Friday, September 28, 2012


Enzo and I after 38 long laps!

I am truly amazed and blessed. Today was the longest day I have had in a long time. It was Walk-a-thon at the kid's school. We were all looking forward to today, well at least I thought we were. Enzo last night told me that he did not want to go to school and he did not want to do the walk-a-thon. I asked him why and he replied "I am going to be the slowest one!" My heart sank. I have tried to make life as "typical" as possible. Since his diagnosis with Cerebral Palsy , this is our first real obstacle that I was not ready for. I comforted him and let him know that I would walk EVERY lap with him. He smiled and said "Okay".

This morning was good, we had cuddles and snuggles, a yummy breakfast and off to school on time. I got there early and pulled him aside to stretch more and prep his left leg. We got to the field and did some of the stretches with the rest of the school and then it began. He started getting upset and acting out. I quickly comforted him and prayed for him.

The walk-a-thon started. The next hour and a half would be the most trying I have had to deal with in a very long time. Until we found our groove it was hit and miss. He would get frustrated (rightfully so) and start crying or whining. I must have started to cry three or four times feeling his frustration too. No mother EVER wants to see their child be in pain or hurting. I knew this not a tantrum but true frustration from his disability. 

His physical challenges are so minimal that I often forget to even think about them. What do you mean? He is your typical five year old, right?. Then I remember, oh wait, that is right, there are things that are harder for him. I want so badly for him to not worry or think it might be difficult.

As we made our way around the course every teacher and parent cheered him on. Whether they knew his disability or not, they encouraged him. I felt so encouraged and supported by everyone. Thank you Jesus for your covering and love in this very difficult time!

His original goal was 55 laps. My goal for him was 20 laps. I was nervous that we would not reach his goal and he would be devastated. About an hour into the the hour and a half event, I think he realized he might have set too high of a goal. He decided that 35 laps would be better. I was relieved. We hit 35 laps with a half hour to go. He was exhausted and so was I. I carried him 75% of the time, man, I should have been sponsored!! We celebrated and collapsed in the middle of the field. Then when the five minute warning came Enzo jumped up and started laps again. Okay, I thought, sounds good, let's go!
He walked another four laps all by himself!

We did it! We finished!

GF pizza and Jamba Juice as rewards.

I am emotionally drained and physically drained.
I never thought something so simple as a walk-a-thon would prove to be difficult. But then again I do not lead an ordinary life.

I am so proud of my sweet boy and thankful for his wonderful school!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Time For Everything

Well, as of 11:36 pm 8/31/12, I am no longer the General Manager. This is very bittersweet. In my time at the restaurant I have learned so much. Patience, time management, multitasking at it's finest, firing, hiring, confrontation and the list goes on. I have been stretched more than I thought I could have ever been. I have cried many tears of frustration, exhaustion and laughed numerous laughs with a fantastic group of people. They are my second family by far! When you are able to belt out Andrea Bocelli in Italian, not because you actually know what he is saying but because you have heard the song so many times, you create a bond with people. Smiling when you have nothing to smile about because guests are crazy, you start a memory that is not easily forgotten.

I mentioned a few posts ago that I felt like I had a baby. Now I feel like I gave this newborn to a complete stranger to take care of. I am nervous, sad, scared about the transition and the restaurant. However, I am finding peace that God has closed the door there and will be opening a door elsewhere. It has been a very hard last week.

This next step in life is exciting! I am going to be donating time at the kids school tutoring after school to help supplement tuition costs, cooking hot lunch (yes, I will be the lunch lady!) and being there for my family.
I am looking for other ways to bring income for us too. I will start tutoring Math outside of the school, catering, sewing and seeking a part time job too. I have a peace that God will help us through this transition and He has already has in some ways.

It will be weird to not get a million text messages everyday about the emergencies of the restaurant, checking emails, and dealing with complaints.

I am so excited for some normalcy. Regular bedtimes, weekends (Saturday and Sunday), cooking, cleaning, laundry, sewing, reading to my kids, dates with my husband and a thing called exercise.

Thank you Jesus for getting me through this season and leading me to the next!

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Monday, May 7, 2012

Veggie Burgers with No SOY!

Veggie Burgers

1 can black beans
1/3 cup onion (coarsely chopped)
1 garlic clove (minced)
1 egg (I used
2 Tbs BBQ sauce 
(I used 1 Tbs ketchup, 1/2 molasses 1/2 tomato paste because most BBQ sauces are too spicy for the kids)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp canola oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper (freshly ground)
1/3 cup gf flour
1/2 cup gf breadcrumbs (I used leftover crust from Udi's)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
6 Udi's buns (rolls)

Preparation Steps:
Drain and rinse beans with cold water.
Drain again and pat dry with paper towels.
Add beans, onions, garlic, egg substitute, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, oil, salt and pepper to food processor or blender
Pulse until beans are the size of peas.
Place pulsed mixture into a large bowl.
Add flour and stir until evenly mixed.
Add bread crumbs and mix well.
Add nutritional yeast and mix well, it will be thick and sticky
Divide mixture into six portions.
Flour your hands and shape into 1/2-inch thick burgers

The burgers may be refrigerated in a sealed container for 1 day or frozen until ready to grill.
I used my grill pan and cooked them over med-high heat about 3-4 minutes each side

(Oil your grill and preheat grill to medium-high. Place burgers on grill. Barbecue with lid down until hot, turning once, for 8 to 10 minutes.)

