No place like home for the Holidays


I absolutely love my husband… To me he is the best husband on this planet. Being married to an oil guy means you have absolutely no set schedule. You live according to an “oil schedule” Which is just fine with me. I miss him when he’s gone, but our love is stronger than distance.

My husband was supposed to be home a week and a half before Thanksgiving… That didn’t work out… He got home on Thanksgiving day. We decided to have Thanksgiving with our third child, who lives close, on Sunday… We watched football and relaxed, on Thanksgiving. 🦃

I had this feeling that he wasn’t going to be able to be home when he thought he would be. I decided that I was going to decorate the whole house… Mind you we have 4100 ft.²… For Christmas, before he came home.

I usually have a rule that I don’t start putting any Christmas decorations up until Thanksgiving is over… I love Thanksgiving, it’s one of my favorite holidays and I don’t like to dismiss it, by having Christmas stuff up. This year I made an exception!

I wanted to make sure, that if my husband didn’t make it home for Christmas… That he still got to enjoy Christmas in our home. I absolutely positively love decorating… Very few people know this about me, but my background is interior design.…Even though I chose not to pursue it professionally, after college.

I love designing and decorating my own home. The holidays to me are like an empty canvas and I get to paint with passion and love. I go all out. This year was no exception. In fact this year I went above and beyond what I have done for the last five years combined.

I put a 7 foot plus tree in our sitting room… And I decorated it with all little white lights and lots of gold, silver with angels, beautiful ribbon etc. the rest of the room was decorated the same.

I did the lights down the staircase with Garland swags and bows… In our office I did our sports Christmas tree!  Each room in the house has a different theme.

Our family room and kitchen I put our family Christmas tree… And that was decorated with the ornaments that we’ve collected over the years from our children and family ornaments. Multicolored lights on the tree & fireplace.The fireplace has the garland and the stockings 

I must admit when I was all done, even though it was a lot of work, I loved it. I loved it even more when Mark walk through the door and I could see by the smile on his face, and that twinkle in his eyes how much he loved it!

As I said at the beginning of this blog my hubby is awesome. Doing things like this for him makes me happy.  He not only is an awesome husband… He is an amazing stepfather… He’s actually their dad. Peyton and my older kids all absolutely adore him.

Peyton helped me decorate the whole house… He loves the lights part,  which is so awesome for me because I get so frustrated when the light to get all tangled up! He has the patience of a saint.  😂🎄

In fact Peyton  even wrote a blog about why he loves Christmas lights so much! https://teamawesomism.com/merry-awesomism-christmas/

My hubby works very hard… He never complains… So making his Holidays a little bit better by having the house cozy, loving and festive is the least I can do. My goal was to have Mark feel ” There is no place home for the Holidays” I think I achieved that! I know he felt the love In every Christmas decoration! ❤️🎄❤️

Red-Angry Blue-Sad

We are so honored to have an amazing blogger as our guest blogger this week! She’s an amazing mom… Who openly discusses her life. My hope is that after you read her blog… You come away with the same emotions/thoughts  that I did.. we need more mental health help!!! People need to stop talking and start doing.. this is not a political issue, this is a human issue! Please check out her other blogs here http://thoughtswithn.blogspot.com/

Also, We have her books for sale on our website https://teamawesomism.com/

 

I remember the day that I saw a piece of work completed by my oldest son. He was 6 at the time. His class was learning about emotions, and had them associated with colors. The piece of paper asked them to identify the 2 emotions they most commonly feel, and draw it in the associated color. His was Red – Angry, and Blue- Sad.

 

I remember the tears that sprung to my eyes. The feeling of failure I felt. My little boy was always angry at this point.

 

I had always struggled with him, since the beginning, but now it was at a new high. The Police were now involved, as he had begun threatening his baby sister.

 

Oh, and I was 6 months pregnant. I had high blood pressure, so I was supposed to be relaxing.

