Roasting a Chicken or Cleaning Carpet

I love birth stories.  I especially love being able to make a meal for a newly sleep deprived mother who has NO idea of what she just got herself into, because I've been there.  And what I appreciated the most after having my oldest was the abundance of food delivered each night and the various people "oooing & awwwing" over my beautiful baby.  Seriously, what could be better?  Sleep, but we all know that's not gonna happen, so might as well take the food.

Well, I had two roasting chickens that I planned on roasting at the same time (one for our family and one for my friend).  And after we ate our chicken, I would use the carcass to make some chicken stock.  Both girls were sound asleep still at 4:00, which is a miracle in and of itself and gave me some extra time to cook.  But as any mother would tell you, all good things must come to an end and reality sets in.  The end of nap time  makes me feel like Cinderella when the clock strikes midnight and my dress turns to rags and coach turns to a pumpkin...and I become mama again.



This mama had her almost three year old to tend to and slowly got her entertained with a new dollhouse.  I let her be, in order to get my youngest who was crying.  Note to self: never underestimate the capabilities of a little girl who's middle name is "monkey business."  As I was changing a diaper, I was thinking how everything was going according to schedule.  The chicken would be done in about five minutes, my cranberry crostata (which I'll post at a later date) was cooling on the counter, daddy would be home in less than 10 minutes (date night after dinner) and I would get to visit my friend's newborn baby boy shortly.

Then, I hear a monkey pants coming up the stairs going on & on about something.  And as I turn to see what she's talking about my mouth drops.  I hurriedly set my youngest back in the crib and picked up my oldest to head to the bathtub.  What she was saying was, "I painted on myself, I painted on my clothes!"  She has absolutely no guile in her bones.  She definitely stopped chanting her fresco debut once I stripped her down and got the water running, which turned into cries of, "I want my blankie!"





All this to say...the chickens turned out well, but we didn't eat together as a family, because I had to get some cleaner at the store.  Our date night was obliterated, since my husband and I were stuck spending our evening trying to scrub the food coloring gel out of the two flights of stairs and carpet in the basement (oh yes, she was painting herself with pink food coloring gel to resemble frosting).  My eldest, a.k.a. monkey pants, went to bed with painted on pink socks, pink/reddish hands, and one bright pink cheek.  And I forgot to tell Ben to save the carcass, so when I got home from dropping off the dinner and picking up the cleaning supplies I asked, "You didn't throw away the chicken carcass, did you?"  My destiny for the evening was sealed and that was the last straw.  I felt like stamping my feet, throwing myself on the ground and flail about, but I'm the grown up right.

Instead, I took a couple deep breaths, nursed my youngest, said goodnight to monkey pants and started blotting the pink stains with my hubby.  We soon waved the white flag of defeat, because this pink stain might just be here to stay (the carpet cleaners are closed for the night...we'll see tomorrow).  As Ben and I breathed in the lovely fumes of various cleaners we were using, I asked Ben, "What could be worse?"  He said, "Being in the hospital right now with Veronica, because she got into something that was toxic."  I liked hearing that.

It made cleaning the carpet even more therapeutic and peaceful.  It's only carpet, and Lord knows there's probably going to be more stains to add to the pink punk rock hue.   And although we missed our date night,  I was thankful that it was only food coloring gel and not something worse.  I was even thankful for the great story this would be for years to come.  It's moments like these that keep me on my toes as a mother and I know when I look back 20 years from now, I'll take the pink carpet over delicious chicken any day of the week.

Simple Meals

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In a world of busyness and whirlwinds, pressure and deadlines, cranky kids and meltdowns on the verge...we need something simple to say, "it's going to be alright," or, "here eat this, it will make you feel better." Sometimes it's telling ourselves to stop and eat this, because it will make us feel better.

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And in the midst of many of my friends coming down with sickness left and right--simple is best. The meal of choice being applesauce, dry toast, chicken noodle soup and 7-Up. I'm blessed to merely be tired, but physically well. I'm blessed to know my children have cozy pajamas on while sleeping in a bed. I'm blessed to have more than enough food in my fridge, deep freezer & pantry to last us for two weeks (or more). And even though I don't have eggs (as I have two egg lovers in this household--yours truly), it's okay, because there are still so many other options left for us.

