I’m Tired: A Mommy Monologue

I’m laying in the bath, candle lit, writing this with tears in my eyes. Nothing “big” or “bad” happened today. It was a normal day of waking up early, diaper changes, bottle feedings, two baths, exploration of new foods, messy high chairs, laundry, toys scattered everywhere, new discoveries, chasing a hyper boy around, teething, falling down, laundry, cooking, cleaning… the list goes on and on.

That’s what a usual day looks like here at the Richards’ house but today I am just…. tired. I feel at my end and my limit. I feel like I have said nothing else today but “No no John,” “Don’t do that, John” “Come here baby” “Please don’t hit” “Don’t throw your food” “Don’tdrink the bath water”. So many NOs and not a lot of YAYs. As I got him ready for bed I just was so ready for him to be asleep so I can enjoy a minute of quiet.

And then overwhelming guilt hits me like a punch in the gut because I realized all day I haven’t got to enjoy John because I feel like I have had to discipline and parent. Instead of giggles and cuddles, today was a bunch of pitching fits and yelling. It doesn’t help that I was reminiscing all of his newborn pictures and videos last night either; making me miss those days of hectic quiet, coos, and soft cuddles.

Parenting is not easy. It is a never ending battle of wanting to slow time down and soak in every moment to please let this day hurry so I can enjoy some peace and quiet.

Time has moved so quickly lately. John is almost 10 months old and my heart is breaking. There really isn’t a point to my post except just to share what I’m feeling, which is raw feelings of sadness, exhaustion, immense love and joy, all at the same time.

But I think that’s what motherhood is; high elation and low valleys. Tears and laughs, smiles and frowns, yelling and praising. I know there will be more days like today; where I feel more like the principle from Matilda (bun included) than the teacher who comes in and saves the day with sunshine and giggles.

But that’s okay, because I wanted this and I love this. And its also okay to be exhausted and tired and frustrated in the midst of all that you wanted. Sometimes we feel so pressured to not seem “ungrateful” that we go along steaming up inside until we boil over.

You’re allowed to feel emotions, you’re allowed to miss the times when it was just you and you could do whatever you wanted, you’re allowed to crave solitude and maybe even a vacation where it’s just you, a beach, and a bible. When we strive to fit this perfect “mom” picture, the instagram mom, who always seems to have it together and enjoy every second of motherhood, then we find ourselves trying to fit a triangle into an oval; it’s impossible (yes, even my analogies now involve baby toys).

So, I just wanted to share with you mamas (and daddys) out there that, I am so tired. And I feel like poo for yelling today a lot. And I’m crying in the bath tub, simultaneously enjoying my quiet and fighting the urge to go wake the baby up for cuddles and kisses.

And I want to encourage you in this season, that you’re not alone. And God sees what you do for your family every day. And God sees your grateful heart thats just a little weary at the moment. And God wants to take away the shame that’s trying to tell you you’re not good enough for your family. And God wants to wrap you in His arms and tell you everything is alright and a new day starts tomorrow. And God wants to let you know He can carry you through the tough days as much as He’s present in the beautiful days. I want to encourage you to take a breath, start again, and truly try and savor these moments.

Parenting is hard. Motherhood is hard. Humaning is hard. But life is beautiful, messy, and amazing. So if you are like me, in the tub exhausted, tired, crying, and guilty. Stop it. Breath in. Pray for strength. And smile at this crazy, silly, beautiful life God has picked for us to live. Love you guys. Happy homemaking!

Marriage Hurts but Marriage Heals

Marriage is the most difficult and beautiful thing I have ever experienced. Both hard and easy at the same time. Sounds impossible right? But it’s true. I find marriage both as natural as breathing and as difficult as rock climbing rope free up a 750 foot mountain (that escalated quickly).

Marriage, how I understand it, is the unification of spirit and flesh; two spirits and flesh becoming one. That’s why in the flesh marriage hurts; and in the spirit, your marriage can heal.

My husband and I just recently went through one of those “fun” growing times together. Personal struggles and relational struggles came together to a pinpoint which led to a perfect storm of tension and conflict.

The hurts of marriage come when one flesh fights against itself, injuring the other part as if it were somehow separate. Harsh words, wrong thoughts, selfish actions, all of these come against the flesh of your marriage and attempt division and anger.

Satan is against your marriage from the start, I hope you know that. That’s not to cause fear or trepidation, but it is to cause you to be on alert and stop treating your marriage so trivially. He wants to divide and conquer; divide the marriage, conquer the family. And all we have to do is look at divorce rates to know that he is somewhat succeeding.

