Meal Planning & Other Randomness…

Popping in for a quick Meal Planning post, as I realized that this is the best way for my to catorgorize and keep together all my meal plans for quick/easy reference. So, basically…this post is for me, not you. #sorrynotsorry
Anyway.
Dinner this week…
Monday: We had breakfast sandwiches. English muffins, eggs, sausage. Easy peasy.
Tuesday: My plan was to have Cowboy Chicken Wraps, buuuut my mother-in-law texted this morning to remind me that Sonic has $.50 corndogs tonight. Soooo, I’m taking the easy/unhealthy route and will swing by Sonic to grab some for my peeps before I get to meet friends for dinner. Yay me!
Wednesday: Baked Ziti
Thursday: Chicken Taquitos
Friday: Easy Potato Soup
In other non-food related news…

  • Addi has strep throat, but I think we caught it before she really started feeling awful. Praying no one else gets it.Thursday is the dreaded glucose test day for me and #StarrBabyCinco. I promise to report back with the results and a baby update. Although, spoiler alert: I’m big and she’s still nameless.
  • Speaking of baby…I have some Christmas/birthday money & gift cards just burning a hole in my pocket and I’m very methodically trying to decide how I want to spend them. In a fairly uncharacteristic move, I’ve somehow acquired a little expensive taste this time around and have my eye on {this Ju Ju Be diaper bag} and {this Ergo 360} carrier. Necessities? Absolutely not! Can I live without them? Of course! BUT, if I have birthday $$/gift cards to spend, why not? Stay tuned.
  • Both little girls started basketball recently and it is just plain adorable. Not to mention, they LOVE getting the opportunity to play.
    Well, I think that’s all for now. Happy Tuesday that feels like a Monday, friends!

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Christmas/New Years 2014

Christmas was the BEST this year! There were several days over the last 2.5 weeks that we didn’t even leave the house. And it was GLORIOUS! Mr. Starr was a busy guy around the house, the kids watched lots of movies & played plenty of games, and I just enjoyed having everyone home. Of course, we had to pass around a nasty cough/respiratory virus just to keep things interesting, but even that didn’t keep us from our celebrating.
And now, a not-so-small pictorial recap!

Starr Baby Cinco: 18.5 Week Pregnancy Update

I’m a little blown away by how fast this pregnancy is going. Once the nausea and exhaustion were behind me (13 or so weeks), I felt like I was able to get back to “normal.” It’s funny how morning (all day!) sickness can just take everything out of you — the ability to function on a day-to-day basis. We were in survival mode for several weeks, and I’m happy to report that WE SURVIVED! And now? We’re just enjoying the ride!
Here’s a quick Starr Baby Cinco Update!
Due Date: May 12, 2015, as determined by early ultrasound. We are scheduled for our big anatomy scan on December 23, so we’ll confirm that date then.
Weeks: 18.5 weeks.
Gender: Your guess is as good as ours! We ARE planning on finding out the sex at our u/s…for logistical purposes. We got rid of a LOT of baby things after Kaiah was born, but still have plenty of clothes…that will, unfortunately, be for the wrong season.
We all have our guesses as to the gender — J and the kids all think girl, but I’m leaning towards boy. No, I don’t have any type of mother’s intuition…never have…it’s just my guess. 🙂
Total Weight Gain: Juuuust kidding! I don’t really plan on sharing that — mainly because I do my best to not even keep track. I can tell you this: I’m HUNGRY…and still running several times a week.
Maternity Clothes: Yes, please! I’m officially in maternity bottoms, with the exception of leggings and a couple pairs of super stretchy skinny jeans. They’re just more comfortable. As far as shirts go — I’ve never really been a maternity shirts person. I like to try to make do with what I have or just buy bigger sizes. That being said, I have invested in several maternity tshirts and tank tops that were on clearance at Old Navy. I certainly don’t have a problem with maternity wear (especially these days — that stuff is cuuuute!); however, it just pains me buy clothes that I’ll only wear for a few months.

