May Goals

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this will never not be funny.

 

I’m super excited to set some goals this month. A couple weeks ago after seeing and scrolling past picture after picture of Lara Casey’s power sheets, I decided to take the plunge…again.

I got the power sheets years ago, but they didn’t really work for me. I had a hard time using them, so I figured that was that.

Wrong.

I am so happy I gave them another chance because it’s helped me immensely with getting back on track. I’m sure there’s a blog coming on the whole power sheets process, but for now.

Here’s my May goals.

+Get the new Megan Elizabeth Photography up and running
Can’t. Explain. How. Excited. I am for this! Also can’t give away any details.

+Find a daily routine with Jesus
As mentioned previously, Em’s back to actually sleeping (PRAISE GOD) so I’m trying to figure out what time of day works best to get with God. Before she gets up? Ya’ll I’m such a sleeper. It’s a work in progress.

+Write out a cleaning schedule
Figuring out what days to vacuum, or what days to do laundry would be helpful. Right now it’s kind of a “that looks super messy, I should clean it” thing.

+Plan a family vacation
This one REALLY fires me up. Also have no idea on where to go. We live in Orlando, the hub of all vacations. But we’re thinking something different. And yes, we’re away she’s only 1 and a half and won’t remember it, but we will! Any suggestions are super welcome!

+Get back to meal planning and eating out less
I do not even want to know what our Uber Eats bill has been these last two months. Nope.

+Give social media free weekends a try
Hi, my name is Megan and I’m on my phone too much.
Baby steps here. But something has to change.

What are your May goals?

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God is good all the time

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The last two months have been nothing short of super crappy. You know those seasons of life, whether their long or short, that just make you feel like the life vest you bought doesn’t work. Or that parachute is a knapsack (10 points to who ever names this quote)?

That’s been my last two months.

We went through the whole ear infection, insomnia debacle. Then moved to allergies and a “maybe she has asthma” diagnosis. And ended with a little bit of heart break.

I’m not super ready to share all those details yet, if I ever do. But ya’ll. This isn’t just me complaining. But the last couple of months have been really hard.

And I have no idea how I would have gotten through any of it, if it wasn’t for the grace and mercy of Jesus.

So for that reason, I’m here to tell you this:

Heartbreak, loss, disappointment and every other crap emotion is going to happen. There’s no way around it.

But in Jesus. There’s this beautiful thing called hope. He promises to never leave us. He promises that after the rain, there’s going to be a big beautiful rainbow. His arms are never not wrapped around us when we call out to Him. Ever.

Maybe you’re like me and you just need a little reminder that God is good all the time. 

Through it all. He is good. 

I don’t know where this finds you today, but on top of the love God has for you, also know that you aren’t alone. In whatever it is you might be going through.
And listen, if life is amazing for you right now. Celebrate that. Give God all the glory.

Here’s to thanking and praising Him no matter the season we’re in.

 

 

 

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Hello, it’s me

Still here.

Kinda?

We’ve gone through a r o u g h couple of months with Miss Emily. Think allergies, turned into an ear infection, which lead to antibiotics which caused insomnia, couple with some sleep regression, and topping it all off with starting school.

Things are (PRAYERFULLY) getting back to normal around here. Slowly. But surely.

Hoping you had a blessed Easter!

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*child* #noshame

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God Equips

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If there’s one thing that I am absolutely sure of, it’s that God equips us for the things He’s called us to.

I was reading Jeremiah the other day and found myself thinking over and over again, “Yeah, bro. I get it”.
God called Jeremiah to be a prophet, He knew long before Jeremiah was born that this was the call He had for his life. Scripture tells us that God was clear with this one.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” -Jeremiah 1:5

Jeremiah’s response was the same one I have, “God you’ve got to be kidding. Not me.” (paraphrased by me)
His response is just so…human.

