Thursday, September 20, 2012

my other baby is going to college

My sister Bri and my little E

My "first" little baby, Bri, is headed off to college today! This is crazy! Obviously she's not my real baby...haha. Some of you know, but my sister and I are 9 years and some months apart in age. :) She is like my little baby! All grown up and going off to college. Woah. I feel old now. It sounds cliche but it's true! We spent a lot of time together as kids. When it was time for me to go off to college, I chose to stay closer to home (UC San Diego) so that I could come and visit and remain a part of her life. I'm glad that I did. She's grown up quite a bit since then, and it has been great to see how she is being shaped and molded into a woman of God. She has a heart and passion for the lost and she loves Jesus! I know that God has great things in store for her. My prayer is that she will continue to glorify God in her pursuits and be bold to not only proclaim the gospel but live it out daily. 
Matt, Me and Bri at Eleanor's Birthday

I'll keep this post short and sweet. I love you so much, my special seester! I'll be seeing you ;)

love love love,

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What's for Dinner? in 100 degree weather...

Last night we enjoyed a simple, refreshing and spicy salad for dinner. It's one of our favorite're going to want to save it to your pinboard, trust me ;) I found the recipe on the eat, live, run blog...a blog that my dear friend Rachel shared with me. It can be prepped in less than 10 minutes and fully satisfies even the meat-lover in our family. 
simple dinner prep and 6 ingredients

This recipe is great for hot days & nights, when turning on the stove or heating up the oven is not an option. Like I mentioned last week, I am hoping for this to be the final hurrah of warm weather and for cooler weather to be ushered in :) It was between 90-100 degrees in San Diego over the past few weeks...sometimes I wish I lived in Seattle ;) *my Seattle friends are probably laughing right now.
the final product! mmm delicious!

Last Friday's dinner was a bit of a debacle (defined as fiasco by Merriam-Webster...haha *our friend Beau's favorite word)! There were FOUR short power outages on Friday afternoon due to the heat and high usage of power for ACs and fans. As I mentioned on facebook, putting your crockpot out on the porch is a great idea for hot days. The house stays cool and you have a delicious meal by the end of the day. Unless your power goes out. Four times. And, you didn't think to check the crockpot outside. Woops! It wasn't until the fourth outage that I realized it might be a good idea to see if the shredded beef was still cooking. The crockpot  lights were blinking, waiting for me to select a choice...high, low, warm. Oh man! At the same time as all of this was going on, our dear guest called to see if we should cancel dinner because "it's just so hot outside!" It was 104 degrees that afternoon. I assured her that we could still have dinner together, but that it may just have to be out on the porch in the shade of the trees. It didn't occur to me until after we had concluded our conversation that the beef might not be fully cooked...oh no! I panicked for a moment. Then Ryan helped me change plans and we decided to take our friend out to dinner instead. Thank goodness for flexible people!

The dinner was good. It wasn't the beef tacos that I had originally planned on, but it was still good. Our friend did not cancel and we were able to share a great Thai meal together. She insisted that "that was a lovely evening!" I, however, felt a little discouraged as I had been trying to feed Eleanor during dinner and then was running around with her outside when she started to get antsy. I felt a bit distracted and unable to participate in conversations. I wanted deeper conversation and relationship with our friend.

I wanted to be in control of the evening. I though that if we had had dinner at our place, I could have put Eleanor to bed, let her play with toys, and have deep, intentional conversation with our friend...wait a second...that perfect, ideal scenario is just not what God had in mind for that night. I needed to be the flexible one that night.  God is still good and in control, even when our plans don't go the way we intended. His plans always go through, and they are good. Our friend loved the evening and even sent a "thank you" email that same evening. How sweet. I am thankful to be in this lady's life, and I look forward to more "debacles" where God can be glorified and magnified. He is great and in control, so I don't have to be!

love love love,

Monday, September 17, 2012

the quarterly: 15 months

Baby bear,

The monthly photo is back by popular demand haha ;) After your 1st birthday people asked me if I would keep up with the monthly photos...I wanted to, really, I did :) but, it just didn't happen. We took this one, a week after you turned 15 months...but it still counts ;) and I figured if I couldn't keep up with the monthly, I could try for a quarterly it worked out perfectly that you are now fifteen months old! ;)

A lot has happened since you turned one! You now have 4 love to use them to eat your food, and occasionally you try to bite mama in your anger or defiance...ahh! More on that in a minute. You started showing an interest in walking around 14 1/2 months. It started with short distances and a few steps between mama and papa or other friends...and as you got the hang of it, your desire for walking became greater. You practiced on your own quite a bit, and it was cute to see you so determined! Now you are fully walking, with a few stumbles here and there. 

