posted on: Tuesday, October 30, 2012
It's never too late to carve pumpkins, eh? At least that is what I keep telling myself. This year our pumpkins came from my in-laws garden. It's kind of refreshing to not have to pay for something that will only be used for a day or two. I did buy the little pumpkin at Rocky Creek Farm--the jury is still out on if they robbed me blind. And how quaint is our little town? Not only are they having a children's carnival tomorrow night, but there is also community bingo too! Fun, right? I'll report back on if I win big. Bingo runs in the family...
posted on: Monday, October 29, 2012
We made it through another week, without a huge disaster--well, if you don't count Brecken finding not one, but three permanent. black. markers. Holy Hosanna, kid. You're going to make me gray.
Anyway, here are three things on the web you should check out this week
one//Here is a .gif comparison of Hurricane Irene to Hurricane Sandy. Seriously, crazy. I am sending out prayers to everyone, especially our friends in family in the wake of the storm. Hunker down ya'll.
two//Have you heard of the blog Wave at the Bus. This Dad deserves an award. Every morning he dresses up in a different costume and waves at his son as his school bus goes by the house. Hilarious, right?
three//Read this man's account of sixteen ways he could have improved his marriage(s). I know I could work on a few of these things as well.
posted on: Friday, October 26, 2012
Politics can be a slippery slope. No one really wants to take the plunge into discussing it because when you do there is no coming back. Actually, there are exceptions to the rule, namely those jack wagons that relish in offending everyone with their nonsense--they enjoy the slippery ride down. This post isn't about politics, mainly it is about having a voice and and being an active citizen in the democratic process, especially as women.
Yesterday, I heard two ladies in the grocery store discussing how much they hated politics and their disdain for the recent flood of political commercials and mud slinging. One woman remarked, "I can't stand either candidate and why should I, neither one of them will really affect me if elected, so I am not voting."
"Yeah, totally logical thinking," I thought. cough.
As women, we owe it to all those that fought so we could have a voice in our country. We live in a nation where we not only have the equal right to vote, to work, to live free, to make personal choices--but where we also have a platform to stand up for our beliefs as well--without harm or retribution for having an opinion. Each day, thousands of soldiers fight for these rights, and it only seems fitting that we should set aside a small moment out of hectic schedules to do the one thing that many other countries (including woman) can only dream about. Democracy has not come without pain and suffering--we have a debt to pay, even if it is just voting.
Taking a stand and voting in our state and national elections is just one of the many ways we can give back to a country that has given so much for us. On November 6th I will be voting. Who I am voting for isn't really important. What is important is that we, the citizens, play a vital role in the future of our nation.
Truth of the matter is, I don't condone this notion that by not voting an individual can therefore live in ignorance for the next four years, yet still scrutinize wages, taxes, housing, social programs, and a whole slew of other issues surrounding our rights as citizens. Frankly, if you don't vote, don't complain. As for the young woman in the grocery store who truly believed that her life would not be affected by this election I would like to give her a "4-1-1 reality check". The work checks she cashes, the groceries she buys, the gas she puts in her car, the taxes she pays, the simple inalienable rights she takes for granted are very much affected by this election. If she wants to make a change to the system it starts with the simple step of voting. It starts with this simple step for all of us.
Vote early if you must, cast those absentees, wait in line on Election Day--whatever you choose to do, make sure you vote. "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." I rarely voice my opinion on matters of a controversial nature, but I think this is a time where all of us have to stand for beliefs, do our due diligence in researching each candidate and the issues, and vote for the future of our nation.
That's all for today's PSA. Carry on friends :)
posted on: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
...As I assume most people are to some extent.
I always thought that at some point I would reinvent myself to be a more carefree individual, that I could somehow trick my soul into following a go-with-the flow spirit. Eventually, I learned that my soul knew me better than I know myself. A life of carefree"ness" was just not written in my book.
Growing up, I was the first born and with that, I think came this inherit need for perfection. For this so-called persona to be manifested, orderly and well-kept routines needed to be in check at all times. My parents recognized this need for stability and at the young age of ten they bestowed upon me my first Dayplanner. nerdy, yes? I often bragged to my friends about my new scheduled life and the tool that helped to make it possible. I often stated in a matter-of-fact tone that "I would love to come over to play, but first I needed to check my Dayplanner schedule." ...Because we all know how full of a schedule a 6th grader can have...
