Controlling the Chaos

Normally when I say that, I’m speaking of my tiny terrorists…errrrrr I mean my kids 🙂

This time I’m talking about the convoluted mess that is my blog. Lol! Y’all are amazing and I’m thrilled to announce that my incredible talented website guru of a brother is being brought in to do a major overhaul here. I’m even paying him, so you know it’s gonna be good.

If you haven’t already started following me on FB, please do! I say that because FB is one thing I have down. Ha! So if for some reason I lose everything on here, I want to still be in touch with y’all!

https://www.facebook.com/Livintheminivandream

Pretty soon you’ll be seeing much more frequent posts from me…this is finally going to become what I wanted it to! Everything from life hacks, random stories and thoughts, foodie fun, a little bit of real estate stuff, but basically, LIFE!

 

Meanwhile, I’ll just keep chugging the wine until I get this all under control and figure out what the hell I’m feeding the parasites…I mean angels <3 …for dinner 🙂

Where do we go from here?

I was just going to post on FB, but I figured this may be a more appropriate place to say everything right now. A novel of a post is a little more socially acceptable on one’s blog, right?

So if you’ve looked at any form of news or social media today, you know that it’s a dark day for us. For all of us. My heart is heavy tonight.

I have so much to say, but at the same time, I’m at a loss for words. Many of my friends have told me that I have a way with words and I’m thankful that from time to time I have said something in just the right way that it helped or brought comfort but today, I’m just not sure.

I’m so sorry….I’m sorry for the victims and their families. I’m sorry for the officers and their families. I’m sorry for those who witnessed these horrific scenes. I’m sorry that many people feel that they are under attack right now. I’m sorry that some people are being judged by the color of their skin or their chosen career. I’m sorry that so many people are living in fear right now.

I could, and I kind of want to, rant my thoughts and feelings about each incident that has happened, but I think it is best that I don’t. I think at this point the best thing I can do is share a piece of a conversation I had with a friend today. In case you didn’t already know, I’m white. My friend I was speaking with is black. We have so much in common in life, from our hearing losses that we each struggle with, to our adorable kiddos who we can’t stop posting photos of. I told her that one of the only things keeping me together today is my belief in the idea that there are more people out there like her and I who choose to see the humanity and the spirit in people…who see the value in others and what we can teach each other and learn from each other as opposed to putting everyone into an “us” and “them” classification. She said she wants to believe that there are more people who want unity instead of division.

It’s that hope that we need to hold on to now and we need to find others who have it as well, and as a community of people, we need to cultivate and harvest that. We need to take action and show each other and the world that we are all human. Prayer is not enough. Signs are not enough. Blogs and FB posts are NOT ENOUGH!

But you know what is? YOU! YOU are enough! You matter! Your life matters, so go do something good with it! Find a way to help bridge the divide. If you’re not sure how, tell me and I will help you find an avenue to explore to help bridge the gaps in humanity. It may have to do with race, socioeconomics, sexual orientation, whatever….it doesn’t matter how you bridge the gap, but for crying out loud, let’s do this. Life is too short and there are too many beautiful souls and incredible moments we miss out on because we are too afraid…

Something hit me today. It was weird and I really wasn’t expecting it.

When I close my eyes here in my home, and I just listen, I hear the giggles of two littles who love to play and be silly. I hear their big sister who is always so willing to play right along with them. I hear my husband laugh at how ridiculous and funny our kids are. I swear you can truly hear their smiles, as our family loves to be together. My heart is full and I’m smiling ear to ear…and then I open my eyes. Today I saw things a little differently. I saw that my husband is a most beautiful mocha color. The littles are fairer in skin tone, but share many features, and the eldest is a spitting image of her father. It’s not that I’ve never seen these things before, it is that today is the first time that it scared me.

To those who fear what their day holds because of the color of your skin: I’m so sorry that this is your reality. I never have, nor will I ever, know what that feels like in the ways you do, but I am so very sorry. To me, it is the most ludicrous thing to think that someone will fear you or think less of you for the color of your skin. I’m sorry you are being targeted. It’s absurd. It’s ridiculous. And sadly, it’s true. I’m so sorry.