I believe it’s because so often we live in the hurt factor of marriage without ever touching the healing portion. We allow the fleshy part to rule over the spiritual and then wonder why our “godly” marriage pictures that of the world.

We got to the pinpoint and realized that it was time to fight back. We put the baby to bed, came together and battled in prayer. We asked for forgiveness from one another, we confessed our sins to one another, and we reminded one another of our vows and love.

And although there had been hurt, surrending the fleshy part of our marriage to God, allowed for His hand to come in and bring about the most beautiful healing my spirit has ever felt.

Tears, smiles, kisses, and redemption all met together there in complete surrender. It was a glorious moment in our marriage I know we will remember forever. All it took was surrender; surrender of pride, surrender of bitterness, surrender of expectations. All of it, tossed into the hands of the One Who carries us.

I say all of this to bring hope to the broken marriage or the single person afraid of taking that step into marriage.

Amidst a world that only highlights the brokenness of such a holy covenant, there is another side of complete restoration and redemption that is available as well.

I’m not here to say my marriage is perfect and we are doing everything right (obviously). What I am saying is after a week of trying to do it all on our own and in the flesh, we found it was so much more beautiful to hand it over to the Father.

So take that step of surrender. Confess your sins against your spouse, whether that’s bitterness, anger, unfaithfulness. Request forgiveness and make sure to forgive. Remember why you chose marriage and love and continue in it. And let God do His beautiful work in your lives.

Happy homemaking is about making your home happy and holy. And a strong marriage will do the trick! Love you guys!

Top 10 Gluten Free Products to Buy at Costco

When going gluten free, whether for health reasons or by choice, one of the hardest things is risking expensive purchases and not knowing if you will like it or not! So I am sharing some of my favorite Costco gluten free products that are so worth the money.

If you have eaten the gluten free diet, whether by choice or by diagnosis, you have probably realized two things: 1. You pretty much have to cook everything, or 2. Buy pre-made gluten free products that are incredibly expensive.

For me I have a slight gluten intolerance that has led me to the gluten free diet. And though I make ALOT of things from home, there are certain things that I would rather just purchase. However, when making a purchase of gluten free items, it’s always a shot in the dark whether it will be good or not. Sometimes gluten free products lack taste, texture, and the “I want more” aspect. You feel as though you are being punished rather than enjoying something to eat.

So I have decided to share with you some of my favorite gluten free products you can buy at Costco! And if you don’t have a Costco membership, then you can order online I am sure!

1. autumn’s gold grain free granola bars

So these gluten free granola bars are absolutely freaking delicious!! Sometimes with gluten free granola bars you feel as though you are eating dried dirt; no flavor, the texture leaves you needing a gallon of water, and they are freaking expensive.

My husband and I were walking around Costco and thank God they were giving out free samples of this bar because I never would have spent the money on it. Mainly because I have tried gluten free granola bars before and been pretty disappointed. BUT THESE. Autumn’s Gold Grain Free Granola Bars are literally the tastiest granola bars I have ever had, gluten free or not!

They taste sort of like a cinnamon roll. YES. And their texture is heaven on Earth. I literally threatened my husband telling him not to eat all of them.

So go try these out! Even if you don’t eat gluten free they are worth the buy!

Autumns’s Gold Grain Free Cinnamon Almond (16Count/1.24 oz), 19.84 oz

2. Milton’s cauliflower crust pizza

Okay so listen. If you know me you know that I LOATHE cauliflower. It has a lot to do with a personal experience of seeing someone with “cauliflower ear” in middle school. But also the taste. I can’t help it.

HOWEVER. Once again, free samples at Costco saved my life. I love frozen pizza. It saves us on busy days when we don’t have time or really don’t feel like cooking dinner. Often gluten free frozen pizzas are lacking in taste and texture. No one likes a soggy pizza.

Milton’s Cauliflower Crust Pizza is to die for! I bought the kind that has veggie based sausage on it and it is so delicious you can’t even tell you’re not eating regular pizza OR regular meat. I believe there is also a roasted veggie and regular cheese version too! Get it, it’s delicious.

3. harvest snaps green pea snack crisps

Healthy. Delicious. SO FREAKING TASTY. I love these things. Honestly I bought these prior to eating gluten free and danced when I realized they were gluten free approved! They are so yummy and healthy and you can eat them without feeling like crap (like when you scarf down a whole bag of flaming hot Cheetos…).

These are perfect for snack time, your kiddos, and even to blitz up and coat some chicken in! I love them so much. There are also tons of variety of flavors from wasabi ranch, sweet chili, and black pepper. I love them all. Just get them!

