30 Day Challenge: Day 5


Day 5:


Do I spin? Yes, I spin. In circles? Sometimes. The spin I am referring to is the revolving, rotating and the turning over and over, around and around, thoughts, pictures and decisions that have mirrored and shaped me in designated ways. I am a designated driver, driving my life with seriousness to exactness, yet desiring and longing for a gentle pellucidity to existence; however my frail humanity interferes daily with the quest to live this simple life of challenged humility. A challenge with in a challenge: To do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God. It is a rotating of position, a turning from temptation, and a revolving to destination.

Today was my cardio day. I went to spin class early this morning due to the business of compacting so many things into a Friday, it is the only time I can go. I have so much respect for those determined to make a difference and to see a difference in their health. These many lives in one large mirrored room, share a morning anonymously together and yet, though we don’t know each other’s names, we know we experience a cheering on of one another, under our breath,  pain, and exhaustion.

Image credit:http://www.therapy-counseling.net/

The First.

I am being reminded of my first year of marriage.  This would be because we got married in the spring.  The colors from the Heather, Grape Hyacinth, Cherry Blossom Trees, Daffodils, and Tulips were instrumental in the choosing of the colors for our wedding.  The first year was difficult.  I wasn’t too keen on being a team player with certain things and Sean wasn’t used to having to let someone know, being me, when he was going to be late coming home from work.  We were both very independent, stubborn and opinionated.  Fortunately, we are extremely committed and because of commitment and sacrifice, we are respectful to one another and have matured and are still maturing into a team, a unit, and a family.  I have always liked cooking and experimenting with different foods.  Sean in our early years was very bent towards red meat and potatoes.  I didn’t know how to cook red meat and I’ve never been a potato kinda gal, so my dinners were often times a flop.  Most nights we would go to our favorite little restaurant and be guaranteed a great meal.  Other times we would go to the butcher and buy ready made meals or stuffed chicken and so forth.  It was a splendid time, but costly.  Kids came into the picture and the lifestyle of being single, kind of became non-existent.  I realized that I had to get my butt in gear, in more ways than one, and embrace change and healthy lifestyle to the fullest. No more excuses.  No more laziness.  Included in a shower gift, someone had given me a Martha Stewart Living Magazine. I flipped through it and instantly became a Martha groupie.  I happened to come across this chicken recipe that has become the staple dinner for when we have company.  I wanted it this evening, so therefore, here it is. Thanks Martha for the inspiration, you rock.

Baked Crisp Parmesan-Romano Chicken

 (Inspired by Martha Stewart)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for baking sheet
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tsp sea salt
1/4 Tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 Tsp dried oregano
1 garlic clove, minced
1 whole chicken-rinsed, patted dry and cut in 8 pieces or (I use 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs and 3-4 breasts, cut in strips, instead).
For the coating:
1 cup fresh bread crumbs, or cream crackers, processed
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh grated Romano cheese
2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
1/4 Tsp ground pepper

How To Play:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together oil, vinegar, salt, red pepper flakes, oregano, and garlic in a 9×13 baking dish. Add chicken to marinade. Cover. Refrigerate at least 1-8 hours.
Stir together bread crumbs, cheeses, parsley, and pepper in medium bowl. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil, oil lining. (I just grease a baking sheet with coconut oil.) Dredge each chicken piece in bread crumb mixture to coat. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake chicken until bread crumbs are golden and chicken is cooked through, about 45-50 minutes. Serve this dish with arugula, tomatoes, blanched green beans, and crumbled Parmesan cheese tossed with olive oil and vinegar or a simple spinach salad with grated carrots, pecans, tossed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.


Recalibrate with a Date.

Tonight Sean and I had a date night.  I always find date nights a little getting used to.  I found myself getting quite deep in conversation regarding different topics with a great amount of passion, but the moment I became distracted due to placing my order, or saying, “yes” to the waiter, “the food is fine”, I would lose my train of thought and have no idea what I was talking about.  In my head I would see random pictures of the kids in snow suits…was that what I was talking about?  Or different things the kids were doing today, yesterday, or 2 days ago, but no, I was no where near talking about my kids, yet, they constantly consume my mind.  I believe this is normal.  Kids can never be put in the bracket of out of sight out of mind.  It just doesn’t work that way, at least for me.  I know some people who are experts at this phenomenon, they may not have kids, but they can do this with other things such as work, family, or friends. There is a longing in my heart to stay connected with Sean. It is extremely easy to get side tracked and caught up in the moment of life’s battles, distractions, and obstacles, as well as its celebrations, victories, and agendas, however, we as a couple have a commitment not only to each other, but to our children to be the best we can be for one another. I believe that date nights help with recharging, refocusing, as well as recalibrating. Marriage is a commitment. Friendship is a commitment. Parenting is a commitment. Life is full of commitments, unfortunately we can lose sight of the commitment, and become aloof, uninterested and disengaged. Date night. Fight for it!