There's nothing like living a life you aren't proud of that'll make you want to
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squeeze in as much as you can, after you've built one you truly love
“You're sure you're going to be able to make time for this? I know how much it would mean to you, but you've taken on a lot of other things too.”
The words of my sweet husband whispered in the back of my mind, as I parked in front of the big, white house on the corner. Finding myself surprised by the mix of feelings, excitement, anxiety, and nervousness, as I waited to be buzzed in
No matter the direction life has taken us, it's a place I've never forgotten. Always hoping for a chance to pay forward, a fraction of the kindness that was shown to us during a time when life was really low
“What's your schedule like? Anytime you can come, we'd love the extra help.”
I was waiting for them to show up, and sure enough, they did.
As I marked dates on the calendar, the feeling of guilt came to visit, along with his faithful companion, doubt. Together they always make me question myself for a moment. Will making room for a new endeavor, somehow throw the rest of my life out of balance?
Over the years, I've learned not to shoo them away, instead, seeing their visit as a gentle warning. One that reminds me to be mindful in the moment, about where I'm about to draw my definition from
Through the world's filter, balance is equal parts work, play, love, rest, parenting, pets, friendships, fitness, and coffee
There are books, classes, and a world full of theories that promise to teach us what a balanced life should look like. Most come with a pie chart, it's perfectly equal sections filled in neatly with the areas of our lives that we hold dear.
On the surface, it makes logical sense, decrease the demands of one to make room for those of another. Admittedly though, in my heart, somehow it's always felt off. Having learned that life rarely fits neatly into much of
Having learned instead that in my days
There are highs (just enough eggs in the fridge!) and lows (are we really out of ketchup?)
and it's only 9 am
Highs (my favorite workout shirt found under the bed!) and lows (everyone furry, who's been eating the plants? Again?)
and it's 11 am
Highs (I'd love to meet for an impromptu lunch!) and lows (where are my keys?)
and it's noon
This rhythm, instead, feeling more like the balance I know. As the highs bring up the lows, the lows bring down the highs on the continuous see-saw we call life
This seems a truer definition somehow, an acknowledgment of the flow of my days, as well as my commitments. One that feels ok in my gut.
Balance can't be founded on the idea that if we fit all the areas of our life neatly into the chart, somehow we'll be peaceful, steady, calm, and happy as we go about our days. That we'll find ourselves up(!) at work, and up(!) at the gym, and up(!) in our parenting.
We won't be down until it's time, until we crawl into bed, and fall asleep with the iPad on our chest, and a kitty purring on our pillow
To me, it's never felt like balance, instead, simply a quest for .. up
While I haven't always loved the down, I've learned to see it as a place to live in and breath through, instead of one to avoid. I've learned it isn't a place to fear, instead, being appreciative for all that it teaches, and the wisdom it brings
So this afternoon, guilt and doubt were shown their way to the door. I start something new, something that feels good. Success isn't being measured against an arbitrary pie chart, but instead, in the only way, I know how.
Letting the lows be low, and the highs be high
without criticism or blame
A simple and incredibly delicious recipe for the week
More often than not, casseroles are deliciously cheesy affairs. The formula goes something like this, pasta, a bit of sauce and a lot of cheese. The cheese acting as the decadent glue that works to hold the rest of the casserole together, as well as keeping things moist.
There are few things that can top a golden fork-full of oven-browned mozzarella straight off the top of a hot casserole. But, truth be told, there's only so much I can take. I rarely cook or eat this way anymore. It's too heavy, too much.
Here, spaghetti squash takes over for the pasta and the cheese. You won't miss it.
In addition to being tasty and versatile, spaghetti squash is also great because of the volume it produces. After roasting and fluffing the insides out with a fork, it's the perfect amount for a casserole.
Add the fixings for pizza, and it's a wonderfully simple, healthy meal
~ Adapted from PaleOMG
Spaghetti Squash Pizza Bake
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 1 lb ground beef (or Italian sausage)
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 cup pizza sauce
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 eggs, beaten
- optional: add anything you like with pizza: veggies, basil, even cheese if you do primal
- Preheat oven to 400° F
- Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.
- Place spaghetti squash cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the skin of the squash gives when you press on it. Once squash has finished cooking, remove threads and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Reduce the oven temp to 350° F
- In a large pan over medium heat, add ground beef and the onion. Cook until pink no longer remains in the meat and it is broken up into pieces.
- Add pizza sauce, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to the pan and mix well.
- Add hamburger mixture & whisked eggs to the bowl with the cooked spaghetti squash. Combine
- Add the mix to an 8 x 8" prepared baking dish and bake for an hour, or until the top of the pizza bake has formed a slight crust that doesn't give when pressed on in the middle.
- Let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.