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You’re Gonna Miss This

Youre going to miss thisMy husband and I have a running joke in our household. Whenever the kids are driving us crazy or they do something that makes us so mad we can’t stand it, one of us will say to the other,

“You’re gonna miss this.”

More often, we sing it in our best Trace Adkins impersonation. The other one of us will roll our eyes or give a loving hand gesture to the singer. We both end up laughing or at the very least, less angry.

It’s not that we don’t believe that we’re going to miss our children being this young. In truth, we truly do try to soak up these young years as much as we can. Bluebelle is starting school in the fall and I have genuinely cried over her starting several times over. These years have been the best years. This was my dream. It is my dream. I live my dream every day.

It’s just that sometimes we just get so stinking tired of hearing well-meaning women throw that phrase around. I’m sure it’s a very helpful reminder at times when you lose sight of what’s important, and there are times when that song pops in my head as a poignant and tender moment.

It’s just that I would venture to say that most of us mamas think about soaking up the moment as much as we can. We live in the world of perpetual guilt. Most of the time we feel the pressure to be morebut now we need to also treasure every mess and mistake?

I’m sorry, but that’s just crap.

Please stop trying to add to our guilt. We’re already aware of how fast time is flying, and we’re already tired and frustrated and needing a good night’s sleep. Plus now we have to feel like bad mothers because we’re not treasuring the completely unrolled and dampened toilet paper decorating our bathroom. I’m sorry, but sometimes a person just wants a clean house. Or to finish a project.

There’s nothing wrong with that. You don’t give up every ounce of your personal preference when you become a parent. If you forget to be you, then you really WILL want all of it back — because that will be your entire identity.

We’re aware that one day we will look back with fondness over these years. I already miss the sweet times I’ve had so far.

I just also want to be frustrated from time to time without being shamed over it.

Plus, if you really miss all those moments, I invite you to come over and clean my house. You’re always welcome. :)

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Rollin’ Down the Bayou

I’m enjoying a quiet morning to myself while my family sleeps in. We’re on day 3 of our vacation, and so far we have eaten gumbo, po’ boys, fried crawfish, crawfish au gratin, broiled crawfish, étouffée, crawfish and meat pies, oysters, alligator, and pretty much the entire state of Louisiana. We may swing by Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans on our drive out of here because obviously we haven’t eaten enough. 

There’s a charm to southern Louisiana that I never expected to love. Sure, the mosquitoes are Jurassic Park-sized, and um, alligators, but the people are friendly and obliging. The accents are charming. Everything is so… swampy, but in a gorgeous way.

Louisiana Bayou (8 of 9) Louisiana Bayou (4 of 9)

We’re visiting my cousin and his beautiful wife for the weekend as we travel east for some fun in the sun. Clayton and Angel have been the epitome of hospitality and their beds have pretty much ruined me for life. (Y’all, Tempur-pedic is where it’s AT.) They’ve spoiled the kids outrageously and didn’t even blink an eye as they terrorized their house.

Okay, the kids have been pretty stinking good.

On Saturday, they took us on a swamp tour in the bayou. I think. The guide told us the difference but I was so focused on my kids not falling out the boat or getting their fingers chopped off that I was a little unfocused.

Louisiana Bayou (3 of 9)

See those fingers? It’s a miracle they’re still on there.

We saw turtles, wood ducks, great blue herons, red headed woodpeckers, water chickens, alligators, and other animals I can’t remember. It was gorgeous.

Louisiana Bayou (9 of 9) Louisiana Bayou (6 of 9) Louisiana Bayou (7 of 9)

Gorgeous.

The kids also were treated to a “let’s go to Toys R Us and you can pick out whatever you want” trip. I told you, outrageously and lovingly spoiled. We also learned that when Bluebelle tells us that she wants us to buy fireworks, she doesn’t mean sparklers and kid-appropriate little things. She means, “Hey, let’s buy a show that will rival the professional ones at the Texas Rangers’ Ballpark.” (Being close to the fireworks are apparently quite traumatic.)

I’m just saying, she should be glad I didn’t buy any firecrackers.

Clayton also let them love all over his piano and guitar.  It has further convinced me that it’s time to get one for our house.

Louisiana Bayou (2 of 9) Louisiana Bayou (1 of 9)

 

 

Well, a smaller upright. We don’t have the space for one this size.

If I could adequately convey the feelings of happiness and love I have inside me right now, I would compose a novel. This has been an exhausting weekend for my body and a refreshing weekend for my spirit. It’s so easy to get lonely and lost when you’re alone a lot, and being an introvert, it’s too easy for me to hole up and forget that there’s a life passing me by outside.

