Summer Shrimp Tacos 

Our favorite meal this summer has been Shrimp Tacos. The are so packed with flavor and these suckers are super healthy! So we thought why not share the goodness with everyone. So here we go! 

We get 2lbs of shrimp. You can get frozen if you don’t have access to thawed or fresh but obviously the fresher the better. 

Peel and rinse the shrimp and skewer them. Make the marinade and brush the skewered shrimp. 


Grill them till they are pink and have a nice little char on them. Then let them rest in the remaining marinade.


We make a nice slaw to go on top and sometimes we get creative and make our own charred pepper tomatillo sauce. (All those recipies are below) 

Jicama tortillas are a GREAT alternative to tortillas so we use those as our base. A little shrimp, a little slaw with a touch of sauce and it’s the perfect summer meal!


Ingredients:

2lb Shrimp 

Jicama Tortillas ( flour or corn tortillas for a non healthy option) 

1 bag of shredded cabbage

1/2 tbsp of red wine vinegar 

1/2 Lime 

A pinch of paprika 

1/4 tsp of chili powder 

Marinade ingredients: 

1/2 Tsb of minced garlic 

1/3 tsp of melted butter 

1/3 cup of Franks Hot Wing sauce 

Roasted Green Sauce:

2 poblano peppers

3 tomatillos 

1/3 tsp olive oil 

4 tbsp of light ranch dressing (optional) 

1. In a bowl add red wine vinegar, cabbage and spices and mix and put in fridge. 

2. Peel, skwer and marinade shrimp. 

3. Roast poblano and tomatillos on the grill. When you take them off put the shrimp on. Cook them and baste as needed. 

4. Once everything is off the grill brush remaining marinade on the shrimp and let them sit. 

5.Remove tops and seeds of the poblano. Put poblanos and tomatillos in a blender. Blend for 30seconds before adding oil in. ** if you want more of a salsa taste stop there. If you want more of a creamy sauce ranch.

6. Pull the slaw out of the fridge and assemble. 

If you aren’t on a super strick healthy eating plan add your favorite taco toppings like a slice of avacado, hot sauce or queso fresco. 

I portion out my protein and sauce to make sure I’m getting good balanced and healthy portion, where as my husband (who can eat anything and still loose weight) piles all his favorite toppings on top along with fresh jalapeño. 

Enjoy and Happy Summer! 

HELLO 31

Tuesday, I turned 31.

I’ve never really been a huge fan of birthday’s, at least not the last couple of years, cause I just really haven’t been happy with where I was physically .

Yes, it’s true there is a ton to be thankful for but sometimes where you are health wise just affects everything. Clouds your opinions so to speak.

Each year I got older I worried more about what the scale number instead of celebrated my number of years.

This year was totally different.

We have been super busy lately and I’m sorry I haven’t really been keeping everyone up to date on my health journey but I’ll give a bit of a run down here. 

Over the past couple of months I’ve done a few things that I never thought I would actually do.

The Saturday before Easter my husband and I took a 5.6 mile hike at Pedernales Falls Sate Park. About a half mile in I wanted to quit but my husband kindly pushed me to keep going. It was a HUGE accomplishment for me. Even though it may seem small to some people, I have attempted several hikes since our first miscarriage and quit every time. This hike was more about the mental battle I won but being about 17lbs lighter at the time was a huge help as well.

I celebrated one month on the program with my coach and friends in South Louisiana and learned how to eat crawfish and veggies the healthy way. I mean thats a huge plus for a cajun girl.

I’m not sure why but over the years, I have held on to some clothes in the hopes of one day fitting back in them. I was so close to giving them all away when we made the move from LA to TX. I’m glad I didn’t cause I’ve been able to open that “Loose Some Weight” Box and wear them again. Some of them have actually started to be to big for me now.

My parents also brought my jacket from high school this week and I was actually shocked that it buttoned at the bottom. It has always ran big and sort of fit but that bottom button hasn’t buttoned since sophomore year of college.

Photography is something I have always loved to do, but when I put on weight it got hard to do. I stopped doing sessions when I got pregnant for our first because eventually shooting with a baby bump is a bit of a struggle. I tend to like to get into weird positions and try to capture unique angles but when you 205 that can be hard. I’ve dropped lbs and picked up a camera again and I’m kinda loving it.

