The Good Thing about Hard Times

In the midst of all that’s going on in this world, it is easy for you to allow fear to grip your hearts.

Fear of the future, fear of sickness and death, fear of lack of resources, fear of the unknown. I know for my personal life, one fear has attempted to break my peace consistantly and that is the fear of suffering in some way.

Whether it’s suffering in finances, in lacking resources needed for my family, in the economy, whatever it is, there’s this uneasiness about my comfort being attacked in some way. My daily “normal” somehow changing. It can definitely be scary.

Obviously I am not the only one who feels this uneasiness, as toilet paper was the first thing we ran for during the scare. Toilet paper. Think about it. Something that is NOT a necessity being bought over food or water. Because of this one word that has imprisoned us for way too long: comfort.

I was reading in Romans today, seeking peace for my soul during this time and stumbled upon a passage I have read many times. But often His Word jumps out at us when we need it, so I figured I would share.

Romans 5:3-5 – “Moreover (let us also be full of joy now!) Let us exult and triumph in our troubles and sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character (of this sort) produces (the habit of) joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation. Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.”

Wow! What peace this can give us if we center our hearts on its promises. All too often as Christian’s these days, we pray for things like character, patience, integrity, more faith, more hope, and yet we never seem to pray for suffering or trials (I know, who would?)

But think about it. This scripture shows you the formula to having joy, peace, faith, and character; trials and sufferings which lead to endurance. All too often we pray for miracles in our lives and yet would pray against situations where God would be able to work miracles.

“Lord, please deliver us from bondage of the Pharoah BUT why have You led us to the Red Sea to be killed?!?” Sound familiar? The Israelites wanted the freedom without discomfort. But without discomfort the miracle of the splitting of the Red Sea would never have been needed. Without sickness, we wouldn’t see His healings. Without struggle, we wouldn’t see His mighty provision. Without discomfort, we cannot grow.

So I take this time in my personal life to do as His Word tells us and exult in trials and sufferings. During this time where comfort and “normal” seem out of reach, this is a time to buckle down and praise the Lord that we are gaining endurance and patience. That we are learning what it means to rely solely on Him and not ourselves, our social lives, or our government. That during this time of stretching we can be thankful and renew our minds to see everything as He does and not what our flesh wants.

Take this time of isolation and really learn to be dependent on God. This is a time where distraction has been wiped out of most of our lives. Distraction and comfort that all too often keep us from our true Love and our families. Stop complaining, worrying, and fearing, and start praising God and thanking Him for your blessings, your life, and the ability to grow in Him.

Hard times are hard but they always restore my faith a little because it always seems that hard times produce such beautiful fruit in humanity. We see communities come together, servants appear in this individualistic selfish world, and neighborly love everywhere we look. Once again the principles of the Word evident all around us.

I wanted to encourage you in this time to look at things in a different way. Stay in your Word, keep your minds renewed, and walk in thanksgiving. Love you all! Happy homemaking!

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!

Easy Instant Pot Spaghetti Mac ‘n’ Cheese (Gluten Free)

Got a new instant pot? Need an easy and delicious recipe for your family? Kids fighting between mac ‘n’ cheese or spaghetti for dinner? Well this easy instant pot spaghetti mac ‘n’ cheese is the recipe for you!

So the holiday seasons have passed us by and many of us are (FINALLY) blessed to own the fabulous instant pot! If you’ve followed my posts before, you understand how I feel about the instant pot. It’s such a great tool to add to your kitchen, especially if you are a busy mom juggling tons of things like work, school, family, and keeping your sanity!

Many of my favorite recipes have come from days of a scarce kitchen, need to buy groceries, and having to piece together whatever I have left in the cabinets to make a delicious meal for my family. This recipe came from one of those nights of just not really knowing what to cook and wanting to use my instant pot for a quick dinner. Why you ask? Because my 9 month old baby is obsessed with me and can’t stand to be away from me for longer than 1 minute (please send help).

So if you love delicious, comforting pasta and creamy cheesiness, then you will love this easy instant pot spaghetti mac ‘n’ cheese! Plus, your picky toddler will love it too (and you can even add some more veggies in to trick them). But let’s go ahead and get to the good part!

