5, 4, 3, 2, 1….

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Its that time of year again, folks!

That time of year when people say they’re going to get fit, get rich, and get organized only to putter out around Valentine’s Day. But don’t worry, I’ve got a way to make your resolutions simple and attainable!

Remember on NYE 2013 when I blogged about how my sister was teaching her fourth grade class about resolutions? No? Then read this. I’ll wait.

You done? Good. Let’s continue…

Here’s what to do.

Write this out on a sheet of paper:

2

0

1

6

For the 2: Name the two best things that happened in 2015.

For the 0: Name something you want to STOP doing in the New Year.

For the 1: Your one wish for 2016.

For the 6: Six goals for 2016.
Here’s mine:
The 2 Best Things of 2015:
We Bought a House!
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I had been a long road to buying our first home, but we did it! We lived with my sister, Bridget, for a year and a half and were able to save a 20% down payment! We’ve finally settled in and have *almost* everything finished!
BABIES!
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My newsfeed has been blowing up this year with pictures of positive pregnancy tests and new little ones being brought into the world. I found out I was pregnant in July and my best friend found out she’s pregnant a few months after! Up with babies!
Something I Want to Stop in the New Year:
Putting chores before my kids. 
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Dishes can wait. Laundry can wait. Dusting can wait. You know what can’t wait? My little girl saying, “Momma, come dance with me!” or “Momma, you read dis book to me?” I’ve been really bad lately about trying to just get everything done that I forget that there’s a tiny human that craves and needs a lot of my focus and attention right now. These are precious years I’ll never get back. And, she’s going to have a little brother soon that will also require my time. Chores can wait.
My 1 Wish for 2016:
Health
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This year was filled with so many of my friends and loved ones getting seriously ill. I don’t like it! My wish for 2016 is that my family, friends, and I all have excellent health!
Six Goals for the New Year:
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Workout Consistently
I’ve lost some of my speed and endurance. I’d like to get that back!
Be Able to Live on One Income
Eventually, I’d like to become a SAHM. But I’d like to try living on one income for a while, just to be 100% sure we can do it.
Be Present
So much of my time that I spend with family and friends is consumed with thoughts like, “Okay, let’s get this over with because I need to do A, B, C…” or “I need to check Facebook one more time…” I want to be able to stop the distractions and actually be present. 
De-Clutter
Nothing like moving to show you how much crap you have and how much crap you don’t need. I’ve already started getting things organized for a garage sale next summer!
Save Money
Huff the Hubs and I have a lot of goals for our family and we can’t really do a lot of them unless we watch our spending and save. Now that the holidays are over, hopefully it will be a bit easier!
Travel
We traveled a little this year, but I’d like to take a trip with Huff the Hubs and a family vacation next year. We’ll see if my tune changes once Huff the Babe gets here!
What are your goals for the new year? Have you filled out the “2016” form? What would your’s say? Share in the comments below!

Mommy Monday

Mommy Monday2

 

Well, its the Monday after Christmas. Time to take down all the decor, vacuum up the tree needles, and eat all the Christmas candy before the New Year brings in its resolutions to lose weight.

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas! We certainly had a great time at the Huffman Homestead. It was insanely busy, but still great. There were a few things I wish I could’ve changed… like my kid’s reaction to Christmas morning.

Before you have kids, you imagine all sorts of scenarios: your kid behaving like an angel at restaurants, never allowing them to watch TV, and how pleasant and magical Christmas morning will be.

Then, you have a child. And you get a big ‘o dose of reality.

Your child throws a tantrum at Olive Garden because they don’t have Chick-Fil-A nuggets.

You hit “Next Episode” three times on Netflix because you’d rather listen to Daniel Tiger talk about going potty than a screaming child.

And Christmas is a wrapping paper and cardboard box blur of trying to get toys out of the Fort Knox-like packaging before your child starts crying.

Yes, our dreams very rarely live up to reality.

Take our Christmas morning for example.

I thought it would be beautiful and wonderful and Huff the Tot would wake up in a GREAT mood, ready to see what Santa brought her.

Mommy Monday Christmas Expections

 

I underestimated, however, how much like her mother she really is. This is what really happened:

 

Sigh. 

Oh well. There’s always next year, right?

 

Writer Wednesday

Writer Wednesday

 

Y’all, tomorrow is Christmas Eve. However, I don’t know if its that its basically springtime in Oklahoma or the fact that I’m getting older, but it doesn’t really feel like Christmas to me, know what I mean? I feel like me (and everyone around me) is so overwhelmed, overworked, and just plain worn out.

