Spring is here!

Spring is finally here! Cows are almost done having their babies, we’re moving cows to summer pasture, the grass is getting green, and I’m getting really excited to start planting flowers and vegetables! We’ve been really busy but I’ve loved every second. This is the most I’ve ever been involved in calving. I grew up with horses so I’ve been a lot more IMG_8040involved in breeding programs and foaling. Cows have always been kind of a mystery to me but I’m slowly learning to love them.

 

 

We’ve been on the hunt for a house and it’s a little disappointing. Sometimes we get super excited thinking we’ve found something and then it falls through. But that’s okay, God has a plan. I read a quote that I thought was really fitting. “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans” so I’m really working on not being worried and stressed out. There is something bigger than me at work .Whether you believe in God, the universe, karma, really anything. Send happy thoughts our way please! We’d really appreciate them!

 

 

The boys are growing like weeds! Taitum is almost 4. That makes me a little sad. I swear img_7580.jpghe was just a teeny tiny baby and we were just bringing him home! He’s really into tractors right now. He asked for a tractor birthday party so I’m attempting to make him a pull apart cupcake, cake. Jayden is doing really good! He’s maintaining weight and he’s started really talking! He definitely knows he’s the baby and he tries to pick on Tait, and get away with it. Jayd is 19 months, he’s wearing 18 month clothes finally! That’s a huge deal for us!

 

One of the dogs that I like to consider mine, (she’s totally not but I absolutely love her!) had puppies! She had 8 of them but one didn’t make it. So we’ve got 7 puppies that we’re trying to find new homes for. My sister is keeping 1 and I’m keeping 1. So really there are only 5 puppies left! If you’re interested, let me know! They’re not quite ready to go but soon. They’re pretty adorable little heelers. Super sweet!

 

 

I hope everyone else has been having a wonderful spring! What’ve you been doing? Are you planting a garden or flowers? Are you looking forward to summer and school getting out?

 

 

-xo, S

Let’s chat- Is marriage always hard? Stats.

Sometimes I like to check the stats on my blog. Not always, in fact I rarely check them. The views aren’t important to me. I’m writing this for myself. I don’t need to reach a million people in the world. I don’t need to have a billion Instagram followers. If I meet 5-10 wonderful people then I’ll be completely fulfilled on my blog journey!

With that being said today I checked out my stats. I’ve had visitors from all over the United States, England, Ireland, Spain, and Canada. How exciting is that!! I never imagined my blog would be seen in another state, let alone another country. I can also see what search engines brought visitors in. I’ve had several from yahoo but most of them come from Google. I’m not entirely sure how I came across it but I saw a search that brought a visitor in, and it was “is marriage always hard”. It really made me stop and think. Someone read what I wrote about marriage. Did it help them? Did it make a difference in their lives? Did I hurt their relationship?

I’ve been sitting here thinking about it. So I have a message to the person who searched for an answer and came across my blog. I don’t know who you are or where you’re from. But your search really made me think about myself and my blog. I hope you haven’t given up on your marriage. I promise it’s not always hard. My marriage is completely different than most. Most people move in together after they’re married, they settle down, they start their lives together. We aren’t that lucky! My husband works away from home 20-25 days a month! That’s not typical but I wouldn’t change it for anything. Sure I want him to be home more often but he’s doing something he really enjoys and it allows me to stay at home with the boys! I’m really thankful for that!

There are lots of layers to a marriage. The wedding is fun but the actual marriage is work! You have to put in some effort every day. But man, oh man. I promise it’s one thousand percent worth it. You might be in a rough patch of your marriage, maybe it’s been a rough month, or two months, maybe its been a rough year. If you both take some time and reevaluate your priorities then you can come back from anything! I hope it’s all working out for you! Please feel free to reach out to me if you need anything chasingthetraversies@gmail.com or my contact page will do the same thing!

I hope everyone has been having a wonderful spring! We’ve been super busy with calving, moving cows, trying to find a new house, boys growing up, and so many other things! I’ve got updates and pictures coming soon!!

 

-xo, S

Smothered Porkchops

This is something I put in the crock pot and just kind of throw it all together! I like to eat it over rice but it’s also pretty good over mashed potatoes!

Ingredients:

Porkchops (I like to use center cut. I’m not a fan of bone in pork chops)

1 package of Mushroom Gravy (Great Value brand works great!)

1 can Cream of Mushroom soup (2 cans if you like it thicker)

1 cup Chicken broth or vegetable broth

Directions:

Put everything except the pork chops into the crock pot. Whisk it all together until it’s thoroughly combined. Drop in the pork chops and make sure they’re covered by the gravy. Turn your crock pot to high and let it go for 4-6 hours! I usually do about 5 hours and the chops are nice and tender! Don’t try to use tongs to pick them up because they’ll fall apart.

