Monthly Pinterest Post, Organization

CRAZY Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

Ladies! Oh man. I want this blog, whatever comes of it to be nothing if not authentic. It doesn’t get much more authentic than how much I ADORE my family (even through all the chaos)….. but how much I hate to cook. Last week, in my effort to be #1 Wife and Mom, I decided I was going to make this yummy recipe I found through Pinterest from  In True Mandy Fashion, I didn’t really READ the recipe— nor would I have actually been able to visualize through it properly because that’s just not how my brain works.  But anyway– look.  what. happened!

Earlier in the day, I had cleaned my kitchen…. oh & Colt & I had a stay home day and made cookies….

THESE ARE THE DISHES I USED!!! WHAT?! (photo left large for emphasis!!)

I spend my time doing household chores and driving around listening to podcasts, many from women who are sharing their tips to keep life less cluttered….and I’m addicted!! Of all the tips these podcast/bloggers share, there is an underlying theme they agree on: that having a clean kitchen sets a tone no matter what the rest of the house looks and feels like.

So cooking should not make this MORE COMPLICATED! Of course there will be the dishes the family uses to eat off of and something to cook with, but this was crazy.  ALSO– the time given for prep is NEVER enough time for me. I almost have to double it every time.  As I completed this meal, I kept mumbling to myself…this better be worth it….and continued listening to my podcast.

Once it was in the oven, I got to cleaning up, it finished beautifully and we enjoyed a delicious & healthy meal at the table….2 of us anyway.  Kai was with her dad and Colt– “I don’t Waaant that!” *sigh*

By the way, where was Colt in all this you ask?? Well, turns out Kelly got the same itch to be #1 Husband and Dad the very same day.  So they were busy playing together…awwwww……That’s the ONLY way this meal was accomplished and not abandoned!

3 things I learned:

  1. Erin at has a BEAUTIFUL website with tons of great recipes that are healthy.
    • Erin enjoys cooking.  This meal was delicious and I (sorta) recommend it. Haha
  2. I’m a ONE PAN Girl.  Crockpot, 3 steps tops…that’s for me.
    • And look! Erin has that here! I’ll be trying something from the one pan list next.
  3. Don’t fight who you are. I’m an amazing Wife & Mom without suffering through the kitchen.  That’s not what I love…. and I don’t need more overwhelm and chaos coming from the kitchen 🙂

Please share with me in the comments your cooking tips, meal plan ideas and (one-pot type) recipes you like!  We’ll all enjoy this #AdoredChaos life together!

In My Soul, Raising Teens

Encouraged me….Sharing a Devotional

It’s Tuesday.  It’s Spring Break for some, back from Spring Break for others.  We all know even if you get a vacation in, not all parents get a BREAK this Spring.  But in these moments, having someone in your circle who sees something and thinks of you is a wonderful break.  Knowing I’ve been thought of, that I’m not alone even when I feel (for a moment) that I am….

I’m not ready to post details yet, but the tensions surrounding Kai’s upcoming move are high.  Conversations go from heated to boiling quickly, and with each passing day, an anxiety about her not living here with me on a regular basis grows.  Combined with everyday life….this devotional emailed to me yesterday by a dear supporter and mentor was PERFECT!  So, I’d like to share it with you with my personal thoughts in pink , I hope it encourages you too! *It’s from

Today’s Verse for 03/27/2017

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. — Romans 8:18


Is it worth it? Oh yes! It’s more than worth it. We can’t begin to imagine the glory God has in store for us. No matter how hard, bad, or painful  our trip through this world may be, our future with God holds something incomparably better. (Emphasis added by me…. I don’t think my trip ranks near as hard as others I have the privilege of walking beside.  But this current leg of the trip is painful). Does that mean my difficulties are meaningless or insignificant? Absolutely not! But our future glory with God does mean that it is more than worth it to hang in, to be faithful, and to receive his glorious reward! When I have the opportunity to talk with people, I get a lot of responses like “well, you certainly are stronger than I could be.”  NO.  NO. I. AM. NOT.  It is not my strength that pulls me through.  I know that from the 37 years behind me where I didn’t hang in very well, I wasn’t faithful and I created more of a mess than walking in his glorious reward.  In the middle of my moments of anger and/or tears, I have to say out loud:

  • my focus is on you 
  • don’t let these things distract me
  • i know you have a plan that’s WAYYY bigger than i can imagine

What else do I have? Being consumed by fear, doubt, anger and worry are NOT how I want to live!  I’m seeking the JOY even in the circumstances that don’t feel joyful.  I feel that JOY, I know where it comes from, so even now, in a world where pain is swirling all around us, I know where my HOPE and JOY come from.  Through my many moments of weakness, THAT’S what gives me strength.  (and a good firm hug!!)


Father, I confess that I don’t like suffering, pain, disappointment, persecution, or sorrow. I do, however, believe that your promises are true. I hold on to the promise that the glory you have in store for me is far greater than the difficulties I face. Strengthen me for the days ahead and use me to bring you glory no matter what my current situation may be. Thank you for showing me the ripple effect sharing my journey is having on others.  Thank you for bringing along those who have a brave, inspiring & encouraging story of their own that I can hear and learn from.  In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayers for Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to

Raising Tots

Finding Nemo…Upside Down

Oh man! Major Mom fail!!

Colt LOVES water.  He loves spray bottles, aquariums, the pool… At the start of our 2017 Staycation Spring Break, Colt got to go pick out a pet fish for his special event that day.  After a few minutes of pointing to every single fish at PetCo, we decided on a pretty goldfish…poor thing.   Continue reading

In My Soul, Raising Teens, Raising Tots

7 Ways for Moms to Adore Themselves 

If you scroll back to the beginning, there came a point where I forgot to love myself.  But this blog is about reminding myself that I’m Adored– and so are you! I am in contact with Moms ALL. THE. TIME.  So many Moms of different ages and different walks of life.  And guess what? We all struggle with loving ourselves!  So here’s my list of how I remember to love myself…. and No, this doesn’t come natural to put loving myself first.  But I’ve learned it’s important, so here we go!

Colt is playing independently outside with his water table (WOW!) as I write this on my phone, so let’s just get right to it. I need to be better at loving ME if I’m going to love the other people & pets in my home!!

1- set the timer. 15 minutes the kids play quietly, you get to read, flip through a magazine. Kick your feet up. (Hope for the best!)

2- just like your husband should get time with his buddies (golf, poker, hiking, sporting events, whatever) you need to schedule time with your girlfriends. Dinner, shopping, coffee, The Bachelor Season Finale party, etc. LAUGH and cry with them!

3- take a shower. That’s great in itself (& sometimes a major milestone of the day) Add: Do a face mask. Pluck your eyebrows. Shave your legs. Feel human– even if there is a kid screaming for 10 minutes in the other room. They are developing their lungs….

4- have a quiet time. I like to read an inspirational blog post, Bible verse, chapter (or a few pages) of a book. Maybe you like to meditate or practice yoga. But steal some time- maybe 10-20 minute blocks for some quiet. (MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM…..)
5- have your husband ask, pick you up and take you on a date(you most likely need to give him instructions) Even if the neighbor kid watches the kids and you walk around the block holding hands. We may not get to be Cinderella in her fancy dress at the ball, but we should feel like a princess once in a while. #PrinceCharming

6- plan a day away. Aim for twice a year if you can. Stay at a friend’s house when they are on vacation if you don’t have the funds, get a hotel room with room service a robe and control of the remote if you can. Bring your journal, or a magazine, or just sleep. Time for you is important (see the theme here?) so plan for it.

7- the most important! SAY NICE THINGS TO YOURSELF. Yes. OUTLOUD. No one is listening- walk by a mirror and say “hey girl! Good to see you today! Wow! I love your hair!!” Or “girl, your butt looks great in those jeans (ok, yoga pants….) Love yourself!