I know we can’t be the only ones.

So, on that note, I’m giving you a little something that you can probably relate to.

I give you, “The Twelve Pains of Christmas”:

Try It Tuesday

try it tuesday new

 

Happy Tuesday, y’all! I’ve got a DELISH dish for you that is SUPER easy! And, of course, I totally found it on Pinterest! It’s Crock Pot Chicken Teriyaki!

Here’s what you need:

Try It Teryaki Chicken (1)

~1lb chicken (cubed or however)

~1c chicken broth

~1/2c Teriyaki or soy sauce ( with or without sesame seeds)

~1/3c brown sugar

~3 garlic cloves, minced

 

Pour all of the ingredients (except chicken) into a bowl and whisk. Then, toss in the chicken and coat. Pour everything into your Crock Pot.

Try It Teryaki Chicken (2)

 

Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or low 6 to 8 hours. Serve with rice and veggies (we chose edamame to stay “on theme”, ha!)

Try It Teryaki Chicken (3)

 

This was SOOO good! And super easy! I’m definitely making this again when the newest addition to our family comes along!

 

Have you tried this recipe before? What did you think? Share in the comments below!

 

Fan Girl Friday!

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Happy Friday Star Wars Release Day, y’all! I am so stinking excited to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens I can barely stand it! Sadly, I couldn’t get tickets until Monday evening, so I’m thinking I’ll be on a “social media blackout” until then. I’ve had waaay too many things spoiled just by scrolling through my newsfeed. I’ve learned my lesson.

 

Today is not only momentous because Jedis and Storm Troopers are back in the cinemas, but also because it’s exactly ONE week until Christmas! If you’re still trying to get those last-minute/hard-to-buy-for gifts knocked off your To Do list, I can help!

 

For the “silly walker” in your life, look no further than the Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail 40th Anniversary Edition!

Monty Python 40th Anniversary Edition

This awesome set comes packed with bonus features, behind-the-scenes looks, and cast interviews all packed into a castle box complete with animals you can toss over the walls! Who wouldn’t love that?!

 

For the Trekker Mom-To-Be on your list, keep it logical with this Vulcan on Board maternity tee from Think Geek!

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Live long and prosper, Momma.

 

For the one who treats their life like a musical, grab this sparkly necklace from Perpetual Kid!

Wizard of Oz Necklace

Just don’t be offended if they try to click the heels on the charms to go home in the middle of your Christmas party.

 

For the overworked/sarcastic mother in your life (which, let’s face it, is basically every mom!), let them don this little beauty so everyone can see their hilarious snark:

I childproofed my house necklace

Pretty sure my mom probably said this a few times when my sisters and I were little, ha!

 

Have you finished your shopping yet? Better hurry!

Writer Wednesday

writer wednesday

 

A few weeks ago, a librarian friend sent me a message on Facebook asking if I could PLEASE write a blog post about how its okay for Christians to like Harry Potter. She said, “I can’t believe we are still having this conversation.” But sadly, in a world where we flip out over red cups, someone is always going to be offended by something.

Honestly, after she sent me that message I thought, “Maybe this is just a librarian thing. Like, maybe she only sees this because of the line of work she’s in.” Then, yesterday, my sister told me about how a woman called Harry Potter “nasty” and said that her husband “wouldn’t allow her or the kids to read it” (<– that statement gets me riled for more than one reason, but we’re talking about The Boy Who Lived in this post, so I’ll bite my tongue.)

Writer Wednesday HP

After that, another friend sent me a message saying that his wife was staunchly opposed to HP.

So, I figured the time was right to discuss this.

First, I’d like to say that if HP isn’t your bag, that’s totally fine. However, when someone tells me: “I don’t read Harry Potter because its evil” and then, when I ask them if they’ve read it and they say “No”, I die a little inside. I equate this to a parent asking their child if they want broccoli. The child says, “No.” To which the parent typically replies, “Have you ever tried it?” And, nine times out of ten, the child will say they have not. That’s when Mom or Dad uses the line, “Well how do you know you don’t like if it you haven’t tried it?”

The same goes for these books/movies, How do you know they’re evil if you know nothing about them? 

 

On that note, here is my case for Harry Potter:

 

If you don’t like Harry Potter because of magic, then you need to boycott The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia series, and basically every Disney movie. 

