Death Comes Unexpectedly

It was 2012 and I was lying in the dark replaying over and over again how my grandpa looked laid out in his coffin.  Surprised; he looked like himself, but he felt so cold. I could still feel his cold waxy skin on my finger and shuddered at the thought of seeing him again. I’d never been to a funeral before and not knowing what to expect had me frozen in my bed. And then I knew what I had to do. I had to talk to my grandpa and ask him if it was okay that I didn’t go. I tripled checked with myself that my not wanting to go wasn’t based on nerves about playing the piano but I knew deep in my young soul that it wasn’t that. I wasn’t ready to face death in the traditional way. So I starting talking out loud feeling in my heart that my grandpa could hear, and then came the peace and I knew it was okay that I didn’t go.

It’s a hot and sticky July 4th 2015 morning, I am standing at the local church with the neighbors lamenting the fact that the pancake breakfast was what appeared to be left over Scout camp pulled pork added to scrambled eggs for breakfast burritos.  My phone rang, my brothers name showed up on the caller ID. Struck by the odd timing, I answered and heard him faintly say on the other end “Ann’s dead. Aunt Ann died.” My brain couldn’t process what he was saying.  Grandma was next in line. She was asking daily if she could go. We were prepared for her parting. But Aunt Ann.  He was wrong, I heard him wrong. “No” I said, not Aunt Ann. “Yes, Marci Aunt Ann.”  Suddenly I looked around I had to get off of the phone with him and find Danny.  I was stifling the tears and holding back the tormented sobs I didn’t want to draw anyones attention away from their awful burritos. As soon as I could get the words out of my mouth to Danny I had to walk quickly away I could no longer suppress the shock and sadness desperately trying to escape my pursed lips. It was all I could do to make it to the front door before the ugly, desperate sobs came pouring from deep within. Aunt Ann. Gone. Aunt Ann. Gone. Aunt Ann Gone. I threw myself across my bed like a moody teenager as my body shook with tears.

The next few days the sadness would sneak up on me, streaming from my eyes before I ever had a chance to stifle it back down. How could she? Why did she? How come I didn’t… the last thought the most painful as it had been on my mind to call her. Who was going to tell my how to parent based on something she had seen in one of her Soap Operas? Who was going to be planning dinner while we ate breakfast? Who was going to remind me about all the things that didn’t really matter, but in the moment did? Who was going to be my cool aunt who lived in California?

Standing at her viewing shortly before her funeral I recall the little girl reaching for her grandpas hand to find what was once warm and so inviting to be cold and waxy. I make my way to the casket, vowing to keep my hands to myself. Who was that unfamiliar face looking back at me? They had turned her lips up in a smile. Didn’t they know? She didn’t smile for pictures. Why was she smiling now? Suddenly I hear a voice saying it’s time for one last look before they close the casket. I push myself forward, not wanting to lose one last moment to look at a face, as unfamiliar as it may be, and suddenly I hear it. I hear the most gut wrenching sob filling the air with it pain only to realize it’s coming from me.   Momentarily filled with embarrassment from letting my feelings show I discover that trying to stop it is only making it worse. My mom gently wraps her arm around me as I fall into her shoulder and pulls me away. For just a moment I want to be that little girl again, the girl who knew that good byes are painful, and avoiding them helps ease that pain. Danny pulls me from my mom and I fall into his embrace, looking at the faces of my 6 children filled with shock and concern for their mother and promise myself that later I would have all the right things to say to help them know it’s okay.

2012 Like many other days returning home from being out with 6 children between the ages of 2-10 was chaotic and exhausting. It was a chaotic time of life, I had fortunately realized that having babies wasn’t actually a solution to my problems, unfortunately I had replaced acquiring babies to animals. The current count? 2 cats, 2 dogs (Great Danes no less), I think the water frogs were still alive, and we had newly added 3 bunnies. After realizing the stench of 3 bunnies was to much for the house we had relocated them to the back yard and taken on the challenge of keeping the dogs, the large, large dogs, away from the bunnies.  Each return home turned into a bunny head count, and I prayed that we could stay ahead of the Great Danes advances. Deep down I think I knew that inevitably we were going to come home and find we weren’t faster than the dogs. What I said to my children and myself was to the contrary. This return home was no different than all the others, until the girls reached the bunny enclosure to find 2 of the 3 missing. My gut flew into a panic, while trying to maintain a calm demeanor. I was reassuring as I help the kids search for the bunny. The longer it took the more hope I was losing. I did my best to keep a hopeful smile on my face while I headed to the front yard to see if they had ended up there. As I searched under bushes up front I was ripped from my search by the blood curdling death scream that I heard. As my feet started moving me towards to sound I knew the bunny had been found, and that it was dead. In my head I knew that choosing to bring animals into our family opened the door to my children learning about death. What wasn’t prepared for this was my heart. Facing my daughter as she looked at her bunny motionless on the ground I was unable to look her in the eye. The only words I could find to comfort her with was that the bunny didn’t suffer. Did I know this for sure? No. Was I comforting her or me?