I can’t really imagine, though, having a conversation with God, actually hearing Him speak to me and saying, “Yeah, but I can’t.” I like to think I’d be smart enough to just nod along, because hello. It’s God.

But Jeremiah is me. Maybe he’s you.

God calls him, tells him exactly what He wants him to do with his life and still he answers, “But maybe something different”.

He tells God he’s too young, and doesn’t know how to speak to people like that. He was afraid to speak these words God was giving him because they were unpopular at the time, no one wanted to hear them.

I often give God some excuses to.

I’m just a mom.
I don’t have time.
I need more sleep.
No one is listening/reading.
Little old me can’t make that big of a dent.

God equipped Jeremiah. Verse 17 in chapter one almost makes me laugh.
God says, “Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you.” (NIV)
“But you-up on your feet and get dressed for work! Stand up and say your piece. Say exactly what I tell you to say.” (MSG)

Just like Jeremiah, God has called us into things in our lives. Maybe it’s preaching, or writing, or being a mother, or starting a non-profit, or being a youth leader. Whatever it is, God has equipped us.

We just have to get up, get dressed and start the work.

It’s tough, I know. But we have to let the presence of God in our lives, overcome any excuse we have or any fear we’re holding on to. Because friend, when we let God use us, glory filled Kingdom come things start to happen.

I’ve recently said yes to something big. And scary.
But my prayer over and over again has just been for God to equip me. To use me for His glory. That this big exciting thing I’ve said yes to would have His name all over it, and not mine.

Who knows how it’s all going to turn out, but what I do know,

is that God is equipping me.

 

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It’s a privilege

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To the mama who was just up four times last night.

To the mama who can’t get her little one to sleep.

To the mama whose house has been taken over by tiny two legged tornadoes.

To the mama kissing those cheeks goodbye and dropping off at daycare.

To the mama who just needs five seconds alone.

To the mama grieving.

To the mama running on empty.

To the mama who keeps trying to make it all look perfect from the outside.

To the mama waiting.

To the mama with a special needs baby.

To the new mama.

To the mama wondering where her sanity went.

God sees you.

He sees you every.single.day.

And He hears you.

Being a mom can feel like we’re walking this up hill battle (in freezing weather in shorts and flip flops dehydrated) alone. Which is so crazy when you think about it because hello, we all have mothers. Which means we aren’t the only ones. Or the first ones to go through what ever it is we’re going through. Sometimes I think as a mom, our days are so bad that no one else could possibly have gone through anything like that. It gets me into a little pit sometimes. The reality is that I can just text anyone of my mommy friends and their response is always, “Girl I know”, or “But let me tell you about mine”.

We aren’t alone as mothers. No matter how it feels sometimes.

I feel like the ‘job’ as a mother isn’t seen enough. We live in a society that tells us (constantly these days) that we are women, hear us roar. At our big jobs, and our important roles within our communities and societies. And I just have to scratch my head. If we’re supposed to be lifting each other up as women, why doesn’t it feel like “just being a mom” is enough? It feels like, if you aren’t out there in the world doing it, then you’re not doing anything.

And for the record, what does that even mean?

And I’m here to tell you that being a mother is the most important job there is.

There’s this false narrative being spread that our jobs need certain descriptions. Titles, places that we get our paychecks from, an actual building we have to enter.

And I’m here to tell you even more.

Being a mom isn’t a job, it’s a beautiful privilege.

One that I can honestly say I take for granted at least once a day.

God created each and every one of us to be mothers to the tiny humans He’s blessed us with. We’ve been given this gift to mother them. To raise them up. Not only to just be good humans,

but to be Jesus seeking, Holy Spirit filled human beings. 

And listen. I get it. Being a mom is really, freaking hard some days. But mama hear me when I say this. You are doing a better job than any other human on this earth could do.

Some nights I give my self a high five just for keeping her alive.

