Honoring Father’s Day 2017

Even though all of my attention right now is being taken up by one particular little man, this year I want to honor three other very special men in my life.

First is my father. Although he lives in Southern California, he still managed to find time leading up to Zach’s birth to take the family crib and cradle out of storage, fix and clean them up, then bring them to us all during his work vacations. He helped Luke prep and paint the nursery among other house projects when we first moved in. My dad also decided to buy us a dresser for the nursery which he then built a beautiful oak wood changing table for. My father also spent all night alongside my mother praying and walking the halls of the hospital waiting for news about how Zach and I were doing. After Zach’s birth he helped with projects around the house, that is when he wasn’t holding or making faces at his new grandson. He is a amazing father who is  nurturing and kind and I am grateful for all his actions which speak so much louder than words.

Next is my father-in-law. With his business experience in construction, John did the inspection for our home for the minimal cost of a good home cooked meal, favorite dessert, and a beer or two. He has been consulting with Luke providing advice for work to be done in and around the house now and down the road. He fixed up and painted the family rocking chair to use in the nursery and helped pick up and deliver furniture to us several times. In addition to all of this, he also built us a baby gym for Zach. Using online designs as a guide, he made an improved all-wood and strings model that can be thrown in a bag. He also helped with a ton of house projects after Zach was born. He even helped us introduce Kira to our newest member of the family when we got home from the hospital. I am grateful to get to know this second-father better now that we live closer and for his hard-working  attitude of “what’s next?”

As for the third? Wait for my next post.

 

 

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Rest

We have a week before Baby Greene’s due date.

Everything on our long list is done. Our hospital bags are backed, car seat installed, meals prepped, nursery functional and stocked, birth class over.

Luke and I worked hard to have this time, to be present and find rest.

So now we are in a time of waiting. Neither one of us are good at being patient. It is difficult to intentionally slow down, stay in the moment, sleep in, simply be with and enjoy each other’s company. Yet that is exactly what we need.

If you have been following my blog, this past year has been a crazy roller coaster.  The transition preparing for a first child stressful. We added a move across the country, new job, selling a house, finding and moving into the new home and buying another car, to that list. And that of course is the short version.

Luke and I both have been running on a high speed since last July when the job hunting started. Then the speed picked up even more by October when we realized I was pregnant. When you have been running that hard and fast for so long-it feels counter intuitive to put up your feet for awhile.

But that is what we are going to do: rest. It’s long overdue. So if you do not see blog posts for awhile know that is because we are taking a break, focusing on each other, and joyfully waiting for Baby Greene to arrive.

Happy Mother’s Day 2017

It’s hard to believe that in a little more than a week I could myself take on the role and title of “mother”. I know it’s comes with a lifetime of work and joy and I am so honored to be chosen for this beautiful responsibility.

I want to say thank you to all of my friends and family who are mothers. No matter how long you have been a parent, you have all provided me with guidance, advice, and set wonderful examples for me as I prepare to join you soon.

To all of of you Happy Mother’s Day!

Setting up: furniture

We never fully established our home in Wayland with furniture and then downsized what we did have when we moved to Centralia.

For a few months everyone who visited seemed content to use stools, folding tables/chairs, a blow up bed, and share our only sofa/ love seat.

But it was obvious when we moved to our new home in Chehalis, which has even more square footage then Wayland, that we had minimal places to sit or eat.

Now that we have moved, we have been blessed to borrow or be gifted many pieces of furniture. We are honored to use furniture for mine and Luke’s childhood for the nursery (more on this to come). Plus we were gifted a desk, two bench seats, a bed/ bed frame and several other pieces by family members. These have helped us set up a guest bedroom; which has already gratefully been used several times.

Even with all of these items, we realized we did not have places for people to sit or eat when they visit after Baby Greene is born. We have been looking the past month or so on craigslist and offerup impatiently trying to coordinate the right items, price, and timing/resources to pick something up.

This past weekend, Luke’s parents came to help us with any last minute prep before baby. We asked them to bring the trailer so we could pick up furniture. In two days and only two trailer trips, Luke and John were able to pick up a leather couch and chair set, a vinyl couch, and an oak dinning table set with six chairs.  All of this costed us less than what an outlet store would offer for a living room set alone.

On top of these blessings, the couple who sold us the leather couch and chair gave us four tall backed bar-stools for free, perfect for our galley kitchen for free. Next thing you know, our living room and family room are full.