Spoon the gravy over the porkchops and the rice, if that’s what you like! These are great with homemade biscuits or cornbread muffins!

-xo, S

Sloppy Joes

My grandma Donna has made these for as long as I can remember. They always taste exactly the same and I look forward to having them when we go to her house! I eat them with plain Lays potato chips crushed on top and sliced pickles!

 

Ingredients:

1 lbs hamburger

1 can tomato soup

1 tsp mustard

1/4 C brown sugar

1 package dry onion soup mix

pepper

 

Brown hamburger and drain off the fat, add all your other ingredients, simmer for 10 minutes.

These taste amazing on homemade buns instead of plain white bread! I could eat them at least once a week! They are perfect for a big crowd because you can double, triple, or quadruple the recipe very easily!

 

-xo, S

 

Cheesy Biscuit-y Casserole

There is no name for this recipe in our cookbook! It’s just called “casserole” so I’m calling it Cheesy Biscuit-y Casserole. It’s really a basic name considering that’s what’s in it!

In a pan:

1 1/2 lbs of ground beef

1/4 of an onion (I always use a half of an onion)

2 tbsp. flour sprinkled on top after browning.

Add to the meat:

8 oz tomato sauce (canned, not spaghetti sauce.)

1/2 C Ketchup (cookbook says catsup)

salt and pepper as needed

Put this in a 9×9 pan, top with cheese and refrigerator biscuits. (Grands homestyle are delicious!)

Bake at 435°F for 25 minutes.

If you want to use a 9×13 pan use 2lbs of ground beef.

 

Super easy to make and its really great for potlucks! Its not my favorite for funerals because if tin foil gets left on top for too long the biscuits get kind of soggy and Ive never tried freezing this. If I did I’d make the base layer and freeze it in a quart size freezer baggie. Then when I’m ready to make it I’d thaw the base, add the biscuits and cheese, and bake!

 

Enjoy!, S

 

April Recipe Week

This year I’m posting lots of recipes that are easy to make, taste delicious, and go over well with my meat and potatoes family! Most of these are from community cookbooks or family recipes. And because I can’t ever leave anything alone I’ve added or removed different ingredients. I’ll put in notes where I change things up! I’m going to try this for a few months, where I pick a week and upload recipes!

 

These are all Ranch Wife approved. You can make them ahead of time or use throw away pans for funerals, potlucks, or for taking food to neighbors house! I’m going to try to post 1-3 a week! Each week will have a theme! Main Dishes, Breads, Side Dishes, Desserts, and a week of yummy miscellaneous recipes! I hope you enjoy this month!!

 

-xo, S

Brownie Cookies but not Brookies!

Have you ever had a cookie that looked like a cookie but had the texture and taste of a brownie? We tried them and they’re delicious! We made the same dough but separated them before we added chocolate chips that way Jaydie could eat them too. They’re dairy free until you add chocolate chips! These cookies are fudgy and chewy, but really easy to pack for lunches or snacks and take with you!

Preheat the oven to 350°F

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You start with 1 cup of butter or margarine, softened. (We used lactose free margarine so Jaydie could eat them) 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 2 eggs, and 2 teaspoons of Vanilla Extract

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Beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and eggs until they’re light and fluffy! It took me about a minute and a half, on a low speed. I like to use an electric mixer when I’m making cookies like these.

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In another bowl mix 2 cups of all purpose flour, 2/3 cup of cocoa powder, (We used Hershey’s)  3/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir them together until they’re completely mixed. I like to watch TV or listen to music while I’m cooking or baking! You can see Cheer Squad playing on my phone! Embarrassing. I love shows that I don’t really have to pay attention to though!

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Slowly add the dry flour and cocoa powder mix to the butter, eggs, and sugar. Beat them together until they’re completely combined. I added about a half cup of the dry mix then used the mixer to combine them thoroughly. Then I’d add another half cup, and so on and so forth, until the dry mix was completely gone.

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This is how it looks combined, without any chocolate chips. This is where we took cookies out for Jaydie! Until this point they’re dairy free! We baked about 12 cookies for him to have for himself.

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Stir in a 10 ounce package of chocolate chips. We used half milk chocolate and half semi sweet chocolate. You can use white chocolate, peanut butter, a mix of chips, whatever you want!

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I forgot to get a picture of them before we put them in the oven! We got 12 on a cookie sheet, using a small scoop! Bake them for 8-10 minutes. Until they’re just set. I leave them on the cookie sheet until the next batch is done because if I try to move them to the wire rack now they just fall apart. You can get anywhere from 3-4 dozen depending on how big you make your cookies. We like smaller ones so we got about 39 cookies out of it!

