SOLD!

Well folks, we’ve got some big news coming out of the Amspacker household!

WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!

Not just any house, but a beautiful, big, mid-century home with a white picket fence and a big oak tree out front.

It’s pretty much our dream home.

Catch? Does there always have to be a catch? Well, yes.

This wonderful, beautiful home is located in central Pennsylvania.

Like three-and-a-half hours away from good ol’ Sayre, PA central Pennsylvania.

Now, let me start off by saying, it was never a goal or dream in my lifetime to move to another middle-of-no-where small town, or even a town with close ties to Penn State, because well, I went to Temple University and my blood runs cherry and white, not white and blue. T for Temple U.

But there are two things in this three-and-half-hour, middle-of-no-where small town with close ties to Penn State University that make this move worth it.

Their names are Gabriel and Owen, my amazing stepsons.


Now, instead of being far away from them, we will now just be a short drive away.

A short drive away from their mom’s house, a short drive away from their school, a short drive away from baseball, basketball and any other sports, or anything, they decide to do.

We can now be the crazy, overbearing, cheering-too-loud parents we’ve always wanted to be and not just there for activities on every other weekend.

After going through a brutal custody battle in the beginning of the summer, and losing. Aaron and I were left with some choices, but really only one option. If we wanted to have the best environment and family for the boys, we needed to relocate to Mifflin County.

And so the house hunt began.

Well sort of, upon seeing a few houses online, we got together with a wonderful realtor (thanks again Kim!!) and we ended up putting an offer in on the first house we saw!

After a grueling mortgage process (seriously, I’m in banking and I don’t understand why it is always so tough), we finally closed on this beauty last week!!


It’s real now.

It was hard to wrap my mind around this all happening when everything was a hypothetical. Now, it’s real. We own a home. We are painting, we are moving, we are unpacking. It is ours.

Ours.

While I may be moving from my home town, and Aaron moving away from his home for the past eight years, we are making our own home in Lewistown.

Because home is where the heart is, and our hearts are with our boys. There’s no running from us now!


So I may be a little MIA for the next few weeks while I try to wrap up the last few days at work, packing and unpacking and starting a job in t-14 days.

But don’t worry, this process has already inspired many blog posts, and ways to further embarrass my stepsons when I pick them up from the bus stop.

Cheers family. ? ? ?

The Potty Trials

So Charlie pooped on the potty! Exciting, right? Yes and no.

I never thought my daughter would be ready to start potty training before I was ready for her to. I mean, seriously, who wants to change diapers?

Now, I keep having flashbacks of the bright green, raisins and stained carpet.

But I’m getting ahead of myself… let’s take it back to where it all began.

My daughter makes distinct noises and crouches down like she is a tiger stalking her pray in a field of tall grasses when she goes number two.

I became acutely aware of this after she added some company to one of our baths one night.

While cleaning up, I noticed some crouching tiger hidden dragon going on in the corner of my living room.

Upon this discovery, Charlie and I made our way to the bathroom to sit on her stinky skunk potty.

It was then I realized the hard part is keeping her on the potty long enough to do the deed.

So, I did what any parent would do. I bribed her. I let her play with something she knew she was never supposed to touch, my nail polish bottles.


After picking up and dropping all of the nail polishes, the thunder came down into my bathroom.

It was really the sound the got my attention. It was like a rescue airplane dropping gallons of water on a burning fire in California. The sound also scared my daughter so much she jumped up off the pot before she was actually done going and got it all over the bottoms of her pajamas and shoes.

The color, the smell, oh goodness she ate raisins today.

Between figuring out how to clean this catastrophe in the corner of my bathroom and pure shock that Charlie actually used the potty, I missed the tiger crouching down behind me on my bath mat. After cleaning out the potty and yelling congratulations to this little child, I turned just in time to catch her finish her poo all over my bathroom rug.

It was then we decided to take the second bath of the day.


And when I realized I needed more wine, a lot more wine to even consider the potty training process for at least another month.

So, whenever you think you have a bad case of the Mondays, just think, you could be cleaning multi-colored poop off the floor while chasing a pant-less toddler. Or you could borrow mine for a few hours.
Cheers. ?

Another year older, another year wiser?

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, I smell like baby poo, happy birthday to me!

Welp, one year older.. one year wiser? Maybe.

Looking back on the past year it has been heartbreaking, challenging, and absolutely incredible. Our family has become older, stronger and closer than we ever have before. My darling daughter turned one, and my husband and I celebrated our first anniversary.

So what has being 26 taught me? In a nutshell.. life goes on.

26 was filled with amazing memories of taking Charlie to Philadelphia, watching friends get married, growing with my husband and watching my amazing step-kids grow up, etc.

