Instant Pot - Rescuing the Unprepared since 2016

Seriously, I think the Instant Pot has changed my life. 

Almost 6 years of wife-life and still I rarely remember to thaw out meat for dinner. It's basically the theme/bane of my existence. I want to be organized and super-prepared but it just doesn't seem to be in the cards for me. (At least at this stage of my maturity...anybody else ever hope they grow up to be more of an adult than they currently are?)

So back a long time ago (I think fall of 2014), we needed a new crockpot. And so, my husband got on Amazon and started reading reviews and the next thing you know, the Instant Pot arrives at our doorstep. I was thankful, but also bewildered because I had NEVER seen a contraption quite like it. It is an electric pressure cooker that also can double as a slow cooker and a rice maker and basically anything else you would ever need it to do. I successfully cooked a roast in it and we were impressed, and then I unsuccessfully cooked a few other things in it and it got sent to the storage room.



Then this past fall, I started hearing more and more people on Facebook sing the praises of the Instant Pot. Perfect everything meals! Cheesecake! Boiled eggs! Yogurt! Quick delicious food for life! So I joined a few facebook groups and resolved to use it more often.

So over the last couple months, I discovered that I really like it for quick soaking beans and also for making rice. It also does an amazing job of cooking an entire spaghetti squash in 6 minutes! And I cooked a whole chicken in it and then made bone broth in just 30 minutes. So those things were pretty cool. 

But THIS WEEK, the Instant Pot became my very best kitchen friend, possibly in the history of ever.
I discovered out of necessity this week (okay, twice) that I can throw a rock-solid frozen pound of ground beef info the Instant Pot, set it on high for 6 minutes and out comes a decently thawed hunk of meat! THEN I can use the Saute setting and cook it right in the pot and only dirty one dish!!

Now I want to sing the praises of the Instant Pot all over the interwebs, too! This means I can have a meal ready even if it is 5pm by the time I have my first thought about what's for dinner! My little free-spirited, unprepared, disorganized hot-mess heart can breathe a little easier knowing this contraption can turn frozen meat into edibility in just a few minutes.

You can purchase an Instant Pot on Amazon.com. Free 2-day shipping if you have Prime! Keep an eye on the prices or use camelcamelcamel.com to price check because there can be quite a variation in price depending on the week!

Reflections on a Year

It was a year ago this week that I found out I was pregnant. In my mind, I remember it feeling like a complete shock. Which is funny, because I had suspected for several weeks before I actually took a test to confirm it! I'm one of those people who goes underground when something BIG happens. I've always been that way. For some reason, huge news makes me feel like hiding.

Even though we had known that 2015 was "the year", I was beyond surprised for some reason. And, to be honest, I wasn't too happy. Sometime shortly before we got married in 2010, I did the obligatory OG/GYN appointment.  I hadn't *really* thought about it too much, but something about sitting in that doctor's office full of pregnant women and realizing that I was entering a phase of life where I could be one of them was a terrifying experience. I don't know what exactly it was that made it scary but that's about as far back as I can trace my fear.

I managed to hear lots of horror stories from friends and strangers about their absolutely terrible labors and delivery experience and totally missed all the redeeming parts of them. I kid you not - I have had moments where I asked myself why ANY woman willingly put herself through that because the stories I heard were so bad. And so the fear became stronger and more real with every passing month of marriage. By about 6 months of marriage, my husband was ready to have a baby. And I looked at him like he had six heads and told him an adamant "NO WAY!"

I was young! We were newly married. I was finally getting healthy and losing the extra weight I had carried through college. I wanted to travel. I liked our freedom. I liked our money not being spoken for by a baby. I liked....well, my life. And so I used all those selfish excuses and more and we pushed it off and pushed it off and I got more and more and more afraid as the years marched on.

Fast forward to last year. I knew. I knew it was time. I knew I needed to say yes to God's plan. But it still wasn't fun and I didn't want to obey.

And so, I found myself pregnant. April of 2015. I had known for weeks but there I stood in the kitchen with 2 pink lines on a stick and we couldn't deny it any more. Husband was excited. I was terrified and wanted to hide.

According to all the calculators I was about 7 weeks along. Aside from the sneaking suspicion and other obvious reasons, I had been feeling really great. But that all came to a glorious end about 2 days after I took the test. The nausea was real, folks. Also, barely 50 days pregnant and I suddenly hated eggs and coffee - which made me feel like my soul had been stolen from me. And literally the only thing that sounded good ever was Panera soup and Caesar salad. (I still don't miss those days!)

We waited about a week and then told our parents, and then told other family and friends over the next few weeks. Everyone was elated. I wanted to be...but I was more scared than happy - and sick - so I felt all kinds of conflicted. I'd like to say I snapped out of it rather quickly and got giddy about it, but the truth is I allowed that fear and anxiety to fester for most of my pregnancy. Really, I robbed the joy of it from myself because I was so caught up in all the uncertainty (but quite convinced that it was going to be awful). I spent 41 weeks (ha! that last week the joke was on me!) in complete dread because I had NO IDEA the joy that was ahead of me. People even tried to tell me, and it just didn't compute. I heard their words and even saw their heart, but I just did not have the capacity to understand. Until I met our sweet Charlotte face to face, I had no idea what "worth it" meant.

I hope to share more of this journey in the coming months because the Lord met me and sustained me and unconditionally loved and pursued me through some very ugly days over those 41 weeks. And I believe that He brings us through things so we can have a testimony because no one is ever alone in their struggle, despite how they feel. And believe me, I felt like the ONLY woman in the history of ever to be more scared and uncertain than happy at the news that I was expecting a baby.

I'm happy to report that a year later, I survived all stages of pregnancy, labor, delivery, and recovery. I absolutely have to humble myself and admit that it wasn't all AS terrible as I thought it would be. My rebellious heart did not want to take this journey and I fought the Lord on every ounce of sanctification in the process. He was so merciful and long-suffering with me!

I am still processing some of the things He used in that season to change and soften me. And the life-altering, mind-bending, emotion-wrecking work of motherhood has been no cake walk for me (more on that to come, for sure)! But I am so very thankful for His grace in all things. In the coming weeks, I am looking forward to sharing more of my heart and experience. It is therapy for me to write and share, and I am so honored that you would read!

Biggest Blessings,