I love you… you need to love you….if you are going to love the chaos, you have to start with your own! This week, WHEN you take some time to love yourself, share it on Social Media with me by using the hashtag #AdoredChaos!

PS– I LOVE the App Bitmoji….Throughout this post you met Mandy, the Bitmoji version!


Bigger isn’t always Better

Happy St Patty’s Day!

Probably Kelly’s favorite holiday of the year– and coincidentally we signed to purchase our home 11 years ago today.  Luck O’ the Irish!

There have been days where this house just doesn’t cut it.  I can’t stand the laundry room, there’s not enough room to entertain, don’t get me started on the closet space design…. but really?  I love our home.  I love our neighbors! And it’s full of 11 years of memories!

Just flipping through changes in Kai’s room floods back memories of playing My Little Pony, Barbie, Just Dance on Wii, family dinners, coloring Easter eggs, decorating Christmas cookies, “the talk”….. I love going through photos.  Pepto-Bismol pink was EXACTLY what she wanted when she chose her 1st paint color. Wow.  Kelly was THRILLED.  And it stayed that way for years, graduating with her age, but not losing that amazing hue.  I can’t find a photo, but it changed to celery green between these 2 fabulous designs…. thank you Grandma Brenda for helping me paint these stripes…I just can’t bring myself to cover them over like she’s asking…but I digress.  I’m sure it will be soon as we are approaching High School now.    (Notice the Lego Friends sets on display…what a sweet period of life that was!)

We’ve done some renovation over the years, personalizing and adding more space, always considering “What if we just move?”.  Refer back up- We love our neighbors! And although it may not be the perfect design, we love our house…our home.  Our little family has grown and changed through so much here.  We have celebrated & laughed here, we brought Colt home here and as we continue to change the look and feel both of the house and the people who reside inside, we are grateful.  We are grateful for each other, for a warm place that brings us comfort and where we can call HOME.

We love you little house!! Bigger isn’t always better!



In My Soul, Raising Teens, Raising Tots

Did you remember your Joy?

Hey Mom,

If you are having a day where your heart is mulling things over like mine today– maybe that overwhelmed feeling has grasped you again, or people are pushing in on your every button– you might need to remember this too– (and based on So. Many. Views. on my last post, I don’t think I’m the only one….)

It’s Just a Phase. Whatever it is, it will pass. We have to keep our eyes on the end goal. 

  1. Personal Joy. 
  2. Healthy kids who find joyful relationships in their lives. 
  3. Serving others, adding Joy to others lives. 

Others can’t steal our Joy once we know where it’s found. Maybe you don’t find your true joy like I find mine. It’s not in my accomplishments, my check marks, my physical appearance, my marriage or my kids. My Joy comes from being a daughter of the King. 

Thank you to my inner circle who’s got me. Sharing my frustration, encouraging me to believe the truth about myself and supporting me to make the healthy decisions that center me again in my Joy- I appreciate you more than you know. 

It’s my word of the year because I need to reflect on it everyday. And throughout the day:

  • What brings me true Joy?
  • Does this reaction steal my Joy?
  • Does this decision fit in my personal manifesto (see future post)?

So Mom, Step back. Go somewhere quiet or for a walk. Breathe. Remember you don’t have to do it alone. 
Love you,


In My Soul

Smiling on the outside, not so much on the inside

I’m going to be completely authentic here, it’s actually kind of scary to put out here for anyone to read.  But- It’s what I want this blog to be, its why I started it.  Every post I thought about publishing the last week seemed fake…forced.  I needed time to ponder this.

Do you ever step back, away from yourself even and think “How did I get like this?”

I heard this term in a podcast I was listening to last week at the gym…during some ME time I took…the only day I went to the gym in the last week and a half…. but I digress… this isn’t a confession…haha

Smiling Depression.  I’m familiar with Depression (which never seemed to fit me), Postpartum depression (I do believe I had after Colt was born), but WHAT…is Smiling Depression? Continue reading