Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

 This week we bought a bunch of organic blueberries and Rob said blueberry muffins sounded really good. I did a quick Google search and came up with a recipe

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Wordless Wednesday – Letting go and making memories

Today’s Wordless Wednesday (topic: Gratefulness) is not wordless, but just hang in there with me. Today I am sharing a video Bub took last week. The boys hang out with my dad and mom most Thursday’s and last week they were working in the yard with Grandpa when I came to pick them up. Bub asked me if I had a few minutes and led me over to a pile of leaves he had been raking asking me to jump in them.

Now we have been really, really busy lately. The move and client work on top of normal life and homeschooling has been more than I felt I could handle at many points in the last 6 weeks. It has been push, push, push and no time to rest. I have been making a conscious effort the last week or so to take breaks from unpacking and chores to stop and play with the boys. It is hard when you are on the roll of constant movement to make yourself stop, breathe and have fun. This is why we Hatton’s are downsizing our home and our lifestyle, this is why we decided to cut down my work schedule to a more manageable part time, to be with the boys more and I am thrilled about it.

Bub wanted to use his new iPhone to take a video of my jump. He was so excited – Bub is about to be 14 next week and in general he is very laid back and calm, seeing him get so absolutely happy that I was willing to jump in his pile was awesome. I ran, I jumped, I squeeled….it was fun! Then as he showed me the video I fought back tears, I wanted to cry. All I could see was my belly at the beginning of the video and how big I have gotten. Those close to me know that I have struggled with my thyroid for about 5 years now on top of my gluten issues. I am happy I have lost all my baby weight, but now I am back to the 30lbs of thyroid weight I gained before the baby that doesn’t want to leave.

I sat there holding his phone and trying to “edit” the video just to take out the first 2 seconds where I could see my belly. Bub said “Mom, you look fine please let me have my phone back?” and then again “Mom, please I will just delete it and retake it ok?” – ouch. In that moment I felt so bad that my issues with my body and my weight were intruding on my child’s happy moment. I may not be ok with my body, but my kids and my husband truly love me and don’t see the extra weight that I do with my critical eye. I handed him back the phone and we took tons more videos even getting my dad and brother #2 to jump on video too.

I have not given up on my fight for a healthier body and I am still not content or at peace with my weight, but I will post the entire video today (its a total of about 6 seconds) anyway. I want my children to have amazing memories, I want them to look back and see how much I loved them and know I enjoyed every minute with them I could. If you live in South Texas go rake some leaves and make some memories too! If you live north of here

Jumping in a pile of leaves

 

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Crib & Kids

 

When new businesses open up in town I get excited. I especially enjoy small businesses where you can get to know the owner and support local. Meet the owner of the new Crib & Kids, Courtney!

Photo by ARG Photographs

Photo by ARG Photographs

We were invited to a fabulous bloggers night to visit the new store (I missed the actual event due to moving – boo). A photo opp with hats, mustaches and props? Yes, please! See my sweet blogger friends Tori of The sTORIbook and Stacy of Kids-Stuff-World, seriously check out their blogs.

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Photos by ARG Photographs

My two favorite “nursery set ups” in the store are this one for a girl.

Photo by ARG Photographs

Photo by ARG Photographs

This one is my favorite for a boy.

Photo by ARG Photographs

Photo by ARG Photographs

Crib & Kids has so many choices and options to make a unique nursery of your dreams.

Photo by ARG Photographs

Photo by ARG Photographs

They also have many other products for babies and kids outside of furniture. I spy my favorite baby blankets in the whole world that I use even now with my almost 16 month old Aden & Anais….seriously if you have a baby you need these!

Photo by ARG Photographs

Photo by ARG Photographs

Today I am joining a group of local bloggers for a really nice giveaway that runs through 3/20. One winner will be selected and can choose from either the Baby’s Dream Brooklyn Crib or the Baby’s Dream Chelsea Crib.

Chelsea Crib large-brooklyn-crib-espresso

The value of the crib is $399. Please note shipping will NOT be included (it can be picked up in-store). The winner may also elect to receive a $200 credit TOWARDS furniture INSTEAD of the crib.