Easy Instant Pot Spaghetti Mac ‘N’ Cheese (Gluten Free)

What you will need:

  • 1 lbs grass fed ground beef
  • 1/4 cup sausage crumbles
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce (your choosing! We use Aldi brand)
  • 1 package of macaroni and cheese (shells with liquid cheese is best – ours is gluten free but you can use regular)
  • 1/2 onion (diced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 tbsp garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella (shredded)
  • 1/4 cup cheddar (shredded)
  • parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1 cup of water

Dry Seasonings:

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Creole seasoning

Directions:

Set your instant pot to sauté mode and add in about a tablespoon of olive oil. Throw in diced onion, bell pepper, minced garlic, sausage, and beef. Sauté everything until beef is almost done but not completely.

Add in jar of spaghetti sauce and stir everything together. Then add in dry seasonings. For the instant pot, in order for it to seal correctly you always need to add in extra liquid. Here you can add in a cup of water or what I do for more flavor is pour water into the spaghetti sauce jar after its been emptied, about 3/4 full, and then put the lid back on. Shake the jar to get all the remaining sauce off the sides and then pour into instant pot. This adds more flavor and makes sure you get all of the delicious sauce.

Once you’ve added in the water, stir everything very well. Then add the pasta shells into the pot but do not stir. Simply take a spoon and make sure the pasta is barely covered by the liquid. Then put on the instant pot lid and set to “SEAL”. If you do not seal it, it will not pressurize! Set to manual mode at 8 minutes and let it do it’s thing.

Once it’s done, quick release it and make sure all of the pressure as been released. My instant pot won’t let me take the lid off until it’s done so if you feel tension when trying to remove it, make sure it is fully released. Add in your cheese mixture from your mac ‘n’ cheese package and stir. Then add in 1/4 cup of mozzarella and cheddar cheese into the pot and stir! Then taste and adjust according to your taste and serve! We top ours with parmesan cheese!

This easy instant pot spaghetti mac ‘n’ cheese is so delicious, comforting and perfect for your family! AND IT LITERALLY TAKES LIKE 20 MINUTES TO MAKE. You heard me correctly! I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as mine does! Happy homemaking!

Christmas Breakfast Casserole

Yay! Christmas time is here! For me that means my husband gets to be off with us and we get to enjoy our favorite time together: mornings! We both love our coffee and a yummy breakfast. When I was pregnant we went every Sunday to Waffle House and I ate a pecan waffle, bacon, hashbrowns, and sometimes even a biscuit too… I can no longer eat so much!

Around Christmas time I like to make special breakfasts for us! This one is one of my favorites! Its packed full of veggies, protein, yumminess, AND to top everything off the colors of it look like Christmas!

This breakfast casserole is a wonderful family breakfast and a fantastic way to sneak vegetables in your kids diet (you’re welcome). So if you’re looking for some breakfast ideas for the holidays or have a brunch you need to bringing a dish to, this ones for you!

Christmas Breakfast Casserole

What you will need:

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup ham (diced) (you could use ground sausage or diced bacon too)
  • 1/2 cup of cheese (1/4 for mix, 1/4 for topping)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp siracha
  • 2 stalks green onions (diced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1/2 cup diced grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 bag of frozen hashbrowns

Dry seasonings:

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp creole seasoning (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a large mixing bowl, crack eggs and add in milk and siracha. Whisk mixture well and set aside. Dice all of your veggies and add to the bowl. Add in ham, hashbrowns, dry seasonings, hasbrowns, garlic, and 1/4 cup of cheese.

Spray a casserole dish with non stick spray and add in mixture. Make sure to spread out all the veggies and get everything in an even layer.

Bake for 25-30 minutes and enjoy!

This breakfast casserole is one of my favorite breakfast dishes! It’s also the recipe I use to meal plan for my husbands work meals! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do! 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!

#Momfail: They All Fall Down

Can I just be honest and vulnerable here? This week has felt like a non-stop strand of mom fails. Non-stop.