2017 Pushing the landlord one more time (that year) to let us add a dog to our lease was met with a stern no. Unlike past times we pushed a little more and asked why. He gave one reason after another, the one that stood out to me? “Because the dog will die, and that will be sad.” I instantly flashed back to the scream I heard that day, while I understood the reason he would say that, I also knew that kids can heal from that sadness. He didn’t give in (that day, eventually we wore him down), and his reasoning stuck with me.

2018 We had just returned from a 3 day vacation I was rushing up the stairs to use the bathroom after the long drive. I was almost up the stairs when I heard the cry. Not as shrill and sharp as before but still familiar, I turned around knowing what had happened.  Katelyn rushed up the stairs and fell onto my waiting lap. Her guinea pig had died. She buried her head into my shoulder and the tears streamed down her cheeks. I slowly and calmly rubbed her back. In the past I had tried to find the words that I hoped would help the pain go away as quickly as possible. Those words generally turned in a tickle and joke, because I had learned that the pain my child felt was a pain that I felt. But this time? This time I sat and let her cry. Knowing that in time the pain would pass, hoping to teach her the pain of death is not something to run from, it’s something to feel, something to grow from, and something to understand can happen unexpectedly.

**The title of this post comes comes directly from my favorite childhood movie PollyAnna.  At one point the pastor is delivering his sermon and pounds the pulpit and declares that “DEATH COMES UNEXECTEDLY!” His fire and brimstone is something I hear in my head almost every time death occurs. It used to add to the pain and discomfort, but as I’ve grown I’ve come to learn that whether expected or not death brings with it pain. Hiding from the pain or trying to numb the pain may make it go away temporarily, but choosing to walk through the pain has painted the scars it leaves into a rainbow weaved into my story.

 

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Chaos and Quiet

I knew the next morning was going to be rough because we were getting the kids to bed so late and I was mentally exhausted. I also knew that because of the chaos of the night I would be getting a 2 am wake up call from the 5 month old puppy.  I was close the dog got up at 2:30.  Some nights I don’t have a hard time going back to sleep, other nights it’s more difficult. This was a night in the middle. I don’t remember going back to sleep, but I do remember being awake thinking about the next days schedule.  When the alarm went off I struggled to get my eyes open to push the snooze button.  Before the snooze time had run out my 7 year old, and one of our cats made it known that it was in fact time to get up.  I struggled.  I struggled to get up, I struggled to wrap my mind around getting the kids to school, I struggled to find the get up and go to get up and go.  I finally did but 10 minutes later than I “needed” to.  Thank you Curious George and PBS for keeping my early riser occupied until I got up.  As I slowly got up I started to question the dependance that I had created of my oldest three. I am the alarm, and on days that the alarm is tired it wakes them up late, it’s not a great system, especially when “the alarm” was supposed to switch someones laundry when she got up at 6:30. It was now 7:20. The newly proclaimed pescatarian was searching to find a lunch box as school lunch had suddenly become unacceptable. A small argument occurred on the order of operations and how lunch box finding was at the end of getting ready not the beginning.  Another small eruption over the lack of French toast sticks, that turned into a lack of oatmeal portion size occurred. Tears on the couch for no reasons were a backdrop to matching/appropriate school clothing conversations. Trying to silently remove my mind while keeping me psychically there I sipped hot coffee and prayed I would be able to suppress the yell in my throat.  We made it to the car, and were so close to successfully leaving when the daily disagreement about who was sitting where started up.  Still being mindful of the yell in my throat I told them I would count to 5 and then be pulling away from the curb.  They barely made it in, but they did it and we were on our way.  With the chaos of the morning I was happy to see we were on time and soon I would be home in the quiet.

