Meal Planning Monday

I'm typing this up as I'm meal prepping my Polenta Bowls for lunch for the week.

They're incredible easy, and I've even used mashed cauliflower for low carb macro days. Not to mention with polenta not being the easiest to come by I often sub grits.

Cheese grits being the best, for basically all life occasions.

This time I actually have real polenta but that's for dinner tonight... I meal prepped myself to also have Polenta Bowls for dinner. Jeremy can eat something once, but not 100 times in a row like me. Hence making my life easy and not making him eat this a million times.


Monday | Pesto Chicken (marinated in pesto and balsamic) with Roasted Asparagus and Smokey Roasted Tomatoes

Tuesday | leftovers

Wednesday | Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with Sour Dough Bread

Thursday | leftovers

Friday | Testing out an Etouffee recipe

Saturday | Roasted Carrots, Farro Salad w/ Cannelini Beans and a Grilled Burger

Sunday | leftovers for lunch (dinner to be determined... I ended up using the Polenta Bowl tonight)

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Breakfast | Orgain Clean Protein (premade shake)

Lunch | Polenta Bowls - I'll post the recipe this week.

Snack - Yogurt, Low Carb Wrap or a Rice cake with PB & mini chocolate chips, kombucha

Eat Leaves, Standing, & STTN

The number of photos you have to take to get a baby to look half decent.

Don't even get me started on the older one. I flat out don't ask him to smile in a photo. Natural = wonderful. Staged = hasn't slept in 10 days. He has a good smile but the poor child looks all over creation and his eyes look wonky.

But this little one. He is finally sleeping through the night.


He didn't choose this life, his mama chose it folks.

Last weekend I moved Harrison into our room (they share a room) and proceeded to offer him a bottle of water when he woke up and otherwise just turn the sound off on the monitor. He's fine, he just wants to nurse because he happened to wake up.

Friday night - rough

Saturday night - less rough

Sunday night - he slept all night

And he's continued on this path since then. I had to go in last night and offer water and put him back in bed but he quickly worked his self out and went back to sleep.

Those people with babies who sleep all night early on... we aren't those people.

Notice that baby above... I think I've found our child that is going to stick any and everything in his mouth. He's tasted half the plants in the yard. Just last weekend he learned to pull up and started to cruise all because he wanted Legos he couldn't have.

Not to mention walking into the living room and finding him fist deep in his brother's popcorn. It'll be a miracle is he makes it to 5 without major drama. The baby is busy.


While South Louisiana is celebrating their farmers this weekend and the impending sugar cane harvest, North Alabama is showing me a side of life I haven't seen since our North Louisiana days.

Leaves.

Slowly but surely the leaves got the memo that fall started Monday and the trees have been changing color and shedding their foliage.

It's glorious.

Glorious enough to drink iced coffee outside in this wretched heat while I pretend it isn't actually 95 degrees outside with those beautiful trees.

That about sums up life this week.

Harrison has steadily been drawing more and more detailed drawings. It's nice to see him excel at something especially with all of our fuss with the speech delay. I was just so afraid all of life would be a struggle for him.

Jeremy is rocking and rolling with youth group. He's enjoying himself and happily busy. I'm eager for summer time when I can be more hands on with him. Currently I'm floating around everywhere just so I can be involved in everything. Women's Bible Study meets the same time as youth and that's the one time I can hear him teach, so I'm alternating days. I go to the college SS class and help out as a co-leader... but y'all all know I am not a public speaker and only teach when it's a hard core need.

I'll get there though.

I sat in bible study Wednesday night and watched our pastor's wife teach in such a manner that you could tell this wasn't her first rodeo. Everything rolled off of her tongue easily and she seemed so comfortable. It occurred to me that I saw the same traits in our pastor's wives back home, which also led me to guess this is something that comes with time. The longer we are in ministry, in this aspect, the more relaxed I'll be with speaking to other adults.

Teaching kids really makes that hard. I can teach a group of kiddos no problem, but adults make me skin crawl lol! I need more adult experience... or not.

