adoption option: my paper pregnancy

this is a real thing. because the internet tells me so. and i’m living it. i originally read this term the other day on an instagram post, and i think it’s absolutely perfect: ‘paper pregnancy’. that’s exactly what it is… this time, before the baby comes where we are preparing, planning, dreaming, and imagining our life as our new family. we are anxiously anticipating his or her arrival; wondering what he/she will look like, what they will feel like, smell like, and how we will be as parents. i am growing, although not physically, through this process, and it is preparing us for the birth of our child! through the endless amounts of paperwork, we have no choice but to ponder the deep, deep inner workings of our marriage, faith, growing up years, and future. i just finished an essay on myself, who and why i am who i am, and where i see myself in ten years. oof. my. brain. hurts. but in the best way.

yes. overwhelming. for sure. but so. so. SO. gloriously worth it. i can’t wait. i’m just excited today. that’s all this post is. just excitement. nothing new to learn. no ground breaking revelations. just……joy. :)

thank you for being excited with us!! whoop! also: let’s think of a name to call this little guy/gal, shall we? here are my front runners:

baby berg

baby plerg

bb (baby berg) 

super original…i know….any suggestions? this is important people! he/she needs a hashtag! :)

 

 

adoption option: help wanted

so far, the trickiest part of adoption has been that we don’t know when the baby will actually arrive. we can see it coming in the distance, but we have no idea when it will get here. more on that later, but for now we need your help! because we don’t know exactly when the baby will arrive, or what the gender will be, we are having trouble preparing…i don’t know when to start buying things…so far i have yet to buy one single baby item..i have a small fear of having a nursery totally ready and then it sitting empty for a long time…..but i have decided that i at least need to start doing some research, so when our home study is complete i can start more seriously considering making purchases.

just so you know, it is 100% possible to lose yourself in “gender neutral nursery” on pinterest for the better part of one whole day. i currently find myself elbow-deep in nursery colors, cribs, diaper bags, moby wraps, parenting books, and hair care websites…..and i’m starting to LOSE MY FREAKING MIND! i have fallen so deep down the rabbit hole, alice, that i can’t seem to get back to reality! so here’s where i need you: (insert weak sob, here)  “heeeeelp……”

what do you guys recommend? what do i need? and what do i need right away? what can wait? what will i regret having and not having? best strollers? car seats? diaper bags? any hair care products i will need right away for african american baby hair? is that a thing?…how about good reads? baby wise? pacifiers? cribs? crib mats? monitors? any books, items, etc we should know/need as adoptive first time parents? i mean really, the list goes on, but i find myself getting overwhelmed so i’m gonna stop…..

thank you for helping me narrow down the, apparently endless, array of options. whoever has the corner on this, “everything you need for baby,” market is a freaking genius!

this is a little more dramatic than i actually feel, but i thought it was funny!  (courtesy of pinterest)

this is a little more dramatic than i actually feel, but i thought it was funny!
(courtesy of pinterest)

 

adoption option: christianity was made for mothers

i was planning today to write more about our paperwork and how things are progressing with the adoption process, but i find  myself feverishly typing this post instead. i have been so emotional lately regarding our adoption, and i want to document all of my feelings because…it helps me sort through it.

i know i’m not pregnant. i know that. however, lately, i find myself, for all intents and purposes, feeling emotionally pregnant. i find myself thinking about the baby constantly, and thus thinking of myself as a mother constantly too. everything, and i mean everything makes me tear up.. a song on the radio, blog posts of adoptive mothers, birth mom stories, those sarah mclachlan pet commercials, any song with minor chord progression……it kinda sucks, truthfully! it’s like i feel a rush of excitement, nervousness, anxiety, impatience, and sheer terror all at the same time and my only response lately is to cry about it! 

quite honestly though, i think i have been having a lot of fear. it’s very very real now that we could have a baby soon, and i am all of a sudden having an overwhelming feeling of “what if i can’t do this…” i’m sure all mothers feel this way at some point..(if not, lie to me, people. i’m fragile..)  but it’s really scary to feel this way! here are a list of my current fears, in no particular order:

*what if they cry and i don’t know what to do

*what if they are sick i don’t realize it

*what if they choke and i can’t help them

*what if i forget to buckle them in the car seat

*what if they don’t like me

*what if they think i’m a bad mom

*what if i can’t handle this

i have lots of mommy friends and we have been having lots of conversations lately about the nearness of me and motherhood.  i find myself clinging to every word they speak. searching each conversation for bits of knowledge and advice. anything i can cling to and take into mommyhood with me. i think because we have waited so long (like, almost a decade!) to have kids, we have been mentally and emotionally preparing for this day for a long time. it’s given us a loooooong time to think about what kinds of parents we will be and want to be, and we are very aware of how hard some days can be for parents. the advice has been great, but its interesting: the overwhelming theme from every parent we have spoken to has been 1) you won’t do everything right and 2) you will never be enough for your child

and this is why i am fairly confident that Christianity was made for mothers (and fathers, i suppose :) ).  i will never be everything my child needs. i can’t be. the same way paul can’t be everything i need, or my parents, my career, or even my children. the only thing that can absolutely fill the “everything” hole, is my faith. and because of this, i find myself clinging to Jesus with both fists.

