…But I Still Prayed

It is a sad day when tragedy strikes our nation and the first thing you see on your newsfeed is “Everyone needs to stop praying!” As if we, the world, flawed, messed up, greedy, broken, and shooting each other, have a better handle on creation, the universe, time and space, life and death, suffering and joy than the Creator himself. No, I don’t know his intricate plan, but I do know who holds the keys to everything that is everything. Just to clear things up, as a Christian, I will go ahead and fill everyone in on when it’s acceptable for me to pray:

I pray in the morning.
I pray at night.
I pray for my food.
I pray for my business.
I pray for my husband.
I pray for his job.
I pray for my children.
I pray that I can bridge the gap between my son’s autism, and the world he is growing up in. I pray for my friends. Some are battling cancer. Some are trying to navigate a broken or lost marriage. Some are dealing with the fallout of suicide, and trying to put the broken pieces back together. I prayed prayers of hope when I was single, that I would find a Christian partner. I prayed prayers of thanksgiving when I held our firstborn in my arms for the first time, and when our third son was born, I prayed prayers of anguish and heartbreak as I held him in my arms, for the first (and the last) time….

But. I. Still. Prayed.

There will be times in your life when all you can do is pray. You will be afraid, back against the wall, you’ll have no control, and be completely at the mercy of your adversary, whether it be spiritually, mentally, health-wise, or even a real person standing right in front of you, and it will be your only option. These times have come and will continue to come to everyone in various forms no matter what mankind thinks it can control. So yes, we pray daily, for strength, understanding, and change, even though sometimes his answer may not be the one we hoped for in that moment.

I am a person who is all about action. Many of you are too, and that is all fine and good, but if all the hope we have is put in man, then we will have no hope. Look what we are already doing to each other! We are a flawed and broken world that needs Jesus, and I will never be ashamed to approach the throne of God on behalf of the scared, the hurting, and the heartbroken. Prayer changes things. It changes lives. Prayer doesn’t equal a perfect life, but I absolutely refuse to live a life without the connection to my Lord and Savior.

You don’t have to pray with me. I’m not asking you to. I do know one thing is certain however; I won’t ever stop, I’m 1,000% okay with it, and 0% ashamed.

My prayers are with you, Florida.

Advertisements

Set your Table: Getting over the Illusion of Perfection.

2018 for me has been the beginning of many things but one of those has been to take my personal development more seriously, to really look into who I am as an person, and to figure out ways that I can improve. I have struggled my entire life with organization and not slowing down long enough to really take in and appreciate what others are saying sometimes. I am also trying to zero in on the good qualities that come naturally to me–to make everything fit. We really are flawed and fragmented beings. It really got me thinking about how hard others work to achieve the kind of success that they have. Trying to make all their pieces fit together. There was a time when I looked at some people and the life they have created for themselves, and it seemed quite far-fetched. I had even decided that if I too were perfect, I would have that success as well, but I knew myself far too well to ever think that I could accomplish that, so unfortunately, I stopped trying altogether.

Now, however, in an effort to better myself, I am realizing how attainable that success can actually be. (Yes, even for chronically imperfect me!) Really, anyone can be successful if you become aware of your weaknesses, and disciplne yourself to work on them for as long as it takes to become a balanced individual. Balance–not perfection, because it doesn’t exist. I am finding that many people are as much of a mess as I am, and have a crazy life too, but they handle it. They handle the ugly parts, the scatterbrain parts, the tired parts…they make it work because, well, it just has to work. I think of success like this: Imagine walking into a dining room and seeing a beautiful table set up with fine china, steak, wine, and fancy silverware…Looks perfect, right?

…But then you peek under the tablecloth and see that (gasp) one of the legs is shorter than the other! There are scrapes along the varnish, and it’s being held up with five quarters, a cork, green putty, and duct tape. Guys. This is what success looks like. Compensating for our shortcomings in order to make the whole thing work–because it is worth it to us. There is no “perfect.” There is no “Well she already has everything so….obviously.” You know those people you see out there making money, crushing goals, and living their best life? Well they are all just a bunch of wobbly uneven tables that decided to grab some duct tape, get their crap together…and throw a pretty tablecloth on top.