But it was also a difficult year. I mourned my grandmother and close friends taken too soon. I watched a custody battle breakdown two boys and my husband. Friends moved away and friendships drifted apart. Divorce drew lines in the sand.

My point? I am still here talking about the last year.

I am still here watching my daughter turn into a vivacious toddler. I am still here snuggling with my husband after a long day at work. I am still here FaceTiming with my stepchildren every chance we get.

Life doesn’t stop when bad or tough things happen. So, we can either let these challenges hinder us from succeeding, or let them fuel the fire pushing us to go better, faster, stronger into our futures.

Recently I have been studying the Bible. Obviously I was not a good Catholic girl growing up because this has been the first time I have cracked the good book open to see what God’s message says to me.

From 1 Corinthians 10:13 :

“Any temptation you face will be nothing new. But God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can handle. But He always provides a way of escape so that you will be able to endure and keep moving forward.”

I can’t lie, I am still so new with the Bible that I did google search what part of the Bible that quote was from and even how to spell it, don’t judge.. it’s a sin. 😉

But the meaning behind this quote has kept be motivated to get up every morning and put a smile on my face. God only gives us what we can handle. We all have tough times, difficult days, heartbreaking situations.. so God must think we are all so incredibly tough.

It’s true. We are given this life full of challenges and obstacles that turn into beautiful life changing events and build the character of the person we are today.

Fifty years from now when I turn 77, I am going to look back on my life and ask was I a good person? Did I make a difference in this world?

I won’t remember the stress of trying to make ends meet. Or the nauseating feeling watching people lie in a court of law. Or the sting of losing friendships.

I’ll remember the joy in my children’s eyes. The motivation behind decisions for our family, and how we chose to stay happy.

I will also have one of my great-grandkids make me a stiff margarita while riding shotgun in one of their fancy flying cars and tell them all about what the internet was.

I will remember how this was the year I finally started to believe in myself. I stopped second-guessing and underestimating myself before I even tried. I started to build confidence and fierceness, cue Beyoncé music.

So happy birthday to me, one year older and yes, one year wiser. It’s a new, fresh start.

The moral of the story here, people, is treat everyday like it’s your birthday. Wake up fresh, be nice to people, and don’t let the small stuff, or big stuff, keep you down and keep you from doing you, dawg.

First and last time I’ll say dawg as a late-twenties woman, whoops I said it again. Look at this 27-year-old tryin’ to be hip like she know somethin’

Cheers to another trip around the sun.

With and Without Series: Getting Ready for Work

Ever since having my daughter it seems my to-do list is always adding five things each day and maybe getting one task ticked off the list.

It’s not that I’m not motivated, but having a crazy one-year-old around can steal my attention and make simple tasks, like dishes, seem impossible.

And that’s when my husband is home to help.

Last night he went out of town and left me and the nugget to ourselves for a ladies’ night, and a ladies’ morning.

I have to admit, we haven’t done a very good job of getting Charlie on a schedule so some days she wakes up early, some days she sleeps till 10. Those days she sleeps late is usually when she’s home with my husband and I’m at work. So of course, on a day where I have to get ready for work and home by myself.. she decides to get up early.

Thus the inspiration for the latest installment of the With and Without Series..

With and Without : Getting Ready for Work

6 a.m.

Without Kids: Roll over to the alarm and hit the snooze. The sun isn’t out yet, just five more minutes in this small form of heaven, a.k.a my bed.

With Kids: Shit, shit turn off that dang alarm. It’s so loud and if it wakes up this sleeping baby in my bed I am going to be so mad! Phew, she’s still sleeping. Maybe I can catch some more shut eye quick since she was up three times last night.

6:30 a.m.

Without Kids: Time to get up! Stumble into the bathroom and get in the shower. Put my favorite radio station on and, oh yum, the coffee I got ready last night is brewing!

With Kids: Oh shit, I overslept again! Somehow I need to maneuver my arm out from under this sweaty, sleepy toddler without waking her up. Two tugs and I’m still not free, let’s try some ninja moves mixed with a downward dog, finally I’m loose! I tiptoe to the closet to pick out my outfit of the day, and squeeeaaaakkkkk. That damn closet door knob is going to be the death of me! Small cries start from under the covers.. I quickly jump into the closet thinking if she doesn’t see me maybe she will fall back asleep! Standing there the cries slow and it seems she’s fallen back to sleep. Taking way to long to pick out an outfit I scurry to the bathroom.. but first another squeeeeaaakkkkkk goes the bedroom door knob. Oh you’ve got to be kidding me. My husband better come home with some WD-40. I turn on the shower, only to hear cries instead of feeling warm water on my body. Little nugget is sitting up in my bed, crying, until I poke my head around the corner where she shows off her newest move, waving hello. Well good morning to you, too.

