This is more important now than ever. With the Covid-19 epidemic, lives have changed greatly. It is critical for moms to find some sort of normalcy during the current pandemic. But more importantly it is necessary for moms to take care of themselves so they can give their best to the other members of their family. These days self-care looks a little different than running to the local spa for a tune-up. We may squeeze in a bath at 10:30 at night when everyone has finally gone to bed. An amazing spa experience may look a little something like a Vitamin C Epsom salt bath that is uninterrupted paired with a 2 year old face mask to “cleanse” my pores, followed by me plucking “glittery looking” hair from atop my head. Seriously going to need to work on a part to cover the bald spot or perhaps I just need to wear a hat. Speaking of hats, I recently texted a friend and said I think I need you to talk me out of a good idea. Boxed hair dye. Response was, please don’t. Never a good idea. Girls- if I have one piece of advice it is to avoid dying your own hair. Many instances will turn out ok. However, some of us, me probably specifically, I literally have no idea what I am doing and it will cost more to correct it because I will end of with some weird variation of fire engine red while attempting to cover the gray that is shining through my normally brown hair.
Self-care is also opening your Bible and getting into your Word. Read your Bible while your face mask is blemishing those blemishes and is setting for approximately 10-15 minutes. Self-care is participating in online Bible studies. It can be holding yourself accountable with other women as your press into your relationship with God. I love that this pandemic has allowed so much growth in this area of my life. Take advantage of the time we have to really nurture this relationship. My prayer life is on fire and i am going to invest in this area of my life.
Not all days are five-star experiences, sometimes self-care looks like eating junk food in my closet. I do this frequently. The main thing is be flexible and find what works for you.
Matthew 11:28 - Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest
Hey sweet friends! I just wanted to provide a little update to keep in touch with family and friends while we are still under stay at home orders. I am still trying to balance work, household duties and helping the kiddos with their schoolwork. Some days are quite great. Some days I retreat to my closet and eat an entire batch of homemade lemon cookies and I do not even feel guilty! No shame here. I own that, those cookies were the bomb. I think one of our less than finer moments was when I was on a negotiation call for work with outside counsel and my darling twins decided it was a good time to play their trumpet and trombone in the very next room. Let me tell you they got their physical activity in after that. I guess it was a good thing it was not a video chat. That brings me to video chats. Some days, I have to position that camera down or just not have it on at all. I am sure we have all saw the meme with Scarlet O’Hara circling around Facebook that says, “Controlling my tongue is no problem. It is my face that needs deliverance.” This is what I really need to work on.
I just enjoyed an amazing spa experience which now consists of a Vitamin C Epsom salt bath that is uninterrupted and followed by me plucking “glittery looking” hair from atop my head while donning a charcoal face mask. Self care, am I right? Speaking of self-care I have enjoyed drinking coffee with coconut creamer while reading my Bible. I am loving our Real Women of LP Bible Studies in the mornings. I love these women. It is a wonderful way to connect and stay plugged in with the LP gal pals. What else, what else.. I have watched The Office like a million times. I love that show and can seriously watch it over and over. We have had several karaoke and dance parties. We started a daily routine with the kids to learn something new from a youtube video. I have learned about Iroquois Indians, volcanoes, cenote’s in Mexico, hours of #replays of Auburn Softball games, who is the best draft pick from the Chiefs, the Trail of Tears, and how my kids are desperately ready for another beach vacation. We have instilled morning Bible Study together and how it is important to also have time alone with God. We made homemade dog treats- that all our pups LOVED! We also celebrated Kinsley turning 15! We are excited to celebrate once it is safe.
And…now what you all have been waiting for… Tara’s Bacon Chicken Pesto Cavatappi
I grilled a couple chicken tenderloins. Once the chicken was close to being done I added a couple slices of applewood bacon (allergic to hickory). In a separate pan, while the chicken and bacon were cooking, I added a jar of Barilla pesto and a small container of heavy whipping cream to a sauce pan with bit of garlic. I LOVE garlic. I have the squeeze garlic and just used a small amount. I sliced the chicken and the bacon and added the chicken and bacon to the pesto and whipping cream mixture. I cooked the cavatappi noodles. I added a small amount of sliced cherry tomatoes to the sauce. I also added mushrooms. I continually stirred the sauce as it thickened. Drained the cavatappi pasta and mixed the pasta in with the sauce. Ready to serve. So yummy! Enjoy!
I have been praying for time to slow down. I have been complaining about how crazy our lives are. Interesting fact, guess who sets said crazy schedules? Ya, uh huh that would be the one complaining. I know that my heart needed more time at home with my family. I needed time together versus a quick hello in passing. I needed a break from Keith and the boys running one direction and Kinsley and I another. I felt I was fighting for time with my OWN family. I WAS fighting for my family. I honestly did not want to contend with sports anymore. AND WE ALL KNOW I LOVE SPORTS, sometimes a little too loudly. But here’s a simple and very true fact, I love my family more and we are living on borrowed time together. I did not really know how completely out of sync we had drifted until we were under stay at home orders. My daughter is missing her first year of high school softball. She has looked forward to this day for many years. We discussed her disappointment, but we also spoke of the Senior that does not get another opportunity to play sports in high school. We talked about it being ok to be disappointed but not ok to live in that disappointment. Same with my twins who are 5th grade. They looked forward to having their farewell to elementary school. We will celebrate once the storm is over.