To those who fear what your day holds because of your career choice: I’m so sorry that this is your reality. I never have, nor will I ever, know what that feels like, but I’m so very sorry. I have met so many wonderful officers so I know you aren’t all bad, but there are some who are making your life and your job much more difficult and scary these days. I’m sorry that they make it harder and harder for the very people you have been called to protect and serve, to trust you. I’m sorry you are being targeted. It’s absurd. It’s ridiculous. And sadly, it’s true. I’m so sorry.

I know the outbreak in Dallas tonight isn’t the last one. Please be careful, my friends. Be safe. Be aware. I hope that by some miracle, this scary dynamic and energy we have out there right now changes quickly. We need some love, y’all. Sending all the love I’ve got out tonight. This heavy heart needs to go have a good cry and get some rest.

 

five little words…and the handshake

So I was meeting up with a gal pal at Starbucks today and while I waited for her to arrive, a gentleman walked by me. He had what I thought was a cane with him, but I soon saw that it was to help with his visual impairment. He had a definite aroma and it was obvious that this gentleman had not had a shower in days. As he sat down, it felt safe to guess that this was not by choice.

My friend arrived and she and I got to chatting, and out of my peripheral, I could see that he had gotten up and ordered something. That something ended up being a cup of water. As I went along talking with my friend and discussing details of an upcoming event we would be working on together, he was over at the next table, just quietly sipping on his water. I knew my heart was a little distracted so rather than sit there and fight it, I excused myself and went to the counter. I asked the sweet employees if they knew who he was and if he had been in there before. They’d only seen him in the store the day prior, and again today. I was hoping that maybe he had ordered something there before and they would remember what it was. That wasn’t the case, so instead I just went over to his table. Not knowing the severity of his visual impairment and hoping not to startle him, I just bent down a bit and told him that I’d like to buy him something to eat and asked what he’d like.

He was obviously a bit surprised, said “OK….do you mind if I go look?”

So together we walked over to the display case where all the delicious scones, sandwiches, muffins, and cake pops are. I thought to myself, this will be nice. I can get him a nice warm sandwich or something, get some carbs and protein in him, and hopefully that will help a little for today.

After looking for a moment and checking everything out, he says these five words…

“May I have a croissant?”

Five little words…that was it.

Really? All these delicious looking foods and all you’re going to request is a croissant? I didn’t want him to think that all he could get was the cheapest thing on the menu, so I gently put my hand on his back and asked, “what else?”

“a coffee?” he said with hesitation, surprised and almost like it was a question of whether or not that was acceptable.

I told him to go ahead and have a seat and I’d bring it to him. You could still see he was a bit surprised by all of it. I was still just blown away by the fact that he had the entire menu to choose from and all he wanted was a croissant and coffee.

I asked the barista to please warm up two croissants. As I was waiting for the order to take back to him, a gentleman came up to me and asked me if I knew the man. As I was telling him that I didn’t, he was reaching into his wallet to pull out a $20 bill and asked me to please give it to the man. Such sweetness, and it made me happy to know that I wasn’t the only one in the room who noticed that he could use a little love and kindness.

I went to his table with his coffee and croissants, and told him that a gentleman who just left wanted him to have the money. I went back to my table to continue with my friend and we stayed for another good 30 minutes.

As we were getting ready to leave, I noticed that he stood up at his table. I figured he was leaving as well. His table was between me and the door.

He continued to stand, and simply waited for me to say my goodbyes. As I walked towards him (and the door) I stopped at his table. I put out my hand to shake his, and I said “I’m Katie, what’s your name?”

In that moment, a smile came over his face…a smile that I truly cannot describe with words. It was the sweetest, most genuine, tender smile I think I’ve ever seen. There was something so pure, so beautiful, and obviously so humanizing about that moment. And with that incredible smile, he said “I’m Gabriel.”