There’s a balance to be found, between living life and soaking it up. It’s so good to be with people who push you and draw you out. I forget that I used to be a pretty vibrant and confident person. It’s still in there, somewhere, it’s just taking a little while to make itself known.

Thank you, my dear family, for the weekend I so desperately needed.

Now, on to the beignets!

 

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I try to eat well most of the time. Sometimes I fall off the wagon and drink Cokes, eat too much, and gobble sugar like it’s going out of style, but I try to eat cleanly for the most part.

I’ve been avoiding most carbs and sugar all week, but I thought that we would splurge a little this morning. (Okay, so I had buttermilk in the fridge that was going to go bad otherwise.) This is something the kids really enjoy and I think it’s pretty tasty! I created this recipe this morning based on some other recipes I’ve made in the past. I tweaked my basic buttermilk pancake recipe and this is tasty enough that if you have kids who don’t really like a syrup or anything, they can eat them dry. (I know, crazy thought, but my daughter is one of those kids who eats dry pancakes. I’m pretty close to it too.) If you’re used to eating a pancake mix and Aunt Jemima, this recipe will seem really clean. If you’re super healthy, then this will seem like a splurge. It’s all in the perspective. :)

This is my personal recipe, but feel free to tweak it to make it your own!

French Toast Pancakes

 

{Mostly clean} French Toast Pancakes

1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 t. Baking Powder
1/2 t. Baking Soda
1/2 t. Salt
1 T. Cinnamon (I like lots of cinnamon, plus I think mine’s losing it’s freshness. Use less to start if you’re concerned.)
1 1/2 c. Buttermilk (more or less to desired thickness)
1 egg
2 T. Butter, melted (could substitute coconut oil if desired)
1 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 c. Brown Sugar, packed (this is what makes it “not clean.” I’m not sure what you’d want to substitute here. Honey, maybe?)

Mostly Clean French Toast Pancakes (1 of 5)

I prefer to use my Pyrex dishes to make pancakes. If you would rather use bowls, that’s cool too. I just like how the large 4 cup Pyrex pours.

Put the dry ingredients (flour, salt, soda, powder, cinnamon) in your larger bowl and stir together. I don’t sift my flour, FYI. In the 2 cup measuring cup I put in my liquids as follows: buttermilk, then egg, butter, and vanilla. I like to lightly mix it up so the yolk from the egg is lightly pre-beaten.

Incorporate the liquids into the dry ingredients.

Mostly Clean French Toast Pancakes (3 of 5)

Stir just until very large lumps disappear. Add brown sugar and stir until all ingredients are incorporated. This is important: DO NOT OVERMIX. Batter should not be runny. If it is, the pancakes will be flat. I usually have teeny tiny dry clumps. That’s okay. If your batter is too thick, add more milk or buttermilk until it’s the consistency you enjoy. Just remember to stir it, not beat it. It’s not a Michael Jackson song.

Pour your batter onto a preheated medium heat skillet. The brown sugar and whole wheat combined will make for a darker pancake. Sugar BURNS. This is important to remember, because I cook these pancakes at a lower temp than I usually do and I let them rest a little longer on the skillet. I also turn them over when they are a little wetter than I do regular pancakes. I find my when my batter starts to look a little less glossy, it’s a good time to flip.

Mostly Clean French Toast Pancakes (4 of 5)

(This is about when I flip.)

This pancake does best on a non-stick surface like this ceramic one. You don’t want to be scraping burnt sugar off your skillet.

This yields enough pancakes for my family of 4. We usually get about 8 or so 6-7 inch pancakes. I tend to get bored and make several big pancakes rather than a lot of little ones. This isn’t a super sweet pancake, but it has a little something to it. It’s also a little dense like French Toast. It tastes so much like it and it’s delicious!

I like to serve it with real butter and 100% pure maple syrup.

Mostly Clean French Toast Pancakes (5 of 5)

Life’s too short for bad syrup.

If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own by mixing one tablespoon vinegar per every cup of milk. You can also just try it with regular milk, but you need to pay extra attention to the thickness of the batter if you do that. Whole wheat takes more liquid, but you can just play around until you make it how you want!

Once you learn the basic recipes, you’ll find it’s just as fast to make from scratch meals and you KNOW what you’re putting in your kids’ bodies! For example, if you leave out the cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla, (and reduce the buttermilk a little), that’s a basic pancake recipe that I use every single time I make pancakes. If you use regular all-purpose flour, increase it to 1 1/8 to 1 1/4 cup.

If you try this, let me know what you think!

Have a good weekend!

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