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 www.facebook.com/dakotapam on Facebook. 

Rounding out Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month

This post was sponsored by Walgreens Cystic Fibrosis Services as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received compensation as a thank you for my post.

I’m in my fourth year(!) now in my “new” job. Many of you have followed my ups and downs as I navigated the path of becoming a working mom after years of being at home raising my kids. Some things surprised me, like how much I would love going to work every day. But what really surprised me was the love and care and concern I would feel for the people that I help serve: they cystic fibrosis community.

During my time in my job, I have learned a lot  about CF. Here are the basics: (from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website)

Cystic fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time.

In people with CF, a defective gene causes a thick, buildup of mucus in the lungs, pancreas and other organs. In the lungs, the mucus clogs the airways and traps bacteria leading to infections, extensive lung damage and eventually, respiratory failure. In the pancreas, the mucus prevents the release of digestive enzymes that allow the body to break down food and absorb vital nutrients.

Symptoms of CF

People with CF can have a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Very salty-tasting skin
  • Persistent coughing, at times with phlegm
  • Frequent lung infections including pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Poor growth or weight gain in spite of a good appetite
  • Frequent greasy, bulky stools or difficulty with bowel movements
  • Male infertility

But what I really have learned is that people with CF are just that, people. And they each are affected differently by their CF. I have had the pleasure of getting to know adults living with CF, who are raising families of their own. I have gotten to know young families raising siblings with CF, and I have heard stories of struggle and heartache and yes, even overcoming.

The prognosis for a child diagnosed with cystic fibrosis is now better than ever thanks to new medications that have recently come down the pipeline. People with CF take 40 to 60 pills a day! This is a combination of antibiotics, enzymes to aid in digestion, vitamins and medications to manage the symptoms of CF. These individuals also use a percussive vest to “shake” the sticky mucus out of their lungs twice a day and have breathing treatments with several different inhaled medications. During periods of illness, these breathing treatments can increase to three times a day or more.

The great news is, the sooner there is a CF diagnosis (yay for newborn screening!) the sooner treatment can begin. In general, the better adherence to daily medications and treatments, the healthier the person. (of course, every case of CF is unique.)

As you can see, managing this medical care takes dedication on the part of patient and caregiver alike! I like to envision these parents and spouses as part of a team, and they help navigate the waters of cystic fibrosis together.

What is nice, is that families living with CF don’t have to go it alone. There are many organizations ready and willing to lend a hand in several different ways, including social/emotional and financial support. The organization that I work for specifically helps families living in North Dakota. There are other organizations such as the Walgreens CF Champions Program .

The CF Champions Program’s motto is “Navigating the Journey Together”, and is an apt motto. We know that the CF journey si not one to be traveled alone. It can be scary, and expensive and even harrowing, but there IS help for families living with and fighting CF, there are medical advances on the horizon and no one has to fight this battle alone!

Walgreens Cystic Fibrosis Services is a specialty pharmacy with the ability to manage your prescriptions and have medications sent right to your door. Some of the services they provide are:

  • Easy, 24/7 phone and online account access & refill ordering
  • Convenient delivery of CF medication to your door, including refrigerated medications
  • Orders are typically shipped within two days after we receive your order. We also offer overnight shipping for refrigerated items like Pulmozyme® and TOBI®
  • Prescription reordering—we’ll call your doctor after they expire or you run out of refills
  • Help finding patient assistance options when available
  • Help navigating insurance plans and getting the most out of your coverage

If you have someone you love that has CF, check out what the Walgreens CF Champions program has to offer!



Feel All the Feels with “The Eleventh”

You really want to check out the new series on Feeln. (and if you are not a subscriber to the Feeln streaming network–you are missing out on all of those wholesome and heartwrenching Hallmark movies— every mom needs a good cry now and then!)

Feeln is the leading streaming service that brings you heartfelt stories of love and togetherness – anytime, anywhere – including the exclusive library of Hallmark Hall of Fame features, Hollywood movies, TV series, and award-winning originals you won’t find anywhere else.

This Thursday, May 5, Feeln is launching its original series “The Eleventh” which stars a trifecta of TV legends including Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch, Dancing With The Stars), Ed Asner (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Roots, Up), and Cloris Leachman (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Malcolm In The Middle).

“The Eleventh” follows a young girl’s journey to fulfill her mother’s last wish – to get to know and reconcile with her estranged grandmother.  This is a deeply touching series starring television’s best.

I had the chance to watch the first two episodes (and they are nice and mom-bite sized–only 12 minutes each–with NO commercials!). I find the story captivating, and it is reminding me to not lose touch with the ones that I love, and that love me too!

Watch full episodes of ‘The Eleventh’ on Feeln.

I can’t wait to see more.


Disclosure: I was provided with a subscription to the Feeln’ streaming service in return for my honest review.