The hubby and I won free tickets to Schlitterbahn AND got to go BY OURSELVES, which was awesome. What was even better was that I had to BUY A NEW SWIMSUIT because the other one didn’t fit! Not only was it nice to get a new suit, the whole time we were there what I was wearing never crossed my mind. Typically I would wear a swimsuit under a tank top and shorts but the whole time I’d still be fidgeting with my clothes because the shirt would either ride up or my shorts would or the suit would be slipping under my clothes or it would get to tight. It was always a struggle. Now, I have a cute, modest (I’m all about that life) suit that I feel super comfortable in. Plus we got season passes so it will get good use.

For my Birthday my love took me out to one of  my favorite restaurants for dinner, followed by shopping, which use to be a stressful event. This time it wasn’t, ok well maybe it was a little, but it was a different kind of stressful. In the past nothing fit and  I always left depressed by not finding anything. This time tons of stuff fit and I didn’t know how to narrow down what to get. I guess it was a good kind of stressful.
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This past week I turned 31 and today makes 2 months on the program.

I’ve lost 28lbs and 30+ inches. I’ve gone from XXL/XL shirts to Mediums. From a size 18 pants to a size 12. I’m still 45lbs away from from my goal but everyday is a new adventure and every food I pass on becomes worth the sacrifice.

Keep Plowing Through

Processed with VSCO with b1 presetLast Tuesday I started a journey to have a healthier life style. With a weight loss program in my home, my best friend as my health coach and my families support I was excited. It was like Christmas morning! I’ve been wanting to be happy in my own skin for so long, taking the first step was such a breath of fresh air and hope. I was warned that it would be a struggle in the beginning as a lifestyle change can cause your body to have a mini meltdown. I didn’t care. I was sooooooooo ready.

I discovered something this week. I am a food addict. Not like a foodie who loves all things fine dining and fresh ingredients. (don’t get me wrong I do love those things but theres nothing like some grease) I’m talking like Food Addict who needs carbs, sugar and all things awful for you to function in a day. I’ve never been a drug addict or an alcoholic so I’m not 100% sure what detoxing looks like but I detoxed this past week ….. HARD! I didn’t really make this discovery until we were out all day and it was late and I needed to feed my kids.

Let me just start by saying my kids are active, healthy eating kids. Plus we are a short, fun sized family. My 4 year old just reached 30lbs this month. My 3 year old can still wear 6 months pants. My 1 1/2 year old, even though he is pretty stocky he’s only like 23lbs.  For years we have actually been trying to put weight on our 2nd child, she’s always been petite and her new love for PB&Js has finally started to help.  The point of all that is…. my kids need a fatty meal every now and then.

The quickest, cheapest and closest thing to home was of course McDonalds. Everyone in the car  ordered a meal, except momma. I was gonna be strong. I even posted a picture to hold my self accountable.
17522854_1215950651853240_2511721430588753197_nIt wasn’t till later that evening that I realized food is a weakness for me. My kids ate, my husband ate, I ate my approved meal and got the kids ready for bed. I had a slight meltdown amidst the kids meal. But later in the middle of the night while I was trying to get my youngest to go back to sleep the overwhelming feeling came over me. I was fixing him a bottle and I threw something away and there it sat. McDonalds food. IN THE TRASH. Greasy, salty, low quality food sitting in my trash can staring at me. To my mind though it looked like a glowing gem atop a velvet pedestal waiting for me to reach out and take it.

Just writing this makes me think back to a couple days ago and be like “WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU SAYING! It was in the trash, you hate trash and all things contaminated. You actually considered eating food from it?” Yes, I did. I considered it. Its hard for me to get my own head around.

I felt like I stood there debating myself and arguing with my flesh for hours. It was only seconds. Luckily my son made a loud noise and I snapped back to what I was doing but still, the experience was one I hope to remember for a long time.

Over the week I’ve come to grips with facts and realities of things I don’t need to eat and things I need to stay away from. I’ve cried over a few things. Crazy I know. All of these reactions were the results of the changes I am making mentally and physically and I know that emotions go a tad crazy in adjustments. Still talk about reality check.