Listen up, and listen good: Perfection is an illusion. Now go set your stinkin’ table, and have that fancy dinner already. Nobody has it all together. ❀

What are the things that are holding you back from greatness? Be honest with yourself. How can you improve on them? Please share in the comments! ❀

Low Carb Shepherd’s Pie

Hey, so have y’all ever tasted this stuff before? Mashed cauliflower? This frozen stuff in the package? You know, marinated gym sock? Sadness in a box? Smells like broccoli cologne? Lost your appetite yet? Hey, you are not alone. Look, I try to give every new health trend the benefit of the doubt, but this right here threw me for a loop. I tried to eat it plain with some cheese….I wasn’t ready y’all.

I. Was. Not. READY.

I literally threw the bowl away after 2 bites. I was done with it emotionally, but as I had a freezer full of four more, at $2.50 a pop, I was not about to call it a total loss and throw money in the garbage, so I did what I always do. I got creative for the sake of being cheap. You’re welcome. And let me tell you, I am so glad I did…because this little creative creation came out SO GOOD!

Step one, go ahead and heat that frozen tray of cauliflower in the microwave for 5 minutes, and set aside.

Okay. It gets better from here. I promise. So much better!!!

So I have this motto: “Meat makes everything better.” I mean hey, am I wrong??? I love the meaty and spicy taste of fresh ground beef, and that is the heart of what makes this recipe delicious. First I took about a pound of it and added salt, pepper, and butter (because the good kind of beef isn’t greasy enough for me) and browned it on the stove. You can skip the butter if you like, lol.

I also threw in a teaspoon of this….

And a teaspoon of this for some awesome added flavor!

Don’t forget the corn! Make sure you cook this with the meat in all of the juices, but drain it first.

Once the meat is browned, put as much as will fit on top of the cauliflower mash.

Cheese is a must (for me.) Next, microwave the entire dish for about 60 seconds to let the flavors marinate, and then let stand for about five minutes. It should look something like this, and it will smell ahhhhmazing. 😍😍😍

As I sat there, enjoying the yummy comfort food that I had created, I could not help but be in awe that something so low-carb and keto-esque could taste SO GOOD. Much to my surprise and pleasure, there was no trace of the original plain taste. I have bumped this up in my dinner queue and will be making it for lunch as well. Maybe breakfast too. Look, I am a wild woman and I am out of control. I have tasted the power of cauliflower mash, and I cannot–will not–be stopped!

Bon appetit!!!

Need a boost for your workouts and healthy eating? Check out my website for some AMAZING all-natural supplements!

Wait…Homeschoolers get snow days too…Right?Β 

[This just in–an email from principal A. Monroe…]

“The Academy for Higher Learning at Home will in fact meet tomorrow, but will be running on a delayed schedule, with classes starting at 10am, so basically like every day. Given the extreme weather expected however, we ask that all students please wear socks to the table as well as both pajama bottoms and tops. Blankets may be used at the table as well, but should remain within the size guidelines of 3 feet by 3 feet, and no action figures will be permitted, as always. Given that there will be no outside time, all students are asked to please reach deep down within themselves and not behave like circus animals on drugs. Sugar free hot chocolate will be served during storytime, and bedtime will be moved up to 4:30pm. Thanks, and see everyone tomorrow!”

…I’m just saying…

Any other homeschoolers send out this “email?” πŸ˜‚  Share in the comments! 

Autism and Stress: What “Survival-Mode” looks like in our house.

Stress, Autism, Kitchen, Messy, Mess

Our NYE…jealous? πŸ˜‰

I’d like to tell you a little story….This is the exact scene I walked in on last night (New Year’s Eve) at 11:58pm when I was looking for cups to do a midnight toast with my husband. Someone was still wide awake and seeking some very specific sensory input. πŸ˜‰ This was to be the backdrop of our New Years kiss. (I know, fancy, right?) Annnnd then the flour was discovered again. Aaaand then again. Not even a full 24 hours into the new year!  O.o (This story gets better though, I promise, lol!) I put the flour away, cleaned everything up, and explained (again) to my curious 8yo why we don’t waste food and make giant messes. My point to all this? I was able to handle it all without losing my cool, getting angry, yelling, or saying things that I might regret later. I would not trade my life for anything, but it can be very trying, and sometimes easy to just lose it, and that is why I am always talking to anyone who will listen about my absolute favorite go-to supplement, my beloved Confianza. It has been the turn-around for me in handling the stress that comes with life as a whole, as well as being momma to a special needs child, and homeschooling too. I for sure don’t always get it right. I don’t win every internal battle, but it helps. BOY does it help. I know, I know, it probably seems trivial to you as you scroll through Facebook or Instagram and see post after post about various supplements with silly selfies calling for “90 Day product testers” …but if you are like me, and a mom, or especially, an autism mom, you will want to take a second look. 