the crazy thing is, i already have this desperation for my child to feel this way too. to have a desire to hold so tightly to their faith and never let go. i want to make sure i teach them and train them and show them how to love Jesus. however,  i understand better now why my parents took us to church each sunday. why they modeled a Godly life, and why they made Jesus so important. yes, they wanted us to have a deep faith, but i realize now their passion was also an overflow of their necessity.  i want to foster a deep faith out of love and thankfulness, of course, but also, i am realizing even now, there is no better, and really no other, option as a parent, than to cling to Jesus. and i am so grateful for that.

so there it is. i clearly don’t know everything on anything so any sage advice and/or wisdom is always appreciated.

marinated portobello fajitas

pauly and i just got back from a glorious weekend up north! it was so relaxing and refreshing. however, after a long weekend of eating diner food, popcorn, swedish fish, and peanut butter cups (also: have you tried the easter eggs?! my personal fav.), we are in NEED of some good-and-good-for-ya dinner.

i asked pauly what sounded good to him for this week and he immediately said “those veggie fajitas”. now hear me out, we are not big ‘shroom lovers in the plerg household…but these puppies are TO DIE FOR. there’s just something about the marinade….and the grilling….and the garlic….okay gotta post this quick so i can go chow down!

the original recipe hails from “forks over knives, the cookbook,”  however i made a few changes in the seasonings for mine. sidenote: if you have not seen “forks over knives” the documentary, i HIGHLY recommend it. it’s what got pauly on the path of righteouness-healthy eating… and the cookbook is amazing! it makes cooking, eating, and living healthy so doable!  here is the official website so you can check them out for yourself!

okay, enjoy! ::said through a mouthful of fajita::

ingredients:

marinated portobellos:

4 large portobella mushrooms, rinsed of any dirt and stemmed

3 (generous) Tbs soy sauce

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

3 Tbs brown rice syrup, honey, maple syrup…any sweetener

1 Tbs grated fresh ginger

veggie fajitas:

1 package of corn tortillas, or whatever are your favorite

1 large red onion, sliced

1 large red pepper, julienned

1-2 jalepenos

2 Tbs fresh lime juice

1tsp chili powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 tsp oregano

olive oil

salt and pepper

cilantro, garnish

vegan sour cream, garnish

shredded spinach, garnish

salsa, garnish

how to:

start with the marinade for the mushrooms. combine all ingredients, except the mushrooms, in a bowl and whisk to combine. place the mushrooms in a large plastic bag and pour in the marinade. refridgerate for at least an hour.

meanwhile, in a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add a little olive oil and saute the onions and red peppers about 5 minutes or until they start to soften. add in the jalepenos, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. stir to combine. squeeze the fresh limes juice over the top and mix.

on a grill, grill pan, or even on a hot skillet, grill the portobellas about 5 minutes per side. remove from the heat, slice into thin strips and add to the fajita veggie mix.

heat the tortillas in the microwave or oven until soft and warm, then fill with the fajita mix and top with your favorite toppings! i served mine with a rice and quinoa combo from costco!

this is so simple and so delicious! and it makes 6-8 large tacos!

 

 

 

 

ooooo la la

as you may have noticed, my blog has a new ‘do!   thanks to the TREMENDOUS and GENEROUS talents of my brother-in-law kyle and my dear friend megan, treasure & heart got a facelift! what do you think?? personally, i love it…. i may be biased though…. :)

so BE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE NOW! i cannot guarantee that all my followers were transferred over to this site, so be sure to subscribe and stay up to date on all things, house, food, daily life, and adoption in plergville!!

and i really can’t say a big enough thank you to kyle and megan. they worked HOURS on this for me out of the pure gold that lines their lion sized hearts. it is a huge blessing to me and i am so so grateful.

happy hump day people! i’m heading out to enjoy this AWESOME SUNSHINE!! (by sitting at starbucks….but close to a window! that counts as the great outdoors in my book…and let’s get real: it’s like mid 30’s outside…)

 

garlic butter mashed cauliflower

there are few things i love more in life than potatoes. sad. but true. french fries, baked, mashed….doesn’t matter. it’s comfort food at it’s finest.

when i first heard of this mashed cauliflower thing i hated it because it seemed sacrilegious to compare cauliflower to potatoes…  however, after discovering that cauliflower is much lower in carbs, and doesn’t spike your glycemic index–meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar like white potatoes, it seemed worth trying.. FYI: it also has more calcium, B2, and vitamins K & C than potatoes.  but really, who gives two rips about any of that if it doesn’t taste good?!

and that’s the best part, my dear friends. the very best part of this whole thing is that these taste as good as real mashed potatoes.  i swear. i would never lie about anything concerning potatoes. oh, and it’s inSANEly easy. hashtag: boom.

try it for yourself! i guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised!

ingredients: 

this serves 4-6 people easily. 