Serve on buns with desired toppings i.e. pickles, onions, tomatoes, salsa.
They were kid and husband tested. Eric came in the kitchen and asked what I was making and was skeptical, since I have flopped too many times with veggie burger. However, he gave me the thumbs up to make them again. I plan on making a large batch, stack them layered with wax paper and freezing them.
I am so excited
The original recipe

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cool Nutty Noodles

Oh how I love new recipes and making old ones better. I was in a bit of a rut with new recipe ideas. I have been over at Happy Herbivore for some inspiration. I am sometimes a little nervous about certain ingredients but her recipe of Cool Noodles added a new twist to my Nutty noodles!

*inspired by Happy Herbivore and my Nutty noodle recipe
16 oz corn spaghetti
3/4-1c peanut butter or sunflower butter (I tried almond butter and it was ok but not great)
1/4 c rice milk
2-3 Tb gf soy sauce or Bragg's amino acid
2 limes juiced
1/2 english cucumber peeled, julienne cut 2" long
handful of Trader Joe's shredded carrots
2 green onions julienne cut
handful of cilantro coarsely chopped
red pepper flakes (optional)

Cook pasta accordingly to directions, drain and set aside.
In small saute pan, whisk peanut butter, milk, and soy sauce over med/low heat, until creamy.
In a large bowl toss noodles, sauce and lime juice together. Make sure to coat the noodles. (This ensures them to not dry out in the refridgerator) Toss in carrots, cucumber and green onions.
Garnish with cilantro and little red pepper flakes if you like a little heat!

This recipe is great warm or cold

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Simple Questions

I asked these questions awhile ago and I thought I would revisit them

1. What is something mom always says to you?
Kira- I love you Kira

2. What makes mom happy?
Enzo-to listen to you
Kira-when I talk to you

3. What makes mom sad?
Enzo--when i not doing what you ordered
Kira-when i go to school

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
Enzo-by tickling me
Kira- by tickling me

5. What was your mom like as a child?
Enzo-you listened to your momma
Kira-you had cats and dogs

6. How old is your mom?
Enzo- eight or nine
Kira- 21

7. How tall is your mom?
Enzo-89, 60, 70
Kira- 20 

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Enzo-be with us
Kira-make something with me

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
Enzo-go to work
Kira-go to work or watch Enzo

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
Enzo- a movie star
Kira-a peacock

11. What is your mom really good at?
Kira-making stuff

12. What is your mom not very good at?
Enzo-being a movie star
Kira-really hard things

13. What does your mom do for a job?
Kira-you be a manager

14.What is your mom's favorite food?
Enzo- green stuff
Kira- pancakes

15.What makes you proud of your mom?
Enzo- being nice to you
Kira- when we talk together

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Enzo-a mom

17. What do you and your mom do together?
Enzo-talk with each other
Kira-we make crafts together

18. How are you and your mom the same?
Enzo-because we like each other
Kira- because we have the same color hair

19. How are you and your mom different?
Enzo-we are not in the same body
Kira- you are bigger and I am smaller

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
Enzo-because you dance with me
Kira- because we snuggle with each other

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?
(he was done with the interview )
Kira-because I love him

22.What is your mom's favorite thing to do?
Kira- cook

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bread Maker and Life

I borrowed a bread maker from a friend to see if I would possibly want to get one for my birthday.
I used my recipe for gf bread and it turned out amazing. Instead of following all of the details of the recipe, I simply put together all of the wet ingredients and sugar. Then I mix all the dry ingredients except yeast. In the baking pan I put the wet ingredients in first, cover it with the dry then, I make a shallow well and put the yeast in it and make sure it doesn't get wet. Press start and let it do what it does.  So easy and quick. In fact, I am going to use the timer mode and make bread to be ready in the morning! I am pretty excited.
Plus a loaf of really tasty gf bread store bought is about $6 and this costs me about $2 a loaf.
So now that I told you what I am up today, I should probably fill you in on life in general.
It has been a long, tiring and stressful nine months since starting work full time. I feel like I have had a baby.
I am tired, out of shape and feel like I have had the life sucked out of me.
The restaurant, my baby, is doing well. I finally feel like it is doing what it should be doing. The staff is great and improving constantly. We are doing wine education and everyone is really putting the effort forward to learn. Sales are up and the regulars are coming in more frequently too.
The other great news is I finally have two days off in a row! I have been working six to seven days a week for the the last 39 weeks. I now have Sunday and Monday off. I almost don't know what to do.....almost.
I am enjoying Sunday with my family and doing a few errands. Mondays after I drop Kira off at school, Enzo and I are going to have a breakfast date. He is excited and so am I.
I am planning on getting rest and enjoying my time with my family and making an effort to do more things for them and with them.
Speaking of rest, goodnight!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kira's Kindergarten Graduation

 Last day of kindergarten
 I think she is excited
 They did not have the music so we all hummed the graduation song
Cap and gown
 Her class
 So proud
 So big!

 the family
 Her teacher
 Ice Cream Social
 Enzo shared with dad
Special Lunch at my work