I continued to shake his hand for a moment and wished him a nice evening.

That moment…that simple moment and act that happens millions of times a day all over the world, took a part of my heart forever.

I don’t say that lightly. Tears are streaming as I’m typing this, because there was something so alive about that moment. There is something about an experience like that that really puts life, and everything in it into perspective really quick. And it reminds you of what life is all about. It’s not about the clothes, the cars, the houses, the electronics….it’s about the people. It’s about the people around you, the experiences that each of us has, the lessons we’ve learned along the way, the love, the pain, the tears, and the laughter and we can share it all.

Don’t make life about the “stuff” that is in it, but rather the memories and emotions that go along with the people you’re surrounded by.

Gabriel, one of my favorite quotes in life is by Maya Angelou “…people will forget what you did, people will forget what you said, but they will  never forget how you made them feel.” Thank you for sharing your spirit with me today. Such a brief moment, but it made a huge impact on this girl.

My heart will never forget how it felt to be in that moment today, Gabriel. You reminded me why I have such a passion for life and all the amazing people I have in it.

Do great things, friends. It doesn’t take a specialized degree, a ton of money, or a particular personality to go and do good out in the world. Take care of each other. Help someone who needs it, whether it be a mom struggling with a grocery cart, a senior who needs help grabbing something off a shelf, a little one who dropped everything she was trying to carry, or a man who is hungry. Everyone deserves to feel worth it. Put love out into the world, and it WILL come back to you!

Something about that brief moment really struck a cord with my heart today. Moments like that remind me of why we are all here.

 

 

We’re official!!!

We’re facebook official! <3 Haha! I guess this means it’s all legit now 😉 I figured I’d do a FB page as well because let’s face it, sometimes we just need to share something quick and funny without making it a total blog post.

Here’s the link, and I’d love to have you join the FB page as well!

www.facebook.com/Livintheminivandream

So on another note, our two littles could not be more opposite when it comes to eating (and let’s face it, most everything else as well) so meal time can get interesting.  I know the good old “eat what is put in front of you or don’t eat at all” rule and many times we do go by that, but let’s face it, sometimes it just doesn’t happen.

I finally found something that both kiddos love and it’s actually good for them! Yay! Mom for the win! Well, more like Schwann’s for the win, because that’s where we get it. It’s the steel cut oatmeal with quinoa. It’s soooooo yummy and it has a perfect sweetness to it so y0u don’t even need to add fruit or honey or brown sugar to help it along. It even comes in perfectly portioned frozen pouches so all you have to do is heat it up!

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So on a prayer, this is what I served up, and I opted to accept the fact that it seems as though if I let my son (the super picky eater) feed himself and don’t actually suggest or help him eat, he tends to eat whatever it is, I went with it and reminded myself that I have an arsenal of cleaning supplies 😉

Low and behold, success!!!!!

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Typically we eat at the dinner table, but on this relaxed Saturday morning, I opted to go the casual route and just set their plates and bowls in front of them, and it worked!!!! My work is done today! Lol!

So I have about 3 mountains of laundry and counting to go tackle. I’m going to insert my coffee IV and try to roll with it! Love and hugs, to y’all and I’m going to try fixing several freezer meals for the crockpot this weekend. I’ll be sure to share! xoxo

Monday Funday!!!!

Oh wait…that’s not how it goes? 😛

So no lie, it took me about 10 minutes…literally, 10 minutes at least, to figure out how the heck to even log back in to this thing to make a new post. Lol! Apparently an update cleared out some of the quick links on my search thingamajig and I was left trying to remember how the heck I even got to where my blog was live. Y’all, I warned you that I really have no clue what I’m doing!

I have been running around like crazy the last few weeks, getting all my ducks in a row with daily household stuff, taking real estate license courses, working on little projects here and there, dealing with some sick kiddos, and trying to maintain some level of sanity. (yeah…so about that last part…not so sure we’ve been successful!)

