When Life Happens

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I’m writing this today as if I am sitting at my table talking to a friend, because I truly consider my readers to be friends. I haven’t been paying enough attention to this blog for a while now, I know it. I apologize. It seems lately that life has gotten in the way.

I’m writing this from the perspective of an overwhelmed mother and wife, and I’m not sure where I am going with it, but I’m just going to let the words fly from my fingertips.

I started this blog to share our frugal lifestyle, I was looking for a way to get back into the practice of daily writing. You see, I was once a professional writer. I even had a book contract and got an advance on my sales, but when the publishing company was sold to another publisher I broke. The new publisher initially contacted me about buying my contract but I never heard from them again. I was broken.

I know that isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things. In the end I made a couple hundred bucks in exchange for many hundreds of hours of “me” (writing) time, but when it came to writing I felt broken.

ThisBigHappy was born 5 years later as my return to writing. I had a passion for living frugally because after spending years of my life dealing with disastrous debt I saw an out. I saw the practice of frugal living as a way to find prosperity and responsibility. I guess I needed to feel prosperous and responsible at the time. Things took off and then writing stopped being fun and seemed more like a chore. I love to sit and write, I detest doing chores.

And so here we are. I have a million ideas going through my head but finding the time to get them down is a chore. I feel like I’m constantly being pulled between being a mother, a wife, a homemaker, a homeschooler…and all of those are things that I cannot and will not sacrifice so I can mend one minor wound.

I just wanted you to know where I’m coming from and with that said, ThisBigHappy is NOT going away. No way. I still feel joy when I receive a comment on a post. I still love writing about what I love doing. I love sharing so much that I’m accused of being a chronic oversharer, which you’d know if you follow me on Facebook ;) ThisBigHappy will be downsizing a bit though, at least until the holidays pass.

I’ll still be posting but only expect 1 post a week, sometimes it might be 1 post every 10 days. I’ll still be spending way too much time on Facebook and Pinterest. I’ll still be posting, albeit less frequently over there too, at Homeschool Gameschool. But mostly, you’ll find me in my kitchen teaching my kids how to bake. Maybe you’ll see me driving the kids to a field trip. Some days you’ll find us experimenting with art at the table.

Thank you for bearing with me, my friends :)


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2 thoughts on “When Life Happens

