Recently I’ve been fighting the common parenting voice of doubt. Am I really doing all I can for my kids? Are they all feeling loved in each of their own unique ways? Am I parenting ok? Are they feeling supported and cherished? And, amongst all the questions I have swirling in my mind, the most common one is, ‘does my middle child feel neglected?’. Do they feel like I spend more time with their other siblings and only give them the left overs? You know- the stereotypical box that people put middle children- which means that the middle child ends up with the left overs of mom and dad’s attention, second hand clothes, and tired parents. Basically the short end of the stick.
Not being a middle child myself, I never had to worry about not having enough of my parents attention. However, now I’m fighting those voices leaving myself concerned that I’m not doing everything right or giving enough. I want so much to parent right- which probably means I AM doing something right. lol All of that to say that I know my kids are happy, healthy and know mom and dad love them. I know (head knowledge) that I’m doing a lot for them. Not things like making dinner but reading to them, making forts in the living room and baking together.
I hate this second guessing game that , I will generalize in saying that most parents have to fight. Yet, I find peace when I think about putting my fears and concerns for my kids to God. Knowing that I will do my best to parent and love on them and that He’ll do the other 90% to make them into an incredible human that will touch the world. It feels, inside, a first like a spinning compass. Spinning out of control not knowing where to go. I started this post off with some of those questions. Yet when I talk with Jesus and talk, give control and take a deep breath – I feel like that compass is redirected and is pointing north. To where I should go and what I should say, do whatever with my kids.
First, I’m writing this because it helps myself process, hehe, but also I’m hopeful that some of you would find encouragement in my journey towards parenting. That you might relate and that we would all receive a breath of fresh air.
You’re a rock star parent. I’m a rock star parent, and we’re doing a good job- be encouraged friend.
Insane beauty. In the midst of our neighborhood maze I found this gem this morning.
I was taking my morning walk with the neighborhood, before it got hot outside, and discovered a beautiful little lane/large sidewalk that has a whole line of beautiful bright flowers.
They instantly made me smile and I wondered if I stole some if a neighbor would yell at me.
How’s this for a beautiful restful place?! Elijah was napping in the stroller so I sat there for a good 30 min! So incredibly peaceful. I’ll definitely remember this place.
But pretty amazing am I right?! I’m so thankful I live in such a beautiful neighborhood in a beautiful city!
In May, when I attended Polish Language Lessons, we went out -as part of a class assignment- on a scavenger hunt. Best lesson ever. We were to only use Polish and find the answers to specific questions pertaining to places.
One particular place was a small free museum exhibiting a famous Polish poet. I have plans to do a whole post just on the place but it’s awesome and peaceful. (why are museums so relaxing?)
All that to say- they have a killer gift shop! Most everything I saw was super reasonable including this beauty!
I’m so happy I have it and every time I look at it, it makes me smile. And those are the best kind of purchases. 🙂
It’s strawberry season here in Krakow! You can find baskets heaping with these bright red berries all over town. They’re super sweet and not expensive- a win win. I bought a basket, brought it home and ended up staring at it not sure what to make. There’s the obvious chocolate dipped ones which of course we made, but what else can I make with them? So…I decided that I’ll make a compilation of strawberry recipes for myself, and you reader, to refer to.
I’d love to hear of your favorite recipes that include strawberries!
This first one isn’t really a recipe. OK it’s not. But it screams summer- simple ingredients and fresh fruit. And it’s what happens when the kiddos have 10 min before bed time but want a dessert. They helped put it together which made it taste even sweeter for them. 🙂
*Bowls from Istanbul, Turkey
Beautiful colors right?! The flavor was just as vibrant- you need to make this! And with a 20 min cooking time and with three ingredient it’s just as easy as it is tasty. Have I convinced you? 😉
OK, first you need a good cut of salmon. Our family is from the Pacific Northwest so we are used to high quality salmon. When we moved here to Krakow I wasn’t sure if there was good salmon or how to find it. Turns out we get great salmon here shipped in from Norway!
Here is the first in the ingredient list: Herb butter. About 1/2C butter.
I used my own homemade spice mix which is a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic and basil. I then added fresh cut chives to the butter helping to add flavor and prettiness. 🙂
Mix the butter with your favorite spices and any fresh herbs you have in your kitchen/garden. Next add juice from half a lemon. Mix and spread on salmon.
Seal in aluminum foil and bake in your preheated oven at 170’C. Cook for 10-15 min, depending on the size and thickness of your slab on fish. Till it’s almost firm throughout, then it’s time for the last ingredient to be added!
This might look like a huge bowl but it’s about 1/2C freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Mmmm, the saltiness of the cheese marries perfectly with the fish. Ok, now that you’ve sprinkled and covered your fish with the cheese, KEEP UNCOVERED and put back into the oven till the cheese is bubbling. I like it once it turns a bit dark. The nice part is that the butter keeps the fish from drying out.