Stress, Loneliness, Autism,

Days and nights can bleed together.

Y’all. I struggle with the messy, the loud, the heartbreaking, the scary, and the unknown on a daily basis. Am I still beyond blessed? Of course! πŸ’™ But, since half the things I experience just aren’t normal for most parents, I would be lying if I said it didn’t sometimes take its toll on me. If it were not for my supplement, I would be a crying, yelling, panicked “mombie” who hasn’t slept in weeks. (Do you know how hard it is to shut your brain down after a day of multiple meltdowns and questioning basically every decision you have made since birth?) Now, I can’t promise my kids will sleep through the night, but at least I’m always ready now for the nights when they DO. It feels so amazing to get sleep at night and to wake up refreshed.  I take it in the morning or at night, just depending how I feel. It is as relaxing as a glass of wine, yet no alcohol, no carbs, and ZERO side effects. It doesn’t make me sleepy, groggy, or impaired. Just “chill.” A win win…win, in my book. So the next time you see this: 

Selfie, Snapchat, Confianza, Mom, Anxiety, It Works

Yes I am 37 and on Snapchat! πŸ˜‚

…don’t scroll so quickly, and try not to laugh. 😜 It comes from a place of love, sincerity…and most importantly, experience. Anything that helps me get through the day not in tears is more than worth sharing with all my friends and family. (I would be kind of crazy not to.πŸ’‘πŸ€”) My point is this…

They can and they will.

We as mothers seem to think we are doing our family huge favors by always putting ourselves last, but what most of us fail to realize is that if we don’t take the time and effort to deal with our stress, it is actually the ones we love who suffer the most. So whether it be a trip through the McDonald’s drive-thru alone, getting a massage, sneaking candy while your kiddos play outside, or “chill-pills”, lol, make sure you are putting back into YOU, so that you can put into others. I am slowly discovering that I actually CAN be a level-headed and patient mom most of the time. This is what “survival-mode” looks like in our home. What about you? I’d love to hear about the ways you de-stress–or what you would like to start doing. Share in the comments below! 

                               β¬‡β€β¬‡

(If you can relate to sometimes losing your cool, and/or having crazy anxiety, and you would like to change that, you can go straight to my website and get a bottle of Confianza for yourself! πŸ’™ Feel free to email me or comment with any questions you have.)

Keto Pizza!

One of the things that I hated giving up most with other meal plans that I have tried in the past was pizza. It has always been one of my favorite comfort foods, but so many people see it as a “Bad” food. That all has changed for me now that I have discovered a new way to eat it! If you are living the keto lifestyle, this dish is most certainly NOT off-limits…IF you know how to do it right. I present to you…Keto Pizza! 

    It is super quick and easy to make. (First off, make sure you are using a non-stick pan.) Simply lay out your pepperonis in a circle. About the size of medium-sized tortilla. This is the brand we usually use.

 Next, you will want to go ahead and turn the stove on to medium heat so that the meat will already be getting warm and starting to lay flat. Once you do that, lay about 1/4 cup of mozzerella cheese towards the center in a circle. Size-wise, think a CD. (Wait, do they still make those???) It will melt and spread, so you don’t need to go too crazy with it. This is the brand I used today.

Next, very carefully spoon a few dollops of pizza sauce riiiiight into the center. Again, this will also spread quite a bit, so make it about a plum-sized circle. This is the brand I used.

Since I am not a “Cheese Pizza” kind of girl, I have to have a little texture to my pie. Cue the nushrooms!!! You can really put anything on your pizza, but I just have a thing for mushrooms, so hey, whaddaryagonnado. 

This is how your keto creation should look while “in the process” but variety is the spice of life, so don’t freak out if it does not look “perfect.” Mine usually cooks in around 5 min, give or take a few. Once the cheese under the sauce is melted, I know I’m good. Plus, it will melt some still even as it is cooling.

Okay! So once everything is all sizzly and melted, turn the stove off, but DON’T remove it from the pan immediatley–unless you want to eat pizza soup. You’re going to want to let this bad boy cool for a good 5-10 min before GENTLY lifting it from the pan onto your plate with a spatchula. 

Lastly??? Fold that puppy over and enjoy!!!! P.S., It will be messy, but oooh so good!!! πŸ˜πŸ•πŸ˜

(Don’t feel like “boring” keto pizza? πŸ˜‚ Want to splurge on every carb and fatty food under the sun? Check out my website to try the FatFighters! They block 70% of carbs and fat from your meals. You. Will. Thank. Me. Later.)