Suddenly it became apparent that our normal commute was backed up and we were headed on an alternate route to school.  As gratitude for our safety overcame me, the yell in my throat dissolved while I worked on keeping us safe on the rest of the journey.  As we neared the school talked turned from the car accident, and distracted driving to police officers and their presence at the school.  We made it to the drop off spot, arrangements were made to get everyone checked into school and I headed back home. I was a little frustrated that I missed my favorite part of the morning radio show I listen to on the way home, but feeling relief at successfully dropping the kids off. I walked in the door at home and it was quiet. The silence enveloped me and I was able to finally wrap my mind around scheduling the kids bi-annual dental check-up. Feeling buoyed by that success I looked up the college counselor we needed to schedule with and reached out to her, feeling like I was on a role I switched laundry, started a new load, and ate breakfast. I sat down to map out the rest of my day, and while my brain was wildly planning all of the things I was about to do my body settled in to recoup from the chaos. I eventually succumbed to the sitting and the phone rang, a friend on the other line, as I said hello my brain reminded me of our to do list for the day. As the conversation developed my brain quieted down. She talked I listened, I talked she listened, the other line beeped; the kids school. I let it go to voicemail as the automated call was probably to remind me of up coming student led conferences or an upcoming fundraiser. Two minutes later the other line beeped again, it was one of my oldest. Was she calling to tell me that the automated call was due to a tardy or an absence?

She said “did you get the message?”

“I got the call, I haven’t listened to the message yet, what’s going on?”

“The school is on lock down, kids stole guns that go to our school and they’re out there.”

As I tried to shove the tears out of my voice I asked her again what was going on, where was she? Where were all my other kids? Is everyone safe? Is she okay? Yes everyone is safe, yes she is okay.

I quickly ended the call with my friend, trying and failing to keep the quiver out of my voice the lump out of my throat, the tears out of my eyes. The message, thank you Apple that the transcription worked. The message boiled down to “not an active situation”. Breathing, calming, news, the news must be covering this. Turn on the news, small blip in the slow crawl on the bottom of my screen. Google, google always knows. Search, story, answers, more questions. Battery dying. Find charger. Phone rings, other oldest on the phone.

“Did you get the message”

Calmer this time around, I gave and got all of the details either of us had. She was okay.

Had my 3rd child emailed me? Why do I keep her phone at home while she is at school? This isn’t supposed to happen. Check email, she’s there. Is it that boy? Yes. Are you okay? Yes.

Call husband does he know? He knows. He is the calm voice of reason. The kids are safe at school that’s where they’ll stay. Going to pick them up now will add to the chaos. I keep checking the news, are they really okay? Yes they really are okay.

Finding the quiet in the chaos. I must move my body to slow my mind. Shoes on, dog on leash. Moving, calming, moving, calming, back and forth I feel the quiet settle in. I re-enter my house and am enveloped in the same quiet that was there after school drop off. I sit in it.

The phone rings, the school again, this time I answer hoping for more answers on the end of the line. I must show ID to pick my kids up from school. Child calls;

“mom, you have to pick us up.”

Trying my best to keep it together the calm vanishes, I shove the tears aside, “yes, yes I know.”

Another child calms, I detail the plan as though I had prepared for this all day, another child calls. As I reassure her that I have a plan, I am reassuring myself I have a plan. The tears managed to stay back while I assured my kids I was there for them.

I feel it. I want my mom. I call, try to act casual, two minutes in I’m sobbing. Sobbing and asking my mom if she can go buy popsicles because after I pick my kids up from school I need to bring them to her house so they can eat popsicles. So she can hold me while I hold them and make sure they are okay. My mom, my angel, is off to get popsicles.

I arrive at the school and from a distance can see the full parking lot and feel the reverence and gravity of the situation. Bodies moving slowly. As I walked through the parking lot I had to fight the urge to hug every police officer and teacher I passed. They were calm and collected I would act the same. As I worked through the ID check out process I chuckle at how a little “red tape” can sure do a lot to remove the emotion from a situation! Children are checked out and safely in my arms. Three of my kids don’t know what’s happened, they recanted what they were told; “it was a red air day, but it wasn’t and that is why we had to stay inside.” The oldest three asked questions and answered questions I tried and failed to manage the information shared because I hadn’t been able to tell the youngest three what had gone on.

We spill out of the car at my mom’s house, her and my dad both outside, and child number 5 falls into my arms, tears streaming down her face. “Mom, I’m scared.” Through  my tears that I’d been pushing around all day I told her she was safe. I told her all the reasons she was safe, reminding myself all the reasons she is safe.

