Monday, July 24, 2017

When Grief Bubbles Over in the Cereal Aisle

We hit a few more bumps in the road over the weekend. I'm trying really, really hard to stay positive and focus on the blessings around us during such a dark and frustrating time in our lives.

Friday night Charlie started dry heaving really bad. We were up with him all night trying to comfort and calm him until the vet opened. It was truly a blessing that our vet allowed us to bring him in when they opened that morning even though there were no available appointments that day. After rounds of tests, scans and blood work the doctor informed us that Charlie has advanced lymphoma and the swollen lymph nodes in his throat are bringing him a great deal of discomfort. We are meeting with an oncologist early this week to find out our treatment options and next steps. In the meantime, we have him on some medicine to reduce his discomfort -- another blessing.

The next morning I received a call from mom. She was in an ambulance with dad on the way to the hospital. Dad had taken another downhill turn. When the paramedics arrived for dad it was a ginormous blessing that they agreed to break the rules and take him to our preferred hospital which is way outside of their radius. Dad is stable for now and has the entire family there keeping him company, minus me. The rigors of chemo have deteriorated his brain significantly and there are a litany of additional health issues that we continue to uncover as tests, scans and blood work results come in. I don't know what each day will bring from here on out but this does change our family trip down this weekend. For various reasons I can't get down until Thursday night but am now flying out alone instead of bringing the entire family down. I would be remiss not to recognize the huge blessing this new job has been for me -- my boss has been so flexible and understanding and my new salary has made extremely expensive last minute flights home a little less financially burdensome.

Lastly, I'm thankful that no one was in the cereal aisle this morning when I had a complete breakdown and had to abandon my shopping cart to run to my car. I need to step away from the blog the rest of this week but will return when I can with updates.

Thank you all for your continued prayers. And for those of you who have asked how you can tangibly help -- you can send me your favorite praise & worship songs to add to my Spotify play list.

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Five on Friday: Taco Round-Up

This week we received an incredible taco dinner in our HelloFresh box! In fact, every time a taco dinner is in the line up I get pretty pumped. So today I thought it would be fun to share my five favorite HF taco recipes that you can EASILY recreate in your own kitchen. Instead of layering the usual seasoned ground beef, lettuce, tomato and cheese, try one of these recipes for your next taco night...

Oh, and NO! this post is not sponsored (but I wish it was) annnnnnd...for each recipe I'm including my picture and the recipe pictures since my grainy snaps don't do the tacos justice!

 1 // Rapid Crispy Shrimp Tacos with Crunch Red Cabbage Slaw. This truly took less than 12 minutes to prep, cook and devour (hence, the "rapid" title). I think it's the reason I loved it so much, but also because it was SO DANG GOOD. Everything came already prepped and sliced which I really, really appreciated so I just dumped the ingredients into a bowl and then cooked the shrimp in a few minutes. Here's the recipe to make on your own!
 
2 // Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos with Avocado Crema. My favorite meatless taco! And my kids devour this one too! Find the recipe here.
 
3 // Feisty Fiesta Fish Tacos with Grapefruit, Avocado, and Cabbage Slaw. Never ever ever thought to put grapefruit on tacos...until now...and oh my goodness it is amazing. Find the recipe here.
4 // Sesame Beef Tacos with Quick-Pickled Veggies and Spicy Crema. These are some of the most flavorful tacos we have ever had. Find the recipe here.
5 // Crispy Fish Tacos with Lime Carrot Slaw and Sour Cream. Battered and fried fish? YES! Alllll the YES! These were Matt's favorite tacos out of them all! Find the recipe here.
 
And there you have it -- 5 new taco variations to try!
 
You know the drill...I have 4 more promo codes to give my friends a FREE box of HelloFresh meals! I'd be happy to send the first FOUR people to leave their email address in the comments a free week of HelloFresh to try!  
 
 Not one of the first 4 to comment but still want to try HelloFresh? Use promo code MG8GKD for $40 off your first box! That means you can try out HelloFresh for $29 and then cancel after your box arrives or keep on going.
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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Coffee Talk

If we were having coffee I'd love to chat about...

The courtesy wave. Is that not a thing anymore? Is it dying?! When someone allows you to jump in front of them on the road or cross the street as a pedestrian you should say THANK YOU! And it's so simple -- just a smile and a wave. It seriously makes me SO ragey when someone doesn't acknowledge the kind gesture. In fact, I wait until I am fully in front of the kind car before I wave just to make sure they see me say thank you! Can we please bring the courtesy wave back!? #2017courtesywavemovement

Brain Fog. I had a conversation with one of my girlfriends last week about how mushy my brain has become. I swear I can't remember anything. In the past week alone I've told Matt the same story twice in one day, I've left swim clothes on the counter for water play day at daycare, I've put a bag of chips in the refrigerator while cleaning the kitchen and the most embarrassing of all...I left my purse on the counter at Ulta over the weekend and didn't realize it until I got home. I was trying to keep track of both kids, pick out mascara and locate my coupon on my phone and somehow forgot my purse...but managed to walk out with both kids, my wallet, my keys and my mascara. What is wrong with me? I am totally losing it. Anyway, a blogger I follow recently wrote a bunch of tips to conquer brain fog. If you're struggling with this too, check it out.

Are you an under-buyer or an over-buyer? I am a terrible under-buyer, specifically for slow moving products like hand soap, deoderant, detergents, etc. For example, when we run out of toothpaste I normally don't have a back-up on hand. So for a day or so I scramble and end up using nasty toddler training toothpaste until I can get to Target. And you know what I do at Target? I buy ONE tube. Why? Why don't I just buy the 3 pack? Well, I hate storing stuff (with the exception of paper products, kid medicines, wine + food -- always fully stocked on all that!) and my OCD heart really despises clutter, even if it's all necessary. And when I do over-buy, I usually forget I have a stock. For example, I have NINE shampoos under my bathroom sink. NINE! And when I run out of shampoo I always forget about my stash and grab a new one from Target. Anyway, maybe it was the lack of storage in our old house that led me down this path, but I'm trying to get better about buying products in bulk on sale instead of making urgent Amazon Prime purchases! Maybe I'll ask for a Costco membership for my birthday...

Now tell me what's new with you! And would you like a bottle of shampoo?

You can find previous coffee talk sessions here!
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