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Sleep: I’m tired and sleep fairly well — minus all the CRAZY dreams.
Food: I don’t have any particular cravings, per se. However, when I get something in my head, then I tend to think about it all.the.time until I get it. And I’ve been going through spurts. I’ll eat a lot of something, then get sick (literally!) of it and won’t want to touch it again. Examples: Broccoli with dip, garlic noodles, Pancheros.
Pregnancy “Symptoms”: Heartburn (helllooo Tums!), primarily. My hips and lower back have been bothering me, as well, but that’s par for the course.
Movement: YES! Lots and lots of little baby kicks…and I LOVE it! The kids are anxious to be able to feel the movements. We’re hoping that’ll be within the next few weeks.
What I Miss: Running more than 3 miles at a time. Well, that and my waistline.
What I Love: Again, baby kicks are the best! Oh, and getting back in “baby mode.” I’ve been having fun researching strollers, perusing the baby aisles at Target, and “pinning” newborn “must-haves.”
What I’m Looking Forward To: Besides enjoying Christmas with our families, I’m excited to find out the gender AND for J & the kids to feel the baby move.
Well, I think that about covers it for now! More than anything? I’m just oh-so-grateful for this opportunity — it’s something I never imagined that we would experience again!
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Halloween — finally!

T’was the day before Thanksgiving and…Missy still hadn’t posted Halloween pics yet.
That’s how the diddy goes, right?
Anyway, just squeaking this in before I feel guilty for not having posted both Halloween AND Thanksgiving pics.
This Halloween/October/early November was great! Despite the fact that I was frequently feeling not-so-hot, we really enjoyed the {overall} nice weather and all the obligatory activities that come with fall. It’s funny — with everything we did and everywhere we went, I found myself thinking, “Holy crap! I’m going to be doing this with a baby in tow next year!” And, I’ll be honest — part of me is anxious at the thought of being back in baby mode and doing “big kid things” with a little one again. But for the most part? My excitement tells my anxiety to “shut the heck up! This is going to be great!” (Take that, Satan!)
On to the pics!

haloween
Beggars Night
Whew! It feels good to have that done. I can’t wait to share our Thanksgiving pics with you on the day before Christmas! 🙂
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Hey, baaaaby!

It’s been over a month since my last post, and while I’m sure no one is surprised, I can promise that I have a good excuse for the delinquency.
Not only have we been busy with all the usual stuff — school, work, games, practices, Halloween, fall fun, and our two November birthdays (all of which I still hope to blog about!) — but, as it turns out, God is {again!} showing us that His plan is better than anything we could ever imagine.
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That’s right, Starr Baby numero CINCO will be making his/her appearance in May!
So, yeah.
We’re pretty pumped. And the good (bad?) news for you is that, as some of you might remember, I’m an over-sharer when it comes to pregnancy — belly included! So, let this be your warning. Belly shots and allllll the nitty gritty pregnancy details (garlic noodles — eeewwwww!) are forthcoming!
Anyway, our kids are over-the-moon-talk-about-it-all-the-time-have-one-million-questions EXCITED! Here’s a quick video of the day we told them they were going to have a baby brother or sister. As you can see, the enthusiasm, for some, was high from the get-go…and for others (*ahem*Camden*Shea*Starr*), it only took a matter of hours before she was making plans to “feed the baby, but only when you’re not, Mom. Ok? You’re going to feed it like cows do, right, Mom?”
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Tasty Tuesday (??)

I was thinking that I should probably come up with some catchy name for when I post my meal plans on Tuesdays (you know, like every week!)…or even Wednesdays.
Tasty Tuesday? What’s For Dinner Wednesday? Yay? Nay? Regardless, I stink at posting on Mondays.
Anyhoo. Here’s what we’re eating this week:
Monday: Pasta Fagioli
Tuesday: Spicy Sausage Pasta (a tried and true Starr staple)
Wednesday: Pepper Jack Potato and Bacon Soup
Thursday: Meatball Stroganoff
Friday: Pampered Chef Large Bar Pan Pancakes (we didn’t get to these last week)
And now: A little September catch-up…just in case you don’t follow me on Instagram.
{One of my besties from college got hitched and I was lucky enough to be in on the festivities!}

{Wacky Wednesday for Homecoming week. KT did end up wearing pants. Pantless = a little TOO wacky…even for us!}Photobucket

Until next year…

Hey guys!  Seeing as I have already taken a couple days off from posting, I think I’m going to go ahead and officially declare it a blogging break!  Kind of like college Christmas break!  Only without the carefree days of hanging out with friends, sleeping in, and eating all of my mom and dad’s food.

Like many of you, my heart is so so heavy over the tragic incident in Newtown, CT last Friday and I just don’t feel like there is much I could write that hasn’t already been said or that could bring anyone any type of solace.  So, I’m going to choose to spend the remainder of this year focusing on my family.

When I return after the New Year (who knows, I might just pop in before that?!?), life for these Starrs is going to look a whole lot different.  I look forward to sharing with you in our journey through unemployment, EXTREME financial frugality, and small business start-up.  Yipes.  My eyes fill with tears and stomach begins to knot just writing those words.  But, we rest in peace knowing that a tiny Savior was born for us, died for us, and is here with us through all things.

