Is There Life After "Mommy"?

As a devout members of the LDS faith (and yes, that makes me a Christian too) I am repeatedly exposed to...well, let's face it...cheesy music.

Music can be very powerful and moving and spiritually fulfilling. It is by far the most effective way the Spirit speaks to me. But when it comes to the majority of contemporary christian/LDS music...I can't help but cringe. It is so sticky sweet and predictable and just downright weird. (Are we praising God or making out with him?)

I'm sure the people who write and perform these songs have the best intentions. They are trying to express their testimonies and love of God and the Savior through music. My hat is off to them for even trying. I mean, really, how critical can I be? Have I ever written anything that remotely resembles music much less something that others find worthy of being broadcasted and performed publicly.

Still, I'd rather not listen to most of it.

For all my contempt for church music, there is one particular person who in my opinion has found the perfect balance between sweet and spiritual.

Janice Kapp Perry.

The other day my husband and I happened upon a television program about her. I had no idea how many of my favorite church songs could be attributed to her. She has written dozens of primary songs, hymns, and other musical arrangements that have become part of the LDS culture and faith.

And here is the kicker: She didn't even start until she was 40 years old! This is when she received her "two lucky breaks": a broken ankle and a broken television set. Before this she had been busy raising children and playing sports.

Hearing that someone like Janice Kapp Perry didn't even find her groove until she was 40 gives me a lot of hope. Sometimes I feel like I have lost myself in motherhood. I can't help but wonder who Evelyn is anymore? Don't get me wrong. I love being a mother. I really do. There's nothing more important and precious to me than raising these four children right now. But what happens when they grow up and leave, as I hope they will someday. And not because I want to be rid of them, but because I hope I did my job right and they are wonderful, capable people who are busy doing good things. Good things like making chubby little grandbabies for me to smooch.

I will always be a mom, but I won't always be busy wiping bums, cleaning up messes, and reading board books. Motherhood can be so dirty and grimy and tiring and micro-focused sometimes that it blinds me to life before or beyond it. I am more than mom...I think. I used to be at least and I have hope that someday I will be again.

I don't know what things I will accomplish beyond being a mom, but after learning that someone who has successfully spoken to my spirit through music didn't even start until after they had done their time potty training, helping with homework, and breaking up sibling brawls gives me the courage to go ahead and plan on accomplishing something monumental after I build the foundations of these little monuments-in-the-making here.

It's always nice to have a little hope on your side.


Three for Thursday: It is Thursday, isn't?

Last week, I patted myself on the back as I zipped off a Three for Thursday post just in the nick of time.

Only to have a dear friend gently break the news to me.

It was Wednesday.


Here is another Three for Thursday. And it is Thursday today, right? Right??

Three Facebook status updates from this week:
1. Pinterest. Just another media source that makes me feel like a pathetic mom.
2.‎ 75% of my children are in bed. 50% are crying. And I am 99.9% done. You do the math.
3. Elle is getting ready for dance class and putting on her "lady terd". Or leotard for all you non 3 year olds.

Three favorite holiday candies:
1. Candy corn at Halloween.
2. Hot lips (think cinnamon bears) at Valentine's. (This is a new favorite temptation.)
3. Chocolate any time of the year. We don't need no stinkin' holiday.

Three BIG plans for the future:
1. Traveling to the Yucatan Peninsula with my husband for our 10th wedding anniversary in 2013.
2. Running a marathon. I don't know when, but it's gonna happen before I die.
3. Harry Potter Land. I have to go. I just hafta.

Three things I say to my children that I ought to mind myself:
1. "You're whining. Go to bed."
2. "You've had enough candy. No more."
3. "That wasn't a very kind thing to say. Don't say it again."

Three things I want to buy with the Amazon gift certificates I got for Christmas (Which one? Which one?):
1. Books. Loads and piles and mountains of delicious books.
2. Willow Tree Nativity.
3. Zumba Exhilarate exercise program.

Three pictures:
Elle and her "lady terd". And boots. On the wrong feet.

A little preview of the birthday girl. Very truant dedicatory post to come.

Ahh. Boys. Of the 7 year old variety.


A Happy to Be Gluten Free Recipe {Semi-Homemade Chicken Stir-Fry}

One of my New Year's resolutions this year is to have dinner on the table every night for my family. I whined about it a few weeks ago. Since I got that off my chest I've been trying to be a little less whiny and a little more proactive. Because let's be honest, whining only gets you so far, right?

Up to this point I have been sticking with a lot of things we typically have for dinner, only adapting it as needed. I imagine I'll grow more adventurous as the year goes on. As I wander through this little learning curve I thought I might post some of the things I'm making for dinner. I am cooking for myself (a mom who is on a weight loss journey), a baby, a "normal" daughter (take that "normal" with a grain of salt, would you?), a daughter who has Celiac, and a son who is very allergic to dairy and just recently discovered might also be sensitive to wheat. He's not growing so we are experimenting with a gluten free diet for awhile to see if it will help him. Wish us luck!

The first meal plan in this series of "Happy to Be Gluten Free" (there's gotta be a silver lining here somewhere; maybe in the very back of the pantry...) is Semi-Homemade Chicken Stir-Fry.

This is one of the meals we have when Daddy's out of town. He's not the biggest fan of this dish. Something about all those green veggies and lean protein. But everyone else in the family LOVES this meal. Whenever I pull that stir-fry package out of the freezer the kids begin jumping up and down squealing with joy. Who knew veggies were something to get excited about? My kids are actually really good about eating their vegetables, but I think it's the prospect of soy sauce that makes this dinner so appealing to them. They LOVE their soy sauce.

Unfortunately soy sauce is rather infamous for not being gluten free. I'm still researching this one out and I haven't found a black and white answer yet. For now I am using this brand of soy sauce that I found at my local Winco. I have searched and searched over the ingredients list and cannot see anything on there about wheat or gluten. So I use it. So far, so good.

I'm just waiting for someone to leave me a comment saying it is NOT gluten free, but if that's the case, please, dear reader, direct me to a brand that is. And thanks ahead of time!

Semi-Homemade Chicken Stir-Fry

1 package of Broccoli Stir-Fry (find at your local friendly Walmart in the freezer section. Cost is less than $2 a package and they usually carry several varieties.)

1.5 cups uncooked rice
1 lb chicken breast, chopped into chunks (You could easily use beef or shrimp too.)
vegetable oil
soy sauce (gluten free!)

First things first, I start my rice cooking. It takes about 20 minutes to cook rice. The rest of dinner can be prepared in that time.

Heat a little oil in a skillet and cook the chicken. Pour a little soy sauce over the chicken as it's cooking.

Remove chicken from skillet. Add a little more oil if pan is dry. Turn up heat to medium high, make sure oil is hot, and stir-fry your veggies. Make sure to read the package directions, but this takes about 7 to 10 minutes.

Combine chicken and veggies in skillet and serve over rice.

Simple, easy, inexpensive, fast, healthy (around 350 calories per serving), gluten free, dairy free, and delicious. What's not to love? I realize I'm no Giada or Julia Childs, but this meal works for our family. Let me know if it works for your family too, won't you?


Related Posts with Thumbnails