2 heads of cauliflower, core removed and chopped

3-4 cloves of garlic (or more! or less!)

2-3 Tbs butter or earth balance, or more/less to taste

almond milk (or whatever milk you use), to taste/desired consistency–i add a splash at a time to make sure it’s not too much

salt and pepper, to taste

how to: 

i use a steamer to soften the cauliflower. you can do this with a stove top steamer, or even in the microwave by placing the cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl, adding a little water,  and covering with cling wrap. any way you do it, heat until the cauliflower is fork tender.

once tender, place cauliflower in a food processor or blender and add the butter, garlic, and milk. blend until the mixture is creamy and smooth, adding more milk if needed. taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

*side note: my food processor isn’t that big so i had to do this in batches…just in case it happens to you….solidarity.. and also remember to then adjust your measurements. so don’t add 3-4 Tbs of butter to each batch. and don’t salt and pepper each batch….that’s why i recommend to add salt/pepper at the end. you don’t want these too buttery or salty….or maybe you do! *

of all the things you just need to trust me on and try, this is it.

very good! happy friday! enjoy!

buttery, creamy goodness

buttery, creamy goodness

buttery, creamy goodness

buttery, creamy goodness

 

 

blurred lines

so, although ‘mount paperwork’ still looms in the background, (or maybe i should say, because ‘mount paperwork’ looms in the background..) i have been doing a bunch of fun things in life ie: procrastinating! i got a manicure, finished up some decorating around the house, had friends over for dinner, and met girlfriends for lunch on saturday.  (side note: we ate at the world street kitchen and it was cuuuuuuhhhhh—razy delish. i tried their ‘bangkok burrito’ and it is, as my friend lury says, ‘the stuff dreams are made of..’ great atmosphere, awesome menu, friendly staff…if you’ve never been, i highly recommend you get on that.)

anyway, while we were waiting for our food to come, we started talking about very typical girly things…the first of which was weight/how we feel about how we look. it was the usual “ugh..i’m having one of those days…i just feel blah…” followed by a chorus of “me too’s”, “totally’s”, and “you look great. i need a major makeover!”

i’ve been thinking about the ideas of body image and self esteem a lot since then…this self destructive talk is really so ingrained in (especially) women, and it’s starting to make me sad…mostly because there are very few moments it seems, for most women, where we are really loving ourselves.

the other day i took out my contacts before bed, and for a few seconds while my vision was blurry i just stared at myself in the mirror. staring, or should i say scrutinizing, myself in the mirror is fairly common place (unfortunately), but this time was different. without my contacts i couldn’t see every line, bump, or stretch mark. i couldn’t make out my crooked front tooth, lower belly pooch that needs toning, eyebrows that need tweezing, and roots that badly need touching up.  all i could see was the fuzzy outline of my body, and in that moment i thought “hmmm. it’s not that bad…” and this was huge for me. (sad to say that’s considered a really nice thing i say about myself..). as hard as it is to admit, even in my most dolled up, glamorous moments (of which there are few!), i can still only see my flaws. and so much of what i do to myself in terms of workouts, diet, highlighting, waxing, tweezing, plucking, dressing up, and making up is not because i love who i am, but rather because i don’t. i am doing all this work to try to make the world deem me ‘acceptable’, but the reality is even if the world does, i don’t. i’m starting to recognize the reasons behind some of my choices, and it scares me a little.

thinking about going into motherhood, and especially thinking about having girls, i want so badly for my children to not just feel loved and accepted from us, but also to love and accept themselves. how do i teach that? how do i instill values into my kids when i don’t show i value the same things? i don’t have all the answers….it’s just kinda got me thinking…. and don’t worry, i am not walking around self hating all the time….at least no more than the average girl :)

my friend laura has made it a point in life to always let girls know when they look nice, have a cute outfit on, or have a bright smile. even if they are total strangers. i’ve been thinking about starting to do this too. how nice would it be if we women started lifting each other up, encouraging each other, and started taking a little of that pressure off?? the reality is no one is judging me as harshly as i am judging myself. everyone else is seeing me, at least partially, with blurry vision.  (thank you God!) :)

any good advice or thoughts on this? how have you taught your kids about self acceptance/positive self esteem?