Thursday, February 14, 2013

Paleo pulled pork (or beef)

Another yummy recipe we've been loving over here is paleo pulled pork/beef. A friend gave this recipe to me a couple weeks ago and I really like it.

A couple things to note:

1. Next time, I plan on doubling it, as we like our meat more saucy than not, but the regular recipe is good if you don't.

2. I am also still trying to figure out my slow cooker, and find that theres a burnt ring around the pot no matter what times/settings I've done. It doesn't affect the taste of the meat, as I'm careful to not mix the burnt part in. So, adjust your times/heat settings accordingly.

3. I've made this recipe with both pork shoulder and beef (whatever roast was on sale) and noted that since the pork is fattier, it can handle long times in the crockpot (like 12 or more hours on low), whereas the beef will dry out quicker, so it's best to not leave it too long. For example: I put mine in the crockpot on Saturday night at 8pm until midnight on low, turned it to warm til 7 am-9am, and to high from 9-12:30 and it was probably a little too long. I may skip the 7-9am low setting next time. (it was good, but maybe a little dry..although more sauce next time may help this).

Anyways! Enough of my's the recipe.

Paleo Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

1tbsp coconut oil
3 cloves garlic (I used 8;)
2 shallots minced
1 tsp organic spicy mustard
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chipotle seasoning (I used Cajun seasoning)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
Juice of 1.5 limes
1 tsp pure maple syrup
6 oz can tomato paste (no salt)

In sauce pan, heat oil. Add garlic and shallots and sauté until translucent.

Add mustard, smoked paprika, chipotle, cumin, salt, and sauté for about 30 seconds.

Add broth, lime juice, maple syrup, and paste.

Whisk all ingredients until smooth. Bring to a light boil, reduce to simmer and slightly cover with lid.

Simmer for 45 min and let cool.*

*I never let mine cool..I just add it right away to the slow cooker. I put a bit of sauce on the bottom, add the meat, and then pour rest of sauce on top. I turn the meat every 1.5 hours. When it is falling apart easily, I pull it apart with a fork and leave for at least another half hour.

I ate mine with onions and mushrooms that I had sautéed on the side and fresh green beans, boiled and then sautéed in garlic and sunflower oil.


Monday, February 11, 2013


Amy, you've inspired me to blog again! (well, for today at least;). I love trying new recipes and since Amy has been posting lots of new ones on her blog, she inspired me to as well.

I am currently 4 days into a 30 day, kick my butt in gear, eat stricter challenge with a friend of mine, Sarah. We are following a Paleo menu and this yummy recipe is one of our b'fast (or lunch or supper!) faves. And they are super quick and easy to make, and taste yummy! Can't beat that!

What you'll need:

Paleo Pancakes

1 large egg
1 banana
1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
1 tbsp. almond butter
1 heaping tsp. cinnamon

Mix banana in bowl with mixer. Add egg. Mix. Add flaxseed and almond butter. Mix. Stir in cinnamon.

Heat approx. 1 tsp. coconut oil in skillet and add small dollops of batter (I can fit about 4 in my medium sized skillet). Do not flip for about 2 minutes, or they will fall apart. Also, don't heat pan too much (I don't set it higher than 6). I find the coconut oil can burn easy if at a higher heat.

I ate mine with frozen berries that I heated up in my pan, and a little bit of maple syrup.


Also, if you are interested in eating Paleo and maybe to add some yummy new, healthy recipes to your menu, check out the book "Everyday Paleo". It has tons of yummy, healthy recipes, and pictures of everything (a MUST for me with a cookbook). The author also updates her blog all the time, so check it out at

Thursday, February 02, 2012

What am I raising?

This past year of parenting has been one that I've spent alot of time pondering and praying what exactly I am supposed to be doing. My oldest is 10, with the two middle girls at 7 and 5, and my babe turned toddler will be 2 in May.

I've found myself often saying that I feel like I have one foot in every stage, except the baby stage.
(and I am entirely alright with that, by the way. :).

I've also said how I feel like poor Maeve has inherited a much crazier, much more impatient, and intense mommy then her older siblings had.

And she has.  And I am.  

But, she's also inherited a mom who is fully aware that I do not have all the answers.  And that's ok.  A mom who makes mistakes every day with my kids.  And I am ok with that.  

For a long time, I think I was more focused on being the perfect mom (in their eyes) than I was just being.  Living life in front of and with my family...with all the ups, downs and complete face plants each day brings.  

I am more comfortable being who I really am in front of my children.  Even more, I am quite convinced that it is imperative that they see as many shades of who I am...and who I am possible.   For in those shades, I am convinced they can see God's amazing grace and love in my life.  

