My kids are pasta fiends, they would eat noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I fed it to them. I like a good pasta meal as much as the next but again some can be time consuming with preparing and baking. I decided to whip up a carbonara of sorts
Simple Chicken Carbonara
4 chicken breasts, marinated in Lawry's Herb & Garlic marinade
1 box of your choice pasta, I am a rotini fan
2 cups frozen peas, micro steamed
1/2 lb bacon cooked and crumbled (Don't ask how many pieces we burnt!)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup cream cheese (I used chive/onion)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper
Grill chicken and slice. Cook pasta set aside. Steam peas, set aside. Cook/crumble bacon, set aside. Melt together cream cheese and cream in saucepan whisking until bubbling, turn off heat. Add Parmesan cheese and eggs and seasoning. Let thicken and pour over al dente pasta, mix in peas, bacon and top with grilled chicken. It was good and will go along way for those big families, don't need a big bowl of this to feel full.
I saw a yummy salad dressing recipe on Pinterest and whipped up a batch from here. The only difference is I forgot to get plain yogurt and had only one yogurt in the fridge left, would have been nice if it was strawberry, but it wasn't it was peach. We'll say in the words of American Idol judges that was my way of "making it my own." It was so good this dressing and luckily I now have a big old stock pile of that so we shall be having a few strawberry salads over the next few weeks! This was how I decorated my salad:
Strawberry Basil Summer Salad
Butter Toffee Almonds
(If you are an onion person I bet it would be good but I hate raw onions!)
So I spent practically all day reading my book which is One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I actually started off hating it, wondering why it was popular, struggling through her unique writing style, feeling rushed and impatient. Those of you who have read it are chuckling with me at the irony of this discord in my soul. Then as surely as I turned a page like an arrow piercing my heart Jesus showed up and in his way that is both gentle and forceful it was strongly suggested that I snap out of it and sit up and pay atttention. And keep reading this book. This book that is challenging me. This book that is changing me. This book that is teaching me. It's calling me to live my life less in a hurry and with a more grateful heart. Double ouch. I am reading and admiring and vowing for reform and we rush out the door to school and the urgency of the moment takes over and I feel myself chastising my impatient heart in the same breath I scold my kids for being "turtles." I need to read more. I read and read and read and then it's time to make dinner and they are swirling and dancing underfoot and my husband is asking for everything to be repeated instead of jumping into action and I rage against burnt bacon and pasta that makes it to the table less than hot waiting for the slow chicken breasts that he patiently grills to perfection and I flash in hot anger that there is no time to be slow and careful and calm. Even as I attempt to retreat to write this blog, they bop past me dancing every few minutes, "Momma don't you want to read my Ispy book again?", their beeping electronic games finding new and modern ways to interrupt the quiet and their inability to put on their pajamas without fighting with fists and tears and hugs seems a disruptive ritual I could do without. Why is it so hard for me to appreciate these little gifts? To switch my perspective from rushed and exhausted to fully present and fully thankful? I don't think it will happen over night. Especially since part of me wonders if this author is even legit. Is she asking us to do something that is even possible?
My daughter had her ballet recital on Saturday. It was more than a ballet recital, it was a worship service. Led by 4 year olds to the throne room of the almighty King. They were all limbs akimbo and lace and tulle and shining eyes and full hearts. She is blessed to be a part of this Christian dance studio where they are led by Scripture not just form, and their routines come from a heart of worship as they dance with a higher purpose, to bring glory to God. And what could have been an amusing display of parental adoration for each one's one offspring "doing their best" even while being off step and forgetting their cues and being distracted as young ballerinas can so easily. Instead I carried a lump in my throat as I experienced children partaking in something at it's purest and most basic form, worship in dance with a heart of thankfulness and grace. I was so moved I made my daughter a soundtrack from the songs from her show to dance to and it is I who cannot stop listening to this music. The sweet Kindergartner within lying deep and buried under the scars and ugliness that this world slowly opens you up to, robbing you of that beauty and innocence that you once held dear and didn't realize that the adults around you envied. Some squander their kids youth, dressing them too provactively too soon, exposing them needlessly to the worlds influences. For this one brief afternoon I was able to return to their world and bask in it's perfection, in my mind's eye dancing as fervently for my King. One song that I love and have probably listened to 20 times today perfectly captures what the book is trying to beat through my thick head. As the singer repeatedly asks her Savior what gift there is to offer he gives her a simple solution;
"You don't have to do a thing, just simply be with me and let those things go, they can wait another minute. Wait, this moment is too sweet, would you please stay here with me, and love on me a little longer. I'd like to be with you a little longer, I'm in love with you." You must listen to the whole thing. Feel free to get up and twirl while you listen or if you have a little twirler in your house twirl with her, her heart will soar and yours will too!
I have been so floundering for over six months. In my head thumping out a mantra "one foot in front of the other" like Nemo's Dory I figured if I just keep swimming I will get to where I need to be and somehow the things that need to get done, will. Somehow. But maybe just maybe I need to silence my inner Little Engine That Could and to "just simply be". To do things like "be" and "bask", to "stay a little longer." Summer is coming. Things always slow down in the summer and these practices become easier to perfect. But fall comes again eventually. I can't spend every school year whirling like a kite in a violent windstorm. I need to find my anchor. My Lord. And simply be. That's what I am working on. And I haven't even finished the book yet, so I best go back to reading....