God has us. Even though we’re moms now, and we hold our little ones, God is still holding us. Giving us strength and wisdom. We just have to take a second and ask for it. Which I understand is hard. There’s something about becoming a mom and not wanting to ask for help.
But He’s got the answers.

That’s right. Because I, your God,
have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go.
I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic.
I’m right here to help you.’
-Isaiah 41:13 MSG

Mama. Hear that.

He isn’t letting go, and He’s right here to help.

Your ‘job’ as a mother counts. You’re the who God picked, long before you were even born, to be their mama.

While He was creating the earth and placing each star into the sky…He already knew you’d be that baby’s mama.

So here’s to being a mom. Here’s to not having any idea what we’re doing, but doing it the best anyways.

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Rejoice always

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“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”-1 Thessalonians 5:16-17

I came across this verse the other day and just about laughed.

That morning had just been one of thooose morning with Little Miss. Nothing seemed to work, the whining wouldn’t stop, and by 10am I was already counting down the hours until bedtime.

Sometimes, no all the time, God gives us these gentle reminders.
Reminders that life is actaully really, really good. And no matter what…we always have something to rejoice.

Does that mean it comes totally natural and easy to me?

Heck no, techno.

Not even in the slightest.

Let me expand on that super fun morning. I found Em playing in the dogs water, and not just playing in it, but soaking wet. Less than 20 minutes later I hear her drop something. Turns out I had left my drink on a table and she got it. Pop everywhere. She fussed almost the entire way on our walk, and when we got home, she was super mad I wouldn’t let her outside with Duke.

But then.

I turned the corner and she just looked up and gave me the biggest grin known to man.
I didn’t do anything, I didn’t say a word. She just looked up and smiled at me.

Now, I realize this won’t work later in her life. I know this mostly from trying it myself with my own mother. But right now, it totally works.

I found praise in that smile. In those cheeks I still want to eat off everyday. In the way that I can make her smile like that.
I gave thanks.

I’ve spent a good portion of my adult life (wait, am I an adult?) wondering what on earth God’s will for my life is. I think sometimes as Christians we’re worried we’ll miss that door or that opportunity if we aren’t careful. As if God has one thing for our life and that’s it, and if we miss it, than tough luck.

 

I’ve had it wrong for a really long time. That God’s will for my life is this big huge event. This big huge job. This big huge thing.

But that’s not the case. God’s will for our life is for us to praise Him, to rejoice in everything He’s given and done for us, to give thanks in everything, and to love on people.

I can do those things. I can really, really do those things.

 

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French Style Mussels

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A recipe post? Say whaaaaaat?!
It’s happening. Get on board people.
So I’ve never made muscles before, and decided Valentines Day was a good day to give it a whirl. Because nothing says romance like a meal you could possibly screw up and end up eating McDonalds.
Maybe it does.
This is a combination of a couple different recipes I found, but each one with a French feel to them.
3 pounds of mussels
7 tablespoons of butter
3 green onions
5 garlic cloves
8-10 sprigs of thyme
1 cup of white wine
2 cups of heavy cream
1/4 cup of parsley
salt and pepper to taste
-Was mussels under cold water. Toss out any that are opened. *Some may have a little “beard” that you want to rip off.*
-In a large pot or large Dutch oven, heat the butter over medium heat until melted.
-Increase the heat to high, and add the green onions, garlic and thyme. Get ready for your house to smell amazing. Sauté for 1-2 minutes.
-Add mussels and cover. These bad boys cook super quickly so don’t walk away. You’re looking at about 5-10 minutes at most.
-Take out the thyme sprigs.
-Pour in the cream, white wine, parsley, salt and pepper.
-Mix gently, you’re folding more than mixing.
-Give the sauce a taste, if you think it needs more salt, add it.
-Bon Appétit!
We loved these so much and it wasn’t tough to make at all! Be sure to let me know if you make them!
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A Change of View

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I’ve given the thought of deleting my Facebook over and over again. The only thing that’s actually stopped me is because I have to have a personal Facebook to keep my business Facebook up and running.