Visit Crib & Kids website to find out their hours, location and see some of their products.

Also, I want to say “Thank you!” to Amanda of ARG Photographs for all the beautiful photos, visit her website and Facebook page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I was invited to a bloggers night only event where the crib was donated for a group giveaway. I have not been compensated in any other way and all thoughts and opinions above are my own!!

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Moving – yeah

So we are in the process of moving. Moving is rough. I know it is necessary and that I am whining, but it still stinks. It has given me a new appreciation, awe and respect for military families who move often and not just across town.

I feel as if I have fallen off the social media wagon and I am looking forward to finishing up our move this week and getting out all the posts in my draft box. I have had the pleasure of attending a couple of great events the last few weeks – robots, dinosaurs and a new baby store! I have lots of photos and information to share as soon as I unpack my laptop power cord and find my camera.

Lisa over at Crazy Adventures in Parenting started a Wordless Wednesday series on gratefulness that I have been looking forward to jumping in on. I know it is not Wednesday and its not wordless but here are a few things I have been grateful for this past week:

  • My hardworking husband, Rob
  • My two super patient sons
  • My parent’s and siblings who have helped me so much (I can’t begin describe)
  • U-Haul for boxes with handles
  • Sonic for cherry limeades that have powered me through endless packing and decluttering
  • All the people on my Facebook “Online Sale!” – my whole family thanks for your taking some treasures off our hands so they didn’t have to move them.

I will be back tomorrow to talk about our adventure with Robots 4 U (a sweet robotics camp discount will be included) and Wednesday a really nice group giveaway from the new Crib & Kids store!

Happy Monday!

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Beneath the Flag

In the flurry of New Year’s Resolutions and inspirational sayings that streamed through my Facebook feed the last week, I saw this one.

If Your....

It immediately brought to mind a Kickstarter project that my husband Rob launched last month. You see Rob has always had a heart for our military service members. One of his uncles who was more like a father to him, survived the attack on Pearl Harbor and Rob himself wanted to become a Marine at a young age when he was pulled to take care of his mother and grandmother during illness.

Rob and I met during my transition back to SA from Dallas after Luke passed away. My sister and family needed me here and I knew Bub could use the support of family around him as well. Over the last 5+ years my husband has gotten to know Luke pretty well, as well as you can know someone you never met. We have videos and stories and photos and mementos of a precious and short life well lived. He has also been there with us when we were notified that Luke would be “honored” on TV, my parents rushed to get cable in their new house so we could see what ended up being a 3 second splash of his photo, name, rank and date of death at the end of a TV show.

After months of brainstorming ideas and long hours during his free time Rob came up with the idea for Beneath the Flag. It will be a book (that hopefully will be an eventual series) and a documentary about some of the fallen from the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We discussed so many ideas – blogs, websites, books, etc. Do you realize that if we did one blog post per day highlighting a life lost in just Iraq and Afghanistan, there are over 6,000 at this point, it would take us 365 days a year for 15 years to recognize everyone? How staggering is that number? Those are fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, spouses and best friends. These people have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country and we think that they deserve to be known as more that a name, rank and date of death. I know that families want their loved ones to be remembered and my husband wants to make that happen. This is not a project to focus on death, this is a project to give a glimpse into the lives of amazing people and helping us to know better who they were.

I know this is a big project. Rob realizes this is a huge project and has made the commitment to make it happen and dedicate his full time attention for 4-6 months (project timeline) to get it done right. I love seeing my husband truly passionate about a project, this project. I have woken up more nights that I can count in the last few months to the dim light from his office shining down the hall while he is working on the website, getting quotes on the cost of printing in the US (shockingly high compared to China) and tweaking the project to make it better.  I cannot begin to describe how proud I am of my husband. He has a great idea, well laid out plans and now he needs help to make it happen.

