You are Enough

Simple Thoughts

I don’t know what it is about this season that brings out some of our biggest, hairiest, and ugliest insecurities.  Is it the barrage from the media of beautiful people in beautiful places in beautiful clothes doing ideal Christmas things and giving each other expensive jewelry and cars that makes us feel like trolls in our pajamas and fuzzy slippers?  Is it having to spend family time with that person to whom you have always been compared to in an unfavorable light?  Or is it just the feeling that you do not have everything under control and your life is not where you wished it could be?

Does this season have you asking yourself if you are smart/pretty/thin/strong/organized/wealthy/witty/athletic/talented/tall/skilled enough?

First, ask yourself what is enough.  Most people find that their definition of enough involves comparing themselves to someone else that they deem as enough.  But let’s say that your definition…

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Handle Your Holiday Leftovers

Heading back to work, and you still have a refrigerator full of leftovers?

Simple Thoughts

Leftovers…they have taken over your refrigerator.  And you need to start sorting all of that out and making sure that it does not go to waste.  So what do you do?

  1.  Freeze the meat in dinner or single portion sizes.
  2. If you have a ham bone, freeze that as well.  It would be great to flavor beans at a later date.
  3. Save the turkey bones to make turkey broth later.  You can do the same thing with beef bones.  I freeze mine and then make broth when I have more time.
  4. Make turkey or ham salad for sandwiches.  Simply dice your protein, add Greek yogurt or sour cream or mayo, and then add pickles or cranberries or any combination of ingredients that you like.
  5. Leftover beef can be served on tortillas or in lettuce wraps.
  6. Use leftover raw veggies and leftover protein for a stir fry.
  7. Make soup out of…

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Pumpkin Chili

Well, it looks like we may have a few days of fall this year, so last night it was pumpkin chili and football at my house.  It is quick and easy, and I usually double the batch to freeze.

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef ( I use 96/4)

1 onion, chopped

2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes

1 14.5oz can crushed tomatoes

1 15 oz can pinto, red, or black beans (drained and rinsed) I usually have cooked beans on hand and use about 2 cups

1 can green chilis

1 cup corn

1 can of pumpkin

chili powder

cumin

  1.  Brown the beef and onions together.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients.  Stir.  Add chili powder and cumin to taste.
  3. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 30-40 minutes.
  4. Enjoy!

 

Rest

I did not set my alarm this morning.

Not a terribly shocking statement, I know, until I think about the fact that this has probably happened less than half a dozen times since August.

To say that it has been busy is a bit of an understatement.  School has been great – I have an amazing group of students this year.  Cross Country season was good as well, and I enjoyed my time with both my own middle school team and the high school team.  And keeping up with my son who is a senior this year keeps me moving.

But seriously, I blinked and suddenly it was Thanksgiving break.

I may or may not have slept.  I’m not sure.  It is a bit of a blur.

I know I missed doing some stuff, and I am pretty sure that I am behind on doing things around my house.  And working on this blog – I cannot even tell you when I thought about it last.  Facebook reminded me that I have ignored it for a while.

But I do know that it is time to take a break, not just to catch up on the things that I have set aside, but to truly rest.  My tired is exhausted, and I have needed a nap since sometime in October.

Rest.

One of my favorite arias from Handel’s Messiah is based on Matthew 11: 28:

Come unto Him, all ye that labor

Come unto Him, ye that are heavy laden

And He will give you rest.

It is time to rest, reflect, and recharge for the next round.  I am grateful for the strength and endurance and patience that the Lord has given me to get me through this season of get it all done.  And although I am terrible at resting, I am grateful that He gives me this time as well.

So there is no guilt about not setting that alarm.  I may not even set it tomorrow…

Making the Impossible Possible

This is my third season to coach Cross Country, and there is still absolutely nothing like the first meet of the season. This is the first time that even the returning runners get what I have been telling them from the very beginning:

You have to make the impossible, possible.

I tell them these words early and often to combat those two words that I hear more often than I like:

I can’t.

I remind them that not only can they run, they will run well. And yet, they don’t seem to believe me.

So I stand with them at the start line, convincing them that they will neither throw up nor die, and remind them that they can make the impossible, possible.

The start gun goes off, and off they go. And I wait at the finish line…

And here come the ones who said prior injuries would be an issue, who are way out in the front of the pack. The one who started running late, and hits the finish line passing two people at the last second. The never before runners who said they were scared they would not finish the race came flying across the line. The ones who are growing so quickly and are really starting to develop as runners, the ones who are looking for their niche, the ones who just wanted to be on a team, the returning runners who had a rough last season, all of them running to the finish. Running – not walking. And the one or two runners who you had been working with for weeks and had never completed a mile…not only did they run the entire mile, but they did it well.

All of these runners made their own impossible, possible.

This is the joy of this sport for me – showing these runners, from 6th grade to seniors, that they can run, and they can run well.

You cannot help but truly love that moment.

And you can’t help but truly love the high fives, selfies, and sweaty group hugs that come afterwards.

I’m looking forward to returning to school on Monday to watch them confidently walk into the building, the result of a lesson well-learned.

I am so blessed that they call me Coach.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust – It’s Not Delivery, It’s Better!

Want pizza without feeling weighed down by the crust?  Here’s an easy solution:

You will need:

2 I lb bags of frozen cauliflower

2 eggs

Italian seasoning

Cook the cauliflower until it is soft enough to smash with a fork, or cut with a pie crust mixer.  Before smashing the cauliflower, squeeze out at much water as possible.  Then, mash the cauliflower.  Let cool for a few minutes.  Then add eggs and Italian seasoning and mix thoroughly.

Spread out the mixture on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and shape into the desired size.  This will make a large, rectangular pizza crust, or you can make two round ones.  Then, bake the crust for 18-22 minutes at 425 degrees.  The crust should be brown around the edges.

Then, top your pizza with sauce, cheese, and any other toppings that you would like.  Bake until the cheese is melted.

Cut and enjoy.