Perfection was this illusion that I strove for in school as well as at home. I remember watching Cinderella as a child and admiring how clean and minimal her room seemed to be--let's not forget her evil Stepmother sentenced her to a life of servitude. But I wanted her minimal life! I was driven by routines, well established rules, and a structured lifestyle. As I grew older, in the back of my mind I would always tell myself, "I will be ready for marriage when I have graduated from college, have a career that I love and the money to pay for my own wedding--if I have those things my life will be right on track--then I can share my life with someone else."
As with most of our lives, reality didn't seem to work out the way. Marriage came and we were dirt poor--so poor that for a good portion of the first year we bought groceries exclusively from the canned food section with gift cards from our wedding. Graduate school came and went with the hopes of high paying jobs, which were soon over shadowed by Brecken's early birth and, not long after, Addison's arrival as well. God then granted me with two child who would defy all odds and not want naps starting at an early age. Soon my desire and need for perfectly maintained routines were replaced with erratic schedules, sleep deprivation, over-indulging in chocolate and snot-covered clothing.
The Dayplanner has long been retired and now has been replaced with a refrigerator calender that looks more like an elaborate algebra problem--full of scribbles, doctor appointments, grocery lists, and play groups. Motherhood has taken it's toll, while my mind may not be a sharp, and my fashion may be last season, a new sort of perfection has arisen from the piles of dirty laundry in the form of a little boy and little girl that call my Mom.
For me, admitting to being imperfect at motherhood has become perfection.
posted on: Monday, October 22, 2012
Aren't weekends wonderful?! I've always been told that once your a parent weekends just become like any other day--which is especially true if you're a SAHM. While I agree, I've also begun to cherish the little moments with John as well. He seems more relaxed when his time isn't being stretched between meetings and work at the hospital. The carefree spirit that I fell in love with always seems to reappear on the weekends. Even though I still have to change diapers and clean I always look forward to those free moments I get to steal with him.
Here are the things I am loving right now.
one//A Christmas gift for Addison
two//Brecken's birthday present in the making
three//a great new blog (even if you don't have children the pictures and content are gaw-jus)!
Happy Monday Friends!
posted on: Friday, October 19, 2012
I don't know if it's the needed change of seasons or the excuse to wear cable-knit sweaters, but I always find myself welcoming crispy leaves and hot cocoa with open arms. The epitome of Fall is often found at one of our favorite places where tractor-drawn hay rides, perfect jack-o-lantern primed-pumpkins, and the consumption of more than the necessary amount of apple cider can be found. Rocky Creek Farm is a quaint little place where restless school children and parents at their wits end can go to unwind.
Between the ride on the tractor to the pumpkin patch and the making of freshly pressed apple cider, you would think a group full of two and three-year-olds would have finally met their match. Au Contraire, my dear friends--no such thing occurred. The group was still going strong until the end--Brecken even managed to find the only mud hole in a fifty mile radius.
Here's to pumpkin carving, steaming hot drinks, pompom knit beanies, and frosty mornings. Welcome, Fall! Stay a while, why don't cha?
posted on: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Hey Baby Girl,
Can you believe it?! I can't either. Five months went by so quickly. It seems that everyday you are performing a new trick. I just want to bottle you up and keep you at this age. You are pseudo-sitting. It's actually more of a wobble where you will go back-and-forth until you fall on your face. You do have the occasional moments where you will hold yourself up for 10 or 15 seconds, but then you usually start laughing at yourself and end up falling over. It's precious to watch.
Your brother has also started to recognize you. He has always responded to your crying and would occasionally kiss you, but now he actually wants to play with you. Yes, you! Just yesterday you were sitting on the floor in your Bumbo chair and he started stacking pillows around you like a fort. Then he would act like a bear and topple them over. You both laughed and laughed and laughed--tiny giggles filled the house and my heart almost leaped out of my chest with excitement. It was one of the happiest moments I have ever experienced.