 

There, in front of me lay the evidence of the state of my sons mental health. He was so angry, and so sad. He didn`t know what to say, or how to say it, so his anger dragged on, day after day.

 

This was such a hard time for all of us. I have scars on me from his intense temper, and I am pretty sure my daughter is emotionally scarred.

 

Despite struggling for so many years, and trying to get him help, I had failed. The counsellor agreed that this paper was slightly alarming for a little boy, and sent off the papers for a Psychiatric Assessment.

 

We waited.

 

We waited.

 

Months and months went by. While my son struggled.

 

So many days I just wanted to run away and disappear. I questioned my capabilities of being a mother. I questioned how I was going to raise another boy. I have never in my life felt so lost as what I did at this time.

 

To be honest, I am not even sure how we all made it through. Maybe it is just the power of love. I one day told my son very clearly, I know you are angry, and I will be here whenever you are ready to talk, but there is not anything you can do to me to make me stop loving you, or to make me give up on you. You are my son.

 

We got the call for the assessment a year after the referral was placed. A YEAR. A family in a crisis situation, and such a sad and confused little boy.

 

We declined the assessment at this point, because he had already been through three and he was tired of doing it. No one saw what we saw. His intense temper. His neediness for everything to be a very specific way. His amazing abilities with numbers, and recognizing patterns. No one saw it. They always just told us, he is a very bright boy.

 

I decided, rather than trying to change him, I was going to accept him. Accept him exactly how he is.

 

He is almost 8 now. I can`t believe so much time has passed since my feelings of hopelessness. He is in Grade 2 and an intense math whiz. He still struggles with his temper, but he is far less violent.

 

Now he talks to me. He tells me what is wrong. Then we can figure out how to fix it.

 

You may not always be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I sure didn`t when I was locked in my room, trying to protect the baby in my belly, and my 1 year old daughter. I could not see any light in my life what so ever. I wanted to run away.

 

The light is there. It will shine.

 

Love

N 💜

Homemade jalapeño chicken pot pie

About  a month ago my brother-in-law gave us some amazing  homegrown jalapeño peppers. I’ve never been a big fan of jalapeño peppers… But these were so good, I couldn’t eat enough of them.

Mark used most of them to make some amazing stuffed peppers … But I put three large ones of them in the freezer.

We’ve had our first real cold snap here in Houston… So I was thinking tonight of something that I could make that would warm us up… Wow we decorated for Christmas.

We have Christmas music on in the background… Waiting for the next football game to come on and I just really felt like having a really cozy dinner. Peyton loves chicken pot pie,so I thought why not try my own recipe from scratch.

Being as my house is all torn apart because we’re decorating… I wanted to make something quick and easy. This is a great recipe for the holiday season… Because as you get so busy you can quickly still prepare a meal. Turkey can also be substituted for chicken.

As with all my recipes… Please make sure that you don’t have any food allergies, and that your food is fresh and make sure it’s thoroughly cooked… Basically all the disclaimers!

While you’re waiting for this to be baked… Please head over and check out Peyton’s business! https://teamawesomism.com/

Would love any and all feedback! Have an awesome day… Thanks so much for reading… Remember sharing is caring 🤗

Ingredients:

-1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
-1 1/3 cup cut-up cooked chicken..
– 3 large finely chopped  jalapeño peppers
-1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
-1 can (10.5 oz) condensed cream of jalapeño soup
-1 cup Biscuit mix
-1/3 cup milk
– 1/2 cup shredded cheese
– 1 egg

Directions:

Heat oven to 400ºF. Mix vegetables,jalapeño  peppers,onion, chicken and soup in ungreased 9-inch glass pie plate or casserole dish
Stir together remaining ingredients with fork until blended. Additional milk can be added if too dry. Pour into pan.
Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown.

The Holland Lighthouse

When I was growing up my parents had a summer home in Holland, Michigan. Although I must admit, we always called it a cottage. even though  it was definitely bigger than a cottage.

