Back to Life, Back to Reality

Again, the lyrics to the song referenced in the title of this post have very little to do with me, my blog, or anything remotely close to what's going on in my life, but there it is ;)

Ahhhh, the week after Christmas break.  Thankfully, we were able to sort of ease back into the swing of things as we had two "snow" delay days.  Now, when I say snow, what that really means is that it was 7 degrees and sunny, but I will take it any way I can get it!  I know that some people were not as excited about the delayed start as I was, but it was SO nice to let the boys sleep in to their regular 8:30 post-holiday wake up time rather than waking the oldest up at 6:45, fighting with my middle child who just goes through life on a different plane from the rest of us sometimes, and waking the baby, dressing her, and feeding her before racing out the door!

In anticipation of this being our first week "back to life, back to reality" and our routine, I decided to go really simple on the meals.  I also decided to try a couple of new cooking light recipes as I'm really working to even things out from the holidays where I splurged each and every day for 14 (or more!) days :)

Monday nights are basketball nights which means feeding the kids early and then racing to bball practice, getting home, bathed, and getting some sort of additional food into their little bodies before heading off to bed at least an hour after their usual bedtime (I still think my children should go to bed at 7:30 even though this hasn't been working for at least 6 months now ;))  Because of this being my first day back "on," I thought I would keep it super simple** and opted for a new tortellini soup recipe that I found on pinterest.  It was so creamy and yummy, and it was perfect for leftover lunches.

**side note...I am still working on figuring out my "limits" with my time, with my energy, and with my patience, so manageable meals on crazy nights is something that I can control pretty easily ;)  Also, joining the Y so that my 1 year old can go to childcare during my older kids basketball practices/games is something that I have found adds to my overall "calm,"  not to mention that it was a good selling point for our family joining the gym again after a LONG hiatus!

In that same vein, I decided that it was time for an oldie but goodie this week and opted for the chicken enchilada recipe that a dear friend from Scottsdale shared with me during our time out there.  This recipe is always a hit with my family and it is always GONE after one sitting...again, trying to manage patience the week that school started back was an intentional effort this week!!

Speaking of patience, I definitely lost my cool after the first two days of actually being back on our regular schedule.  We just could not get it together over here, people.  Getting our kindergartener off to school was fine because, well, he has to be at school on time or he (actually I) gets the dreaded pink slip.  It is SO embarrassing to walk down the hall holding my child's hand with nothing to hide that bright pink little piece of paper that screams, "yep, this mama can't get her act together."  It's even better if my other kids are in their pjs with no coats, and it's freezing outside!!  But, I digress..we made it to preschool (which starts over an hour later) 20 minutes late, and then I basically raced around like a crazy woman all day.  I thought that I was again keeping it simple with another crockpot recipe.  It really wasn't hard, and if I had been on my game, it would've been actually an easy meal to throw together...BUT, I didn't have my act together, so I ended up chopping meat, chopping veggies, and throwing everything in the crockpot in a mad dash so that it would MAYBE be done in time for dinner...which it wasn't (I mean, we do eat SUPER early around here, so this would not be a problem for most of you, I'm sure.)  My kids didn't want to eat it...look at the picture on the previous blog post...it really wasn't something that screamed deliciousness just from its looks...again, from last week, though, looks can be deceiving, and it was really good, hearty, healthy, and the kids ate it up once they actually tasted it (lots of bribing, closing eyes, maybe a few threatening words occurred before that actually happened.)

After that night, I decided I needed a couple nights off (again, managing expectations of myself in full effect here!)  So, we had dinner in with friends, dinner out with friends, and take out the rest of the week...that is why there were no notes accompanying the last menu item from last week.  I did make it last night, so more on that to come later ;)

So, to all of you who are also "back to life, back to reality," here is my hope:  I hope that everyone can take a deep breath, realize what's important, search for what to hold on to and what to let go, and just make life a little easier for yourself.  I'll leave you with a quote that is up on my chalkboard downstairs in the playroom, "Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."  - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy Cooking!

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