You've also found your voice. Quite a chatter box you've become. When I ask Brecken to make animal sounds he goes on on with "moo moo, cluck cluck, cheep cheep, baaa baa, woof woof--you know, the usual animal noises..." Then I will say, "What sound does Addy make?" And he always replies with a resounding "AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!" very cute if you ask me. And, again, you laugh hysterically at him. all. the. time. Actually you are quite infatuated with him. You watch his every move, you laugh every time he speaks, and when he lays on the floor you want to lay next to him--always finding some way to touch him, or at least have his undivided attention. You love him so much--which makes this Momma super proud. You've also become interested with you feet. As soon as I undue your swaddle every morning your little toes spring directly to your mouth. If you had your way I am sure you would chew on them all day long.
Baby girl you are so special.
I love you, Mom
posted on: Monday, October 15, 2012
ONE//By this time of year the snow has usually set itself as a nice blanket across the valley. Unbeknownst to me I woke up to rain this morning (the whole family was already reveling in its wonder by the time I got up)...go figure. Not very noteworthy if you're not from Montana. If you are a Montanan you know how much we cherish every snow"less" day. Even if this "warm" spell only lasts for a few days at least we can take in all that Fall has to offer before Winter makes it often long visit.
TWO//John also fixed my computer, oh that guy can be a miracle worker when the need arises. Let's just say I have been trying to be extra nice to him since I didn't back up my pictures of Addison and he was able to retrieve all of them.
THREE.HALF//My favorite instagram app right now VSCO
posted on: Thursday, October 11, 2012
The inevitable finally happened--my computer finally died. I tried to wrote a post on my iPad and it was TORTURE! Complete and utter torture, I tell you! Please tell me there is an easy way to do it, because so far all I have been doing is pulling out my hair--and let me just say I don't have a lot of hair to spare these days with my raging postpartum hormones. In the meantime here is a recipe I have been meaning to post ten days. Enjoy!
Peach Pulled Pork
7lb. pork shoulder
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups apple juice
1/2 cup paprika
1/4 cup onion powder
1/4 cup lemon pepper
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs black pepper
1 Tbs garlic powder
1/2 Tbs chili powder
1/2 Tbs kosher salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp curry powder
yields 8 servings
Mix dry rub ingredients together and generously slather over entire surface of pork shoulder. If there is extra rub it can be put in an air tight container and saved for future use.
Wrap pork in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
While the shoulder refrigerates warm smoker to 225 degrees.
Once the smoker has reached desired temperature upwrap pork and smoke for three hours.
After three hours remove pork shoulder and put in tin pan with apple juice. Cover shoulder in brown sugar and top with sliced peaches.
Cover with tin foil and cook for an additional 9 hours.
Once finished, remove tin foil and peaches and allow shoulder to cool for 20 minutes.
Use two forks to shred shoulder.
Serve with toasted buns and your favorite barbecue sauce.
If you don't have a smoker the pork shoulder can also be cooked in the oven as well. Here is a great recipe from The Pioneer Woman that I use regularly.
posted on: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Let me preface by saying this is in no way sponsored post, but rather, this is just one mom speaking to other moms on how her life became a little easier. We could all use that once in awhile, right? With that said let's talk strollers. They're an investment, a small investment if you are the Kourtney Kardashian's of the world, and a big investment if you are saving pennies each month to buy the perfect stroller.
Stroller hunting has been a battle in the Bishop household. Two forces going at each other, one saying a double stroller was necessary for everyone's sanity the other bantering back that a stroller is a want not a need. I am sure you can guess who was on each side of that argument.
When determining what to get a few major factors played a role in making my decision. I wanted a stroller that came with the necessities and wasn't ale carte' in terms of cupholders and a sunshade. I also needed a double jogger that would be adaptable to pavement and gravel--I live in Montana and gravel roads are all over the map. While having a swiveling wheel was most desirable I also needed the flexibility to make the front wheel stationary. I also happen to live in an area that is windy so having the option to tilt the sunshade all the way down was also a vital necessity. Ultimately, I wanted a double stroller that allowed comfort for my children and the ability to get around town with ease without being too hard on my checkbook. In the end I finally settled on the Schwinn Turismo Swivel Double Jogger.