Empathy vs. Panic: How anxiety can play a role in how you grieve.

I will spend my day today in prayer. I will love on my kids, my husband, and show kindness to anyone I come into contact with. I will not share the gory photos. I will not share the gory videos. I will not go to my usual place of panic and fear. I will not allow myself to feel the churning in my stomach of “Who’s next???” I will not lie awake tonight (hopefully) with terror in my heart, and hopelessness washing over me like a 30 foot wave, rendering me me useless to my family. I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, but right now, this is where I am at. My heart is hurting for Las Vegas.

I don’t choose these actions because I do not feel, or do not care. It is quite the opposite. I. Am. Just. Tired. Do you know what it feels like to battle anxiety for 32 years? I am 37, but it started when I was around five. Maybe it was witnessing the Challenger tragedy. Maybe it is in my blood, because my 5 year old now shows signs of panic at loud noises, booms, airplanes, and thunder. That hurts as a mom–seeing your child slowly start to realize that the world can kind of be a scary place…but I digress for now… 

For years I have fought this battle. I am able to manage it pretty well now via a supplement I started a little over a year ago, but every time I make the mistake of scanning the FB “trending” feed, my heart skips a beat, then drops into my stomach. I can’t bear it anymore, so I just stopped looking. But now, today, it can’t be ignored. And while I know it is selfish to even think those words–let alone say them–I know that I have to keep emotionally level for my children. I have to be 100%. I no longer have energy for the round-the-clock fear of what is next. “What about my children?” “What will happen tomorrow?” “Will there even BE a tomorrow?” Scroll your feed for heartbreaking story after heartbreaking story if you like. Scroll for gore and violence. Share it to your page if you want. I am sure there are hundreds of videos of “The moment that it happened!” but personally, I am tired. I am weak from the sadness of it all, and if you are like me–very empathetic, and very prone to anxiety–you immediately put YOURSELF at that outdoor arena. You put your CHILDREN there, you put your LOVED ONES there, hurting, bleeding…dead. And they never leave. The mental images don’t go away, so you are stuck in a mental state of sadness and terror for yourself and those around you when you weren’t even there. Your mind is trapped in time. It is hard for people with anxiety to separate sadness and empathy from panic and hopelessness. The two go hand in hand for us, so sometimes we have to distance ourselves from it all in order to function and care for ourselves and those that we love. We have to shut it all out, turn off our devices, hug on our babies…and just LIVE. Someone has to make breakfast. Someone has to teach them. Someone has to kiss boo boos, read stories, play with them, and smile with them because they don’t know what the world is like…yet…And maybe they will be the ones to change it someday.

Babygirl naps, oblivious to the tragedy unfolding. Bless her.

We are not being insensitive. We are still praying, but some of us are just so, so tired. So, if you see silly posts from me today, or things that are completely unrelated, or seemingly unimportant, please remember that my heart is with Las Vegas too, but sometimes I need to put on my emotional oxygen mask in situations like this. I cant’ be 5 years old. I can’t be too afraid to breathe.

I will leave you with one of my most favorite (albiet “easier-said-than-done”) Bible verses: 

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Be blessed today friends, and be kind. β€

Question: Are you telling your kids about today’s events? If so, how? Please share in the comments. This is a place of non-judgement either way.


(For more info on what supplement I use to manage my anxiety, visit my main website, click on “Shop” then “Lifestyle” and you can read up on the Confianza supplement. πŸ’š)

Keto Sausage McMuffins!

Oh yes, such a thing exists. It is real…and it is spectacular. πŸ‘€

Learn how to make this YUMMY keto breakfast!!!

If you love McDonald’s, are lazy, and are also looking to add a bit of keto-rifficness into your life, ladies and gentleman, you have come to the right place!

(Laziness goals right here. ⬆)

Lemme break it down for your real quick. Um…I hate dishes, as you can see by all the disposable utensils. πŸ˜‚ So much, in fact, that I legit used ZERO dishes while making this amazing concoction of fat and protein. 

Ingredients: Frozen sausage patties, sliced sharp cheddar cheese (I like the fancy deli-sliced kind) and eggs. πŸ‘

Do you have a toaster oven??? SWEET! Pop 2 frozen sausages into that bad boy and set it for 15 min. Right on the rack. BAM. (But make sure you have the draining pan in there though, otherwise you will have so many potential fire issues that I just can’t even EVEN.) ⬇This is my favorite brand btw.  They are super yummy, pre-portioned, and of course they keep for awhile! They really are “Goo-od!”