Writer Wednesday HP signs

Both Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were Christians and their faith was shown through the symbolism of their stories. (Don’t believe me? Read here and here.) True, many Disney movies aren’t faith-based, but every Sunday at church I see little girls wearing Elsa shirts, kids pretending to be Captain Hook, and even a few singing songs from Cinderella. All of those books and films have elements of magic, so why is it okay for those but not Harry Potter? These are ALL human stories told against the back drop of a magical world.

 

There is no pagan worship or religion even mentioned in the books. 

Writer Wednesday Hogwarts

Its not even alluded to! In fact, they even talk about Christmas and Easter. They’re not running around Hogwarts throwing pigs blood on one another and sacrificing classmates to appease some god. They’re going to school. True, that school has staircases that change on a whim and pictures that can talk to students, but that’s just a day in the life of a Hogwarts student.

 

It is a classic “good versus evil” story. 

Writer Wednesday Good vs Evil

There are two lines in the series that really stick with me. One is said by Professor Dumbledore when he tells Harry, “Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.” Hmm… this sounds a lot like lessons from my youth group pastor: stand firm in your faith even though its tough; be prepared to stand alone, even when you know its right, choose good over evil.

Another quote is by Sirius Black, Harry’s godfather: “We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” Sound familiar?

 

Harry Potter promotes sacrificial love and loyalty. 

(L-r) RYAN NELSON as Slightly Creepy Boy, NICK SHRIM as Somewhat Doubtful Boy, BONNIE WRIGHT as Ginny Weasley, SHEFALI CHOWDHURY as Parvati Patil, OLIVER PHELPS as George Weasley, AFSHAN AZAD as Padma Patil, KATIE LEUNG as Cho Chang, JAMES PHELPS as Fred Weasley, DANIEL RADCLIFFE as Harry Potter, MATTHEW LEWIS as Neville Longbottom, EMMA WATSON as Hermione Granger, RUPERT GRINT as Ron Weasley, EVANNA LYNCH as Luna Lovegood, WILLIAM MELLING as Nigel and ALFRED ENOCH as Dean Thomas in Warner Bros. Pictures' fantasy "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE USED SOLELY FOR ADVERTISING, PROMOTION, PUBLICITY OR REVIEWS OF THIS SPECIFIC MOTION PICTURE AND TO REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF THE STUDIO. NOT FOR SALE OR REDISTRIBUTION

The series begins with an infant Harry being left on the porch of his relatives after his mother died protecting Harry from the evil wizard, Lord Voldemort. Later in the series we learn that his mother’s love is what saved Harry. We see countless examples throughout the series of people sacrificing for those around them. Not only that, but we see the fierce loyalty of people within the wizarding community to the defeat of evil and the protection of Harry. Isn’t this something we’re taught in church? To love our neighbor as ourselves, that we should stand firm in our faith, and that there is no greater love than laying down our life for our friends?

 

 

 

 

I really could go on and on, but its almost 9:00 p.m. and I’m tired. Plus, I know many folks who are opposed to HP won’t be swayed by what I have to say. So, I encourage you to read this article as well as this one. They both lay out some really good points, and I believe they may help you see Harry Potter in a different light.

 

writer wednesday harry potter fan

 

 

Try It Tuesday

Try It Tuesday Cooking Badge 2

 

Y’all, I have a delicious Try It for you today!

I’ve been trying to figure out new meals–mostly because I’m tired of the same ole, same ole–and I feel like I may have found a new meal to break us out of our dinner rut!

Its Cheddar Cracker Chicken!

Try It Ritz Chicken original

You’ll actually be making two different parts to this recipe, the coating for the chicken and the sauce for the chicken.

For the coating you’ll need:

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2 chicken breasts (the recipe calls for 4, but since it was only Huff the Hubs and I eating it, I used 2)

1 sleeve Roasted Vegetable flavor Ritz crackers, crushed (I only used half a sleeve since there were only two chicken breasts)

1/4 cup milk

1 large egg

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Salt

Garlic pepper

 

And for the sauce, you’ll need:

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10 ounce can cream of chicken soup

1/4 cup milk

2 tablespoons sour cream

2 tablespoons butter

 

Preheat your oven to 400. Spray a baking pan with non-stick spray. Whisk the egg and milk. Pour your crushed crackers into a shallow dish. Pour your cheese into another dish.