I mentioned that you’ll see recipes from me here and there, and I’m happy to report back that a new one we tried definitely made the cut, so next time it is on the menu, you will see the recipe along with the inevitable food photos. I’m a pictures kind of gal…if I can’t see what it’s supposed to look like, then I’m probably not going to make it. One of my favorite gifts is a cookbook that has photos of EVERYTHING! I love it!

You know I commented that I’ve been running like crazy lately, and of course, it is in the midst of chaos that I choose to do random tasks, such as clean out, sort through, and organize the strangest things. Well, last week it was my stash of camisoles/tank tops. Y’all….I think I need an intervention. It’s ridiculous. My only justification is that I wear one under darn near everything. True story.

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Check those bad boys out! That is almost all of them. I believe I was wearing one at the time, and may have had a few in the laundry. This is totally a first world “problem” and I know it’s ridiculous, but at least I know it! Apparently I have a minor obsession with camis/tanks.

Okay, I just have to tell y’all, I’m currently typing this while hanging out in bed. I’ve got my darling husband snoring like a freight train in my left ear and my toddlers snoring and talking in their sleep, in my right ear through the baby monitor. It’s so bad that it’s comical!

Back to more randomness….I have to admit, I have a few entertaining (and maybe slightly embarrassing) guilty pleasures. I mean, who doesn’t, right? I think it’s more a matter of whether or not you’re willing to admit to them 😉 I’m just gonna say it…there are a few Justin Bieber songs. Sorry, not sorry! The other things that I love but can’t really admit a whole lot or share, are the really funny and sometimes wildly inappropriate ecards or memes on FB! I mean, c’mon! Some of them are hysterical!!!! Problem is, I have my teenage bonus daughter on FB who I do my best to always lead by example (especially in regards to technology and social media), and a business that I use FB for quite often, so I try to be extra mindful of what I’m saying and sharing on there. The problem with all that is that I’ve got a sometimes dirty sense of humor and from time to time I have the vocabulary of a well-educated sailor 😉 But if you must know, the photos section of my phone has quite a few random, hilarious things saved in it that I will likely never share, but they’re there for my own personal enjoyment and giggles 😉 Below, I’ve posted a recent personal fav for your enjoyment. I’ll leave you with that and tell y’all that I hope you have an amazing week! xoxo

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It’s all about balance

So I had a moment the other day, and I have to say, it’s kind of funny that it has taken me this long to realize and embrace the reality of that moment.

It was the day that I decided to start this blog, actually. I hadn’t really talked much to my hubbers about it, and when I did, it was a real casual comment and that was about all. While he was at work that evening, I sent him a text with the name of the blog, along with a comment that I really didn’t have any business starting a blog right now with all that was going on, but hey, what the hell, right? I mean, why not?!?!

He was totally on board and excited for me and one comment he made was “you love being busy.” Such a simple statement, but I gotta tell ya, it was a big moment for me!

If you’ve ever met me, at any given point in my life, it is likely that you’ve also known this about me. Apparently I’ve been refusing to accept or embrace this. See, I guess I had it in my head that busy = bad, and well frankly, that just isn’t true. I’m really excited about finally feeling comfortable in embracing that I do like being busy. Yes, yes I do, and it’s okay!

I do believe that life is all about balance, and a healthy balance is important for everyone. That being said, balanced for me may not be balanced for you. With how I’m wired, I think I would go nuts if I didn’t have an ever-changing “to do” list going, and projects in mind, and things I want to try. I mean seriously, do you follow my personal Pinterest page??? Its ridiculously awesome, and some day I will have done or tried everything on there, it just might take me 40 years 😉

But don’t get me wrong, when I feel like I need to veg out, I do! I can throw my legs over the side of the chair and melt into it while binge watching Parenthood on Netflix or a Shark Tank marathon. Sometimes on the weekends I sneak in a killer nap when the littles are down for theirs. It’s awesome.

Some people need their “me” time every morning, or maybe they need some dedicated reading time. Who knows…it is different for everyone, and that’s the beauty of it! I don’t think that simplifying life or creating balance looks the same for each person.