All that life update to say... I'm rambling. I also really need to take more photos throughout the week.

The Great Breastmilk Crisis of 2019

I've hit an odd snag that I can't problem solve my way out of. I haven't solved this issue and almost doubt I will, but I mainly want to write this as encouragement to another mama. I know someone else out there is dealing with this. 

We moved recently. 

While I surely did not see this coming, it knocked my milk supply to absolute nothing. 

I went from pumping 8oz bottles and having to change them out to continue pumping at work. Before school got out for summer I was storing two days worth of milk every single week. Seriously, by Wednesday I had pumped what I needed for the week and everything else was storage. 


Then it all went south. I think stopping pumping during the summer doesn't help, but then the stress summer brought only increased the issue. 

We went camping, to the beach with my parents, Jeremy went to Brazil and we had a hurricane at the same time. Shortly after that we come to Alabama for the first time to meet the church we are now serving at. 

It was busy. 

Some aspects of the stress were positive, seeing your husband finally answer a call to ministry. That's not a negative stress, but it's still a stress. And if you know anything about nursing EVERYTHING on this blessed earth can effect your milk supply. 

We had to learn a new routine, leave the kids sitter that I trust more than anyone, and I had to find a new job. Teacher reciprocity is a pill I'm still procrastinating on and tenure in this state is stressful to think about. My new job added stress I wasn't mentally prepared for. I came from a school where I knew the routine, knew where and when to pump, and I had a principal that supported me in this and made sure I knew where and what to do. 

Since we moved at roughly 3 months left in pumping at work I didn't put up the fight for breastfeeding rights I normally would. I was left with pumping in my room but worse off, a really stressful teaching year. 

I couldn't let down. 

Some days I'd get less than an ounce when I pumped. All due to stress. 

Once, absolutely once, I pumped a full bottle. That's the one in the picture. 

I've taken every supplement known to man, watched my macros, guzzled nursing tea daily, I've just done it all. I can't figure out what else to do. 

So I gave up. 

Elliot will be 11 months old in five days and he wasn't sleeping through the night. On top of that he's more interested in playing with Harrison than nursing. So we night weaned. 

Then I got back to work and pumped Monday. As I made it into the cafeteria to finally sit down and eat I took one bite of food to find the time had passed and the grade level was leaving. 

I couldn't do it anymore y'all. Walking and eating, stressing over pumped milk, hoping no one unlocked the door to my classroom because I didn't have a hiding place for pumping. 

I quit pumping. 

He's taking the milk I had stored before school let out in May to the sitter and after that he's down to just morning and night nursing. 

How does one go from this power pumper who's donating milk to dried up? 

Stress. 

So mama's, don't make yourself crazy. I've gone back and forth with this for a few weeks and finally pulled the plug. Mom's on Call has him scheduled to only nurse twice a day and he's been getting 3 (4 with night) so it was time to quit making myself crazy and pull the plug. 

Hopefully when I have, if I have, a 3rd baby I'll be less stressed. I also think I'll keep up the pumping even during the summer. That seems to be hard to recover from. 

Anyone else? What's been your experience with nursing and pumping under stress? 

Meal Planning Monday

I realized this week I have to simplify. I have only been eating lunch, cooking healthy for dinner, and then filling all the calories I poorly planned for with junk.

My main problem, work is too stressful to want to eat there. I am constantly moving without a chance to even think about food. On top of that I spend the majority of my lunch time pumping and then having to eat my lunch standing up in front of the bathrooms watching students. Luckily I've spent the majority of my two babies worth of pumping at a nice little school that allowed me the time and space to pump and I've made it to this place with only three months left.

And I'm thinking of quitting early. Pumping at least. I've got some frozen milk I found in the bottom of the deep freeze that will last a minute.

Anyway, didn't intend to dump all that information here. Clearly it's just been on my mind.