So I’ve huffed and I’ve puffed, clearly lacking any self control in just not going on.

The last year I think it’s safe to say we’ve all seen our ups and downs. We’ve all posted statues, or replied to someones status in a way that might may us go, “Hmmm maybe that wasn’t the best choice of words”.

If that’s not you, congrats. You’re perfect. Move on.

I’ve found myself more times than not super pissed at what I’m reading. The Womens March a couple weeks ago just about sent me into a tizzy. Millions of women marching “for women” but also to *keep* the right to abort a beautiful baby girl. I scratch my head in confusion.

I’ve figured out that abortion is that button for me. Some people it’s politics, some people it’s religion, some people it’s the refugees, and a loooooot of people it’s President Trump.
It’s just that thing that gets me all riled up because y’all. I just want to save all the babies. And I can’t understand why others don’t too. So as of lately, my entire Facebook has been status updates and shares from pro-life organizations, or this video, to which I can’t even.

I’ve gotten into some heated debates with these things with friends, whom I love, but whom I’ve wanted to shake and scream, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?”

And I’m sure they’ve thought the same about me.

Which last night I realized…is ok.

I think the minute we live in a society where we all just nod our heads in agreement no matter what, we’re in for some trouble.

The beautiful thing about this country is that we get to each have our own opinions on everything.
The President.
Refugees.
Healthcare.
You get the point.

And here’s the other most beautiful thing about today, that big beautiful “UNFOLLOW” button on Facebook.

I’ve decided that I won’t be shying away from my opinion or beliefs any time soon. I can’t. My mother is what I’ve always called a “Raging Republican” and while at times as a kid I wanted to hide my head in the sand…most times, and especially now, I look at her and think “Oh, so this is where I get it”. And I’m proud of that.

I want people to know that I love Jesus and I want to end abortion. I want people to know that I do support our current President because he did in fact nominate a very conservative Judge, like he said he would.

But mostly. I want people to know that I’d love to carry on a conversation with them especially if we don’t agree.

It’s clear that this country is super divided right now, but what if we used our difference in opinions to make things better again.

What if instead of just giving up on social media, or people in general, we go back to the “your opinion is different than mine and that’s ok”.

Can I sit here and say with 100% confidence that I won’t get mad at something someone posts, of course not.
But I can sit here and say with 100% confidence that instead of looking at Facebook as this giant pile of crap right now, I’ll look at it as an opportunity to learn. Maybe I didn’t know that about this persons beliefs, because they went through that. Maybe I can work on not jumping to conclusions so quickly.

Do you get where I’m going with this?

I’m changing my mind about Facebook these days. And I think it’s for the better.

 

 

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Books I read in January

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New year, new goals for books.

I was able to get through three this month which was one more than I had planned on. So, go me.

Sonny decided that this year he wants to have a book club with me, I know. It’s adorable. So we decided on reading two books a month, he picks on, I pick one. We each read it then switch.

I picked The Girl on The Train. Which I hated. Haaaaaated. Hated it so much that I didn’t make Sonny read it. And made him read Gone Girl instead.

The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins: 1 star
Besides the fact that the writing was all that great, it was the most repetitive book I’ve ever read. If I had to read one more time that the girl was an alcoholic, I was going to loose my mind. I felt like it just dragged on, with an obvious end in sight. Without giving it away, I knew who it was from the very beginning. I found myself just trying to finish the book to just do that. Finish it and be done with it. Too many times I wondered what the back story the author was telling had anything to do with the main story line itself. It’s really dark too and I didn’t enjoy a certain part as a mother. If you’ve read it, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t read it. I wouldn’t suggest it.