Details are shared, speculations are made, politics are put aside. Popsicles and cookies are eaten. The quiet in the chaos is found.

Run Marci Run

At the beginning of every year I come up with a mantra for the year. I find this to be more effective in creating change than coming up with resolutions. The mantra usually evolves a bit over the year, but it’s a reminder of what I am focusing on and the evolution, shows progress.  This year started out as “better choices”.  I was happy with the direction my life was headed at the end of 2016 but reflecting on the year I was able to see that I had the opportunity to up my game a bit and make better choices thereby getting better results.  The first evolution happened shortly into January of 2017. I replaced it with “better results, better choices.” I was recognizing areas that I wanted improvement but didn’t want to do anything different (hello exercise!).  This helped me push through frustration I was having at seeing others succeed in areas that I wasn’t. They were obtaining better results due to better choices.

I on again off again exercised but nothing to strenuous and definitely nothing routine.  On August 21, the first day of school, I knew that I wanted to set a different end of the day routine for my kids (better results, better choices). I told them that upon getting a snack and taking a little breather they either had to run a mile or bike four.  Complaints and declarations of inability shortly followed.  My response, “I’ll do it with you.”  An eerie quiet fell over the car. Doubting what I had said they repeated “you’ll do it with us?” A little background: I am (was) a self professed non runner.  I was proud of my non running status. I can walk for days, bike absolutely, elliptical, etc. pretty much anything to avoid the run. I have warned that if you ever see me running don’t ask questions and start running with me! So, I’m sure you can imagine my children’s shock at my offer. Due to this offer everyone of my children (6 in total ages 6-15) joined in. They waited for me to put on the proper attire, still not fully trusting me, and lined up out front with me.  Due to different speeds we all agreed to a chalk tally mark by our chalk initials to mark our progress. And then, we were off.

I’ve got sprinters and I’ve got walkers, so we all finished at different times. All the kids were very happy with the fact that they beat mom. They were all happy that I participated and finished.  I was shocked and surprised that I finished and with my time. At the end of the mile I felt like my chest and lungs might explode and my legs were going to fall off, but I also felt an amazing, growing, sense of pride, in myself.  The last time I had run a mile was my junior year of high school it had taken me over 15 minutes, and I think that was the day I swore off running. This time I had completed the mile in 14 minutes and 58 seconds. In that moment a record breaking miracle. I feel pride in a lot of things, but realized that I didn’t give myself many opportunities to feel pride in myself, in something that I’d done for myself and no one else.

The bigger moments have actually followed that day.  One of them was two days later when I put my shoes on and did it again. I really did not like the way I felt while I was doing it, but the way I felt after propelled me to keep on doing it. Not only have I kept doing it but I’ve gotten faster and gone farther. My goal was, and still is, 1 mile 5 days out of the week under 13 minutes.  For the first month I was dedicated and consistent. I have had some ups and downs and had a few weeks where I only made the run once. Instead of giving up because I had failed (that was my past pattern) I have been aware, made the necessary adjustments, and gotten back at it. To further push myself I have signed up for my first 5K. There is a part of me, the part that compares myself to everyone else, that thinks it’s silly to do this because everyone else is out there having fun on Thanksgiving. For me this is a race, something I have concerns about finishing, concerns about starting, and concerns about how it all works. I’ve asked that part of me to take a break, sit this one out, and allow that part of me that is committed to success and trying something new to take over.

As I headed into the gym last week I evolved my mantra for the year again to “better results, better choices, better actions.” I did not want to go to the gym. I did not want to run. I did not want to take the action. I did however want the result and the benefit. I was once again reminded that I can’t complain about the results I am getting if I am not actively engaged in getting the result.  It’s a bit disappointing that I can’t get the benefits of running if I am sitting on the couch looking at pictures of runners on Instagram.  What’s not disappointing is the pride I feel in myself that I am taking the steps to accomplish something I had convinced myself that I couldn’t do.

Good Enough

When is it good enough? If someone does it different does that mean their way is better? If someone tells you that you should do it differently does that mean the way you are doing it is wrong? What if there is a better way but that doesn’t work for you, does that mean that your way is still enough?

Several months ago someone commented to me about hypocritical life coaches/ self help people.  One of my priorities into stepping into the life coaching field is to make sure that I am walking my talk.  When I worked at Discover card, light years ago, I had a supervisor tell me something that has impacted my life time and again.  She said “I won’t ask my employees to do anything I am not willing to do myself.”  This helped me for the time I worked there but even more so has it shown up in my life as a mother, wife, friend, sister, daughter, and currently a life coach.