Monday | Creamy Spinach & Mushroom Chicken (I'll eat mine with cauli rice and Jeremy can have real rice)

Tuesday | leftovers

Wednesday | Mississippi Roast, Rice, & Roasted Broccoli (turns out I didn't even have a roast... now I do. I swear this won't be on here come October lol)

Thursday | leftovers

Friday | Breakfast for dinner - Kodiak Cakes Almond Poppyseed Pancakes with Eggs & Bacon

Saturday | Eating Out

Sunday |

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Breakfast | Orgain Clean Protein (premade shake)

Lunch | Burger Bowls - turkey burger, havarti cheese, white bbq sauce, pickles, and lettuce (Tues-Fri with homemade fries)

Snack - Cheese, Turkey Meat Sticks, or Rice Rollers

A Big Fat Dump of Life Lately Photos

Disclaimer since I have some new readers: Emily is sarcastic. Rarely is she not joking and never does she complain on here without a sense of humor. If you read anything else into it... that's on you boo. Just thought I'd throw that one out there before anyone thought "GAH she's so miserable." 

Life. 

When is it going to slow down? 

When will I feel like I have extra time? I really think half of what keeps an Enneagram 1 going is the prospect of extra time. I hate being busy. So just sit down right? No, not possible. I've realized that my intense desire to check everything off of every single list is something specific to my personality type. 

It's rough y'all. 

I don't get to any sort of self care until I've checked off actual real life. No working out (which I desperately need to burn off energy) until life is done... and lately life is rarely giving me space. 

I really didn't intend to vent all of this "feeling" of lack of white space in my calendar but it just bubbled up. 

Like yesterday... rando faculty meeting called... stole nearly 2 hours of my afternoon at home. 

Anyway, on to things that actually cause joy in my life. 


This little hot mess had me laughing this week. Sunday night he came wandering into the bedroom while I was nursing Elliot with their play phone stuffed into his pocket. He gets right in front of me, presses the button to make it ring, and answers it by saying "Hey Dear!" 

Someone clearly pays attention to Daddy when they're riding in the car, that's how Jeremy always answers the phone for me. 


Trader Joe's Acai packets... have I said this already? Go get you some. It's been fun mixing up my regular protein shake with a bowl format. 


I'm really enjoying watching Jeremy in this youth pastor role. Don't get me wrong, it's an adjustment not having him on the same schedule I'm on but he is fulfilling a call on his life and it's fun to see it come to fruition. 

This past Wednesday he had some popsicle challenge as part of what they are doing working towards Winter Retreat. Earning points and what not. It was hilarious. Teenagers, boys included, are some of the most dramatic just for the sake of it individuals alive and I was crying laughing. 


When you're a blogger you have to sneak photos, or it didn't even happen, right?!


If you've ever wondered what conversations with my sister are like. 

He funeral is scheduled for next Tuesday, she doesn't listen. 


Saturday I got my DL and as of today I got my plates. I'm an Alabama resident and I don't know how I feel about that. I've been saying I'd move from Louisiana in a flash and as soon as I realized that Monjuni's is a Louisiana brand and Cajun Garlic Power isn't sold all willy nilly everywhere. 

Don't tell me to Prime it either. 

That costs double. 

I'll be making a stocking up run when I go back home for Columbus Day. I didn't even want to make BBQ shrimp until I couldn't. 


Apple art is a thing. Happy face apple art to be exact. 

An incredibly expensive type of art to take up at these Walmart Ambrosia Apple prices. 

I now understand that meme with kids taking one bite from 90 apples. There are people who can vouch for me, we had an actual disagreement over the fact that he tried to take 3 bites from 4 over priced apples this weekend. 

Meal Planning Monday

A day late and a dollar short.

Considering I have hardly had the brain space to even text people back this weekend it's no wonder this is out a day behind.

In other news, this weekend I'm going to check out doing a full grocery haul at Aldi and see if that saves the money promised.