Made of lightweight aluminum this stroller boasts easy handling with the option of pushing it with one hand while talking on the phone (if you do that sort of thing). The swiveling front tire can easily be made stationary by the push of a lever on the handlebar. And speaking of the handlebar, it is adjustable which makes it easy for both John and I to use it, seeing as there is a foot discrepancy in our heights. Each child also has their own sun shade which allows adjustments based on their needs. And if that wasn't enough Schwinn also built two MP3 (or iPhone/iPod) speakers into each sun shade which allows ample volume for the kids to listen to their favorite music. Plush cushioning, adjustable back straps, and reclining seats also provide additional comfort and versatility based on the age and needs of each child.
When it came to the nitty gritty I was also wildly impressed. A spring suspension system allows the stroller to move effortlessly over gravel, and sixteen inch tires provide a smooth ride across pavement as well, pivoting food trays with individual cup holders give each child their own space. Two additional cup holders and a small storage box are also located near the handles of the stroller to provide easy access for Mom and Dad.
Overall, Schwinn has exceeded all my expectations and needs. However, as with most things there were a few small issues. While I love the rims and size of the tires I am not particularly fond of the fact that they are air-filled tires. While rubber filled tires are expensive and frankly not the practical, air-filled tires have the risk of popping. Secondly, the adjustable handlebar is a little shaky. Not so shaky that it risks fall off, but more annoying than anything. With that said, when I run I don't even notice the shake because my weight is bearing down on the handle. Finally, the storage space in the undercarriage is very limited and is often hard to access, but what it misses in that area it definitely makes up for it in all areas of the stroller.
In the end, this stroller is amazing. It can easily be folded up and while it can't fit in the trunk of our Subaru it fits fine in our pickup bed. That being said, while reading some reviews I read that it often was too wide to fit through doorways--I haven't had this issue and it fits through our front door easily. Aesthetically the fabric is clean and crisp, and the additional padding is great for young babies to provide extra protection and comfort. While this stroller may not carry "the name" of other brands it certainly makes up for it with extra bells-and-whistles.
Hope this helps and thanks for stopping in!
posted on: Monday, October 1, 2012
Earlier tonight I ran into Brecken's room all Mother Bear like intending to bring the wrath down upon him for still being awake. Instead, I caught him sitting in bed reading a book. Can I really punish a kid who is looking at a book in bed? It's not unusual to find him like this and it's also reassuring as well. Brecken has reached a milestone where there are certain guarantees that come along with his age.
He's a slobbery kisser. Not the bulldog-kind that licks your face to death. No, he's worse. He's a snot-nosed-need-a-tissue kind of kisser. And let it be known--he likes to kiss me. all. the. time.
Blue Clues. Oh my holy hell (excuse my french), can I just say baby crack. He could watch it all day. All night. All month. All year! If I let him.
Drawing. We draw a lot. Actually I don't even think that describes how much we draw. Specifically, kites, balloons, helicopters. If I had a nickle...
He's a park goer. Parks are still fun, right? Slides and swings are great, but an even better game is called "let's see how fast I can run away from Mom." It's his favorite game--and we play it daily.
Inside my child is a Mini-Hulk. He appears sporadically throughout the day; usually around nap time, public outings, photo ops, and bath time. Mini Hulk is strong. So strong in fact, that he has mastered the art of back flipping out of my arms while simultaneously screaming bloody murder.
He loves to read or be read to--however, you see it. Dr. Seuss is a favorite in our house. That "doctor" knew his audience well. Job well done Theo, job well done.
He dances. Little bit of bum shakin' mixed with some Macarena moves. I know ya'll just said, "HEY! Macarena!" Try not to dance. Stop it! Stop it now! ;)
Church. It doesn't matter where we are, when he enters a church building the vocal chords go up a few notches and a monster is born. A true trial of my faith, I tell you.
...And if Blues Clues was considered baby crack my iPad would certainly the drug of choice.
When it is all said and done for every crying session there will be an equal number of movie dates with the best cuddling partner a girl could find and laughter that is so contagious that the room glows. And even with all those happy moments I still would not replace any of those snotty nose moments either. Because what Mom ever has a clean shirt anyway?