You may not know that several years ago I stepped out to be a life coach and shortly into the work had to stop due to feeling like a fraud.  To sit with someone asking questions, and finding solutions for their life in a manner that I was unwilling to do in my own quickly exposed the hypocrisy.  I don’t doubt that I was able to provide value, but in skipping the “self” portion I was cheating myself out of an opportunity to not only have sage skills, but to have gone to the dark places, the forgotten places, the overwhelming scary places myself. So I stopped the life coaching then and hopped onto my own personal life journey roller coaster.

Back to 4 months ago when the hypocrisy comment was sent my way: I realized that once again I had an area and opportunity for growth. I worked in the health and wellness industry, dishing out nutrition, supplement, exercise, breathing, suggestions several days a week. But what was I doing? I was a professed never taker of supplements. Not because I thought I didn’t need them, or that they weren’t beneficial, but, simply because I had overwhelmed myself with knowledge about supplements, thereby paralyzing myself into inaction.  I decided it was time to pose a challenge to myself and actually see if I could do it. I took all of the rules off the table and asked myself what I could do to make this work best for me.  I anchored this new habit I wanted to create to an existing habit: flossing my teeth. I am a devoted, dedicated flosser, so I knew that if I took the supplements at bed time after I flossed my teeth I increased the likelihood of it happening.  My next decision was what was I going to take? After narrowing it down to the few that I felt were the most important I started on the journey.

And so it began. I decided to toss the all or nothing success mentality out the window and if I was doing this at least 3 days a week I was reaching 100% success. This is called backing down.  Start with what you want to achieve, and then back it down to a place that you are most likely to be consistently successful and then slowly build upon that.

I didn’t notice any immediate change but I did find myself excited to take the supplements all day, and a little resistance to when the time came to actually taking them.  But, one week in and I was at least 3 days of success, probably a little more. The next week similar results. Over the course of 4 months I have successfully achieved my 3 days at least, most of the time actually more.  Why I ask if this is good enough.

I was happily enjoying the success of what I was doing and started to share my success with people.  I was surprised at the reaction, and actually had to check in with myself to see if this is how I was meeting people’s success. I was told how I could do it better. How I could do it more like other people were doing it. Inadvertently I was being told that what I was doing wasn’t good enough.  I don’t think people consciously thought that, but without recognition my huge victory was being minimized with counsel on how I could do it better.

I was being told how I could change my habit from the flossing time to the morning time. I was being told how dosing out my supplements the night before, or for the week, could ensure success. I was being asked what supplements I was taking and then being told what else I could add. What was missing was a celebration and acknowledgment of my success.  How quickly I could have shut myself down because what I was doing wasn’t good enough.

Fortunately for me I entered into this as an experiment, so I was already giving greater awareness to what I was experiencing. I was not anticipating this type of response from others. I immediately started to check in with myself about how I was greeting others (especially my children’s) declarations of success.  Was I celebrating? Or immediately and unsolicitedly (yes I just made up a word) telling them how they could do/be better, therefore insinuating that their success wasn’t good enough?

Oh the psychological rabbit hole to jump down in regards to the reasons behind these types of reactions, but that is a post for a different day.

And if you were wondering? Yes I am still successfully taking my supplements when I floss at least 3 days a week.  I have actually, for the first time in my life, taken several whole bottles of supplements and had to buy more! And on the next level of success I am adding 1 day time supplement to the mix.  Baby steps!

Are you helping others celebrate their success?

Stepping into it

My purpose with power. I read a powerful reminder today; don't see my self-doubt as a stop sign but a hurdle to over come. This post is me crawling over the hurdle, a shout out to myself to get it out of my head and down on "paper". The beauty of what goes on in my mind does nothing for nobody when I'm keeping it to myself. I'm moving forward remembering "Why fit in when you were born to stand out!"

Five Things to Do Everyday

I am often surprised that in the positive thinking, you bring about what you think about community, there is a world of advice on what to stop doing.  I was reminded of this again yesterday when I saw a post about 5 things to quit right now.  This reminded me of my high school child development class, and how to ask a child to stop doing something.  You don’t.  Instead of telling a young child what not to do you give them an alternative of what to do.  For example, what not to say, “Johnny stop using those scissors to cut your sisters hair” what to say “Johnny use the scissors to cut this paper and make me a surprise.”  Now Johnny gets to use scissors and his sister doesn’t have a new hair style (and it’s always this easy <insert sarcasm font>).