Monday | Low Carb Tortilla with goat cheese, turkey, Ambrosia apple slices, and spinach with Broccoli Slaw and Strawberries

Tuesday | Trader Joes Turkey Meatballs with Marinara and Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Wednesday | Mississippi Roast, Rice, & Roasted Broccoli (still haven't made it)

Thursday | leftovers

Friday | Breakfast for dinner - eggs, biscuits, breakfast potatoes, bacon, and fruit

Saturday | Eating Out

Sunday | Burgers & Fries

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Breakfast | Acai Bowl (cashew milk, acai packet from TJs, berries, Brewer's Yeast, banana, and granola)

Lunch | Meal Prep Bowls with Grilled Chicken Tenders, Cauli Rice with Pesto, and Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Snack - Cheese, Turkey Meat Sticks, or Granola Bar

Elliot | 10 Months

Happiest Baby on the Block is really testing that title this month. Wonder Weeks Leap (what feels like 100) came in strong!

Elliot's Current Stats:


❊ Age – 10 months
❊ Weight & Height – Wearing size 4 diapers and 12-18 months clothing. 

❊ Eat – He will eat absolutely anything, but he won't feed himself. He's not about that life and has no time. Baby Led Weaning did not work for me (to the tune of Hooked On Phonics). I also think he is going to wean himself by the time he's a year old. He's too busy to nurse and would rather eat real food. We might nurse at night for a long time but day time nursing, no baby has time for that. 
❊ Sleep – To sleep per chance to dream? Shakespeare wrote that while one of his children were teething because we ain't sleeping folks. 5 teeth all at once. If karma were real I'd tell you we did something real wrong. Last night he finally only woke up once, probably because after a solid month of no sleep he was tired. Now, he wakes to nurse every single night and I don't see that vanishing anytime soon. 



❊ Recent Milestones – He waves bye, grunts and has a cow if you don't share with him, pulls up, and can push up to sitting. And let us not forget getting 4 teeth on the top at once. 


❊ Special Moments – He only woke up once last night. That's as special as this eshausted mama is getting right now. 

❊ 
Mama’s Experience – Month 9 was for the birds. He hit a new Wonder Week Leap and got all the teeth. Little Crank Pop was fussy and didn't sleep. Sorry this isn't all warm and fuzzy folks, it's mainly so I can remember this years from now. 



❊ Comparison – These babies look nothing alike. Harrison seemed to be blowing kissing, pulling up, and mimicking up more. Elliot is just starting to pull up and giggles when you do stuff but isn't trying to mimics just yet. They're wearing the same size in diapers and clothing but Elliot definitely weighs more. 


Meal Planning Monday

Mama is breaking out of the routine and venturing to our now much closer Trader Joe's. So a few fun dinners are on the horizon.


Monday | Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Cauliflower Rice (real rice for Jeremy) with Kale and Cashew Pesto (TJs)

Tuesday | Potstickers with Asian Veggies & whatever Asian sauce I find at TJs

Wednesday | Mississippi Roast, Rice, & Roasted Broccoli (still haven't made it)

Thursday | leftovers

Friday | Breakfast for dinner - eggs, biscuits, breakfast potatoes, bacon, and fruit

Saturday | Eating Out

Sunday | Burgers & Fries/ Cauliflower Gnocchi with Turkey Meatballs and whatever TJs sauce strikes my fancy.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Breakfast | Acai Bowl (cashew milk, acai packet from TJs, berries, Brewer's Yeast, banana, and granola)

Lunch | Meal Prep Bowls with Quinoa, Ground Turkey, Broccoli, and Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette

Snack - Cheese, Turkey Meat Sticks, Plantain Chips and whatever dip I find at TJs

Pie, Pools, and Teething Babies

We are coming to a close on our first month in Alabama. I can't say I'm a resident yet... it took Jeremy roughly two tries before the DMV would take him. 

Make that 3 actually because I was on one of those attempts. 

He's good. But my lack of time in the day and a desperate need for a body double means I have got to get this done this week. 


I finally made the Atlantic Beach Pie from Food52 this week and it was TO. DIE. FOR.  I think I'll go less sweet on the whip cream and not add vanilla next time. It didn't call for it but I went standard on my whip and this did not need it. Seriously, it was so good and so easy that I immediately wrote it on a recipe card from memory. 