(I have no doubt that the guy on the box made these sausages guys. You can’t look like that and not make good country sausage. He looks like he has 8 bloodhounds living underneath his front porch named “Duke,” “Duke Jr,” “Duke Sr,” “Jackhammer,” “Ole’ Frankie,” “Lightening,” “Sir Snottingham” and “Buzz.” Y’ALL. Buy this sausage!!! πŸ–πŸ˜πŸ–)

Okay, so you got your sausages going. Awesome you are amazing. Okay yay. NEXT! Since you are all about not dirtying up dishes, pop you some eggs into your regular oven. On the rack. (YASSSS!) Set it at 325 for 30 min. What did I say? I am a frickin genius! 

(No one is being extra, Boo. Everyone does this after creating a spectacular eggs & sausage meal. πŸ™„β˜•)

Okay so when everything is done, slice your eggs in half, throw on some cheese, and spear that sucker straight through the middle with a toothpick (or you can be ratchet like me and use disposable plastic knives. πŸ‘πŸ™„) Because let me tell you, it WON’T stay together without it, so…just saying. 

Anywhooo, this was SO delish and protein rich. Perfect if you are wanting a low-carb or keto breakfast. Hungry yet? 😍 

(For some amazing Keto Coffee, as well as dozens of other supplements to keep you looking and feeling your best, visit my main website! πŸ’š)

Autism and my “Tick Tock” moments.

 So those of you that know me well know that I am an avid teen sci-fi fan. I love Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and most recently I have gotten addicted to the Hunger Games series. I was surfing channels not too long ago,  when I saw that “Catching Fire” was on. Of course, I dropped everything and very quickly became engrossed in it without even having seen the original movie. So, a ways through the movie, the main characters (Katniss of course and her crew of tributes) were deep within the challenges of her newest mission when one of the characters that had previously been introduced named Wiress ended up playing a very huge role in the outcome of this adventure. But first, a little backstory on our friend Wiress. Introduced earlier in the movie as a part of a duo nicknamed “Nuts and Bolts” (Bolts being a tech-savvy genius) Wiress was known as ‘Nuts’ because of her quiet, misunderstood nature, and later we find, a tendency to ramble on, talking ‘nonsense.’ Does this sound like anyone you know? It was evident from the beginning that Wiress was special, but it was not until this pivotal scene that I realized HOW special. So, fast forward to this challenge. I will try not to give away anything for those that are still working on the movies and books, but in the scene, she keeps frantically saying “Tick tock! Tick tock! Tick tock!” over and over again. It was annoying most of the others involved in this challenge, and at one point another character, frustrated with her constant repetition of “tick tock”, finally yelled at her saying something rude, and walked off in a huff–convinced her rambling was a waste of everyone’s time. Our brave heroin Katniss however was more patient with Wiress and in a few moments was able to decipher her “code” for what turned out to be potentially life-saving information that the entire group definitely needed to know. It really struck home for me when she smiled up at Katniss, so happy that she had finally been understood. I have seen that same smile on my 8-year-old son who is autistic many times. This scene was very emotional for me, and very touching.  Was this done on purpose? Is the character of Wiress meant to be identified as autistic? I have not read the books, and perhaps this is known well by hardcore fans, but to me having seen it for the first time, it was very thought provoking. The thing that people do not realize about autism is that our children ARE talking to us.  Daily. They are in fact communicating with us–constantly. Our task however is to find their FREQUENCY. I am constantly amazed at the way I am training my brain to work in order to decipher the “clues” that my son is giving to me as he is striving to get a message through to me. It is like twisting my mind and turning it upside down and inside out in order to see what he sees. If he keeps saying “Train train train” over and over again, most people will hear that he wants to see a train or ride on one, but after much careful though it dawns on me that our dishwasher sounds like a train to him, and that he wants to help me put dishes in so that he can turn it on and hear the sound of it. So many moments and messages get lost in the pursuit of finding what is “normal.” Again, our children ARE speaking to us, we just have to learn how to listen properly. Given this new perspective on autism and how those with it communicate, I really had to ask myself… Are we not the ones that are actually ‘slow?’ Just some food for thought. 

 

Have you had any “Tick Tock” moments with your special needs child? Please share!