This is the first time in our marriage we have bought a couch set and even owned a dinning table set, items we plan to keep for a long time. I am relieved to no longer have guests sleep on a blow up bed or eat around a folding table and chairs.  It makes this house feel so much more welcoming.

Thank you family for providing us with furniture and helping us pick-up what we need to establish ourselves and our home.

Pre-Baby Freezer Meals: Beef Roast

For more information abut how we made more than a month’s worth of meals in two days see my other posts: Pre-baby Freezer Meals: chicken and Pre-baby Freezer Meals: Ground Beef

Luke and I bought a large roast from Costco, although it seemed expensive, for the cost per pound, and for how many meals it provided, it was a worth while investment. Luke carved up about half of the roast for freezer meals we had planned. But then we had half a roast left. What to do with it? Easy, cut into two and make pot roasts of it!

After all the meal prep for the weekend, I realized I had potatoes and carrots leftover. So I filled up two ziploc bags prepped with raw potatoes and carrots to go with the roasts.  Suddenly we had more meals for the freezer than I had planned.

Luke cuts roast meat three different ways: one way for our latin meals,  for our asian meals, and last for stew meat. It is part of our normal routine to buy a smaller roast and split the meat into portions like this; so it was not that much more work to do it for a larger roast.

As stated in my other pre-baby freezer meal posts I will not be sharing recipes now, but depending how they turn out once enjoyed post-baby I may share a few.

Hint 3: Label and List: Stina and I bought large printable sheets of labels with enough room to write the cooking/heating instructions as well as what to serve with each of the meals. Later the next week I printed a “menu” list of all the meals that included what items needed to be bought or added in order to complete the meal-most items are in the pantry ready to go. I stuck this list on the top of the freezer with a magnet. Anyway to make everything as easy as possible for other people to help us with dinner.

 

Beef Roast Meals:

Beef stew

-crockpot meal

-serve with corn bread

Fajitas

-crockpot meal

-serve with tortillas, black beans, and sour cream

Beef and broccoli

-crockpot meal

-serve with brown rice

 

Pot roast

-in crock pot or oven in roast pan

Bonus: Lentil stew=no meat

-crockpot meal

-serve with pita bread

The actual recipe for this meal is already on my blog! For more see:Lentil Stew: a vegetarian meal

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Pre-Baby Freezer Meals: Ground Beef

To hear how we did all of these meals and more in two days see my blog earlier this week Pre-baby Freezer meals: chicken.

While Luke and I went to birth class on Saturday night, Stina cooked up 10 lbs of ground beef in our cast irons on the stovetop. Thank You! It seemed like a lot of meat but it was just the right amount for all that we made. The meat was split into two parts ziplocs. Half went into preparing my tomato meat sauce. I have never made such a huge helping of meat sauce in my life! The mixture of tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, meat, and seasoning took up both my large boiling pot and my medium sauce pan. I went through ALL of my diced tomato cans in the house.

While that mixture cooked down we got to work on the other ground beef meals. Luke is good with portions and has a way of folding burritos into an envelope shape that holds well. So Luke showed Matt how to portion out beans, cheese, and meat and the two of them assembled. Once a stack of burritos were piled I took them to the cast iron to be sealed by slightly grilling both sides. Then Stina took the pile of burritos, wrapped them in foil, and put them into ziplocs.

It was fun to have such an assembly line going.

Once the meat sauce cooked down and cooled off  we assembled lasagnas and pasta bakes.  In the end I had only enough sauce leftover for two spaghetti meals.

As I said in my last post, I will not put recipes and instructions here. I am waiting to see which meals really worked out well after cooking before sharing them with all of you.

Hint 2: Buy disposable freezer protection for your meals: tin foil, foil trays, plastic wrap, and freezer ziploc bags. Most meals that will go in the oven were put in foil trays then wrapped in plastic wrap- a tip from Stina.

Ground Beef Meals:

Ground Beef Chili

– crock pot meal

-add canned beans

-serve with corn bread, over potato, or with eggs as omelette etc.

 

Spaghetti/meat sauce

-sauce defrosted on stove top or in crockpot

serve over pasta

Beef and Bean and Cheese Burritos

-easily microwaved

-serve with fresh veggies: salsa, avocado, etc.


Beef and Spinach Lasagna/Pasta Bake

-put in oven to cook

-serve with salad

 

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