This past week I’ve cried over the reality that I won’t be eating bread on a daily basis like I use to. Or the fact that cupcakes as a stress relief to a highly stressed person is not a good idea.  A year ago I would joke about stores who stocked shelves with sugar free, low sodium and fat free items. My thought was always, that’s all the stuff that makes food good. If it’s not cooked with a stick of butter why bother.

Now I’m not saying I’m to the place where the new foods I’m eating taste far better then all the sugary, salty, fatty foods, but I’m at the place where I know they are better for my future.

I use to watch Biggest Looser and if I’m being honest with myself I use to watch it to make myself feel better about my own weight.  Yes I hear myself! Pretty selfish. I would watch it and think, at least I’m not that big, at least I’m not that bad. Reality Check Debra. You may not weigh 400lbs but the road you were on was headed there.

I’m not adjusted yet. I still have to constantly remind myself not to eat a piece of cereal as I prepare snacks for my kids. Eating and drinking junk all day is something I’m still sitting on my hands to avoid doing. This program hasn’t become natural to me yet but I am sleeping better. I’m not as winded. I feel like I can breathe better and my energy is increasing. My heart palpation seem to be gone. My muscles don’t ache as much everyday and it’s only been a week.

The process is still a daily pep talk. Mentally and physically from friends and family. Someone  from my last blog stated that over the past couple months I have had multiple roadblocks that I have plowed through. To me those roadblocks have been icebergs. Small on the surface but huge underneath. Some I’m still plowing through. But daily I remind myself….Keep plowing.

I think it’s the thing that has encouraged me the most. The reality is that I’m not working around issues. I’m not avoiding health issues, or bypassing emotional struggles. I’m facing them head on…. and plowing through.

This week I’ve plowed through 8lbs and 10.5 inches…. and I’m not stopping for anything, even if there is a gold cupcake in the trash. Processed with VSCO with b1 preset

Let’s Get SUPER Personal

Let’s get SUPER personal for a second. This was me….

A whole 95 pounds just about to graduate High School only a few days away from being 18. A year into college I was 105 and I could still shop in the little girls department. I could do and wear almost anything.  As life happens and my athletic life slow down I started to gain weight. Not a lot at first and it wasn’t unhealthy. I was actually healthier by gaining some weight.

0074When I met my husband in 2008 way over my ideal weight and once we got engaged, I worked hard to drop some LBS in order to fit into my dream dress. I weighted in at about 155 on the day of my wedding. It wasn’t ideal but in my mind it was still manageable. About 9 months into marriage we decided to start trying for kids. Our first month trying we got pregnant. 7 weeks in and I miscarried. The first one hit the hardest. I spent about a week in a chair, in a dark room, numb to the world. The next week I woke up and moved on like nothing ever happened. I buried the pain and moved on. Over the next year we had 2 more miscarriages. More burying, more ignoring reality and more eating. For real y’all. I was out of control. Eventual we went to a wholistic doctor to look for a natural way to fix our fertility issues before spending thousands in fertility doctors. One of the biggest things I needed to fix was my weight. I was at 230 and it was hindering our chances.

I would post a photo but by that time I stopped allowing my photo to be taken, unless it was just my face. 

In 2012 we went to Disney World and this is the only proof I have that I was actually there. 413958_239466142835034_402902473_o (2)

 

I’ll keep it small cause I’m not really proud. I was about 211 then. I had dropped enough and got pregnant for our first shortly after this. By that time weight wasn’t the concern, carrying the baby full term was the stress and struggle. Fear gripped me the entire pregnancy and held firm into the first few months Elia’s life. Pregnancy was good for my health and weight. I didn’t realize it really till about the week of her delivery and weighted in at 199 but I had dropped lbs of unhealthy fat while pregnant for her. When she turned 6 months old we got pregnant for our second. When our second turned 9 months old we got pregnant for our third. August of 2015 we had our third, and final , and I vowed to loose the weight within the year.

It’s 2017. Roman, our third, is now almost 2 and I haven’t lost the weight. 202 lbs as of today. We have had a loss in our family. We have moved states. Other various life changing things have happened but in reality I’ve just allowed them to all be excuses.

Well I’m done. I’m tired of getting winded while unloading the dishwasher. I’m done with not being able to keep up with my three very active kids. I’m tried of not being able to wear what I want or have it look right on me. I’m tired of being present in my families life but there being no proof of me ever being there cause pictures are something I rarely allow.