Have you ever just messed up so many times you just feel like stopping? Or running away? Or just crying? Or maybe all of the above? That’s been me this week.

So John has been accelerating in movement. I’m talking crawling, pulling up on furniture, moving from item to item, trying to LITERALLY JUMP OFF OF STUFF. I’m pretty persuaded he wants to injure himself.

It’s one thing if babies hurt themselves when you’re not watching, but to have them hurt themself everyday when you’re just two steps away is pretty frustrating.

Let me let you in on this week. He fell off the bed, he hit his eye on the dresser knob (don’t ask me how), he’s fallen from holding on to the table about 15 times, slipped in the bathtub and got water in his face, and the list goes on and on.

It has really made me question my ability as a mother this week. I am sucking it up real bad at the moming. I know all babies fall down, especially when learning to move their little bodies, but at the same time you can’t help but blame yourself when it happens and you can’t stop it!

In all honesty its just been a really hard week for me in general. As a mother and wife I’ve been going and growing through some things. I have felt like no matter how hard I try, I end up failing. I’ve been studying the fruits of the Spirit and ironically feel like I’ve done nothing but walked in the flesh this week. Impatience, anger, frustration. Just falling on my face, over and over.

And as I write this, maybe that’s the whole lesson for me this week? Maybe God is wanting me to realize, like babies, we all fall down. But scripture says the righteous man falls seven times but gets back up.

So, if you’re a mama who has failed this week? Get back up. If you’re a wife who has been naggy a little too much, get back up. If you’ve complained instead of being thankful, cursed instead of blessing, or have really done a bad job at portraying Christ, my answer is this: get back up.

Keep pursuing holiness and not perfection. Keep pursuing His strength and not your own. Keep leaning all of yourself on Him completely.

Paul says that he boasts in his weakness, because where we are weak, God is strong! (2 Corinthians 12:9)

God’s grace is sufficient for you AND your clumsy little baby.

I love you guys! Happy homemaking!

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!

 

 

Skillet Meatloaf (Gluten Free)

When you hear meatloaf, you either think yummmm or yuckkk! Meatloaf has a bad rep okay, for being a gross, dry, flavorless mound of meat. Doesn’t sound very appetizing. But as the goal of remaking homemaking, meatloaf needs to be remade! It is the perfect medium for all kinds of flavors! You can customize your meatloaf for whatever flavor style you like whether that’s traditional, bbq, Mexican style, etc.


This recipe I am posting today is my traditional meatloaf recipe that I have worked on for years to perfect! After making it in a traditional meatloaf pan (which is an option for you if you do not have a cast iron skillet), I realized my favorite pieces were on the end, where most of it was crispy and delicious! So one day I looked at my cast iron skillet and figured, let’s try it! Turns out it’s the perfect pan to capitalize on the crispiest, juiciest slice of meatloaf! 


**Side note before we get started – a cast iron skillet in my opinion is a kitchen staple piece. If you do not have one, I urge you to get you one today! I will post another blog about caring for your cast iron skillet in the right way! 

Lodge 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet. Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet with Red Silicone Hot Handle Holder.


Let’s do this! 

Skillet meatloaf (GF)

What you need:

  • 1 lbs ground beef (Grass fed is the best for us)
  • 1/2 lbs ground sausage (optional)
  • 1/2 onion (diced)
  • 1/2 bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 eggs (*2 eggs if not doing GF recipe)
  • **1 cup of breadcrumbs (I make my own GF ones – scroll down to see how below)
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup (1/4 cup for mixture and 1/4 for topping

Dry Seasonings:

  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp dried minced onion
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 F. 

In a bigger mixing bowl, add in diced onion, bell pepper, ground beef, ground sausage, minced garlic, eggs, breadcrumbs, cornstarch, Worcestershire sauce, and 1/4 cup of ketchup (I do not sauté my veg prior to mixing because I like a little bite to mine in the meatloaf! It will soften but you’ll know it’s there).

Then add in all of the dry seasonings and stir well! You can use a spoon but the best way to stir a meatloaf is to use the utensils God gave you, those hands (take off any rings because it gets messy).  