So on that note, I’ll share some of what helps keep me balanced, just in case you need an idea or two to try, because you haven’t found what works for you.

  • Listen to your body: I like to live like my hair is on fire! There….I said it!  I’m constantly running around taking care of things, trying to be on top of it all, and taking care of everyone around me. I like it that way! But dude, I get tired. It isn’t often that I get to the “I’m starting to not feel well because I’m so tired” stage, but it happens, and when it does, I go to bed. Like at 7:30. My normal bed time is somewhere between 10 pm and 1 am, sooooo this is kind of earth shattering when it happens. Or how about this…if you realize you are rather crabby around 4 in the afternoon because you’re hungry, try taking in some protein to hold you over until your evening meal. I’m not saying go get a double cheeseburger as a “snack” because then you’ll be getting the look of death from whomever is in charge of making said evening meal. I’m just saying, grab a handful of nuts and some string cheese and stop being a turd.
  • Do what you love!: If you love soaking in water, make time for a bath. If you love gardening, make time for some dirt diggin’. If you love painting or doing crafty things, make time for your colorful sticky mess! I’m not saying that these things have to happen every day, but don’t forget about the little things that make you YOU! I love music and dancing, so we go listen to live music or go salsa dancing as often as we can. I love DIY projects, so it is inevitable that it’s only a matter of time before something else in our house gets painted…for the 3rd time 😉
  • Don’t worry about what other people think: My husband’s idea of a fun night is not sitting down to make handmade ornaments, or crazy decorations for a birthday party, but that doesn’t keep me from doing it! I love that kind of stuff! Maybe you loved to dance as a kid, and you’ve never really lost that love. Go find an adult ballet class, or tap, or jazz, or whatever schnazzy kind of dance you like! Rock on with yo’ bad self!
  • Be aware of your space: I’m really big on this one. I think it’s important to figure out what sort of environment makes you happy. What colors are soothing to you? Do you prefer lots of different colors, patterns, and textures in a room? Do you like modern, clean lines? What is it that makes you feel like “aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh….aaaand I’m relaxed” ??? I’m not suggesting you go out and redecorate your entire place, I’m merely suggesting that you spend some time figuring that out, and work towards it. It’s amazing how much more peaceful you’ll feel when you’re in a space that evokes those warm, fuzzy feelings naturally!
Believe me, I’m far from having it all figured out, but I am slowly learning about balance in my adult years. Many times I have to remind myself of every point I just listed, so yeah, it’s cool. We all need reminders 😉 Have a great one, loves!

An open letter to my family

So I know you’re not really “my” family, but I’m calling you that anyway. You see, today, I spent the day in and around your home. You don’t actually know me, but by all of the things I saw and found today, I feel like I’m getting to know you.

Let me start off by saying how terribly sorry I am that your family experienced such a traumatic event. Mother to mother, my heart can’t wrap itself around how you must have felt…the wind, the sounds, the movement, and feeling your home being ripped apart while you were doing everything you could to protect your babies from the tornado.

I saw it today…the space where you and your family crawled out through. All I wanted to do was sit in your yard and cry, and a few times, I did. The damage, the loss, the fear that had to have been in your hearts…it’s all just so much to absorb, and I’m a total stranger. You actually lived this.

What kept me motivated today was knowing that you all made it out alive. That together as a family of 5, you all made it out. I had the honor of meeting a few of your neighbors today as well. I’m glad to know that many of you in your neighborhood know each other, and it makes me hopeful that the process of rebuilding the town will be something that brings people closer together.

I want you to know that every brick I moved, every board, and every piece of your home that I touched today, I handled as carefully as possible and with you on my heart. I tried to imagine as though you were standing right there watching, because I would want someone to handle my home that way. I spent the first bit of my time at your home looking specifically for personal belongings that were still recognizable. I found a few, and another lady helping found some baby photos. A little while later, another helper found a child’s birth certificate inside a special silver box, and then I came undone when she found a pair of beautiful white baby’s first shoes.