Then you’re done! Sprinkle with any fresh herbs if you like. 🙂 Enjoy!
Parmensan Crusted Salmon
One large cut of Salmon
1/2C Herb Butter (room temperature)
Juice of half a lemon
Preheat oven to 350’F or 175’C. Mix butter and lemon juice. Spread mixture on fish and wrap in foil. Bake for roughly 10-15 min (depending on thickness of fish) then sprinkle cheese on top and cook uncovered till cheese is melted and bubbly.
Travis has been gone for about a week and I’ve found myself hunkering down and staying home with the kiddos. And because I’m an analytic person and I had more time to think, I started to ask myself why I didn’t make fun plans during the days.
There’s the easy answers of laziness or the fact I’m an introvert and alone time makes my heart sing.
But I had the feeling I hadn’t dug deep enough. So I took some time and came to realize I was reacting to life’s busy schedule and not being intentional with my days. The word, ‘intentional’ has a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth but being objective and trying to see my schedule through different lenses allowed me to see my growth areas. I was going with the flow of our schedule. Not bad but who’s in charge? Me or my schedule? I was seeing the areas that were busy and so I became focused on forcing ‘rest time’ for my family.
We don’t need rest. We are well rested. In fact my kids receive so much rest that they’re bouncing off the walls when they’re at home! 🙂
I began to ask myself how I would change my days if I wanted to actually see people, get out of my neighborhood and be intentional with my time. It started with hanging with friends. Going to the Center of Krakow more alone. And practice my Polish!!!
So I hung out with a friend a couple days ago (Hi!) and went to Krakow’s main Rynek. Beautiful day (33C!) and I loved being out exploring the town, cementing neighborhoods and streets in my mind. Here are some pictures 🙂
(I’m going to do a review of this cafe. Incredible)
(typical horse drawn carriage through town)
I’ve found that if I have pretty things around me then it’s not so easy for me to fall into a negative attitude. There have been days where I feel like penning my own, ‘Not so good very bad day’ book’, and the odd thing is typing that feels like, ‘well, duh. Of course it would help.’ But I’ve found changing one’s attitude is so hard to do!
Discovering this small and easy idea has really helped with not only my attitude but also with my focus on eating/exercising. And flowers in particular make me smile. In some weird way they give me the to motivation keep pushing forward.
So Keeping fresh flowers in our home is a norm now. Try it! 🙂
We live in a small neighborhood about 20 min outside Krakow and there are red poppies everywhere. It was such a wonderful surprise after moving here to see them popping up almost every where. They are the most delicate and vibrant flower, making me smile every time I see them.
I was looking through Pinterest and saw some meal ideas for making ahead and I looked in my fridge to see what I cold make in bulk to eat and freeze. And came up with this. No surprise it’s Mexican. My favorite. 🙂
I can see different variations depending on what’s in the kitchen but this batch is made of:
1/2 Red Bell Pepper
1/2 Green Bell Pepper
1/2 Yellow Bell Pepper
2 Sm. Yellow Onions
5 coves of Garlic (Yes, I love garlic)
2C Shredded Chicken
1-2C Cooked Rice
1/2 Package of Taco Seasoning
I think next time I’ll substitute black beans for the rice. Enjoy!
This post is more for myself to look back in 6 months. Hopefully by then progress will have happened to make read this, smile and thank God I’ve grown.
I was sitting on the tram today coming back from a doctors appointment for my middle child. The tram was packed with college students heading my same way to the satellite University campus that’s right by us. A pair of girlfriends caught my eye standing off to my left. They were looking at people, whispering then giggling at each other. I instantly assessed what I was wearing, how I must have looked, did I look American?, was my child behaving, etc. And then it hit me. Who cares?!
I live in a city that’s large enough that I probably won’t see them again. And although that comforted me, the thought came: ‘What if they are making fun of you?! Why is it bothering you so much?!’
I had to answer myself, ‘Um, because I don’t want to be…rejected…by strangers on a tram. Yeah. OK point made.’
Ugh. I have a whole lot of growing up to do…
I couldn’t believe I was giving them power over my thoughts. Second guessing how I was standing, my clothes and even my child?! I felt like I was back in 2nd or 3rd grade at a new school just wanting others to accept me. The good thing out of this is that not only was I aware of my crazy thinking, but I was able to actively work against the fear and find my acceptance in God. I can remember hearing that growing up and not having a clue as to what it meant. As an adult, I find comfort in knowing that if He likes and loves me then that’s enough. I accept the fact that not everyone will like or accept me. I don’t like everyone. Why should everyone like me?
Anyways, I ended the tram ride and walked home thanking God for this insight. Personally, it’s too easy for me to go about my life and think I’m in ‘a good place’. When really I’m walking around wounded and need healing, but I’m too busy and prideful to stop my life and look inside at who I am and where I am in my journey with Jesus.
When was the last time you stopped and assessed where you are inside? Who you are as of November 2014? Do you like what you see in the mirror? What do you hear when you’re left to your thoughts?