Somehow, we are there now

Something happened last night that I can hardly believe. Opie had his first sleep over at a friend’s house. 

We spent yesterday evening at our neighbors house swimming and grilling out. They have a couple boys who are a little older than Opie and Opie LOVES them, he calls them “his boys”. They are so good to him. They are kind and patient with him and he wants to be just like them. He must have told me three seperate times yesterday “I’m so happy!” While we were there. He was invited ahead of time to have a sleepover and to have breakfast in the morning with them. I’m pretty picky about who I trust to keep my kids without me there, but obviously my neighbors are amazing and I trust them completely, so I said of course!

As I left him there to walk back home last night, I checked with him to make sure he still wanted to stay over there and he said ” Yes! Mama, I know you’ll be sad without me home.. But you’ll be ok!” It was so funny. He then added “I really like you mama” and sent me on my way ha!


In the back of my mind I thought Opie might panic before going to bed or get homesick and want to come home at 2am so I made sure to have my phone on loud and right by my face all night. But the phone never rang. 


I text my friend Jen in the morning checking on them and she sent a picture of all the boys playing on their sleeping bags. He had a blast. So it looks like we are officially moving into that stage with him. I don’t know how it’s possible that we are there, but I think this is going to be such a fun season of life. Some of my favorite memories from growing up are the ones from sleepovers at my best friend’s house. We stayed up too late, acted weird and had the best time– I want all that and more for Opie and it seems like that’s exactly what happened for him last night. My heart is full and I’m so grateful for the friendships in our lives that make it possible. 

Leaping

On Saturday I turned 27. Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what 26 looked like.This last year was a big one for our family. We added sweet baby Juniper to our lives, bought a house and Michael graduated from the qualification course to begin his new job within the military. Opie graduated from Occupational therapy AND speech therapy. We added two dogs to our household and a few chickens to our yard. Michael was gone a lot for work, so I figured out how to run our house in his absence and I gained a new confidence in our marriage. Even though he may be far away, we can be just as close and still in love as we are when he is home.

26 was full of love and adapting. I am so grateful for what my year of being 26 looked like. However, now that I’m starting a new year, I want to look towards the future.

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I’m sure that for our family, this will be another big year. Opie will start soccer soon. Then after that is over, he will be doing flag football. Karate too. We have already started doing Pre-K schoolwork at home, and he loves it. Juniper will be walking any day and will be saying more and more words. Michael will be gone for work… A lot. As for me, this year will be HUGE.¬†

I recently started re-working the blog. If you follow it, you can see what I mean. I’m going to try to post more often about more things than my family. I want to post more about eating, cooking and shopping gluten free. I get so many messages asking for help from a family member or friend of someone who was recently diagnosed with Celiacs, but has no idea how to even begin with changing to a gluten free lifestyle. I want to help. It was daunting when we got Opie’s diagnosis. Who knew our soy sauce, taco seasoning or oatmeal had gluten? I sure didn’t. I’m hoping other people can learn from my trials and errors– Especially when it comes to cooking.

I’m still going to post family updates and posts about motherhood etc, but I specifically want to build up the ‘gluten free’ section of the blog.

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TODAY I opened an etsy shop to sell my paintings. For a long time now, I have been painting water color paintings. I have a million more updates to do to the shop, listings of paintings to add, etc.. but I took the first step and I’m excited about it. I’m going to be adding oil paintings soon as well. Here is the link: Oilandwaterstudio

 

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What made me decided to start selling them is that I need help funding the next bit of news I want to share…

drumroll…

I applied to yoga teacher training! I am nervous even just typing this out and sharing it here. It has been such a dream of mine to become a yoga instructor. I haven’t even shared that dream with more than a handful of friends until recently out of fear that it wouldn’t come true. I find out this week at a sit down with the coordinator if I am officially accepted (and more details about it), but what I do know is it starts January 28th, 2017 and that I can’t wait to start that journey (if I am accepted). I am jumping, no LEAPING out of my comfort zone this year.

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I hope that I am successful in all that I am attempting and reaching for this year, and I hope that my kids see that chasing their dreams is always worth the effort. I don’t know exactly how I will work out every detail yet, but I know that I need to try as hard as I can, and hopefully everything will fall into place how it is supposed to. It always does.

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Good news!

Yesterday Opie had his weigh in. I was so nervous and starting to prepare myself for hearing that he had lost more weight. However, he hadn’t lost any weight.. Instead, he gained 7 ounces!! I was so happy I almost cried! The shakes are working. I can’t wait to see how much he has gained at his next appointment with his dietician. We are able to go back to having his appointments be spaced a month apart again instead of just a few weeks, which is great. Thank you for all the prayers, I can’t tell you how relieved I am.
Here are a few pictures from the last couple days. Again, they uploaded out of order. Sorry!

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Also, the Indian butter chicken, that I served over rice (not pictured) was amazing. Opie even ate a few bites!

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I made some gf naan to go with it which Michael keeps saying I need to make often

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Tonight is gyros. I LOVE gyros but it’s one of those things that has to be made at home to be gf. If I ever find a place that makes them with a gf pita/flat bread, and in a cross-contamination free environment, I will become their number one customer. Until then, making them myself will work. I could use the naan from Monday and save myself some time, but I really want to try making homemade pita bread to see how it turns out. If it’s good, I’ll start making double batches to freeze and use for “sandwiches”… and also so I can eat a gyro everyday for lunch. I have a problem.

January’s (gluten free) menu

One of the questions I get asked the most about being gluten free is “what do you eat?!” I usually just say, “what ever I want!” Being gluten free isn’t a sentence to eat only kale and boiled chicken (… Although we would all be very trim if we did that). If anything it has pushed me to be more creative with adapting recipes and to make better food for my family. Giving up gluten is just that: giving up gluten. You don’t need to give up your favorite food or things that taste amazing. Everything DOES need to be made from scratch though, which takes some planning and time obviously.
I used to share my monthly meal plans on the blog, then one month I forgot. Then I forgot every month for… Over a year, at least. However, I’m going to start posting them again because I think it’s a great way to share “what we eat”.
If you don’t meal plan, I highly recommend it. It makes grocery shopping easier and it makes my day to day easier too. Instead of walking to the pantry around lunch time and trying to figure out what ingredients I have to try to make something for dinner, I can just look at the calendar and pull out the ingredients I know I already purchased since it was all on the list. Plus, if you’re gf, you know that the ingredients are expensive. Shopping with a meal plan decreases the amount of ingredients, therefore money, wasted. I get that not everyone has the luxury of time to sit for an hour and meal plan, but for me it is a necessity. So if you don’t have time, feel free to copy some of mine, or all of it. I do mine at the top of each month, but you can also do it weekly if that’s better for you.
In addition to sharing my monthly meal plan, I would be happy to share any recipes that you want. Just comment which one you’d like to try, and I’ll add it to my “to blog” list, and get that typed up as fast as possible. Most of my recipes are handwritten in a spiral notebook that’s 10 years old. I need to redo it, but that’s for another day.
Anyways, here is this month’s menu!
I’m sorry if my sloppy handwriting is too hard to read, just let me know which day(s) aren’t readable, and I’ll let you know what it says.

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