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Salt and pepper the chicken. Then, dip the chicken into the egg mixture, then the crumbs, and then the cheese. Place your chicken in the baking pan and pop it in the oven for about 30 minutes. (I also sprinkled cheese over the tops of the chicken after I placed them in the pan, just to make sure it was really cheesy.)

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While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce.

Melt the butter in a pot and then add the soup, sour cream, and milk. Whisk until well-mixed and warmed throughout.

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When the chicken is done, serve with sauce poured over the top.

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Y’all, this dish was the bomb-diggity! Dang, it was so good! I was super sad (and so was HtH) that I didn’t make extra chicken breasts of it. He and I both really wanted leftovers!

 

Have you ever tried this before? What did you think? Share in the comments below!

 

Mommy Monday

mommy monday

 

I need to vent.

I feel like, when a woman gets pregnant, people come out of the woodwork to tell you what you should be doing.

Mommy Monday Frustrated Gif TIm Gunn

Don’t drink caffeine*. 

You’re not supposed to eat lunch meat**. 

Are you sure you should be working out?*** 

It really butters my biscuits when people come up to me and tell me what they think I ought to be doing. But it infuriates me to no end when I see the media adding to this culture of fear.

Mommy Monday Y'all Are Stressing Me Out

Where is this coming from? I’ll tell you.

Tonight on NBC Nightly News (with Lester Holt, because B.W. got the sack) they led with a story that had the headline: Pregnant Women Who Take Anti-Depressants More Likely to Have a Child With Autism (or something to that effect).

Now, I have a degree in journalism and one of the things we learned was how to write a news story. One of the things I will never forget is Dr. Clark hammering into our skulls that the most important info comes first.

However, during this story, all I heard for more than the first half was: “Anti-depressants will absolutely make your child have autism. Stop taking them!”

It wasn’t until the story was almost over that a medical expert came on and said, “Mothers don’t need to worry. The study shows that it [a mother taking anti-depressants while pregnant] only increases the chances of having a child with autism by half of a percent.”

Half of a percent. That’s it.

But I guarantee you that many women only heard, “Anti-depressants will cause your child to have autism no matter what.”

Mommy Monday Today Sucks

I would hope Dr. Clark would tell the writers at NBC News that the information relayed by the medical professional would be in the lead of the story. I believe THAT is the most important information. Not scaring women who probably need those anti-depressants into going off their medication before speaking with their doctors. After all, to quote Frozen, “People make bad choices when they’re mad or scared or stressed…” 

 

I guess I’m getting so worked up about this because I firmly believe that many people need those anti-depressants and its a bigger risk to encourage someone to go off of them rather than stay on a medication that they KNOW works****. And it also irritates me when the media adds to this culture of fear. Don’t they know that pregnant women are already freaking out about EVERYTHING?! This is why I have adopted the mentality of, “I’ll go by what my doctor tells me and the rest of you can bite me.” Its a great mindset to have.

Mommy Monday Two Snaps

So that’s my rant for the day.

 

 

 

 

*My doctor told me to limit my caffeine to either two cups of regular coffee or two sodas a day. I’m sensitive to caffeine, so that’s really all I need. For you it may be different. But talk to your doctor first before doing anything crazy.

 

** I was told by my nurse to have the folks at Subway (or any other sandwich place) to heat up my sandwich. If I make it at home, I don’t need to worry about it. She said (and I quote), “When you go out for a sandwich, have them heat it up. Just because I’m not sure if those teenagers behind the counter are making sure the meats are kept at an acceptable cooling level. When you buy it from the store, you keep it in your fridge, so you’re fine.” Different doctors may have differing opinions, so talk to yours.

 

***I worked out about 3-5 times a week pre-pregnancy. Its totally okay for me to continue to workout. If I get tired or start to cramp, I should stop and rest. And I absolutely need to drink as much water as I can. It may be different for you. Talk with your doc.

 

****I’ve been on Zoloft since having Huff the Tot. I suffered from anxiety and depression for years pre-baby and the natural ebb and flow of hormones made post-partum depression tough for me. I’ve been on Zoloft ever since and my doctor said that it is perfectly safe for me to continue (especially since I tried to go off of it prior to getting pregnant and it was AWFUL). Your situation may be different than mine, so talk to your doctor before switching or stopping medications.

 

 

 

(See what all of those had in common? TALK. TO. YOUR. DOCTOR.)