Sunday, February 21, 2016

Meal Plan • 2/21/16

The past two weeks have been nothing short of madness around here, full of work deadlines and social events and back-to-back appointments, and a client crisis that completely took over my life for three days.  I swear, there was a period of about a week and a half in which I only managed to cook dinner and get us all to the table together maybe twice.  That was a little embarrassing to admit, but there you go.  

Sometimes, life goes wacko, and you have to just throw your hands in the air and say, "Wheeeee," and ride it out.  Homeschooling fell by the wayside.  Laundry did not get done.  Errands were forgotten.  I haven't gone for a run in thirteen days.  And I said, "I'm sorry," about 57 more times than usual.

Life just got very life-y, you know?

We are slowly, ever-so-carefully reeling things back in now, but if I were to be completely honest, I should maybe just admit that being thrown for a loop is not as unusual of an occurrence as I like to make it out to be.  There are four humans living in this house, after all, and we are juggling three businesses and the education of the two youngest humans, and we all have hobbies that captivate us, and life is full and wonderful and interesting and our schedules are meant to be fluid and maybe I need to stop holding on so tightly to the idea that I might one day have it all together.

We are self-employed.  We homeschool, for crying out loud.  Our lives will never be predictable and simple and boring, and that is exactly why we chose to do these things.

For obvious reasons, there was no meal plan for the past two weeks.  We ate out a few times, we brought home pizza, we made simple, easy, I-can-cook-this-with-my-eyes-closed meals on some of the evenings.  The world did not come to an end and the kids did not starve, but it is just not optimal for us to fly by the seat of our pants when it comes to dinnertime.  So it feels goooooood to make a meal plan for this coming week.  

Still though, if I learned anything over the past couple crazy weeks, it is that having a handful of back-pocket recipes at the ready is crucial.  Back-pocket meals for us are the ones that don't have too many moving parts (no one needs to manhandle more than two pans on the crazy days), that use ingredients we keep on hand almost all the time, that can be made easily by either of the adults, that are healthy enough, that can simmer unattended long enough for me to run into another room and practice yoga for 15 or so minutes, and that do not take much time overall.  I am slowly adding these types of recipes to a special section of my recipe binder so we can flip there in an emergency without even breaking our stride (and let's be honest, just having a bad day can constitute an emergency).

Some of our current back-pocket favorites:

Knowing these easy options are available in a pinch has completely changed the way I respond to Emergency Days.  And if I'm freaking out less, the whole household runs more smoothly.

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