Friday, January 17, 2020

42 Before I Turn 42

Do you ever have a period of time where you are so busy that you can't get your brain to think clearly?  That was totally me the entire last half of last year.  I think I spent more time on the go and getting things done than I did sitting down to think about it.  It was C-R-A-Z-Y and while I enjoyed the things we did, I can't say I enjoyed the busyness of it all.  It tended to leave me running in zombie mode feeling completely exhausted which means that blogging took a back seat beside deep thinking.  Now that I have had some time to come out of that crazy, busy season, I realize that there were some posts I had wanted to write but they were stuck floating in the far depths of my brain.  One post that I have been meaning to get out is my annual bucket list of things I want to do before my next birthday.  This post has been sitting in draft mode behind the scenes here since my birthday time back in October.  I just haven't gotten the time to sit down and finish my list of things I want to accomplish until now. 
Here is my annual list of things I want to do before my next birthday.  Check them out at A Glimpse of Normal.
This list of 42 things I want to do before I turn 42 is my short term bucket list for the year.  There are lots of big things I want to do in my life, but this list is a short(ish) list of things I think I can do before the end of October.  Some of the things are just purely for fun and some of the things on this list are to keep me being productive.  I try to balance all that I do and mix the fun with the important things.  So without further ado, here is my list for this year and yes some of the items are things that have been on my list for previous years.
  1. Become a runner.  Yes, I still want to accomplish this.  It is a life goal.
  2. Bake more (ideally at least once a week).
  3. Start sewing again.
  4. Teach my daughter to sew.
  5. Remodel our kitchen.
  6. Plan out CJ's open house.
  7. Get the school portfolios for my kids up to date.
  8. Craft more consistently.
  9. Watch less television and listen to more podcasts.
  10. Convert my blog to a food and craft blog.
  11. Lose 20 pounds.
  12. Organize my seasonal decorations into their own totes for each season.
  13. Read/listen to more books.
  14. Use my Cricut machine more.  It has been collecting dust in the basement for far too long.
  15. Start the FlyLady System.
  16. Spend more time with friends.
  17. Clean out all of our email accounts.
  18. Create more recipes.
  19. Destash my craft supplies.  I know there are craft supplies I have that I will no longer use, it's time to let them go.
  20. Save more money.
  21. Declutter, declutter, declutter.
  22. Plan out and landscape our flowerbeds.
  23. Be intentional.
  24. Finish 2 cross stitch patterns.
  25. Try 20 crochet patterns.
  26. Encourage others more.
  27. Take the dog for more walks.
  28. Enter projects in a fair - maybe a cake this year?
  29. Do more things ahead of time rather than procrastinating until the last minute.
  30. Win 25 StepBets.  (This is the app I use for getting my daily steps in.)
  31. Clean and fix our fences.
  32. Finish painting our shutters, window boxes, and wood on the barn.
  33. Go on more dates with my hubby.
  34. Go to sleep at a decent hour.
  35. Decorate our guest room.
  36. Host more game nights.
  37. Take better care of me.
  38. Do something for me at least once a week - paint my nails, spend extra time crafting, etc.
  39. Try 50 of things I have pinned on Pinterest.
  40. Grow my crochet business.
  41. Grow my shampoo business.
  42. Enjoy every moment.
That is the list for this year.  I am definitely going to try to do a better job of checking these things off the list.  Do you make a list of things you want to do before your birthday?

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year & A Menu Plan

Happy New Year!!!  2020!  It's a new decade, a fresh start, and the opportunity to try something new.  I've got a few new things going on and I am pretty excited about them.  I'll be sharing about them in upcoming posts so stay tuned to find out more.  One thing I am bringing back to the blog from last year is menu plans.  I do a better job of sticking to my grocery budget when I have a menu plan and it makes planning my day easier when I know ahead of time what is for dinner.  There are definitely benefits to menu planning for me that make it worth the time it takes to plan it out.  I figured since I have a menu planned out, I might as well share it with you.  So here is what I have planned out for dinner in January at our house.
Come and check out what is to eat at our house this month at A Glimpse of Normal.
  1. DIY Chipotle Burrito Bowls
  2. Street Corn Soup 
  3. Cast Iron Pizza
  4. Meatball Parmesan
  5. Instant Pot Garlic Pork Tenderloin
  6. Slow Cooker Sesame Beef with Rice
  7. Chili Dog Tater Tot Casserole
  8. Baked Ravioli
  9. Vegetable Beef Soup
  10. Mexican Pizza
  11. Pork Rind Chicken Strips
  12. Polynesian Sheet Pan Pork Chops
  13. Shepherd's Handpies
  14. Philly Cheese Steak Cheesy Bread
  15. Bunless Chili Cheeseburgers
  16. Slow Cooker Chicken & Quinoa Chili
  17. Muffuletta Calzones
  18. Best Beef, Bean, & Cheese Burritos
  19. Jambalaya Foil Packets
  20. Lasagna Soup
  21. Oklahoma Fried Onion Burgers
  22. Pasta Alla Ladd
  23. Slow Cooker Chicken Bacon Chowder
  24. Sausage, Pepper, & Onion Pizza Hoagies
  25. Garlic & Herb Steak & Potato Foil Packs
  26. One-Skillet Sausage & White Bean Gnocchi
  27. Shepherd's Pie
  28. Slow Cooker Butter Chicken
  29. Instant Pot Meatloaf
  30. Zuppa Toscana
  31. Pizza Muffins
This is what I have planned out to eat for our family.  There are several new to us recipes as I got a new cookbook for Christmas that I need to try out.  I can't wait to see which ones the family will like and want to keep in our meal rotation.  As always, I have put recipes for these meals on my January Menu Plan board on Pinterest.  There are also several other meals from other years' menu plans on there as well so if there is a recipe on this plan you don't prefer, feel free to swap it out.  