I’ve done the gym thing. I’ve tried the calorie counting,diet life. I’ve done diet pills and other methods and none it really working. So here we go onto a new journey. A new chapter in life. Here’s to an open page and fighting for my health back. I know it won’t always be easy but I’m determined to make it through. I’ve now officially put the facts out there. I’m telling you all I’m gonna do it… now… I’ve gotta follow through. Hopefully in a month or two I’ll feel confident enough to post an update and hopefully I’ll some good results to show.

 

That One Thanksgiving…

My husband and I love to cook, especially big meals. When the family Thanksgiving plans started to circulate we were at first eager to do a turkey. Then my brother and sister-n-love volunteered  to handle the turkey, gravy and stuffing so we then began to divide up all the sides and desserts amongst the rest of the families. For a moment we were actually a tad relived that the overwhelming task of cooking a turkey wasn’t on our shoulders.

Then my mom called. They were expecting 20+ people to be at Thanksgiving and she was a tad nervous that one turkey wasn’t going to be enough for everyone to eat to their hearts content. So our relief was short lived.

For the past 7 years Albert and I have always cooked our turkey the same way… and it’s good, but we like change and my brother was going to be cooking his in the oven so we wanted to offer a different type of turkey. Frying seemed a little overwhelming to me personally so we figured, since it’s our first year as Texans we will smoke us a turkey.

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Wednesday morning we lined our gumbo stock pot with a brining bag, made our brine mixture and let the turkey bathe in it for 24 hours.

After weeks of research, conversations with pros and friends we were ready for the big day. The only problem is, our family planned to eat at 12… which meant we had to start our turkey smoking adventures  EARLY.

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1:30 AM early. Al got up and started the fire in the smoker and I headed to the kitchen to start the first pot of coffee.

About 4:30AM the smoker was up to temp and the fire was now a pile of hot coals. So out came the bird. We let it dry for about 30 min before basting it and putting it on the pit.

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Over the next 8 hours, Albert stuck next to the smoker like glue. Tending the coals, basting the turkey and swapping out wood chips when needed. When we first put the turkey on the smoker we covered the wings with foil to keep them from overcooking and burning. About half way through we removed the foil and rotated the turkey.

The last 2 hours he sprayed the skin with apple cider every 15 minutes which made the skin nice and crispy and flavorful!

 

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Finally it was done and it was worth every second! Albert was also really proud.

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It didn’t last long once it was carved and on the table. It was so good we are ready to smoke another one for Christmas.

If you plan to smoke a turkey in the near future…. then here’s our 2 recommendations.

  1. Brine that baby…. I don’t think we will ever cook another Turkey without bringing ever again. You can find tons of great brine recipes on Pinterest. How to Smoke a Turkey this pin has a great brine recipe and some great tips! Perfect Smoked Turkey here is another article we used.
  2. Schedule your meal for 3 or later…. if not you’ll be up early and on your 5th pot of coffee by lunch.

 

 

White Flag

In light of recent events, it seems the world is in quit a tizzy. People are hurt and other elated. Only a few seem to  be respecting others as they process this elections outcome. Emotions are flying  from both sides.

For a moment, lets forget about the outcome and thing about the emotions you feel.

Fear.

Joy.

Hate.

Love.

Excitement.

Anxiety.

All emotions that you freely feel, opinions you have the freedom to post and voice. Protests and victory speeches that are a  part of you rights as an American. Rights that someone fought for. Men and women who risked their lives, lost limbs, lost friends all for you to freely express you how you feel.

These men and women have stories to tell. Near death experiences that they now live to tell about. Some of them experience guilt and depression that they survived. Other fight the battles, lose friends and  fellow soldiers all over agin, every night as they sleep. Their love for America is true. Their scares bear the proof.

Today is the Marine Corps Birthday. Tomorrow is Veterans Day.

For a moment can we raise the white flag and cease fire on one another to honor those who gave us the very right to debate in the first place? Can we show love to those who gave so much without thought of race, gender or political party? Can we put down our shields and swords and salute the ones that have survived defying odds? Can we shut our complaining mouths for one moment and be grateful for the lives we freely live?

Don’t let the election overshadow those who have served this country. Remember to thank a veteran for bravely doing what they were called to do, so you can do what you freely do.

