Born This Way Season 2

For many and various reasons I thoroughly enjoyed  Born This Way, Season 1 on A&E. 

Born This Way is a document-drama that follows seven adults born with Down Syndrome and their families in Southern California. It shows an honest a humorous look at their lives. As a mom of young adults, I could relate to the struggles of the families in the series, at the same time realizing that there were even more complicated dynamics at play.

I’m delighted to see that season 2 will premiere tomorrow, Tuesday, July 26, at 10/9 Central on A&E. 

Enjoy the exclusive preview here! 

28 Easy Lunches For Busy Working Moms!

I admit, I am addicted to the convenience of fast food. BUT, I know better, so I work on doing better! Here are 28 great ideas for easy lunches for the busy, working mom!

This meal plan from Litehouse includes a shopping list and directions to prepare 7 healthy lunches in one day. I already do a ton of meal prepping on the weekend, thanks to PrepDish, so prepping these lunches will not add much more work than I am used to. And, my goodness, prepping ahead saves me so much time and money!

I always have a container of my Super Tuna Salad on hand! It is great on sandwiches and on its own. Plus, it makes my husband smile!

These 12 High Protein lunch ideas  keep me full, focused, and keep my hands out of the candy jar at work!

Try these Greek Chicken Lunch Bowls From Super Healthy Kids.

I am obsessed with these lunchbox ideas from Bless This Mess. 

You can get a lot more inspiration from my Pinterest lunch board!


Go Ahead and Eat Those Weeds

So, it is girl week in our house. That means a few things. It means that pajama time starts at approximately 5:15. Our Netflix queue has a decidedly juvenile female vibe, and I’m  crocheting like mad on this NDSU themed afghan for an upcoming charity event. 

cables, my new crochet trick!

AND, most importantly, the menu at our house has taken a rather (ahem), low-key turn. And sometimes it takes a low-key AND experimental turn. 

I’m going to preface this by admitting that I am NOT a gardener. At all. I dream of one day waking up to someone standing at my door offering to take over the yard–for free. I’m kind of an accidental gardener, in that I *think* I have a stalk of corn growing in my front garden patch. I did not plant it. One year we had accidental pumpkins. I ALWAYS have accidental purslane. Recently I learned that purslane is a trendy, healthy, vegetable. 

So, I decided to harvest some of my garden treasure. 

After washing and trimming it, I took my other treasure out of the fridge–my bacon fat jar! 

A little swish in my cast-iron fry pan. . .

In goes the purslane!

A few minutes later and dinner is served!

The verdict? The purslane has a nice, fresh flavor. The downside is that the very same property that makes purslane a great additive to soups and stews for its thickening properties also gives it a slightly slimy mouth-feel, similar to that of okra. For me, that is a game changer. (It could be that nothing can compete with a perfectly cooked steak). I think I may add some to my Italian Wedding Soup, or just serve the leaves in my next salad. I can’t beat the Omega 3s or the price!

Chime in! Have you harvested any surprises from your garden lately? Share in the comments! 

On Having It All Together

momsgotittogether If you run into a mom who claims to “have it all together” run away! Fast!

The truth is, none of us have it together.

Some of us may have part of it together, but not everything. For instance, breastfeeding was always really easy for me, so I breezed through that part of motherhood. But potty training? Kindergarten homework? Keeping up with laundry? Sending a kid off to basic training? Nope. I got through those with a little coffee and a whole lot of Jesus.

I’ve learned some “cheats” over the years. I rely heavily on “systems”.

I can usually keep about three plates spinning at a time, after that I start dropping plates.

As women, we have been told we can have it all. And, we kind of can–just not all at once!

And, I must say, a supportive husband is the reason that I am together as I am! He can “motivate” our kids in ways that I cannot. The things that stress me out (money? plumbing? getting the lawn mowed?) are totally not a big deal for him. Some would say that we are kind of a “Leave it to Beaver” couple, but I like it that way.

It is easier to feign having it together as your kids get a little older. With the youngest now being six-years-old, I rarely walk around with spit-up on my good work jacket anymore. Of course, once the kids are older, they can tattle, and take great joy in letting others know just how NOT together you are!

A good sense of humor and quick wit can carry you far.

A thick skin can take you even farther.

But, whatever stage you are in, hang in there. This battle is worthwhile. What you are doing is noble. And just remember, God’s got this!


Update and a Refocus

This little space has been neglected. Again.
And I forget how much I love this little corner of the web. 

I miss encouraging you moms.

So I am re-focusing, once again. 

I want this pace to be one that I can help make working moms’ lives easier. Or at least help working moms survive.

BUT, I also want to help the new mom who thinks she is doing everything wrong.

AND, I want to help the mom who feels like she has to do everything just right (hint–perfection is not required, nor possible.)

I also want this to be a space to grow our faith–watch for an announcement on this by week’s end. 

I also want this to be a space for my whole mom community–and we have a pretty active mom community on the Facebook Page. So, if you want to share a recipe, or a tip, or want to write a blog post–let me know! 

My kids are growing, and next year we launch another chick from the nest. I have new knowledge to share on life as a college mom, military mom, and young adult mom (none are for the weak of heart!)–but I am also still in the trenches with a pair of first graders, a middle schooler and a Freshman AND a Senior! As you can imagine, our summer is a flurry of summer camps and random texts!

I have some fun things in store–and I hope that you will indulge me when I share random crochet projects–that was my new little hobby that I took up to distract me during basic training. 

There will still be laundry updates (guess what–I’m still behind, even with four kids out of the house this week!), and there will be many cups of coffee poured. 

Will you be joining me? What do you most look forward to reading? 

And please follow me on all my other little corners of the web: @dakotapam on Twitter, Instagram and snapchat, and on Facebook.