7 a.m.

Without Kids: Lotion up after that warm shower, go grab the steaming cup of Joe and get dressed. My favorite morning radio show is on and helping get me in the mood for the day. I’m running behind, as always, but I’ll just forgo some eye shadow to make up for the lost time.

With Kids: After nursing the baby, changing her diaper and getting her dressed for the day, there’s no way I’m getting in the shower today. Thank  God for dry shampoo and perfume. Grab some bath toys and set down the baby next to them to play while I quickly get dressed and pull out some make up. Before the eyeshadow even gets on, a whimpering baby walks over and is tugging on my legs to get picked up. Oh boy. Run and get some cheerios in a bowl in hopes the food will distract her long enough to throw on some mascara and concealer.

7: 30 a.m

Without Kids: Makeup finished, hair almost dried. Coffee cup is empty, just enough time to check my Facebook and grab a bite for breakfast! It is, after all, the most important meal of the day! Time to refill my coffee cup and take the dog out.

With Kids: After finally smearing on concealer under my eyes. I grab the still crying baby, who is obviously still tired, and set her on the counter. Alas, the tears stop! Perfect, now time to do something with this nest of hair on my head.. dry shampoo and a pony tail. Perfect. Almost ready to go, the dog gets up off the bed in the corner.. shit I forgot about taking the dog out! While throwing together anything that’s in the fridge for a makeshift lunch, I catch a glimpse of the empty coffee pot.. damn I wish I remembered to set it last night instead of falling asleep on the couch!

8 a.m.

Without Kids: Lunch packed, travel cup full of coffee, time to head out the door! Bye pup!

With Kids: With a lunch pail in one hand, purse over the shoulder, diapers under the other arm, and baby on the hip we rush out the door to get to daycare. Counting down the seconds until I have to be at work, I strap the baby in her car seat. Jumping in the driver’s seat I turn up my favorite morning radio show. Headed down the road I look in the rearview mirror and catch the most beautiful sight – Charlie dancing along to the music and smiling. Finally a smile! We sing and dance all the way to daycare.

In an instant a crazy, stress-filled morning was made amazing with just one glance at the most important person in the world.

Though I may have a disheveled look, mismatched clothes or a last-minute ponytail, I wouldn’t change this crazy morning for anything! Except for maybe a cup of coffee!

Cheers.

Easy, Fun Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

I’m all about good food. And easy food. Especially since I’m new to this whole eat-something-nutritious-for-dinner-not-a-bowl-of-cereal thing. And I thought I wasn’t turning into my mother.

I have had plenty of failed recipes that I have tried to do for my family and blog. You don’t even want to know about the turkey and zucchini meatballs that pretty much destroyed my oven and my daughter’s appetite.

But this recipe not only hits the spot when it comes to satisfying taste buds, it’s easy on a busy mom and makes the house smell fantastic! And with a giant, 120 lb dog that is sometimes a hard thing to do at my house!

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On the particular day I made these, I quick mixed everything together, threw it in the fridge, took a walk with one of my besties and came home rolled-it up, threw it in the oven and it was ready just in time for some Grey’s Anatomy and wine time with her!

My daughter is also eating anything we eat and she loves this!

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Molly also galloped through my house whenever a piece was dropped on the floor. I used the few rolls that were left over for lunch for the rest of the week. SCORE!

This dinner is a winner all around.

I’m not a big meat in my lasagna person but it would be very easy to add in some ground venison, beef or turkey.

This goes excelled paired with wine. Red or white. Just as long as it’s wine really.

Cheers!

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Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

Serves 6
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Allergy Egg, Milk
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Serve Hot
Website Skinny Taste
A modern and easy take on a classic lasagna recipe. Perfect for beginners and hungry people.

Ingredients

  • 6 Lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups Spinach
  • 15oz Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 cups Tomato Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese (shredded)
  • 1 clove Garlic

Note

Tip: Lay cooked noodles out on foil or wax paper before adding cheese. This will keep them from sticking to your counter.

Directions

Preheat
Step 1
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Sautee spinach and garlic over medium heat until spinach is wilted.
Boil
Step 2
Boil water and cook lasagna noodles.
Mix
Step 3
Combine spinach, ricotta cheese, egg, parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish with one cup of the sauce.
Spread
Step 4
Lay out cooked noodles, pat dry. Spread spoonfuls of the cheese mixture onto noodle until it's evenly covered.
Roll
Step 5
Roll noodle up and place seam side down in baking dish. Repeat until all noodles are in dish.
Cover and cheese
Step 6
Cover noodles in remaining sauce. Top each noodle with mozzarella cheese.
Cook
Step 7
Cover dish with foil. Cook for 40 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Step 8
Enjoy!