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Dear Veteran, 

It’s easy to look at the world and feel unappreciated. I’m sure there are times when you turn on the news and think “was it all worth it?”. Many of you quickly push the thought out of your mind because you know that America would look very differently if not.  The lack of gratitude is something you knew would come. Not everyone understands you and the pride you feel for this country. Some think that the choices you made were uncalled for, that the lives you took were unjust. Sadly, you feel that many of this upcoming generation doesn’t truly understand the state America was in and what needed to be done. Many of you feel that the lives you lived have now become stories and movies that we can’t relate too. I assure you they are not. 

Although I may be only one person, I know there are more. More people who know the price you paid and the freedoms you fought for. We were once children raised by patriotic parents who reminded us often of the freedoms we have. Parents who taught us the importance of our voices and the cost of our rights. We have now grown to become parents ourselves and daily we raise our children to remember you and your sacrifices. Your stories are not just history, they are the inspiration in which we encourage our children to dream on. Thank you, for what you’ve done and for what many of you continue to do. It is not in vain. You are what makes America great. 

1931409_1062222204449_2930_nSpecial thanks (and a Happy Birthday) to my Father -in- Law Albert Ledet III who spent 20+years as a Marine protecting my rights.

To my grandfather, Robert Bonner who served in the Army.

To all of my other family memebers and loved ones who have served or are serving. Your sacrifice is greatly appreciated.

 

 

Lets talk about….

Lets talk politics for a second. Today is a huge day, one that has seemed more of like a dream or comedy bit at times but still, this is happening. At the end of today we will have a new president and despite what some think, the world won’t come to a complete halt.

A few weeks ago, as early voting was going on, I had a conversation with my mom. She was telling me how she had voted and reminding me that I needed to do my American duty and vote early or on voting day (as you can see I’m heavily educated in political lingo). We talked for a bit and after we hung up it got me thinking. When I turned 18 and was able to vote, I did. Scared and confused by all the big words I walked in, stepped into the tent of doom and did exactly what my dad told me to do moments before. I sang a little jingle and pushed the buttons next to the names that were in my voting jingle, then cast my vote and walked out. I was young and way more interested in boys and shopping then even being aware of what was going on. As time went on and I got married, the job of “voting pep talk” shifted from my dad to my husband. Many of you may think there is a lot wrong with that and honestly I’m not here to debate with you on how I vote or even on how you vote. Lets keep it to, you do you and I’ll do me. ok  now back to that moment after I hung up from my mom.

I wafa6c1366d5349ca20f6a8a7f4546a852s sitting in a parking lot, trying to think of my to do list and what exactly I was doing when my mom had called. After she called I thought for a moment, maybe I should learn more about politics, get more educated on things. Don’t get me wrong I’m not completely in the dark, I follow the major highlights, but I don’t speak the lingo like my husband, or my dad. I turn into a confused character when political lingo flies. My thoughts, for a moment were maybe I should change that. In my head some patriotic song started playing and I felt like an American flag was flying behind me as I spoke fluently ,what seemed like greek, about politics and convinced the world to change from the error in their ways and vote….. **SMACK**

Was that a shoe that just hit me in the face? 

I spun my head around to see my 3 year old grinning from ear to ear that her impressive arm just hurled a shoe and managed to hit me smack dab in the face. As I could feel the temperature of my blood rise I realize that not only did a shoe hit me but reality with it.

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Reality is … I’m a mom of three, with a one, two and three year old to keep up with. The political lingo I speak involves, Bubble Guppies, Rusty Rivets and some strange creature named Wallykazam. The debates I watch are between my three and two year old on who’s turn it is to play with the yellow play dough (girls there are 4 yellow things of play dough why fight over one.) I spend my days ending hunger strikes from a 2 year old, informing my 3 year old that using an iron isn’t something she’s allowed to do yet and continually trying to keep my 1 year old from eating dishwasher detergent. #thestruggleisreal

I mean today I had to pull a popcorn kernel out of my 3 year olds nose cause she decided sniffing it would be an interesting thing to try. I mean do you honestly fault me for not spending 40+ hours trying to figure out if the Clintons were broke enough or not once they left the White House? And please don’t fault me for feeding my kids popcorn…. it’s one against 3 here. Compromise is apart of the politics and well survival for that fact.