Get your cast iron skillet and spray or coat with oil (I prefer to use spray coconut oil). Then turn your meatloaf mixture into the pan and smooth down to an even mixture across the skillet. Take the remainder of your ketchup and smooth over the top with a spatula or spoon. Bake for 35 minutes on middle rack, then move to the top of the oven and broil for 5-8 minutes (for your desired color). 

**Disclaimer: If you do choose to use ground sausage, you may see fat forming on the top of the meatloaf. I just take it with the ketchup and smooth it around the top before broiling. After broiling if there is still visible fat, just smooth again and drizzle a little extra ketchup over top for a better look! You shouldn’t have this issue if you omit the sausage. 

I served with mashed potatoes and mixed veggies! The good thing about meatloaf is you can pack tons of vegetables in it and kids love it (because it has ketchup of course). Not to mention it is a homemade meal that makes you feel at home, and that’s our goal as homemakers! Let me know what you think and post comments and pics below! Happy homemaking!!

***How to make GF breadcrumbs

So I just took about 3-4 pieces of my GF bread and diced it up. I put some oil in the skillet and broiled them in the oven (mixing around every 2 minutes) for about 10 minutes. Once all toasty, I blitz in my food processor and added to the meatloaf mixture! 

(Our Not so) Happy Halloween: Letting Go of Expectations

What a happy family….. you think!

So I promised to be real and share the good, the bad, and the ugly. So I will be sharing my Halloween story. This picture looks like a cute little family, in their cute little costumes, all happy and put together. What you don’t see is a mama on her brink of psychosis, a husband who has heard her griping all day being forced to wear blush, and a baby who is STILL teething and actually not crying for two seconds (or ripping off his hat). 


As mamas, wives, humans in general, sometimes we have these expectations about the way things should go. Our marriages should be chalk full of romance all the time, our children should always be clean and happy, and most of all, our holidays should be smooth experiences full of laughter, smiles, and cute babies who willingly wear costumes and cooperate. Having these expectations isn’t necessarily a wrong thing, but what you will notice if you haven’t already, they lead to a big stumbling block: disappointment. 

Yesterday was quite disappointing at first; I won’t lie. I had all of these dreams and visions about John’s first Halloween going so well and being full of the best memories. My Halloween can be summed up in the following ways: last minute wardrobe malfunctions (literally sewing a new costume for John because Amazon sent me a 2T), a crying baby who would NOT cooperate because of teething, my skirt tearing as I try to pick up the crying baby, and just a general sense of chaos to be honest. 


For a moment I told Tyler, “You know what, let’s just stay home. I don’t want to do this anymore!” Luckily I have a husband who can keep his cool in the midst of chaos (thank God) who didn’t let my spoiled outburst ruin the day completely. 


See I almost let expectations take a memory away from us. Whether the memory is perfect or perfectly messy, it is still a memory that is precious to our home! Without the chaos and crying baby (who cried the whole time in the car by the way), I wouldn’t have the perfect moment captured in my head when I glanced over at my gnome-dressed husband in the car, him looking back, and us simply smiling at each other at the humor of the moment. 


I say all of this to say, once I let go of expectations I actually enjoyed the rest of the night. I got to enjoy popcorn, watch Hocus Pocus, and relax a little. It’s okay for us to begin letting go of expectations. Those we have of God, our spouses, our children, even of ourselves. It is okay to let life unfold the way it is and simply enjoy the moments we have! God is clear on what expectations we should have, which is expectations of His goodness to us (Philippians 1:20; Psalm 5:3).


Disappointment in collapsed expectations give us a false sense that our life is not good; and this is not true. If you have your family together, full bellies, and a roof over your head, your life is good! We have to take the pressure off of ourselves of life having to be so put together and perfect, and let life happen as humor-filled and unperfect as it wishes. So I leave you with two things: the Word of God and pictures of my Halloween reality to encourage you if your day didn’t go as planned. Happy Halloween and happy homemaking! 


“We wait [expectantly] for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For in Him our heart rejoices, because we trust [lean on, rely on, and are confident] in His holy name. Let Your [steadfast] lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us, in proportion as we have hoped in You.” Psalm 33:20-22 AMP

Reality