What’s the hardest part of growing up?

Here is another installment of the 30 Things my kid should know about me. It’s been a really long time since I’ve done one, so I’m kind of excited about doing this one.

What’s the hardest part of growing up? The hardest part of growing up, in my opinion, is learning responsibility. When you live at home, you have little to worry about. When you move out on your own, a whole new set of responsibility comes your way. You have to get a job to support yourself, responsibilityand be responsible enough to keep it. You have to learn to budget and ration out your paycheck in order to pay your bills, and know that sometimes there’s more going out than coming in. You have to learn how to manage house-keeping, work, friends, and time for yourself. Add kids or a spouse into the mix, you have a whole new set of responsibilities to adhere to. When I lived at home, I used to not be able to wait until I could move out and be on my own, ignorant to the amount of responsibilities that came with it, the changes I would have to make. There was definitely a learning curve there, and I made a lot of mistakes. I still do. Just when I think I’ve got it, something new comes along that throws us a curve ball, and I get off track.  Growing up isn’t as fun as I thought it would be, and as unrealistic as it sounds, I sometimes wish I could go back to the days of security of living at home. 10401365_10203576485966479_8845612347756017103_n

Being a grown up is tough sometimes, no one ever said it was easy (at least no one I know). I’ve made it past my years of maturing, and growing, and learning and now I have my sweet, sweet boy and amazing family to share my life with.

Cry me a river

Sometimes life sucks. No ifs, ands or buts about it. You can be going along and minding your own business and Wham!, a curve-ball out of nowhere leaves you reeling.  I think it’s normal for most people to take a minute to stand back up, shake themselves off and just keep going. There arephoto 4 (1) some people who never acknowledge the bad, and only see the positive in EVERYthing. And then there are the people who seem to never get past the experience and wallow in self pity until the next bad thing happens to them. The people who you know will never be happy with anything they have because all they can see is what they don’t have. The ones who complain about every. single. thing. in their life. It’s always a competition for who has it worse… and no matter the situation they will always win.

I think it’s human nature for people to complain. Bad things sometimes happen and you want to talk about it. I get it, I really do. But there is a fine line between talking about it and beating it into the ground. Oftentimes my pastor will sing “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen, Nobody knows my sorrow” during his Sunday sermons and every time he does I think of a few people who that must be their life’s theme song. I can’t imagine being so unhappy in life that everything around me is a negative. What an awful existence to miss the silver linings and “well on the plus side…..”. It’s too photo 1 (1)easy for people to miss the basics of life. And realize that there is ALWAYS someone out there who has it worse than them.

I’d love it if some things were different in my life, but I have a job, a house, food on the table and amazing family and friends. The daily hum drum of life will always be there and life doesn’t always go as planned. But as my dad always says, ” Go to Lowe’s, get a ladder, and get over it!”. You are the only person who can determine your happiness- make the most of it. **End rant**

 

 

Pikachu, I choose you!

This past Friday was dress-up as your favorite character day at Elijah’s summer day camp. He told me on Thursday morning that he needed a costume for the next day. And not just any costume, it had to be Pikachu from Pokemon, because his friend was dressing up as Ash Ketchum. For those of you not Pokemon literate (for which I am jealous) these was the look they were going after, with Elijah being the little yellow guy:

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While I thought it was a cute idea, I was a bit miffed at been given 24 hours to magically pull this costume out of thin air. It’s not exactly like it’s costume season at all the stores, ya know? Thankfully the kid looks good in yellow and has a ton of yellow clothes. He decided he’d wear all yellow and we could make the ears, tail, markings etc… After spending a few dollars on face paint and a pair of yellow socks to make ears, this was the final result:

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We ended up nixing the tail because we ran out of time to work on it, but we did manage to get the rest of the costume in order, including the markings on the back. This was so easy, and he was beyond thrilled with the outcome. It was a huge hit at the Y, and I’m glad I didn’t let the time crunch turn me off from doing it. In his eyes he needed a costume now, and mom provided. It doesn’t matter that it didn’t live up my 35-year-old image of what it should look like, what matters is Elijah loved it and had a blast pretending to be Pikachu for a day.

 

 

 

 

Baseball Season again

Baseball came around really quickly this year. Which is surprising since this winter lasted about 19 months, and registration was about halfway through. As you may recall from last year,

The beloved bat (by both of us, I'm almost ashamed to admit)

baseball is not my favorite sport to watch. It’s slightly boring, the games last forever, and I always get distracted about halfway through and have to keep asking the people around me what the score is. I’m hopeful this year will be different though- Elijah has a different coach, one that rotates the positions, there are less players which means more playing time for EVERYone, not just the ‘All-Stars’ of the team. I mean the whole point of pay-to-play sports is to teach sportsmanship, how to be part of a team, how to lose gracefully, and how to have fun playing sports. Elijah’s not the best player, but he’s smiling the whole time he’s out there because he loves being part of a team and playing the sport. Even when he gets out he’s smiling all the way back to the dugout. I think the real reason of sports sometimes gets lost behind the desire to win so badly, and there are some people who act like it’s the pros. And it’s not.

But with baseball season comes warmer days, and the smell of spring in the air, which I’ll take any day, especially after this long and brutal winter we had. School will be ending soon and the hot days of summer will be close behind. I’m trying to not let last years experience taint this years before it even starts. That’s not fair to the coach, Elijah or myself. So I am going to go into this year with a clean slate, eyes wide open, ready for anything. I will plan on enjoying this season more than last, because I know that this is something Elijah enjoys doing. I don’t want him to remember me as the mom who griped about all things baseball, but the one who was there to support him in all his endeavors.

Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

I love Olive Garden’s endless soup and salad, and their chicken and gnocchi soup is my absolute favorite. This past past week I was thinking about making something new, and that soup popped into my head, so I scoured the web for a recipe and hoped it would come close to my beloved soup. I found several, and the one I used (from the Food.com) comes pretty darn close I think. And even better was it was super easy, and it made a lot, so it’s perfect for a crowd!

Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
    • 3/4 cup celery, chopped fine
    • 3/4 cup onion, chopped fine
    • 1/2 cup carrot, grated very fine and chopped
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, minced
    • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup heavy cream
    • 3/4 cup milk
    • 4 cups chicken broth or 4 cups fresh chicken stock
    • 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken ( white meat works best)
    • 3/4 cup fresh spinach, julienne cut
    • 16 ounces gnocchi ( potato dumpling)
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt

 

Directions

  • Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan.
  • Add onions, celery, carrots, garlic and sauté until soft.

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  • Add flour mixing well, cook for 3-4 minutes ,stirring frequently.
  • Add heavy cream, milk and chicken broth mixing well.
  • Cook and stir until mixture thickens and comes to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and stir in chicken, spinach, gnocchi and remaining seasonings.

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  • Adjust seasonings to taste.

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image_7This soup was perfection. It was think, rich and very filling. It was perfect with some garlic bread sticks- the only thing that would have made it any better was some salad, Olive Garden style. This would have been perfect to throw in the crock pot and bring into work (which I’ll do next time), but I’m totally fine with just giving it away too.

What’s your favorite copycat recipe?