 

 

Recipe:

1 Cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened.

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

2 cups All-Purpose flour

2/3 cup Cocoa Powder

3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/4 teaspoon Salt

1 10 ounce package of chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped nuts (if you want them)

 

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Beat the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla with an electric mixer until they’re light and fluffy. In a separate bowl stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add them to the butter mixture, beating together until it’s well blended.

Stir in your chocolate chips and nuts. Drop onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until your cookies are just set. They should look a little under cooked, like a brownie. They’ll finish setting up while they’re on the cookie sheet.

 

I hope you love these as much as we do! It’s really easy to make these dairy free if you need to. They keep for up to a week but I doubt they’ll last that long! Let me know if you try them! What would you change or add?

 

-xo, S

 

 

What’s in my diaper bag?

I love watching “What’s in my bag” videos on youtube. I’m kind of nosey, I like knowing if I have a normal amount of crap in my bag of if I’m hoarding! They were really helpful when I was getting ready to have both Tait and Jayd because I didn’t remember what to pack for the hospital. I watched a lot of “What’s in my hospital bag” and “What’s in my baby’s hospital bag” and got tons of really good ideas of what to bring!

Today I’m talking about what all I have in my diaper bag! I don’t carry my purse unless it’s a super quick trip and I can throw a diaper, some wipes, and a sippy cup in. When I’m going on a longer trip I bring my Skip Hop Chevron Duo Essentials. I got this bag on accident. I ordered a different one but was sent this. I didn’t bother trying to send it back and get the one I want because it worked enough for us! It’s no longer available but you can see it on Amazon.

For the boys.

In the big middle pocket: I always have a handful of diapers. Jayd uses Pampers Swaddlers size 2. A pack of wipes, Pampers Sensitive with the pop top. A sippy cup.(We’re currently using Nuby but were not sponsored or partners! I just really like the cup.) A three serving container of Jayd’s formula replacement because he’s allergic to milk!

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In the front pocket: A few different pacifiers so I have a replacement if Jayd throws one. A couple little toys to keep the boys occupied in public. A bottle of childrens Motrin and a syringe. Single packet hand sanitizer wipes. And a snack for each boy. Usually fruit snacks that are dairy free! I like Annies!

I also have a jacket for each boy and extra pairs of socks. We always end up losing socks. I swear, my car eats them. I have a blanket for each boy in the backseat because they have to have a blanket to nap. I’m not sure why, it’s just their thing. We carry those out of the house in the diaper bag but they end up in the middle seat where both boys can reach!

For me.

I always use a hook to keep my wallet and keys in the diaper bag. I’m scared they’ll fall off the top so I attach the wrist strap of my wallet to the little handle in the back pocket of the bag for easy access and piece of mind. I also hook the keys here! In the top pockets I keep a little bit of cash, usually about $5 for a special Starbucks treat, a small can of Lysol, and chapstick or lipsense. I also carry my Sip by Swell water bottle in the pocket with the diapers. I like having a water bottle that keeps my water cool and is easy to carry with us.

DSC00294.JPGPeep those beautiful little feet!

In the front pockets I keep a book (Right now I’m reading Joanne Fluke “Wedding Cake Murder”) an extra pair of sunglasses, a pony tail, a few Essential Oil blends that I like to have on hand (Right now I’m carrying a bottle of Thieves, a sample of Lavender and a roller bottle of Mamas Favorite.) a little travel pack of advil, and a pen or pencil for grocery lists.

In my wallet I keep some cash, my drivers license, debit cards/atm cards, Arleigh’s senior pictures, a picture of Ty and Tait, all the gift cards I’ve been given, and my book of checks. I got a really pretty turquoise trifold wallet from Ty for Christmas. It’s got a wrist strap and it buttons on the front. I have a yellow keychain and I’ve got no idea where its from. I used it for my apartment keys before we moved! I had to take the long beaded lanyard I’ve used for years and switch it for the keychain because I stepped on it and almost broke my key. On my strap I have an adorable “Raising My Tribe” keychain from Cajun Keepsakes. It’s got both boys names and birthstones hanging on it! It couldn’t be any cuter! I have my car key, my key fob and remote start, my house key, my key to the storage unit, Ty’s car key and his key fob.

DSC00289The bar code you see is just my library card.

That’s an overview of what all I’m currently carrying in the diaper bag. I try to clean it out every few weeks so I’m not carrying lots of extra weight. What do you carry in your bag or diaper bag? How often do you go through it and change stuff out? I love to know what other people carry! It’s such a guilty pleasure. Kind of embarrassing!