But, what's been on my mind lately, has been my posture towards my kids and how that grows and changes as they get older.  I said to my hubby this spring, when our oldest was 9, that I felt like I had to change my mental posture towards him.  

You see, the first 9 years have been spent protecting him, guarding his heart, and being the primary influence in his life.  And while there is still lots to protect him from, and lots of influence left to be had, I began to feel this intense need to change my parenting with him.  I had this new mental image.  

It was no longer him walking towards me, with my arms were extended around him, keeping as much out as I could.  But rather, it was him walking away from me (slowly!), my arms still extended around him, but with each step, he stepped further and further away from the protection my arms could offer.

Ya.  Kinda sad.

Except...I don't believe that he is and has been doing this thing, called his life, alone.  I know that he has a relationship with God and that it is necessary over the next few years, for that relationship to become the primary relationship in his life.  

Yes, I am and always will be my sweet boy's mama.  There to love, influence, and protect for the rest of his life.  But I am not, and was not designed to be his sole, primary relationship.  And there is a huge peace in that. 

So all this realization has led me to change another aspect of my parenting with all my kids.  And that's what I protect them from.  I never would have viewed myself as an overprotective parent, but probably more of one that was on the offensive.  

An example of this is a simple one.  Let's say, I made plans with one of my friends for their family to come over on a Friday night.  I know my kids will be stoked, but I don't tell them about it, until about an hour or two before they are due to arrive.  Why?  Partially for me, to minimize the amount of stress and questions that will excitedly arise.  But partially for them.  Because I know that life happens and that there is a chance plans will change and they will be disappointed.

But, over the past few months, I've been changing.  I actually find myself kinda glad when something disappointing happens in their life.  (sounds horrible, when written down like that!).  But, seriously, I find myself viewing those small disappointments as opportunities for growth in their life.  Opportunities that force them to that uncomfortable, hard place.  That place where not even mom can comfort them fully.  

The place where they are forced to go to God for comfort, reassurance and answers to their questions. 

Takes the pressure of this humbled mama, and puts it squarely on the shoulders of The One who can handle it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Tears For Fears

My hubby is an avid 70's, 80's & early 90's music fan so today's blog title is a shout out to him. :)

So, the other night I was putting the older three kids to bed.  I had been pretty relaxed and let them stay up later than usual, so I was wanting bedtime to happen quickly.  

I had just tucked the girls in, and went into the kid's bathroom to check if they had left it in good shape.  Recently, I spoke with them about rinsing their toothbrushes when they were done, wiping down the sink of excess toothpaste, and just in general trying to not leave a big mess.  Everything looked great except for one cup, full of soap & water.  A potion.  :)  My kids enjoy mixing together anything they can get their hands on and someone had made a potion and forgot to dump it.  

No big deal.  I dumped it down the sink, only to realize after that they had also put toilet paper in it as well. Now the soggy toilet paper was clogging up the sink.  I cleaned up the mess and walked into Kier's room and asked if he had made the potion.  

"Ummm...potion??  Where?" he stammered.  "Kier, in the kids' bathroom.  Obviously you made it.  Please just tell me the truth."

"Ok.  I made it." he says.  "Well, please don't put toilet paper in it next time.  It's clogged up the sink, because I didn't know it was in there.  Ok?"

"Ummm...I didn't put any toilet paper in it, Mom.  One of the girls probably did."  So, off I go next door to the girls' room.  "Guys, which one of you put the toilet paper in the potion in the bathroom?"

Cait, ever so innocently:  "Not me, Mama."  Rory, very insistent: "I didn't either Mom.  I didn't do it!"

Hmmmmm....who do you think put the toilet paper in the potion?

Well, after many back and forth's between their room, I still didn't have an answer.  Now, someone was lying.  I told them that I didn't really care about the toilet paper.  At this point, I just wanted the truth.  I told them I was going to ask one more time, and if no one told me the truth, then all their blankies would be taken away.

No one fessed up.

So, amidst tears and sad eyes, I took all their blankies and headed downstairs.  I told them whenever someone wanted to tell the truth, to come down and talk to me.  

Ugh.  One of those 'this is so not fun' parenting moments.  

A couple minutes later,  my boy appears beside the couch.  Lip quivering, I can tell he's struggling with what to say.  Finally, he starts, "Mom.  I made the potion.  But...I didn't put the toilet paper in it.  But, Mom please just punish me.  I've told the girl's that I would take the blame.  Please Mom.  They are in their beds, crying so much.  I can't take hearing them so sad.  So, please Mom, just punish me.  Keep my blankie.  You can even take my pillow."

Guess who started crying then?  Yep.  Me.

In the end, Rory fessed up shortly after.  We were huddled in a heap, everyone crying, when Daddy walked in from his meeting.  Needless to say, we all learned lessons that night.