So moms, I hope you voted! It’s important that are kids see us do it and that they understand that as Americans we have the right to vote and make our opinion count. But if you only voted for 1 or 2 things on a 5-page ballot it’s ok. If you walk into a poling place amped up, from a pre-vote pep talk from your husband (or dad) it’s ok. If you see friends of yours on Facebook ranting on in political lingo and you just scroll on by because you don’t really understand what’s being said…. Hey, It’s ok. You’re not alone.

Tonight someone will win. We will know if America has a girl or a boy after hours of aggravating labor. People will be upset with the result and others will be happy. Regardless of the outcome of the Presidential Election, if you go to bed tonight and everyone survived, you’re the real winner mom…. Most likely with the following expression on your face.

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Most likely with the above expression on your face.

I just need a MOMent! 

Let’s take a second and talk about “pregnancy brain”. You know that point in your pregnancy when progesterone has taken over it seems and your suddenly putting the milk in the pantry and the cereal in the fridge. Or you accidentally loose your keys in a take out box in the fridge for 9 hours and have half your friends searching for you. 

When I was about 5 months pregnant for our oldest I used the term Pregnancy Brain in a room with my husband, brother and his roommates, all college guys. I think football was on and they were getting food when one of them discovered cereal in the fridge. The moment I said it the whole room went quiet and all eyes where on me. After a second of inquisitive looks one said “I’m pretty sure that’s not a thing.” They all just assumed I was a little crazy and went back to football and all things man. A couple weeks later I found an article about it in a pregnancy book and proudly showed them all, to which I got the response “yeah I still don’t think it’s a thing.” Now in case you are wondering, my husband wasn’t the one making these statements. He lived with me and didn’t dare say anything about me and my hormonal state. 

That was 2013. The memory is something I chuckeled at over the years as one by one all of those guys got married and now have a child of their own. Meaning they have experienced their wives emotional, harmonal and one snide remarks away from the loony bin. 

Now a mom of three I’ve discovered something, pregnancy brain is something you get during pregnancy and in some ways never get rid of. Moms, you know what I’m talking about. ESPECIALLY if you live life outnumbered. 

A dear friend of mine and I refer to them as the Oh, Crap moments. My husband referres to it as scatter brain. Regardless it’s a MOMent. 

I had one of these MOMents a last weekend. It was the end of a rough 2 weeks and we had some family coming to town. We were all anxious to see loved ones, get out of the house and explore with them. Of course like any good mom I bathed the kids, folded the 12 loads of laundry on my sofa and got the house looking nice. Don’t go in my bedroom though! My husband mowed the lawn and cleaned off the pourches. In the midst of his cleaning he brought me something that needed to be cleaned. I took it into the laundry room and opted to soak it in the utility sink for a bit before putting it in the wash. I started the water, plugged the drain and put into the soaking liquid before stepping out of the laundry room for a min. 

When I stepped out of the messy laundry room into a cleaning living room, smelling of rose petals and book leather, my lovely Belles library candle, I smiled. My husband had come in from outside and was dancing with our girls while our youngest practiced walking around occasionally grooving to the music we had on. We talked for a minute about what we were gonna do next before I realized …… the girls bangs are kind of long, I should trim them. 

So I found my cutting sheers, a spray bottle of water and the girls and I went out front for a little hair cut…. oh but wait….. the bathroom needs some tidying. 

A few minutes, the bathroom now in order, I realized…. the youngest needs a bottle and a nap before company comes over! Off to do that task. After getting him settled and my attention now on the girls, we marched outside for bang trimming. After a good 5 min I walked back into the house to get the broom to sweep off the pourch my husband had so sweetly already cleaned. The broom was in THE LAUNDRY ROOM, the sink, the item I was cleaning! 

I immediately ran from the front door to a now, very wet laundry room. The sink was full and overflowing, the counter covered in water and spilling down on to the floor. I turned the water off and pulled the plug on the drain. Luckily the dirty clothes and towels that were on the floor waiting to be washed soaked up most of the mess. After grabbing some clean towels, the ones I just finished folding, getting a fan from the shop and getting the mess cleaned up, my husband walks into the room, freshly showered,  and ask “what happened?”