 

-xo, S

Marriage is hard.

Marriage is hard. It’s really, really, REALLY hard. But not in the ways you’d think! We fight the same as we did before we were married but we’ve always fought. ALWAYS! It’s part of who we are! I’m stubborn and temperamental, he’s stubborn. We’re perfectly imperfect. I still get grumpy and pretend I’m overworked and underpaid, he still gets grumpy because no matter how hard I try I can’t cook eggs the way he likes.

Marriage is hard because I’m attached to Ty in a way I never thought I’d be. Our priest told us during marriage prep that our jobs are to get each other and our kids to heaven. I have to watch out for him, I have to pray for him, I have to give him my all. At the end of the day when I’m exhausted, I’m frustrated because the boys won’t stay in bed, laundry is still piled high. I’m just over the day- and I still have to be there to give him everything I have. If I push Ty to the side because I’m tired then he’s going to push me to the side and we won’t have a happy marriage. You have give it all you have! Marriage isn’t 50/50! It’s 100/100!

Ty’s job takes him away from home a lot and being newlyweds, hours away from each other, for a week at a time. It’s not easy! At least not emotionally. Physically we have a routine and we stay in our little routine, we don’t stray from the path we’ve set ourselves on. But emotionally- I’m in love with someone who is hours away from me. Someone who isn’t home to kiss me goodnight. Or to watch a movie with in bed. He’s tired when he gets off work. I’m trying to get boys in baths and beds. It’s hard because I want his attention and he’s got to pay attention to what he’s doing at work. If he doesn’t he could very easily hurt himself or someone else. So while he’s busy at work, I pray for him. I pray that he’s having a good day. I pray that he’s safe for himself and the men he works with. I pray that he’s happy, healthy, strong. I pray that he makes smart decisions while he’s driving and doesn’t play on his phone. I pray that our relationship is strong enough to survive this phase. I pray that he knows how much I care about him when I can’t show him. I pray and I pray and I pray. Because that’s what I know how to do. I know how to pray.

I can’t change our situation. It is what it is! I truly believe that there is a bigger plan in place for us! So I have to deal with what I’m given and wait for something to come along and throw a different situation at us. And I have to know that we’re stronger than what were stuck in. Because it’s really scary to think that this could potentially break us. I trust that we can make it through whatever God brings us to.

Marriage is hard. But marriage is beautiful. It’s gorgeous. It’s fulfilling. It’s not perfect. It’s not always fun. Marriage is nothing like you read about in books, simply because it’s real life. It’s not always candy and roses. But it’s worth it. It’s worth the fighting, the frustrations, the challenges thrown at you.

Pray for my marriage! Pray for your own marriage! Pray for your future spouse, wherever they are! I prayed for Ty before I ever knew him. Pray in general! How do you handle marriage? Has life thrown challenges at you that weren’t sure how to handle? Can I pray for you in any way? I hope you’re having a wonderful day! Or night. Whenever you’re reading this!

 

-xo, S

Vlogging?

I’ve been struggling to come up with ideas to write about. We don’t have many life updates because the weather has been so nasty that the boys and I are rarely able to get out and go anywhere.

Ty and I have been planning our honeymoon. Maybe planning is the wrong word. We’ve been talking about it and coming up with ideas of places we’d like to go and things we’d like to experience! I think we’re set on the beach though so I’m beyond thrilled. The beach is where my heart really is. I love the sand, the sounds, the smell, I just really REALLY enjoy the beach!

Jayden has to go back to the specialist for his stomach issues as soon as the weather gets better and we’re able to get across the state. It’s a 7 hour drive for repeat labs, repeat xrays, and talking about more tests. But all in all it won’t be too bad. Tait’s getting ready to start school. As soon as all the enrollment paperwork is done I’ll have a little boy in headstart! It’s both terrifying and thrilling!

I’m getting ready to start classes for EMT training and I’m super excited about that. I’m planning on going back to school in the summer for health administration. I’ll definitely be going back online though. I don’t ever want to sit in a classroom again. I didn’t like school and I didn’t like college!

I’ve been thinking about starting to vlog and post them to youtube so family can follow along with our lives! I’m going to be getting rid of facebook because I really don’t enjoy it any more. There is a lot of political drama, people bashing each other, people fighting over nothing. I think it’s important to stay within your own three foot world and deal with your own lives first. I can’t change anything in politics so I don’t enjoy watching people bash others ideas, their families, their person. It’s just not what I like.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day today! What do you think about following us while we vlog? Would you be interested? I’d love your feedback!!

 

-xo, S