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Options to use love through creativity (but not the type of meal showcased on the front page of chic foodie blog) in the kitchen. It's this creativity which allows us to reach deep within the recesses of our past, where our grandmothers or great-grandmothers made their bread from scratch, lived on what was available and worked with what they had. It's frugality at its finest and a heck of a lot hard work at its core.  It's things like eating a childhood favorite of cinnamon-sugar toast with cold milk.

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So if your health is well, give thanks.  Maybe you could drop off some homemade (or canned) soup on a friend's doorstep.  Maybe its writing a card to that person who's been on your mind to let them know you think they're great.  It doesn't have to be big and in most cases it's the simple things which bring abundant joy.

it’s called comfort

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when living in a life that often seems hurried, sleepless, and scattered at times (sound like a mom with two young children...anyone?), it only makes sense that those few moments of comfort are little simplicities.  And as I have been dreaming like crazy about what I want to become when I grow up, or how to become a woman who instills specific virtues or skill sets to my girls...I realize that what I need the most is to simply take rest in seeing who I am created to be.

I have been struggling with wanting to be a mom who sews, or creates her home with aesthetic beauty, or really hits it big with some breakthrough cooking or baking challenge.  But as I was telling Ben the other night, "ya know it's not like having a cooking blog is original.  It seems like everyone and their mother has a cooking or baking blog, and really not one idea is truly original.  Plus, it's as if most of them are just trying to outdo someone else.  To become something better.  To be defined by it."  But you know what, I'm not a virtuoso in the kitchen.  I can make a great spaghetti dinner, or a fantastic buttermilk waffles.  I'm pretty good at serving my family food that doesn't make them gag.  However, I'm not going to be dabbling in gastronomy anytime soon.  Nor will I try to woo anyone with a dish that I can hardly pronounce or the cost of the ingredients, which would make a starving person in India shamed.

What I later told Ben was this, "it's hard being someone like me and my giftings, because with food blogs it's something tangible (and that's what I like about baking & cooking, something concrete in my abstract brain) to show & write about.  But empathy, it's not like I can say, 'I got empathy and it's AMAZING!'  You cannot capture empathy."  So as I have done some searching this past week (as my ENFJ person is torn between SO many worlds), I came across this wonderful blog where the author spoke about loving the mother that we are (period).  When I see other woman, wives, mothers, and their lives (looking through my idealist lenses) it appears like they have it.  They either write with such grace, or they create with amazing flow, or they cook/bake with flawlessness; but, I realized that we don't see their rough drafts, their sewing/crafting scraps or their culinary science explosions.  All we get to see is the amazing, because that's what sells (in the peripheral sense of the word).

I know who I am when I am keeping my eyes on Jesus.  I am the daughter of the Most High.  And this blog is about that journey.  It includes food, because I love it and how it brings people together and tears down walls.  I love baking, because it gives me a reason to be tangible & hospitable through the giving of my time & resources.  It blesses!  This blog is about how I find hospitality (the graces & loves) in this world.  It's about telling stories, because although I wish I was an avid reader (I aspire to see my picture framed on the library's walls "Most Well Read"), I'm not.  I love to tell my daughters stories to inspire their imaginations, to enable them to speak confidently in the classroom of life.  And although we read stories from a book, more of them come from retold stories.  I'm a dreamer married to a realist.  And although I wish he was more of an idealist dreamer at times...I was reminded yesterday how thankful I am that he is not.  I hate getting in ruts, but I love getting out of them, because it makes me see life more clearly and fully.

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Ben brought me home a PSL & a card yesterday. What is great about my realist ISFJ husband is (I wasn't suppose to know) that he schedules a day every month to do something nice for me, in order to make sure he actually does it versus being spontaneous and it not happening that often.  What a treasure!


And with all of that emotional vomit on you, I get to embrace what Ben calls, "The week of Kamille!"  I actually don't like the title, but what I do love is what it entails...

Saturday: enjoy Chicken Tortilla Soup, watch a cheesy movie & go shopping with my lovely friend Tina.

Sunday: sing on the worship team at church (I love being able to have this outlet)

Monday-Wednesday: Take a cooking class, which goes beyond the typical community cooking class only teaching on how to make Autumn soups.  So exciting as it is from 10-4 with Ben watching the girls.

Thursday: A much needed evening with some of my favorite moms (all without our kids) from our playgroup.

Cheers!