This tactic has bounced around in my head for years and served me well, and honestly I think as an adult I have benefited far more from focusing on what to start doing instead of what to quit.  After what I read yesterday I decided that rather than give some trite advice on what you should wake up today and not do, I would provide some suggestion on what you to do, with one more reminder, use baby steps.  The thing that may prevent us from progress is the thought that it all has to be done, and perfected, today, right now, hurray up, no mistakes.  Instead wake up and make a choice to do one or two small things, in a more helpful, congruent manner will help encourage you to keep going because lots of small victories are much better than sitting on the couch trying to figure out how to quit doing something that you’ve always done.

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  1. Be pleased with yourself.  When you have that really amazing thought today, especially if it’s about something that seems insignificant, pat yourself on the back and be pleased that your amazing brain was amazing. Seeing how awesome you are will help you see how awesome others are. When you begin to see the goodness in yourself you will better recognize it in others.
  2. Embrace Change.  Especially the small kind (like deciding what to have for dinner at 4 pm instead of 6 pm). The change that only you will notice because it’s so small AND so important to helping you guide your ship the direction you want it to go.  When you do this see #1, and pat yourself on the back for being AMAZING.
  3. Live in the present.  Show up today and make today all about today, right now.  Not 5 minutes from now, not yesterday or last week but today.  Start by doing this for 3 minutes a day.  Stand outside, see the trees, smell the smells, feel the weather, touch the ground, and be fully present in that moment.  As you bring yourself present with today, out in nature, you’ll get to see the small changes that everyday brings, and you’ll probably have a really amazing thought.  See #1, pat yourself on the back for being AMAZING.
  4. Put yourself UP. Look at yourself in the mirror, directly in the eyes, and say “I matter.”  Because you do.  You’re probably going to have a really amazing thought, and before you tell it to go away, STOP!  See #1 be pleased with how awesome you are that you looked at yourself and thought good things about YOU!
  5. Baby steps.  How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.  When you start to shut down STOP looking at the big picture, find the little picture and pick a baby step out of that and move towards that.  You’ll have a good thought see #1 pat yourself on the back and think about how much you matter.

When you have that good thought and want to share, but are scared and don’t know who to share it with, share it with me.  I am here to tell you that the baby steps will get your there, you matter, and it’s okay to say how amazing you are.

The Truth About Dinner


The truth about dinner isn’t that you don’t like to cook, or for most people that you can’t, it’s deciding what to have for dinner.  I have done some extensive research on this, talked to 2 neighbors and 3 co-workers so it’s fairly extensive, and they have come to the conclusion that I am right.

The other truth I have found about dinner is that there is some great inspiration and fun things to look at on Pintrest, and food and cooking blogs, but the truth is all I ever did with most of that information is Pin it, or think about how lucky that authors family is that they make meals like that for them.

Another truth, what I am looking for in dinner is that it a) make it to the table by 7:15 pm, and b) mostly not suck.  At other points in my life I had much higher standards but the reality of 6 kids, working full time, owning a business, and wanting to watch The Voice brought me back to reality and I have accepted that the meals may not be Whole30, or Paleo, Gluten Free, and so on and so forth and that is okay.

What the meals are; dinner on the table within an hour or less effort (I promise that time commitment doesn’t mean much if you have already decided what you are having and are prepared to make it!)  they are decent, they don’t require a lot of preparation prior to the actually time before dinner, and most of your kids will eat it most of the time.  In my world of parenting most of the time for most of my kids is a parenting WIN!

I have gone through variations of planning meals for a month, that’s a  bit much for me, not planning meals which translates to eating a lot of pizza and frozen burritos, and planning for a week possibly two at a time.  I have a list of 66 dinners on it, I’ve had lists in the past with 100 or so dinners on it, I tend to lose these lists ever couple or years and so they get rewritten.  In this process I am familiar with some of the tried and true meals of success, what is takes to become one of those meals, and how a meal can get kicked off the list (if three or more people reject the dinner it’s most likely not being invited back).

Every week or so I will post my menu, the recipes (or a link to the recipe), and the method to my madness.  I will be honest about how my family feels about the meal.  And if you don’t like it or think it needs this that or the other to make it good by all means make note of that for yourself and carry on the good fight or dinner time.  The first list of recipes is HERE Menu Number 1.