  • Michelle

    Hi Meg,
    I just stumbled upon your blog today and when I read this post, you made me want to share….with you! Have you ever considered doing make ahead meals and freezing them? I know it can seem like more money up front but I go to SAMs Club and buy bulk. My two kiddos are all grown up the youngest is at LSU in Vet school which is an extremely demanding program and meant her. Going for at least 4 more years of school after her bachelors degree but she is doing what she loves and that is something I have instilled in them since early childhood. I don’t care what you choose to make as your career, just be happy doing it or you will be miserable. I am a nurse for 28 years and traveled as a nurse for ten years. So I haven’t had children at home in a long time but with her 70miles away in such a demanding program, I tried to come up with ways to help her. I too detest chores! Hate hate hate them! Not having kids in the house means I have much less than you but I have been there. So, I take a day or so and decide what to cook and make my grocery list. Then I take a couple of long hard days in the kitchen putting things together and I fill my freezer and hers and if I prepare anything that has more than my husband and I eat, it add it to her freezer spot in my garage freezer and she gets them when she visits. I made some seafood gumbo in October when we had my mother in law visiting from NYC. I posted a pic of it to my Facebook page and my daughter wrote the sweetest post to me that made my heart smile and I know I’m doing the right thing! I told her when she has her Christmas break, she needed to come spend a couple of days helping me make the meals. I asked her if she wanted any special meals and she told me chili and soups were her favorite and every time she eats it, she feels like I am there with her!! That felt great! I lurk all over the web looking for recipes to add to the ones I usually always prepare. I have gotten some from blogs like Once a Month Meals and I also have gotten great ideas from One Good Thing by Jillie who got me making my own laundry powder, and glass cleaners and lotions ect. I save a ton on the laundry soap and for awhile, sold it locally from some local FB swap sites to recoup the costs of making it. Very easy to make and lasts me forever. Ok back to meals. The week before Christmas, we spent 2 days cooking. I had bought cage free, no hormones or antibiotic fed chicken at SAMs. I saw your post regarding zaycon and that got me reading the blog. The whole chicken at SAMs was $1.99 per pound which is awesome. So I got mainly chicken and made all the chicken/turkey recipes. Boiled all the chickens in huge stockpot to make the richest broth and then deboned the chicken for the meals. I freeze large containers of broth with shredded chicken added and when I defrost it, I make ckn noodle soup, ckn and rice, and ckn & dumplings. Then we boiled pasta al dente and made up other stuff like ckn pot pies, ckn enchiladas, buffalo ckn pasta, ckn pesto pasta, ckn spaghetti and so on. I put them in freezer containers for me and hubby and one or two for her. I will sometimes double or triple a recipe if its one everybody likes a lot like ckn tater tot casserole. I made a few new ones this time and they were fantastic. I made a chicken and wild rice soup which is very hearty and a chicken Thai soup that daughter wasn’t sure about but she loved it. We ended up making a second pot of the ckn and wild rice soup because it was so good and she pretty much made that pot herself but was telling me it just didn’t taste the same. Lol I usually deviate from a recipe if it has something either I don’t like or don’t have or add something and I had 2 different recipes so I kinda merged them and added some curry to it. After she added the curry, she said it was now perfect. So not only do I get quality time with my 27 year old but she is learning a lot about cooking! I had gotten some ground beef at SAMs to make taco soup and a sweet and sour cabbage soup that she loves. She had to leave some of the extra servings in my freezer because hers is completely full of ready to make meals. She either thaws and heats or for casseroles, just put into oven. My hubby is Italian so he will make a big stockpot of red sauce and I make about 100 meatballs and freeze them while sitting on a pan and then after they freeze, I put into freezer bags so when he wants pasta, we just grab a few meatballs and throw into the sauce as it simmers. And I usually can talk him into making enough so I can get 3-4 pans of baked ziti out of it for the freezer. I also make a penne pasta with vodka sauce….my favorite…. And I add pancetta to it and on the night I make it, I make lots of it to get some freezer dishes too. She saves all the containers and returns them to me for the next round. I usually do this once at beginning of semester and it lasted her many months, almost the entire semester. I know she isn’t skipping meals and she isn’t eating junk and she doesn’t have to buy much food at all. It ends up wonderful for me and hubby because I hate the mundane daily grind of what’s for dinner tonight?! I just grab something out of the freezer and easy peasy, dinner is served. There are a few beef things that he likes and I will make those here and there like beef stew, vegetarian chili, shrimp and grits or grillades and grits….those two must be fresh! I also had a 4th year vet student stay with me about 6 weeks to do a residency near my house and she is from Puerto Rico and no family here. So in return, she cooked with me once a week and we made PR food so I have the things to make a lasagna that is made with plantains! Omg, that is yummy! As for Zaycon, I don’t think I feel comfortable getting my meat through them. There is a place online in Oregon that has pick up spots all across the country and its organic certified meaning it costs more but it’s always an option. They are called Azure Standard and they sell everything. Kind of like a whole foods delivery. I haven’t tried that either but the ppl around me who use them, love it and have had no complaints. I’m sorry I wrote you a book here. I’m not the writer but I am a Southern girl and we like to chit chat and I wanted to share my system with you because I’m sure if you did it, you would love the free time it gives you not having to worry about daily cooking. I utilize my crockpot as much as possible too. So you would either need to enlist older children to help you or have hubby watch them over a weekend and prepare like crazy! Oh and when mine were home, I didn’t home school them bc we are in an excellent school district but I also made breakfast burritos and sausage/egg biscuits and froze them so they had something decent for breakfast besides Cheerios and oatmeal. Ok, am closing my book now….I have enjoyed your posts and you DID say you loved getting comments so here is a huge comment!!!! Peace….Michelle

    • Meg Post author

      You made me smile :) Yes, we have done freeze ahead meals. We don’t do it as often as we should, but we do do them. I do use my slow cooker at least twice a week as well :) I’d like to get some done soon, actually, we have a life-changing event coming up soon and freezer meals will be a huge asset at that time!

      *hugs* I’m gonna go plan some meals now!