The Kickstarter campaign expires January 22nd. If you aren’t familiar with Kickstarter here is how it works – you “pledge” an amount to the campaign and if the funding goal is met by the deadline then you are charged on the end date.  If the full funding amount is not raised then you are not charged and the project goes away. I believe this project deserves to be funded. I believe that no matter what anyone’s political beliefs are we as a country support our military and I would love to see this project funded by donations big or small from all over the nation.

In short, the project will be a beautiful coffee table book with stories and photos directly from family members and friends – a tribute to their loved one in their own words. What makes this unique is that the families will have control of what is said, not from an author, publisher or media members perspective. Beneath the Flag will also have a companion website and a documentary that follows the project being made, visits to families, etc. Please visit the website, Kickstarter page, Facebook page (like it too) and Twitter feed for more details on the project in Rob’s own words including a video he made.

Today I am asking you to do 3 things.

#1 – Spread the word. Share the link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or by email. If you visit the website Rob has set up, there are sample messages you can cut and paste or edit to fit you.

#2 – Donate. You can donate $5 or $5,000, we need people to donate and the page to get activity and upward movement. I cannot stress how critical this piece is, more people will jump in and donate if they see progress and donations coming in. The process is very fast and easy, you can even log in using Facebook to make your pledge.

#3 – Share ideas and contacts. Do you have a group/organization/company that Rob can come speak with in the next 2 weeks? He is speaking to Gold Star moms next week and will be able to mention the project at a Social Media Breakfast too. More the merrier!

I want to say “Thank you” for reading all the way to the end of my post. I appreciate you listening to me and for your consideration in supporting this project. I know this project has taken me out of my comfort zone, requiring me to step out to ask people to help and I think that is a wonderful thing. I love my husband, his passion for our troops and his dedication to make this project be successful. My honest feeling is if a $30,000+ project on a group of kids toilet papering houses can be funded, a $50,000+ project honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom is totally doable.

Thanks for helping make this happen and I mean that with all of my heart. We have 18 days to go – lets do this! Jen

 

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The Good Girls Gift Guide for Everyone Else

Today I am blogging with a group of “Good Girls” again – so fun! Our theme is gifts for everyone else. I had a blast pinning to my hearts content items that I want to buy for the boys. I won’t be able to get everything on their wish lists (hello Jeep Rubicon), but that is why it is called a “wish list” right? I decided to shop for my Handsome (husband), Bub (13 year old) and The Bear (1 year old). Here are my picks, please ignore the ugliest collages I have ever seen….

My Handsome is an outdoorsman as well as a savvy technology guy. Here are a few things I know he will love!

Jeep Rubicon * New Sanuks * GPS watch * Arcteryx Softshell Jacket * Climbing Shoes * GPS walkie talkies * Osprey Backpack

 

My Bub is the funniest kid. When he was 5 his Christmas list was a strawberry plant, a cow and a SoBe drink – that is all. He always wants the most random and funny things. This year his top two items on his list are a 3 pack of sparkling grape juice and a gaming ottoman (I think he knows the cell phone is a no go). Here are some things I know he would be super excited about if they were under the tree. I added a Whole Foods gift card because he is all about their salad bar at the moment and loves making a $9 as often as possible.

Welch’s Sparkling Grape Juice * Lego’s Basics * Whole Foods Gift Card * Grappling Hook * Sea World Penguin Adventure * Tom’s

 

The Bear turned 1 last week and is a very easy going guy. He would rather play with silicone measuring spoons than most toys with the exception of his obsession with big brothers legos. Here are some items I just really think he “needs”.

Cardigan onesie * Duplo’s blocks * GAP hoodie * Tom’s * Melissa & Doug Barn Yard Wooden puzzle

 

Working on this blog helped me solidify my Christmas shopping list, I am terribly behind this year and so I am now inspired and off to get the boys some things they will love and get use out of. Before you head off please visit fellow blogger Tori who writes the fabulous blog “The sTORIbook” for her list of things for everyone else! I guarantee she will have some great items – have you seen how cute she dresses her little one Luke?

For the complete list of items I created for the boys, with links on where to buy them, visit my Pinterest board “The Good Girls Guide“.

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