Anyone else? 

That IGK dry shampoo is life and has surpassed Dry Bar by leaps and bounds. 

There, I said it, I get one more hair day out of this stuff. 


Having a yard means sending Daddy to the dollar store for a pool. I thought this would perk up a sad kid that weekend but as it turned out I was trying to cheer up someone who had a stomach virus and had yet to express it to me. 

One bite of pizza late and my new rug screamed stomach virus. 



I've had puppies that got into less than Elliot. 

He's also cutting 5 teeth at once. There's a possible 6th that is budding but for a flat fact that are 5. The wind hurts me these days. 


Last but not least just a pic I took of Harrison while he was reading to me as I nursed Elliot the other night. 

How to Prepare Your Home for Life After the Wedding


Today's guest post is about life after the wedding. What tips would you add? 
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Planning a wedding can be one of the most exciting and stressful things you do. You’re likely investing a great deal of time and money into your big day to ensure it ends up being everything you’ve dreamt about and more. However, you also want to think about life after your wedding day and how to make your transition into married life as stress-free as possible. One way would be to prepare the home that you and your partner are going to stay in beforehand. Here are a few ways that you can prepare your home for life after the wedding.



1.) Agree on Storage

Whether you’re moving into a new home or already have one, you should agree on storage. When moving in together, you’ll be merging your belongings, so you want to be sure that you have enough space to contain everything. Allocate specific storage space to you and your partner and if there isn’t enough, consider building more storage. A few ideas for creating storage include getting a storage bed, storage chess or building extra shelves on the wall.  

You may also want to go through your belongings and be sure you aren’t moving anything into the house that you don’t need. This will help you avoid starting your marital life with unnecessary clutter.

2.) Carry Out Maintenance

Maintenance is another good way to get your home ready for life as newlyweds. You don’t want to start the first few days or months having issues with maintenance. There is a number of items that you should add to your home maintenance list. Some would be to inspect electrical cords for wear or to check that indoor and outdoor vents aren’t blocked.

Also, check the roof to make sure there aren’t leaks or loose shingles and also inspect the shower and bath for caulking or deterioration. The goal should be to carefully look around the house and check for anything that needs fixing or upgrading.

3.) Improve the Outdoors

Think about what you’ll be doing as a family during your quality time. If you enjoy spending time in the garden, then you may want to invest in patio furniture and if you have a pool, get it cleaned. Another idea would be to get an outdoor grill installed for summer BBQs. Seeing as you’ll probably be busy with wedding planning, hire a handyman to help you successfully install the grill.

4.) Add Pictures

Look through your photo gallery and find any images of you and your spouse that you love. Consider getting them framed and arranged on the walls around the house. Some common places to put them are in the hallway, on the wall in the living room, or by the nightstand in your bedroom. This is a way of ensuring you evoke pleasant memories when you’re at home.

5.) Agree on Domestics

It would be helpful if you sit down and discuss household responsibilities with your partner before the big day. By doing so, it may be easier to manage your expectations, and you’ll have an idea regarding how your household is going to be run. To keep household chores from affecting your new marriage, split chores as equally as you can. You want to consider your work schedules as well as strengths and weaknesses so that it’s easier for each person to stick with.

6.) Update the Interior

If your interior needs to be updated, consider doing this before you move in. This is an opportunity to create the home of your dreams to start your new life in. Try and make sure that both you and your partner have an input so that it feels like a home for the both of you. You could work together to choose things like the color palette, furniture, or overall design concept.

7.) Spring Clean

The last tip for preparing your home is to spring clean. You want your home to be as fresh as possible, so make sure it’s cleaned from the inside out. You could decide to do it on your own or find a professional cleaner who can do it instead. Make sure you focus on getting rid of dust, giving the windows an extra sparkle and also creating a pleasant smell through diffusers for air fresheners.


Getting married is the start to an exciting journey, so you want to set off on the right foot. Seeing as your home is somewhere that you’re going to bond and build your relationship, prioritize making it as comfortable as possible.