Harvest Snaps Organic Calbee Lightly Salted Snapeas, 20 Ounce

4. organic aussie bites

Okay so disclaimer on these! They contain whole grain oats which is debatable on the gluten free issue. They ARE gluten free but you have to make sure with celiac disease whether or not the grains are processed in a facility that has also processed wheat products.

Aussie bites do not claim to be gluten free for this purpose only. SO. If you are choosing gluten free for personal choice and not for celiac purposes then these are okay for you. If you have celiac disease then I would pass on these depending on your sensitivity!

Okay so these babies are freaking yummy! They are healthy, have tons of delicious ingredients, and they are so easy to grab on the go for a snack or quick breakfast. Full of flavor, they have things like coconut, dried apricots, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and honey!

To me they taste similar to like an oatmeal raisin cookie! I definitely recommend you try these!

Universal Bakery Expect More Organic Aussie Bites, 32 count

5. moon cheese

If you love snacks like cheez-its or any kind of cheese type cracker that is not out-of-bounds, these are perfect for you.

They are literally made with cheese. That’s it.

Super cheesy. Super tasty. Highly recommended!

Even if you’re not gluten free these are just a healthier option over some of the other processed choices. PLUS your kids will love them.

Moon Cheese – 100% Natural Cheese Snack – Cheddar – 10 oz – 2 Pack

6. Birch benders gluten free pancake & Waffle mix

Oh delicious warm, fluffy, steaming, pancakes. They are so warming and comforting. When I went gluten free I was very sad over losing my relationship with pancakes.

Birch Benders has stepped in to save the day. Their gluten free pancake and waffle mix is perfection. AND you only have to add water (not 15 eggs, you first born son, and a mortgage). Sometimes gluten free mixes need everything but your kitchen sink which can get expensive and tiring.

For the gluten free, keto, or paleo dieter, I highly recommend this brand!

Paleo Pancake & Waffle Mix by Birch Benders, Low-Carb, High Protein, High Fiber, Gluten-free, Low Glycemic, Prebiotic, Keto-Friendly, Made with Cassava, Coconut & Almond Flour, 12 oz

7. Kirkland brands maple syrup

To go with your Birch Bender’s pancakes, Kirkland’s maple syrup is sooooo good. One thing many don’t know when starting the gluten free diet is that most maple syrups are a no-go.

Brands like Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth, and so many others often have hidden gluten ingredients (make sure to check all of your labels).

So you have to buy organic, 100% pure maple syrups (which I have found are expensive and in very small bottles *rolls eyes*).

Costco’s Kirkland Brand of Maple Syrup is organic and gluten free and not too expensive. You get tons of product and it’s so delicious!

Kirkland Signature 100% Maple Syrup, Dark Amber, 33.8 fl. oz.

8. Kirkland’s chicken stock

Another shocker for the new gluten free eater is that MOST chicken, beef, veggie broths have hidden gluten in them as a thickener! With the upcoming holiday seasons, most recipes need some form of broth!

Costco’s Chicken stock is certified gluten free AND you get sick of them! This is one of my favorite finds recently that has me so excited! I can get tons of product for a great price and not have to worry about hidden ingredients!

Definitely recommend!

Kirkland Signature Organic Gluten-Free Chicken Stock Reasealable Cartons: 6-Count (32 fl oz.)

9. Udi’s gluten free bread

If you’re gluten free then you know Udi’s brand I am sure! I have found for ANY gluten free bread, a tip is to always toast! It makes it soooo much better and feels like you are eating fancy bread rather than wheatless bread.

I love Udi’s brand and found out that you can get a two-pack of the multigrain type at Costco! This is so awesome because gluten free breads don’t have as much of the product as it’s counterpart so you often have to buy more than one. I buy a two-pack and then put one in my freezer and I am good for a couple of weeks!

I am so happy to see more gluten free products making the shelves and this is one of my favorites.

Udi’s Gluten Free Foods, Whole Grain Bread, 12 Ounce

10. Tipiaks 36-count French macarons

Saved desert for last. Oh my goodness. When I found out macarons are gluten free naturally, I was so excited. However, these babies are expensive! But Costco has a 36-count French macaron set that are so delicious and run about $15.00.

They are all delicious but my favorites were the pistachio and milk chocolate ones. These are perfect for a sweet snack at the end of your day, to put out at a baby shower or party, or to even gift to the person you know eating gluten free!

I love them so much! Y’all definitely need to give them a try.

French Macarons Mixed 36 pcs

SO that is my list of TOP 10 GLUTEN FREE PRODUCTS at Costco! Everyone I would personally recommend and have in my kitchen right now! Let me know if you have any more you have found so I can get in on that too!