The Whistler by John Grisham: 3 1/2 stars 
This was Sonny’s pick for the month, he’s a big John Grisham fan. I enjoyed this book a lot for it being my first JG. He’s an excellent writer, so it was a giant breath of fresh air from reading the book listed above. The story line was really interesting and had my brain going in ten different directions, which I really loved. Things I didn’t love: all the legal jargon, the absurd amount of characters (we met THREE in the epilogue), the quick ending. It seemed like the story developed and developed and then just ended. But. I’d recommend this book if you’re into him or his writing.

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed: 5 stars
I got this book for Christmas from my very best friend which I think adds to any book you read. Dear Sugar used to be an anonymous advice column, turns out it was Cheryl Strayed the whole time. Whom I love. Wild is one of my top books I’ve ever read so as soon as I saw who wrote the book I was excited. Here’s the thing, while I can’t relate to a lot of the questions asked (about marriage problems or growing up gay or having friends who hate you) I loved her advice for every. single. letter. Each one had this rounded out advice for life that made me go, “Yes and amen girl. Yes and amen”. It’s easily a book you can find something to highlight or write down on every page. I would highly recommend this book.

Obviously this is out of 5 stars.

What did you read in January!?

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Being Healthy Sucks

We’re all thinking it, I’m just going to say it out loud.

To you living healthy:

Here’s the world I want to live in: McDonalds Egg McMuffin for breakfast, Chick Fila for lunch, and Shake Shack for dinner. BUT. You gain no weight, and someone has created a pill for me to take to get all my fruits and veggies in.

That world doesn’t exist yet, so I’m stuck in the one that tries to make me feel guilty when I just need some waffle fries.

I just finished my second round of the 21 Day Fix and I’m still alive. I followed the meal plan about 80/85% of the time. Our anniversary fell on one Sunday and we did the Melting Pot.

Here’s a super quick review on it.

Pros:
I feel great. Endorphins do make you happy (and happy people just don’t kill their husbands).

-I did loose a little baby weight…like a whole five pounds. High fives all around!
-I feel stronger.
-I think you can tell a little in my face that I’ve lost some weight. If you can’t, don’t you dare tell me otherwise. I’ve also noticed my “Emily Pouch” has gone down. If you’re a mom, you’ll get this. If not. Shut your beautiful face.
-It’s gotten me back into cooking at home way more. Throughout the three weeks I had dinner out three times, and if I did have lunch out it was a salad. Had Chic fila once, I’m not a monster.
-When I’m done with the fix I am more conscious of what I’m eating and what would go into the containers.

Ok. Now the bad parts.

Cons:
-Working out every day is really hard. BUT! I’m proud that I only missed one work out.

-Keeping to the containers suck.
-I AM ALWAYS HUNGRY NO MATTER HOW MUCH OR WHAT I EAT. To help with this I ate more protein during the day, aka the red containers.

This time around I did get the Shakeology, so here’s info about that:

-It does taste good. Even on it’s own, it isn’t terrible.
My go to “recipe” was Almond milk, water, a banana, and some peanut butter
-It was not a meal replacement for me. Not eeeeeeeven close. I was full for about two hours, maybe. Maybe.
-It seems a little expensive to me.
-Having done the Fix with and without it, I would say if you can do it, go for it because it helps you loose weight faster.
-It’s supposed to “curb cravings” but I honestly felt like it increased some. Like chocolate, which is weird because it I did the chocolate flavor.

All in all, if you’ve been thinking about giving it a try, I would.

Here’s my whole thing though on this living healthy.

I’m just not interested.
Doesn’t mean I won’t. But I won’t to this extent.

Because like I’ve said before. I will not, I will not live in a world without butter, bacon, chocolate and wine.

I’m cheering all you heath nuts on. You Whole Foods dinner gals and guys. I’m envious that that little box of food fills you up. But listen. Mamas gatta eat.

So while yes, I realize I’m not in high school anymore and can eat what I want, I’ll do my best to eat well. But I won’t ever say no when you ask me to go pig out with you somewhere either.

Have you ever done the Fix? What’s your eating healthy tips?

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