I love Holland, Michigan. The highlight of my year was always going up there for the summer. Our home was on the lake,we had a dock, a boat,paddle boat etc… There was so much to do.

I used to love it at night when we would have the windows open and the only sound we would hear was an occasional motorboat out on the lake. There was something very soothing about that to me. I also loved when the water was kind a rolling to the shore and you just hear it kind of hitting the beach.

My summers in Holland are some of my favorite memories from my childhood. I also loved it when my family would go up to the family cottage in Minocqua, Wisconsin. It was something very magical and safe and comforting about how it was.

Although, I was born and raised in a large city… Chicago, and I live in a large city… Houston… I truly do prefer smaller towns. I think I develop the love of them because of Holland, Michigan.

There’s something very soothing and comforting to me about small towns. I’ve not really lived in one per say since being an adult. I’ve lived in suburbs of large cities primarily. I do think I’d like to retire to a smaller town though.

I’m sure you’re probably wondering why I’m writing this in a  Sunday Soothing blog. The point of this blog is more about finding that comfort zone… You may not be in the situation at the time… Like I live in a big city now, but there is soothing comfort to me in the memories of being in Holland during the summer.

For me nothing represents Holland better than the lighthouse. I’ve always loved that lighthouse, there was just something so magical about it for me. To this day I smile every time I see a picture, think about it or look at the lighthouse statue, I have in my office. 

I purposely put the statue in my office so that when I do get really  stressed I can look at it. One of the things that I’ve really learned with my GAD… General anxiety disorder… Is when I’m starting to feel overwhelmed, I have to go to my comfort zone/happy place.

I have several comfort zone/happy places… And that’s good because sometimes somethings don’t destress me at the time, so I need other things.  Do you have comforting memories that bring you to your comfort zone? I’d love to hear about them.

This past week was a particularly tough week for me I had a lot going on. There are several really stressful situations I’m dealing with right now… So my comfort zone/happy places have been needed a lot this week.

I was trying to think about what I wanted to write in my Sunday soothing blog… I was sitting in the comfortable chair in my office, and I looked at my Holland lighthouse and realized how many times this week I looked at it and smiled. I knew then I needed to have my Soothing  Sunday blog… about the Holland lighthouse! 

Thanks so much to Terry Potter for allowing me to use this awesome picture of the Lighthouse… please check out her amazing photography on Flipboard https://flipboard.com/@TPorter2

As always thanks so much for reading my blog and your support!

Check out Peyton’s website for more comfort zones/happyplaces. https://teamawesomism.com/

 

 

Our Version of Meatloaf

We love meatloaf… Especially in the fall and winter. Meatloaf is one of those comfort foods for me. This may not be the healthiest meatloaf recipe… But I absolutely love it.

I’ve experimented a lot over the years with meatloaf… My four kids all have very different taste when it comes to food. This one was one that pretty much satisfied all four of them.

This May not be the typical version of “meatloaf” but I think you’ll agree it’s close enough… The flavor is so good, that it really doesn’t matter if it comes out not exactly looking like meatloaf!

As with all my recipes please check for food allergies,as well as make sure that your ingredients are fresh and cooked properly.

1 1/4 pound lean ground beef

1/2 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese

One egg

1/4 cup ketchup

1 teaspoon steak sauce

1/4 cup chopped green pepper

1/4 chopped red onion

1 cup bread crumbs

Mix all these ingredients together

Put in an ungreased loaf pan. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes

After 45 minutes take out and add Topping

Topping: 1/3 cup ketchup 1 tablespoon mustard 2 Tablespoons brown sugar

Spread the topping on top of the meatloaf… And bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. Make sure that you check to make sure that it is fully cooked before you take it out. Let sit for 5 minutes

Enjoy! As always thanks for reading my blog!  and please don’t forget to visit Peyton‘s blogs and website at https://teamawesomism.com/