We are living in unprecedented times. The COVID-19 epidemic is real and it is challenging our way of life. Actually, in our home, quite honestly, a way of life that I hope I never get back to. This pandemic has altered the way I look at life. Do not get me wrong, I know this is a serious issue that we are faced with. I am relishing in the fact that my kids are getting a Christian focused education because we are creating an environment that begins with Faith and then school and work. In a world that is surrounded by chaos and negativity, I have hope. I have been leaning on Romans 5, especially verses 1-5. “And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Honestly, I cannot imagine not having hope, especially given the current climate that is thrown at us on a daily basis. I would love a newscast that was not surrounded by negativity. I check the weather on my phone and that is where I get the local weather scoop. It is so easy to get caught up in the negativity. It was Zig Ziglar who said, “I read the paper every day and the Bible every day; that way I know what both sides are up to.”
The enemy has a way of attacking us where we are most vulnerable. Relationships, family, finances, and self-worth are just a few examples. Personally, I have been struggling with self-worth and the feeling that I am not enough. I am not enough as a wife, mother, employee and now distance education specialist (aka home ipad education patrol) and friend. I have had legitimate fears that I will fail my children, my husband, my employer, my friends and myself. The fear of not being enough has really come to life in these last few weeks. In the last couple of weeks, I have called out to God more times that I can count. I have prayed to the point of falling asleep, also more times than I can count. Sisters, we are all in this together. We need to press into God through these challenges and lean on his Word. We need to take things one day at a time and allow for a whole heaping of grace. At our house, when I am struggling, I start talking to God out loud. I want my kids to know that this is how I handle my struggles. I take them to the one who can handle them much better than I can. Each morning after spending time in scripture, worshipping and praying I am better equipped to handle my days. Somedays I put on my headphones and crank up some worship music to power through the day. Seriously, I needed to adjust my unrealistic expectations of what our days would look like. Day 1 was full of tears, jeers and fears! The struggle was real. The students were dancing awfully close to be expelled and the self-appointed Assistant to the Assistant Principal was about to get a boom box and blare some jams to commiserate the resigning of her self-appointed new job after 23 minutes on the job! After googling if boarding schools are still open, we decided we need to amend our schedules and expectations. Sometimes you just need to crank up the volume and DaNcE it out. One of our family’s favorites is Grace Got You by MercyMe. Try to listen to that song and not move. IMPOSSIBLE! We usually follow it up with some NKOTB (for those of you who do not know New Kids on the Block.)
Reach out to your squad. You know, the gals that we can cry to and with after an exhausting day of picking up Goldfish, re-washing clothes and trying to keep everyone on task with schoolwork. These sweet sisters know the value of an encouraging call or text, dropping by a latte or your favorite sweet treat. Pray with them and certainly pray for them. I would encourage you to #SpeakLife with and into the members of your #squad. Just make sure ya’ gals are practicing social distancing. Also lean into praying Psalm 91 over your family and friends.
I can tell you the most amazing thing happens when you praise God during your storms. Losing my grandpa Keith was one of the most difficult times for me. It is hard to lose someone who is so larger than life. This man meant so much to so many. He had a such a heart for helping others and loved attending Mass at St. Therese. I always loved how he would get dressed up for church and he was the SMARTEST Trivia Pursuit player- I am sure he sent several letters to their headquarters to inform them their answers were wrong. I fondly remember him singing HOLY, HOLY, HOLY! I am pretty sure he and I were both skipped when musical talents were handed down. When he passed, my heart broke. I had put this man on a pedestal. His love and approval meant so much. My heart needed peace. I dove into my Bible and I remember praying 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Compassion and all God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” God’s amazing grace was everywhere. After my grandpa passed away, my mom and sister attended church with my family. I remember hearing Kristian sing HOLY, HOLY, HOLY! You guys! My heart! I remember looking at my mom, sister and Keith and just smiling with tears of joy. We all knew the significance of this song and it is what our little hearts needed at that moment. So press in girls! Press in when times are good and you are dancing a top that mountain and press in when you are in eye of the storm. God’s got this. He will not forsake you and I hear he is a proponent of carrying the one! See what I did there?! You know, I could not help myself. Girls give yourselves an abundance of grace. Below are two verses that have been on my heart lately. Hang in there and keep hope alive!
Isaiah 26:20 “Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut your doors behind you. Hide yourselves a little while until the wrath has passed.”
Jeremiah 33:6 “Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.”
Lots of love, virtual hugs and prayers headed your way!