From our family to yours we wish you a Happy New Year!!!

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Christmas Around the Barn and A Hidden Wall

It's almost Christmas and that means that the elves and I have been busy decorating the barn.  Okay, so they aren't really elves...more like the hubby and kids, but it's fun to call them elves so I'm going with it.  We started decorating just before Thanksgiving this year.  This is rare for us because normally I am a stickler for wait until the day after Thanksgiving, but this year Thanksgiving and Christmas are closer together so I wanted to get started a little early.  Don't worry, we didn't get the tree out until after turkey day though.   We took the decorating a little at a time and I think it is finally done and ready for you to see.  But first, let me talk about the hidden wall...
Come and check out what Christmas looks like at our barn and how I hid the wall at A Glimpse of Normal.
I have made no secret that our barn is a work in progress.  It is a 150-175 year old barn and there have been 3 homeowners in it since it was converted to a house.  I am not sure how many owners it had before it was a home and when the barn was part of a farm.  I have to do a little research to find out that info, but as far as I know, animals were really stored in the barn we live in and at one point it was part of a horse farm.  The first homeowner was the lady who converted the house from a barn to a house and she did a wonderful job of converting it.  The second homeowner was a large family and at one point they had 9 people living in this house which is just crazy to me.  The third homeowner is us.  There is your history lesson on our barn for the day.  I say tell you all this because there are still things that can be updated along with repairs that need to be made.  When we first moved in, we found a bad area of the drywall on the living room wall.  Just a small section was supposed to be cut out so that we could see what was going on, but someone helping us got a little overzealous and pretty soon we ended up having to take all the drywall off the living room wall.  Our original plan was just to rehang drywall and call it good, but the more we started thinking about it and living here we decided that we wanted to change a few things which are fine, but the wall became a low priority.  Then life happened and the wall kept getting pushed farther down the list.  The wall was just down to studs on the living room side that you could see and drywall on the other side.  It wasn't pretty but, it is real life.  Eventually, the wall got covered with plastic tablecloths for a birthday party and then it stayed like that for a while.  We are at a point that we know what we want to do with it, but now it is Christmas time and tearing into it before Christmas would be C-R-A-Z-Y.  So hubby said we need to do something with the wall to get rid of the tablecloths and hide it still.  The gears in my brain started turning and the best I could come up with is...Gift Wrapping the wall.  Yes, I really did.  No, I am not kidding.  Yes, it is temporary.  Yes, I thought it was a pretty clever idea.  You might not agree, but I think it works and it will come down after Christmas so that we can start changing up the wall.  Picture proof of the wall...


Now that I explained my craziness (do remember that this blog is called A Glimpse of Normal which may mean I am more crazy than normal...I think having kids does that to you😁), it is on to the other Christmas decorations.
This is Missy's tree.

Apparently, we can't let the dog decorate anymore.  She is confused about holidays and used shamrocks.

This is my Nativity set that hubby brought me back from a mission trip to Ecuador.  I love how unique it is.







I will try and get a picture of the outside decorations when we get more snow.  I love how the outside looks currently, but it will look even better with about 6 inches of snow.  The struggle is real because I want the snow for my decorations, but I don't want to have to drive in it.  When I do get good pictures of them I will put them up for you to see.  Until then, that is all the decorations about the house this year.  I love seeing the barn all decorated and sitting with the lights on and my cup of coffee.  You can find me sitting near the woodstove and soaking it all in.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

December Menu Options

Can you believe that December is here already?  This year has absolutely flown by.  We have had a lot of fun and good times, but it has all went by too fast.  Does anyone else feel this way?  There is so much to get done before the end of the year still.  Can time slow down just a little? 
This month I am giving you menu options at A Glimpse of Normal.
I am sharing all this about time with you because I have not had a chance to sit down and plan out an exact menu plan for December this year.  Our schedule keeps changing and we have had a few things added to our calendar that will change up our menu plan.  We are also fitting in Christmas play practices, adjusting to a new gymnastics and piano lessons schedule, and I am still working on using up ingredients in our pantry and freezer so I can start restocking them for the New Year.  Working through ingredients we have on hand means that sometimes I create recipes as I go and I don't use a set recipe or I combine a few different recipes to work for what we have.  It's been a cook as I go and use up what we have kind of few weeks because I have been really needing to work through the stuff on the shelves and in the freezer.  I do promise to get back to specific and new menu plans in January.  I hate to keep putting it off, but sometimes in order to be present with my family, I need to.  So for December, I am going to give you menu options again.  I am posting links to the past December Menu Plans and you can put together a meal plan that works for your family from those.  Each of the past posts has 31 meals on them so you can pick and choose what sounds good to you.  In each post, you can get to my Pinterest board called December Menu Plan and it has lots of meal ideas on it.  Please take a moment and follow me on Pinterest if you don't already.  I pin lots of different ideas and recipes.  I also have boards for desserts, cakes, and cookies if baking is your thing. 