“Welllllllllll, you see what had happened was…the sink overflowed.” 

“Again?!?!” 

Yup! See one of the twelve loads of laundry I had just folded was a bundle of towels, the ones I used to clean up the current mess. Towels I had just finished washing and folding from the sink overflowing in the laundry room the week before. 

I proceeded to laugh and sob histerically at the moment, knowing very well my husband and kids were looking at me curious if I should be admitted. 

See here is,what I think, the reality of pregnancy brain. When you’re pregnant your braincells take a journey from your brain down to your womb and travel through the umbilical chord until they become an active part of your growing child’s brain. 

I mean think about it, your kids may look like you or act like your husband but then they get to the age of talking and one day they open their mouth and say something that makes you stop in your tracks. You have a moment where you think, how did they come up with that? I’m telling you they steal your brain cells. 


Some days, when I have a MOMent and my husband and kids look at me like I’m crazy I want to say “If I had all my brain cells this wouldn’t happen.” My house wouldn’t look like a crazy mess with the dryer open, the dishwasher half emptied and a water faucet or tub in the process of being cleaned or cleaning something or someone. 

So dad, kids, everyone else who doesn’t have kids. We aren’t crazy or in need of a mental evaluation. Sometimes we go to the grocery store in sweatpants, sports bras and messy buns. Sometimes we let our kids dress themselves and they look a little Disney princess meets redneck hunter. Sometimes we walk up to the register to check out only to remember we forgot to get what’s on the back of the list. Our houses are messy, our laundry overflowing along with our sinks but we aren’t crazy. Just missing a few brains cells and in need of a MOMent. 

Babysitting Awards

“A picture is worth a thousand words” or at least that’s what they say. The truth is pictures can be deceiving. Sometimes the author or subject chooses to let the viewer in. Other times we see what they want us to see. Pictures can hide ones insecurities and make someone seem confident, they can make a broken home seem whole for a moment, all while hiding the true story behind the image. Not all images have broken stories, but stories none the less. At least through my lense they do….


This is a picture of my 8-9 year old self, holding a friend of my parents new baby girl. I’m sure at some point in the evening I asked or was tasked with “feeding the baby”. No big deal. I was good with kids. I’ve feed a newborn before. I’ve got this. At some point the camera came out, a picture taken and a story hidden. At the time I’m sure I thought, wow I must be like a super pro at this for my age cause they just took my picture. Regardless the baby was fed, a picture taken and life continued. Occasionally invoking me watching this baby girl again and her brother.

Several years later,as a naïve 11 year old, I can remember my parents buying land, starting our new house and there being a flatbed trailer in the back of the construction area. Free and empty, like a stage waiting to be danced on. I spent a lot of time on that trailer while my parents worked inside. Once the girl and her brother where there and together we played on that flat bed trailer. I can remember thinking I was like some babysitting prodigy, my imagination stemming  from the above picture, and I pretended to receive a babysitting award in which I gave a Emmy worthy speech where everyone,with tear filled eyes, stood and applauded for. Babysitters club was obviously  my top favorite book series at the time. Like I said, naïve 11 year old.

Obviously I grew up and the reality that I wasn’t the worlds best babysitter, and if I was they didn’t give out awards for it, was crushing but teenage years set in and soon babysitting wasn’t the cool thing to do anymore. On to the crime solving adventures inspired by Nancy Drew, but we will save those for another day. Nevertheless that picture had a story, one that I didn’t become aware of till much later.

See some small facts about my childhood you may not know.

  1. I was a pastor’s kid. This meant we were around all kinds of people often and people tend to think pastor’s children are more responsible, again I was naïve,  which made someone trusting an 8 year old with a infant to me seemed normal.
  2. I  was an only child. In a youth group filled with siblings, I kind of stuck out like a sore thumb. I got annoyed with my friends who complained about their siblings coming into youth group and hanging out with their friends…. I really just wanted someone to complain about.
  3. I was adopted. I know I know a million questions going through your head. But the biggest one I’ll answer. Yes, I’ve always known. The question of if I had siblings was something I wanted to know since I was young. My heart seemed to ache for them, beyond just someone to babysit.

So back to the story. If you don’t already see where this is going. 