They are all safe now, inside a bin and covered so they won’t be damaged or lost in the clean up process. One of your very sweet neighbors brought over several bins for us to use to help collect your personal items.

My husband was able to get to some of your holiday china that had been set on your table. It was very obvious that you kept a lovely home, and we got as much out as we could. I found some of your son’s artwork and school projects. Don’t worry, mama…I got your back. They are in the bins, waiting for you.

While I was near the garage, I couldn’t help but get a little emotional when I found a piece of artwork that is titled, “A Home Blessing”…It is still in good shape, so that is in the bin as well….I set in there with it, 5 metal stakes. Those were also in your garage, and I saved 5…to represent your family. You are strong, you are safe, and I am thankful.

We will be back to help….whether it be at your home, or your neighbors, or the people on the other side of town, we will return. We are in this with you, and we will keep coming back to help rebuild your community. Thank you for letting us help take care of you and your home today.

My awesome husband reached out to his work group and in about 36 hours, all of this was donated and we were able to take it with us to the command center for the affected area

My awesome husband reached out to his work group and in about 36 hours, all of this was donated and we were able to take it with us to the command center for the affected area

My heart sank as I walked up to your home and saw what is left

My heart sank as I walked up to your home and saw what is left

I started finding the little things...the things that fill our homes with reminders of how loved we are...thank you notes, children's artwork, and so much more. Don't worry, mama. I saved as much as I could find. I was even able to find your Christmas stocking <3

I started finding the little things…the things that fill our homes with reminders of how loved we are…thank you notes, children’s artwork, and so much more. Don’t worry, mama. I saved as much as I could find. I was even able to find your Christmas stocking <3

This is what I found in your garage...oddly enough, the place that ended up saving your life and allowed you and your family to all make it out.

This is what I found in your garage…oddly enough, the place that ended up saving your life and allowed you and your family to all make it out.

This was the moment that really got to my heart. I'm so happy for you that these were found and are now safe.

This was the moment that really got to my heart. I’m so happy for you that these were found and are now safe.

 

Welcome to my crazy!

So can we just take a moment and enjoy the ridiculousness that is the name of this blog? 🙂 I mean really, does it get much better?

Okay, so I’m just being real, this is going to take some work to figure out the whole formatting, customizing, blah blah blah. I’m not exactly a tech genie, so just bear with me through this and we’ll get there. Tech support is gonna LOVE me by the time I get this up and running the way I want.

For those who are checking out my spot and don’t really know me, my blurb (which I think is located in the About Me section twice! Lol!) will tell you a bit, but here goes for more of the real info.

I’m married to a heck of a guy. Snagged him online which is almost comical, and yes, it was a free site…we’re both cheapos 😉 We have two adorable little monsters together. They’re 13 months apart in age, and they just turned 2 and 3. Yes they are precious, yes they are beautiful, and yes, they are the reason mommy drinks. I actually heard a guy at Target the other day tell his children “daddy drinks because you cry…”  Touche my friend, touche.

My hubs brought me home from corporate America a few years ago just before we had our daughter, and then I got this crazy idea that I wanted to be a part of Origami Owl. If you don’t know what that is, here is my website and you should check it out: www.katiesaldivar.origamiowl.com

It’s gorgeous jewelry that really speaks to my heart in it’s concept…the idea that you can basically document the most important moments in life within a piece of jewelry. It’s pretty amazing <3

I’m currently studying to get my real estate license. I haven’t really made that super public yet, but hey, now seems like a good time.

Life is crazy busy, but I love it that way! I have no idea how often I’ll be posting, but I promise that as I experience things and try new things like projects and recipes, I’ll share it with you! We are about to give several new recipes a shot, so fingers crossed!

This pretty much sums it up. I'm not preggers anymore, but if you ever spend more than 2 minutes with me, you'll know that this sums me up in one picture

This pretty much sums it up. I’m not preggers anymore, but if you ever spend more than 2 minutes with me, you’ll know that this sums me up in one picture

Here we go!

This is really just a test post. I have  no idea what I’m doing