This December I am trying very hard to be present with my family.  I want to savor the moments with my family so I will be posting here and there, but nothing consistent.  I just want to give you a heads up on that.  I plan to come back full force in January and get back on track with a regular posting schedule.  You may notice some small changes between now and then because I am working behind the scenes on the blog.  Stick with me, I plan to make this blog even better. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Etsy Shop Update - November 2019

I went in and finally updated my Etsy shop.  It has been a long time since I updated the items in it because I was busy creating items for it.  I will be adding more items so remember to check back in often.  Here is the link to my shop:  A Glimpse of Normal Etsy Shop.
Check out all the items I just added to my Etsy shop by using the link in today's blog post at A Glimpse of Normal.
I always take custom orders too.  If you find a crochet item you love and need someone to make it, please send me a message and I will see what I can do.  I love creating and crafting.

Monday, November 11, 2019

A Review of Settle My Soul: 100 Quiet Moments to Meet with Jesus

Picking out the right devotional book can be hard for me.  Some books don't contain enough in-depth substance for my liking and others are so deep that I can't understand enough of the material to get anything out of them.  It is truly a struggle for me.  This is why I was interested in receiving Settle My Soul: 100 Quiet Moments to Meet with Jesus by Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk as part of the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for my honest review.  I wanted to see if this devotional book would be the right fit for me.
Check out my review of Settle My Soul: 100 Quiet Moments to Meet with Jesus on my blog, A Glimpse of Normal
Settle My Soul: 100 Quiet Moments to Meet with Jesus is a devotional book for women that is designed to helping you find the peace that your soul is looking for.  The 240 page, hardback book that I received is filled with 100 daily devotions, a prayer and Bible verse that accompanies each devotion, questions that accompany the reading for thought, and a lined space to journal your thoughts, reactions, and prayers for each devotion. The two authors, Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk, take turns writing the devotions and they cover a wide variety of topics.  Many of the devotions feature personal stories from the author so the reader can see that they relate to the topic they are writing on.  The devotions are well written and thought provoking. 
Check out my review of Settle My Soul: 100 Quiet Moments to Meet with Jesus on my blog, A Glimpse of Normal
Karen Ehman is a Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker, an author, mom, and Jesus follower.  Ruth Schwenk is a blogger at The Better Mom, an author, mom, and Jesus follower.  Both of these ladies want to encourage you in your walk with Jesus which is why they wrote this book.  I truly enjoyed reading Settle My Soul: 100 Quiet Moments to Meet with Jesus.   This is the type of devotional that I look for when I am purchasing devotional books.  Each day and topic that I read through only took me 10 to 15 minutes each morning, but throughout my day I was able to reflect back on what I had read in the morning.  I appreciated the topics discussed (necessary people, loneliness, looking for God at work, being a servant, managing mountains, pride, and many more) and the encouragement given to make changes as I found them necessary in my life.  There were several of the devotional writings that I found to be convicting for me and they really made me stop and repent while asking God to change my heart about them.  I appreciated that.  I don't want to go through life stuck or having a bad attitude about certain things.  These devotions that touched my heart came at just the right moments for me to be ready to do something about them.  It took me longer than 100 days to read this book because there were times I needed to set it down and process the devotion and let God work on me.  That is a sign of a good devotional book to me.  I would definitely recommend reading this book and it would make a great gift for the women in your life.  You can purchase this book here.

*This post does contain an affiliate link.  This means if you choose to purchase using this link that I will receive a commission for your purchase.  The commission is paid by Amazon.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, November 7, 2019

21 Years

21 years ago today I married my best bestest friend.  Okay maybe bestest isn't a word, but my hubby is more than my best friend.  He is one amazing guy and I am truly been blessed to be his wife.  We have been through a lot in 21 years and weathered many storms together.  I am the crazy, impulsive, let's just jump in and see what happens one.  He is the let's think through all the possible outcomes, wait and see what happens one.  He has seen me at my worst, at my best, and all the times in between.  He is a rock for me, a sounding board, a safe place to fall apart, someone who makes me laugh, and is so much more than I could have ever dreamed of for myself.  God certainly put us together because he knew we would balance each other out.  As we celebrate 21 years of being married, we are both looking forward to many more years together to see what God has planned for us. 
Happy 21st Anniversary!!!  Check out more at A Glimpse of Normal.