Friday, May 13, 2016

Project Date Night '16: May

So, I don't typically "celebrate" Cinco de Mayo, but it gave me an excuse for a themed menu for date night this month... and there you have it.

Side note: I didn't realize it before, but Cinco de Mayo isn't actually widely celebrated in Mexico, is more of an Americanized holiday. But anyway, Cinco de Mayo actually commemorates a big battle between the Mexican army and the French. Learn more here.

May 5th this year was also the first Thursday in May, which is the National Day of Prayer here in the USA. We love to take the opportunity to pray for our nation and it's leaders and pray for direction and discernment for our future. Learn more about the National Day of Prayer here.

I feel like it's kind of disrespectful to have a huge Mexican theme party and hullabaloo over a big battle where a bunch of people died (especially when it's not my culture or nation)... I saw one blogger refer to it as the equivalent of another country having a big drunk bash wearing Uncle Sam hats to celebrate the Battle of Gettysburg. Kind of puts it into perspective, eh? {can't find the link to it now, sorry!}

But we love Mexican food! So we ate some yummy-ness!  Later, we prayerfully considered our future and wrote our wills. Morbid? Maybe. But it's got to be done. Being a parent makes you think about those things a little more. I mean, what would happen to our child if we were both killed in a car accident (God forbid)?  So now we have one and I'm glad I don't have to think about again for a while.

My dairy-free "nachos"

We used the NOLO Simple Will Book (7th Edition) and it was pretty easy. The book includes a CD-ROM with downloadable worksheets to make it simple and easy to understand... There were a lot of things I had never really thought of before. It was also a great discussion starter. I don't think we'd ever really talked about a will before and now its nice to know we're on the same page.


  • Loaded Nachos with avocado, seasoned ground beef, pinto beans, tomato, salsa, olives (with jalapenos and Heavenly Homemakers' nacho cheese sauce for M) over corn tortilla chips
    [We LOVE Xochtil brand chips- seriously SO GOOD. The price on  Amazon is ridiculous though - I get mine at our local grocery store.) 
  • Agua de Fresa (I also added some sparkling water to ours to cut the sweetness)
  • Paleo Choco Taco (ok, so NOT authentically Mexican, but I used to love these! We did the vegan version and I sweetened it with NuNaturals Stevia since I'm still trying to cut out sugar as much as possible.)
    Oh, and I waited too long to bend my "taco shells" in half, so they broke. So we really had Choco Taco Sundaes instead. It was still good. :)

Cost: FREE
The food came out of the grocery budget and I borrowed the will book from my parents. (Thanks!)

This was definitely one of my simpler date nights but it was an incredibly important one. Read about Project Date Night here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

10 Things New Moms Need to Hear

Now that I have few years of this "mom thing" under my belt, I feel it's ok to share some things... I think sometimes we forget to be sensitive to the struggles people around us are going through. I struggled a LOT with new motherhood. A combination of new responsibilities, moving to a new state, health issues and lack of sleep made every day a challenge. Here are a few things that I desperately needed to hear in those early days, whether I not I verbalized it... and I think most moms would agree.

Back in those early days of motherhood... hard to believe now he was ever that little!

1. You look beautiful today.

All women need to hear this periodically, but especially stay at home moms that have young children. I mean, makeup? What's that? An actual hair style? Who are you kidding? Most days, it's the standard braid or ponytail... whatever gets your hair out of your face/your baby's chubby, moist grasp. But deep down, you don't want to be Frump Mom, you want someone to believe that you're still beautiful, even if you don't have the time (or let's face it - energy) to beautify. This is especially important for husbands to say to their wives. She NEEDS to know that even though she feels drained, even though she has crazy hair and may or may not have had time to shower today, even though she has stretch marks and a few extra pounds of baby weight still hanging on, you still think she's beautiful. Tell her!

2. How are you? And actually take time to listen to the response.

It's so easy to let children become the focal point of every conversation. When you see a friend (or even acquaintance), we often fall into the trap of asking about the kids only and neglect to ask, "How are YOU". Trust me, she needs to know that she's still a valuable person, not just "Mom".

And probably the most important part... actually listen to her response. How many times have you asked someone, "How are you", but didn't really want to hear an answer other than "Fine"? It's programmed in us as part of "being polite" to ask "How are you?", but think about it - do you really WANT to know how she's doing?  New Moms (especially the stay at home variety) are often discouraged, lonely, overwhelmed and need someone to truly listen and validate their feelings. You have the opportunity to be a blessing to this precious momma. Don't pass it up!

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