place 2 cut up table spoons of butter on top of the mashed potatoes and stick skillet into the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Baby Pancakes

Two posts in one day?! *gasp!* Yes, its a second post, but I was just so excited about these that I had to share.

Little L loves pancakes. On early mornings when I’m feeling well, I’ll fix his daddy some pancakes for breakfast, but because they’re covered in syrup, L doesn’t get more than 2 or 3 bites. Well, I recently discovered that you can make pancakes with baby cereal! This is great for us for 2 reasons. 1, because L hates baby cereal and this gives me a way to disguise it and not waste it, and 2, L gets to eat pancakes!

It’s a fairly simple recipe.

Ingredients:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup baby cereal
1 cup formula, breast milk, or regular milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup of Apple juice

You can also add a dash cinnamon, vanilla, or nutmeg if you wish. I added about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Once blended together, it looks like this.

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It has the consistency of regular pancake batter. But smells much better hahaha. Once it was well blended, I heat up my cast iron skillet, and added about 1 tablespoon of butter to melt. Then I started making pancakes.
I added about a tablespoon of batter per pancake to the skillet. Sometimes a little more fell in but that’s ok. I wanted to make them small enough for L to handle

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Once they were done, I let them cool, and placed them into a zip lock bag to freeze. I plan on keeping some in my diaper bag for snacks while we’re out and about running errands or visiting family

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L loves them which is great, and it’s such a simple recipe which is great for me because I have enough time left over for other things.

Being a LEO wife

My name is Sarah, I’m a first time mother to a wonderful baby boy, “L”, and I’m the wife to a wonderful man who happens to be a Police Officer. They’re my world.

It’s difficult being the wife of a LEO and a first time mother. Your husband works anywhere from 12 to 16 hours every night, and chooses to work on his off days so he can buy you that new dryer you’ve had your eye on. You know that anniversary date you’ve had planned for months? Well, it just got cancelled because your husband has to stand guard over a combative patient at the hospital and won’t be relieved until next shift. You have to do it all. Change every diaper, give every bath and every bottle. You’re not only a mommy and wife, but like most mothers, you’re a chef, seamstress, maid, handyman, nurse and much much more. LEO wives do everything other wives and mothers do. But there’s a lot that’s unique about us.

We cannot fully express how proud we are of our LEO. Most of us are so proud of our LEO that we want to tell everyone we see. We want the bumper stickers, the license plates, we want all the gear, but we have to be careful. There are so many people who have a deep hatred for Law Enforcement and their families, and we never know whose watching us. So we keep it on the down low. We may wear a shirt from time to time, or we may have a key ring, but we’re careful.

The life of a LEO family can be a bit inconvenient. You do your grocery shopping in another town as to avoid anyone your husband has arrested, you always have to sit at the back of a restaurant where he can clearly see all entrances and exits. Then there’s the fear of never seeing them again.

I’m asked fairly often how I do it. How do I sleep at night? Aren’t I afraid? Does the stress ever get to me? My answer is, all the time.

Every day when my LEO leaves, we always make sure to say “I love you”, give our goodbye kisses, and then I tell him to be careful. Because you don’t know. You don’t know if that kiss will be the last one you’ll ever have from him, and you don’t know when or if that dreaded knock on the door will come. Nothing is for certain.

And because of that, we hug our LEO’S just a little tighter, kiss them a little longer, and pray that they’ll make it home.

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