You definitely have a lot of energy and like to play with other kids. You're just learning how to interact with other kids right now and it is interesting to watch you play :) There are lots of teachable moments during these play dates, where we usually get to talk about sharing toys, being gentle with baby's faces (and hair) and not screaming/demanding our own way. You and I are both new to this...I'm learning to parent and you're learning to be obedient to mama and God. It's definitely been challenging at times to know what is the right thing to do in each situation. I'm definitely tempted to give into caring too much about what other people think of me as I try to discern the right response for each situation that we find ourselves in. Prayer is usually a  great start. For my heart and for yours. I'm reading "Shepherding a Child's Heart," by Tedd Tripp right now and I am excited to learn more and be equipped with how to shepherd you well :)

Your favorites right now include:
toys-little teapot from carry it around with you in one hand and have a tea cup in the other
food-you're eating a lot of healthy snacks, but not as many meals...usually you'll eat a whole peach each day...and string cheese 
music-you love the xylophone and the little drum at Siena's also love to worship! whenever there is worship music playing, at the Sunday church gathering, or on the raise your hands and it's the cutest thing!
prayer-you know when we're praying and you fold your hands together! I think you just picked this up from watching people? and then every time we say "AMEN!" you clap!
words-for a little while you were saying "yeahhh" for everything and it was so cute! "Did you just bite Mama?" "yeahhh." "Are you sorry?" "yeahhh." "Are you going to do that again?" "yeahhh." haha. And within the last couple na na! Oi vei! The No's are getting sassy :) We're working on it. This morning when I asked if she wanted cheesy eggs, she had an enthusiastic YEAH! So...there's hoping ;) Haha.
place- you love going around the zoo, watching the fish in the pygmy hippo exhibit and sitting next to gorillas. You smile whenever I point towards the elephants and make the elephant sound with my arm as the know the gesture? ;)

Right now, you and I (and your papa), are in a new phase of're more active and inquisitive, and we're navigating this whole parenting thing. At times it has been difficult figuring out how and when to discipline you (ie. in Trader Joe's when you throw a fit, bite me on the shoulder and then scream and arch your back, just for example). Ahhh! Part of it, like I said before, is me giving in to the approval of others...and desiring their approval of me as a great mom. I am not a perfect parent. As we were reminded in one of our Red Door Church parenting classes, "There are no perfect parents. There are no perfect children. Just one perfect Father and one perfect Son." Phew...that's a relief ;) So I get to shepherd you, and point you to Jesus, and I get to look to Jesus too :) this is good news!

We love you so much baby bear! Until next time...

love love,
Mama Meg

A few extra cute photos from the past months:
Daddy brushing your little teeth before bed time

 A little play date with your friend Siena Joy!

 Grandpa Bockman feeding you some tasty yogurt

 A little sick or tired? You fell asleep on me within five minutes! This never happens!

Just eating some snacks at Fred's house after the epic pool party celebrating 2 years of Red Door church!

Your morning routine: tousle those locks, sign for food, and head to the fridge!

Celebrating 3 years of marriage with a night at the Old Globe theater!

we work well together :)

Anniversary weekend and our first time to Cabrillo National Monument

Mission beach and kite flying...oh no! E may have knocked Meredith out..

Favorite spot at the zoo...look at all the fish!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What's for Dinner? with a special guest

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos by GimmeSomeOven blog
These look pretty amazing!!! I've made these once before and they were fantastic! I'm bringing this recipe into the rotation this week, especially since the Chuck Roast is on sale at Henry's for $4.49/lb...which I think is a good deal? Someone tell me if I'm wrong :)

This Friday we're having a lovely dinner guest. She has quite the palatte as she has traveled all around the world and enjoyed lots of authentic meals. This friend also introduced us to the Rolando neighborhood restaurant that has authentic Mexican food,Carnitas Las Michoacanas. They are located on University Avenue near Aragon Drive. Their food was AMAZING! and very affordable! I may stop by and get some of their authentic ;) salsa for our little dinner party.

I love having dinner guests...but I am a little nervous for this one!  We love sharing our stories with people and love to hear theirs. Our friend does not know Jesus, but we hope and pray that she gets to see a glimpse of Him during our time together. I'm nervous because  I've definitely struggled with the idol of approval and desiring to please people. I want our friend to feel welcome, see our life, and feel like she can come over any time...but I'm also tempted to try and win her approval. We do have an age gap of about 53 she may know a thing or two that I don't ;)

In the area of hospitality, people pleasing looks like this.. I am cleaning the house (for hours) in a frenzy to make it look clean and "perfect" for our guests, sometimes even getting grumpy (no way!) at people who get in the way or things that disrupt my "perfect plan". Every other day, our house is less than perfect. We have messes...we have piles...I'm embarrassed to even say it, but it can just get cluttered some times! I do believe that "everything has a home," but that's for another post ;) My version of "perfect" presents a problem for the guests who come...they see a performance that I put on for them, not the every day life. This can often put unnecessary pressure on them to perform the next time we visit them and pressure on myself to perform just as well as I had the previous times. I definitely don't want that!