"While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about." 

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Living Unbalanced

For years, I've said that we were trying to live a balanced life just like Jesus did.  Not resting solely on grace.  Not living simply out of truth.  But a balanced blend of the two.  Not forsaking one for the other. 

John 1: 14:  "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."

And I still believe we are called to live out this balance.

However, over the past few years, I've realized that I've taken this principle of being balanced and tried to apply it to all areas of my life.  And failed.

Or at least that's how I ended up feeling.

For example, in a 24 hour span, I may have spent a bit of time of intentional one on one time with each of my kids, made 3 healthy meals, tidied up the house at the end of the day, and maybe even read my Bible!  Yay for me!

But, I would lay in bed feeling discouraged.  Ok, so I got some major areas covered today (time with my kids, balanced meals, a house that doesn't look like a tornado ran through it, and I even had intentional time with God), but I was still left looking at so many areas that I hadn't touched at all!

Time with my husband.  Time with friends.  Time with women from church.  Time for myself, relaxing.  Time for myself, challenging myself (exercising, starting a new project, etc.).  And the list goes on.

So, I'd wake up the next day, determined to focus on some of the areas that I'd not even touched the day before.  And I would!  I would plan a date with my hubby.  I would do my 30 minute workout.  I would shower and actually do my hair and makeup!  I would call a friend.  I would set a date to get together with a lady from church.  

And that night, I would lay in bed, again feeling discouraged.  I had hardly even acknowledged my kids today.  Dinner was a quickly thrown together tuna casserole.  My house was upside down already (how does that happen so quickly?!?!).  

And the cycle began again.

Finally, I started to question this cycle.  Jesus wants me to live with contentment and peace, and I was busy doing things and being intentional and trying to be balanced, and ended each day being discouraged with all that I hadn't done.  So, things weren't adding up.  Why?  I was trying to live a balanced life, just like He had.  What was I doing wrong? 

Then, I had a breakthrough.  It wasn't trying to be balanced that was the problem.  It was that I was so focused on balancing everything at once, while keeping a perfect balance within each thing.

I'd created a checklist.  Spend time with my kids.  Check.  Ok, now I must balance it and spend time with my hubby.  Check.  Spend time by myself.  Check.  Ok, now I must balance it and spend time with ladies from the church.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I believe we have to be intentional in most areas of our life. 

But I was more focused on being intentional, than I was on truly seeking what God would have for me today.  In this moment.  And trust Him.  Not my checklist.

There are natural ebbs and flows in our lives.  Rhythms.  And I believe that Jesus lived in these rhythms as well.  If you look at His life on earth, recorded in John, there are rhythms that are represented in his day to day life.   When getting ready for our recent Ladies Discussion night, I found a blog from a lady named Christine Sine.  In her post, she had identified 4 basic rhythms in Jesus' life – the balance between spiritual and secular, work and rest, community and solitude and fasting and feasting.

Reading this was an 'Aha!' moment for me!  In order to live a balanced life, we will be unbalanced!!  Especially when measuring our lives on a daily basis.  If I feel that today, God is asking me to spend intentional time with someone who just needs company and encouragement, I simply may not have time to myself that day (community and solitude).  And that's ok!  There's no need to lay in bed at night, berating myself for what I haven't done.  There will be time for solitude.  It just wasn't today.  

Reminds me of something....Ecc.3:1-8:

"For everything there is a season,
      a time for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die.
      A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal.
      A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
      A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
      A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to quit searching.
      A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend.
      A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate.
      A time for war and a time for peace."

To everything there are seasons...rhythms to be embraced and be imbalanced within.  

My life should not amount to a list of checkmarks.  

But rather, a wonderful, colorful essay...with many paragraphs and chapters.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

When it rains...

...whip out that rainy day outfit, and rock it! :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

An upside down kinda day

My sister Jenn was visiting us for the past few days, and today was her last day here.

And I woke up with a migraine and on day two.  

(wink, wink)

Today was not what I had planned for my last day with my sister visiting us.  

Her, playing with Cait, while I laid on the couch, with a cold cloth on my forehead.

Her, feeding Cait lunch, while I was trying to put something in my belly.

Her, cheering Cait on as she splished and splashed in the pool, while I sat in the shade, with sunglasses on, holding a cranky, teething baby.

But, then the fog began to lift and the day righted itself, for a couple hours, and we got to talk.

And it was lovely.

Having 3 sisters of my own, I am just so happy to know that my girls will have each other.

Of course, not to leave out the important big brother.  That relationship is oh, so important on so many levels.

But, equally important, is the bond of sisters.

Fellow girls, women, who know you, love you, support you, and are there for you...

No matter if the day is upside down or right side up.

Love you all.  Oh so much.