So the picture that I thought was the start of my babysitting rise to fame, was really me cluelessly feeding my sister. See like I said above I was adopted and my parents and my birth mother stayed close, so close that we hung out at thanksgiving together, their parents were friends and my siblings and I were raised together, all the while just thinking we were nothing more then just family friends.

I was about 16 when I was told who my biological mother was. A few months after my brother and sister were told and from there the world changed. My sister always loved me, even before we knew. We all went to the same private school so she would run to hug me when she was at elementary recess and I was heading to lunch. When she found out that we were sisters she told everyone and I mean everyone. 

Over the next couple of years we hung out  and spent time together as sisters but we didn’t get super close till I moved back from college and she was in high school. During her freshman and sophomore years we along with our brother and some friends spent most of our weekends playing card games or board games. I can still remember going over on a Friday night and spending hours debating on what to eat and what to play before finally deciding at 11pm. Most nights we laughed till we cried out of sheer exhaution.

Eventually my brother graduated, I got married and  he, along with his crazy roommates and my family lived next door to one another, that’s a story for another day. Our late nights soon moved to the dueplex and over time life took hold and the game nights faded away. In 2013 I had our first child, 2014 he got married and I had our second child then in 2015 I had our third child and my brother and wife welcomed their first child to our crazy world.

For my sister and I Sundays became our weekly hellos. Occasionally she would join in for a fall bonfire or a taco tuesday. Game nights popped up every once in a blue moon and shopping trips occurred quartly. We were so much alike yet different in the same that we each had our own opinions on life. Unfortunately the juggle of life was tough and our relationship suffered.

In life some times it’s hard to balance a relationship with your husband, being a mom of 3 young ones and then working part time on top of that. Add in grandparents and inlaws and you have something every week. It’s no excuse I know, but it’s something I should of worked harder at then. The juggling act though can be exhausting but again not an excuse.

As a parent, in my thirties, the reality of life without my parents and grandparents is a haunting thing. It’s something that sometimes creeps into my minds after I ask my mom a cooking question or call just to hear her voice. The reality that one day they won’t pick up the phone is overwhelming. It’s not something I dwell on but sadly I try to SLOWLY prepare my self for it.

When my mom called at 4am one Friday morning I thought the reality had come. Relieved by her quick response of “your dad and I are fine” caused my tense nerves to relax… for only a moment.

My sister. The 22 year old, full of life, ray of yellow sunshine was gone. One fatal crash. The surge of emotions still reel like waves crashing against a rock. So many questions, so many thoughts and sadly so many regrets.

I’m not writing this for sympathy, the past is in the past and the time I missed out is now something I have to live with. See behind every picture is a story; and often those stories become cautionary tales.

Mine is of a girl, who longed for a bother and sister but in the weight of life, failed to be there for so many moments. Sure I have images of us during the milestones, but everyone surrounds you during your highlight reel. The years we were close, I’ll hold tight too. The late nights filled with laughter I’ll play on repeat in hopes that the noise will drown out the silence of the more recent nights.

Despite miles, opinions and lifestyles, love… with everything. You never know when a farwell or a hug will be your last.



Dear sister, 

My heart ached for you before you were born and now it aches again for you. Your fearlessness use to frustrate me. The conversations we had about broken hearts and hurt friendships made me think that my cautious life was the smarter choice. You never loved someone halfway though. If they were in your life you embraced them as they were with caution to the wind. I see now that I was wrong. I’ve learned to love everything about every moment of life and to love those around me without borders. To never leave a question or word unresolved. 

So many things will remain unsaid. So many questions left unanswered. One day the laughter will return, the memories will once again be sweet and life will continue but there will always be a missing piece. You made sure that every life you touched would miss you… and I surly do. 


Rhea’s Ice Cream

Tonight we traveled in to explore a bit of downtown San Marcos. Love the vibes there. Unique architecture, most are vintage buildings with industrial decor. Pretty cool spot all around. If you don’t know where Rhea’s is then you will most likely miss it. This tiny ice cream joint isn’t a place you want to just pass by though. They have speciality flavors like Goat Cheese with Raspberry Jam, Big Red and Avacado with Coconut milk.


August flavor of the month was Sweet Tea  with Lemon. Two scoops in a cone please!



Homemade, soft served ice cream, rustic decor and super chilled vibes make Rhea’s a must in San Marcos.