Merry, merry Christmas dear friends!

Meal Planning Mondaaayyy! And a whole lotta August.

It’s about time I start documenting our dinners again.  Afterall, referring back to my MPM posts is the easiest way for me to meal plan quickly.  So, here’s our menu for the week:

Monday: Roast with potatoes, carrots, and onions

Tuesday: French Toast Bake

Wednesday: Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole (this is a labor of love for me – I am NOT a ham eater, but the hubster?  He LOVES Chicken Cordon Bleu.)

Thursday: Sweet Potato Hash

Friday: Spaghetti

Now! On to some serious picture catch-up from our last days of a hot August.

Ramblings & First Day of School Pics (Finally)

At some point I should probably just start calling this what it is – an online journal/scrapbook – rather than a {sorely neglected} blog.  I miss blogging.  I really do.  That was confirmed for me this week when I was helping Addi with a school project and had to go back through the blog to find a couple of pictures.  I started reading/reminiscing and didn’t stop until almost 2 hours later.  I really love what our little corner of cyberspace is/was/will become.  And it’s for this reason, that I hope to continue documenting our life.  Granted, it likely won’t look like it did before.  I might (read: will) go months between posts. I’ll probably share too many pics and not enough words. And you know what?  That’s ok with me.  It really is.  I have to let go of the guilt I feel for not posting regularly, for not refreshing the blog design frequently, for not writing what’s on my heart, for not developing fresh content.  Because this season of life?  This busyness?  It’s great.  Like, really, really great.  My marriage is thriving.  Our kids are happy, healthy, and getting cooler by the day.  J’s job is awesome. Our families are near and involved.  Could we use a few more dollas in the bank account?  Uh-huh! Am I doing what I know God put me on this earth to do (besides being a momma)?  I don’t think so.  Yet.  It’s all good. And I feel Him working in our lives.  It’s a deep stirring within me, really.  And that’s not even a great way to describe it.  I do my daily duties, take care of my 3 “jobs” (all of which I love, by the way), run kids from here to there, fix meals, clean up messes.  Yet, during it all, I can’t help but to feel like I’m waiting.  Really, it’s a feeling of hope and excitement.  Because his plans for me (us!) are far better than what I can dream.  And y’all?  I have BIG dreams.

Whew.

Aaaannnyyyyway, my whole point of posting today was to show off pictures from the kids’ first days of school.  Somehow we have a 2nd grader, kindergartener, and 5-day-a-weeker preschooler.  Oh, a wannabe school-goer, too.  Check out these snazzy looking, clean, and happy kids.  I can guarantee you that they have not looked like this since.  In fact, today is picture day and I let Eli wear his ISU jersey instead of some fancy collared shirt that would bring out his bright blue eyes.  Because do you know what else today is?!?  Do you??  It’s GAME DAY!  That’s right.  Game day > picture day in this house. Besides, I’ve decided that I’m going to always look back on his kindergarten picture and remember that that was him – Cyclone obsessed and only “comfy” in gym clothes.  Gosh, I love that kid.

On to the pics!

Weekend wrap-up/MPM

We’re back from a wonderful weekend spent in Minnesota, celebrating the marriage of my cousin Colin and his new bride Jacky.  It was a fun, but quick trip and I’m totally convinced that family weddings are the best.

Before we left on Saturday, Little Man E made his football debut and certainly didn’t disappoint.  It was pure sweetness seeing him out there diving after flags, running patterns, doing his best to refrain from tackling.

{1 & 4 cheering on 2}

We had to hustle out of the football game and hit the road north…but not before I drugged the children with Dramamine.  They have some serious car sickness issues and there was just no time for that on this trip. I’m not going to lie: I feel like this was one of my smarter moves as a mother.  Both trips there and back were as easy as it gets with 4 kids and we {thankfully} made it without any incidents.

What else?  We’re working towards getting on a more regular schedule around here.  J’s back to work, the kids start school in just over a week, and our sweet summer days are coming to an end.  I’m trying my best to get back to meal planning following a brief, but welcome hiatus.  So, here’s what’s on the menu for the Starr’s this week:

Monday: Pizza boats

Tuesday: Turkey Caesar Pita Pockets

Wednesday: Hickory Park Birthday Celebration for our almost 8-year-old Addi.

Thursday: Honey BBQ Sloppy Joes

Friday: Pizza for the birthday girl’s sleepover

Saturday: BLAT dogs

Happy Monday, friends!