When we've had friends come over in the past, I've always tried to clean really well and hide the messes. It's not  that it's a bad thing to fact, I'm learning to clean-up more consistently to maintain, but, if it's only to impress others or get their approval, it becomes sin. If you've been to my house recently it has been less than perfect...and I'm okay with that (and I hope you are too haha). I am still growing in this area though. I'd like to say that if you called last minute and let me know you were stopping by, that I wouldn't be embarrassed by the pile of dishes in the sink...from two nights ago...but, sometimes I still get embarrassed or try to clean-up real quick before you get here. I would rather just invite you in, with complete joy, and a sink full of dishes, then turn away an opportunity to potentially encourage and spend time with you. 

Over the past few years I feel like God has taught me a lot about this. Our home should be a place where people can drop by on a whim, come in, feel welcome, and stay at as long as they like. They can use our things...even break them, and we should be okay with that. We are called to be good stewards of the gifts he has given us...but like we're always saying to kids who are having trouble sharing..."Who does that toy belong to, Eleanor?" "Jesus!" All of our things belong to Jesus and we get the joy of being a blessing to others. 

All of that to say, I am excited to have our friend join us, and excited to not be consumed with our house being perfect or "nice" enough for her standards, so much so that it distracts me from loving, serving and encouraging her. I was reading just yesterday in 1 Thessalonians 2:4 "...but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts." I don't need to try and please our friend...I just need to please God! woohoo!

thanks for reading all of that ;)
love love love,

ps. What's for Dinnner? next week: this tasty looking salad may be a good end to our's still a toasty 90 degrees here in San Diego! I'm going to enjoy this refreshing salad, and hope that fall comes soon!!! and by "fall" in San Diego, I mean...pumpkin spice lattes, watching Pride and Prejudice and Little Women, boots with tall socks, and semi-pea coats.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What's for Dinner? (Mexican Polenta Pie)

I'd like to continue with my series...
(food drawings from Nina Chakrabarti)

Every Wednesday I plan the meals for the week and head out to buy groceries (usually at Sprout's-for double ad Wednesdays and great produce, and Trader Joe's-tried and true, trusty store!). Most weeks I go with a friend or two, babies in tow, and we get it done! Each week I'd like to share recipes and meal plans that I've found to be helpful and tasty for our family...I hope you enjoy!

YumOH! We recently made Mexican Polenta Pie for dinner and it was amazing! The recipe originally came from my dear friend, Jennifer Holm. Man am I thankful for her (and that recipe)! The recipe is super easy to put together, it feeds several people (or provides lots of leftovers) and has amazing flavors! I find that most recipes for Mexican food can be flexible too with adding or subtracting tomatoes, bell pepper, olives (not  my fave), etc. depending on what you have on hand. The total cost for the recipe is approximately $10-12 and has at least 10-12 servings...$1 per serving...not bad at all!

The recipe was found at, via Jennifer Holm.

Before this recipe I had never used or had polenta. Polenta is quite tasty! It absorbs the full flavors and spices in this Mexican dish and is a great source for protein. This recipe is great for: large groups, baby dinners, leftovers!

Try it out, pin it to your recipe board, and share it with others!

Have any recipes you want me to try out? Or any special requests of what you'd like to see more of here on the blog? Leave a comment and I'll get back to you!

love love,

Monday, September 3, 2012

...and I'm back in the game!

Just look at these beauties! You may have seen my sneak peek on facebook...I'm super excited to announce I'm sewing again "...and I'm back in the game!" (anyone remember 10 Things I Hate About You?!) I'm starting up an etsy shop (opening date tbd) and getting my inventory ready! I've gone back and forth and back and forth again and have decided to just go for it. Who cares if my shop isn't perfect or if no one ends up reading this blog? It's not about those things anyways.

So, to get back in the game...I'm giving away a beautiful handmade car seat canopy (soon to be in my etsy shop!) on my dear friend Megan's blog/website, Out of Her Heart. Today she is launching her new website and hosting a giveaway with lots of goodies...including:
I will be opening up my etsy shop soon (thanks for being patient!) but in the mean can snag one over at Megan's blog :) Keep checking I'll be opening shop soon!

If you're new here, thanks for stopping by! Please stay awhile! I'll also be updating on the Rooted Love facebook page...please head over and LIKE it, for updates and photos!

love love love,