The Power of a Lie: Being Free of Mom Guilt

God doesn’t bless perfect parenting, it does not exist. He blesses humble parenting, a recognition that without Him, it cannot be done.

baby and me

If there were a person you knew, who could only tell lies, how often would you listen to what they had to say? What we believe in our minds, regardless or not if they are true, become our reality. Scripture tells us that Satan is the father of all lies (John 8:44). Yet, we continue to allow him to have territory in our minds, which if you are saved, belong to Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).

An elephant who is being trained in a circus, can be held down by a tiny nail in the ground, because it believes the lie that it cannot break free. There are many lies that we believe that the enemy tells us. And I feel a certain need to expose these lies, especially the lies we women and mothers hear, so that we can begin to walk in the freedom that God intended us to.

So I am beginning a small series (of which I do not know the length) talking about the power of a lie. Each post will be another lie exposed so that freedom can be had!

Today’s post is on a lie that I have been personally battling this week in particular; mom guilt. This lie often shows it’s ugly head in phrases such as: “If you rest or take time to yourself, you’re a bad mom; good moms don’t need a break”, “You’re not doing good enough, your baby should be doing what the others are doing right now”, “If you go to work your baby will miss you and will grow up with issues”, “If you don’t work you won’t be able to provide everything that your baby needs so you’re a bad mom”, “You shouldn’t be taking time to start a blog, you need to be taking care of your baby”, “Your husband is going to resent you if he has to help out more than usual”…. and the lies go on and on.

No one prepared me for mom guilt. I had heard about it prior to becoming a mom but I didn’t think I would have an issue with it. What was so crazy about it is mom guilt started before John even was born! I remember working (before I knew I would get to stay home with him) and feeling guilty that John would be at his grandmother’s homes all day. I remember pre-counting the amount of time I would have with him and even crying about it to my husband (who probably thought I was crazy).

“Raising him is my job, I should be the one seeing his first crawl, first steps, first laugh…” Even before I held him in my arms, I believed the lie regarding mom guilt, which is essentially this: the responsibility of your child is yours alone so you better be perfect or else. 

Now this isn’t to disregard the common sense notion that parents are responsible for raising their children. This is a deeper thought that puts an unbearable amount of pressure and weariness on the mother’s shoulders to be everything and do everything all the time for everybody.

The reality of this lie this week has shown itself in when I have spent time to write a blog or prepare for an activity. I look in the other room where my husband is feeding and playing with John and I am doing something for myself and then BAM… guilt hits. You are selfish, you are wasting precious time, you shouldn’t be doing this, he needs you… it bombarded my mind this week, almost to the point of leading me to stop doing something I feel like God called me to.

Finally, I chose to be still. To listen to what God had to say. And this is what He said.

“Katie, you are not enough. You in yourself will never be enough. Not for Tyler, not for John, not even for yourself.  But in Me, you are enough. I called you and created you to be John’s mama. I called you and created you to do the things I am calling you to do for Me. And in Me, you CAN do both. Trust Me with your marriage. Trust Me with your children. Trust Me with your ministry. Stop allowing guilt to take away the joy of the present moment. Release your husband, children, and ministry to Me, and let Me bear your burdens. If you mess up, then you don’t have to worry, because you have given them into My hands.”

And I finally felt peace because I realized up to this point I had been trying to carry the burdens of things that He had called me to release back to Him. If I try to carry the pressure of making sure all things are perfect, or taking care of, by ME in my home, then I have set myself up for a load that will crush me. I set my mind up for guilt, fear, anxiety, shame, depression.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened, and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation]. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest {renewal and blessed quiet] for your souls. My yoke is easy [to bear] and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.

The lie essentially is this: you are not enough of a mother for them. The truth is this: in Him, you are enough because HE is enough.

As we break down some of these lies in our lives, which will break down the false power they have on us, we will come to know an essential truth. This truth is that not every thought that comes into your mind is yours; which means you don’t have to keep it.

Let us renew our minds daily, cast every thought that comes against Christ down, and make every thought obedient to Christ. (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 10:5)

Today let us focus on releasing mom guilt to God. Release that pressure you have put on yourself to be perfect. And trust that God can guide you every day to raise those babies right. And when you have a bad day (which you will), trust that God has your family in His hands and enjoy the abundant blessing of family that He has given you.

So I don’t know about you, but I am tired of carrying guilt that isn’t mine to carry. I want to boldly walk before my children, showing them a woman of God who will do what He says regardless of comfort or attack, and serve Him mightily with boldness and authority.

So join me in releasing the power of the lie of mom guilt and be free!

Happy Homemaking and may God bless you and your families abundantly with grace, mercy, and love!

 

 

Homemade Fresh Pineapple Salsa (Gluten Free)

For football and holiday parties season, I am always looking for delicious recipes that are easy to make, loving to my budget, and most importantly, DELICIOUS. I finally found my perfect fresh salsa that is a game changer!

pineapple salsa

One thing you will learn about me is I love sweet and spicy foods! I stumbled upon this recipe from a usual happenstance; a family party, needing to bring a food item, struggling in the bank, and going to my kitchen to piece together something that’s cheap, easy, and most importantly, delicious!

This fresh pineapple salsa recipe is now a staple in my kitchen, my family parties, and my life! I no longer even can tolerate the thought of buying store bought salsa when I have this recipe at my fingertips!

My husband is obsessed, my sister steals the leftovers, and I can’t get enough! What’s also great about this salsa recipe is that like so many other fine things in life, it gets better with age! I love to have this salsa as a healthy snack (with some delicious tortilla chips), paired alongside some homemade quesadillas, or with my easy burrito casserole (which I will be posting soon so stay posted!)

Enough talk about this salsa, it’s time to hurry and try it so you can truly begin living!

Fresh Pineapple Salsa Recipe

What you will need:

  •  20 oz can of pineapples (chunk or whole it doesn’t matter)
  •  4 oz can of diced green chilis
  •  14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
  •  1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp diced pickled jalapenos
  • 1 tbsp red chili paste
  • 1/2 orange bell peppers
  • 1/2 red onion
  •  1/4 cup cilantro (fresh)

Dry Seasonings for salsa:

  •  3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin (dried)

Directions for Salsa Recipe:

For this recipe I use my countertop sized food processor that makes cooking so much easier! It’s quickly put together, you just press the lid to pulse, and it’s easy cleanup!

Drain the can of pineapples and tomatoes and pulse together in the food processor. When desired consistency is met (I like my salsa very smooth), then remove mixture and place in a bowl and set aside.

Roughly chop bell peppers, onion, and cilantro and place in food processor. Add minced garlic, red chili paste, jalapenos, and green chilis. Pulse together until smooth and then add to tomato and pineapple mixture!

Stir well, add in all of the dry seasonings, and serve!

You can eat right away (if you can’t wait) or it tastes best when refridgerated for about 24 hours! The longer it sits, the more delicious it gets!

I hope you find this fresh pineapple salsa recipe easy, delicious, and a new staple in your homes as well! Let me know what you think, and as usual, Happy Homemaking!!!

Stylish and Eye Catching Pioneer Woman 3 Cup Stack & Press Glass Bowl Chopper Fiona Floral,Speeds up Food Prep by Taking Care of the Chopping,Mincing and Mixing for You

Welcome Home!

 Hello and welcome home! My name is Katie and I am happily married to the man of my dreams, Tyler, we have one son, John, and I am beginning my journey as a homemaker! From working full time and being a full time student to now being a full time stay at home mama, life’s seasons definitely test us and show us what we are made of! However, during this new journey I have found a revamped passion for cooking and creating recipes, crafting, and homemaking in a way I had never got to fully enjoy before! My passion is to make homemaking “cool” again, in that the negative label that has been pushed on it vanishes and it can be seen for what it truly is, which is literally making your home! Whether you work full time or stay at home, everyday we are making our home into something! My goal is to make my home a place where God dwells, love covers sins, peace is the normal, bellies are full, and laughter is the language. 

You’re probably thinking, “Oh great, another one of ‘those’ women who act like they have it all together and makes me feel less than for buying stuff she home makes”. Trust me, that is not me at all! That is why I want to start this blog, because although I would love to say homemaking is this wonderful serene task, it is the hardest thing I have done to date (and I finished a Master’s degree with a newborn). The purpose of this page is not to ever make you feel less than as a mama or wife, but to know that you have a fellow woman out there in the battle field with you, doing whatever we can to make a home worth living in for our families! 

So I a making you a promise, to post real life here; to post the yummy recipes, and the disasters (so you can learn from my mistakes), to post the funny stories and the struggles, and to walk alongside you as you learn to make your homes too. So I pray that you can find encouragement, laughter, and also really yummy recipes here! Strength for your tough days, tips when you need them, and scripture at those perfect times where we need an on time Word from God!  Everyone is welcome at my kitchen table, some come on home to Katie’s house and let’s start remaking homemaking as we journey together! 

Tyler and John
Baby John