Lunch Rut

its no secret I like packing lunches for my boys. I’m not the super creative type that can make a slice of bread look like a work of art, but I can use a sandwich cutter and that’s enough. I tried really hard at first to really do a lot of different things and keep it really fresh and exciting for the kids. But this year, with my picky eater Caleb, well I haven’t changed it up as much as used to and realize we are in a rut! 

One of my favorite things to do is go through hashtags on Instagram or go through Pinterest with Caleb and ask him if he would be willing to try this or that. Or I let him go through and find fun things he wants to eat. It can get me in trouble sometimes when he spots something my untalented arty self can’t do. But usually he is good with what I am capable of. 

Recently I realized we were out of bread and only had a few slices of lunch meat left. So as I thought of things to pack in their lunch it hit me- an oldie but goodie we haven’t used since the preschool years, applewiches! 

These are fun because the kids can top them with whatever they like. Mine chose simple peanut butter but the toppings such as granola, raisins or cranberries, trail mix, are endless. 

To make simply wash and core an apple. Slice into thick slices. Then I soak mine in 1 cup of water mixed with 1sp of honey so they don’t brown.  I got this from America’s Test Kitchens YouTube. Then pay them dry and add your toppings. You could use a favored cream cheese, your favorite nut  butter or nut butter alternative. 

In the picture I added two slices of turkey, a cheese wheel, pistachios, and some multigrain crackers. The gummies are vitamins and the little nuggets are granola bites that are super delicious! How do you get out of the lunch box rut? 



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The Struggle is Real. 

I am such a bad Catholic. Every year when I do participate in lent I fail. It’s like new year resolutions all over again! For the last handful of years I always try to add something instead of give up something. Like one year I tried praying everyday. I almost managed that. And another year I tried meditation every day for 5 minutes a day. Goodness 5 minutes is long when you don’t know what to focus on. 

So this year I decided I was going to do a daily devotional. I was killing it the first week. Then I had to make up a day and now…. I think I’m only a few days behind but I’m not sure. I wanted to do some random acts of kindness as well. Yeah I should get on that. 

I do have to say what I have read has stuck and has made me think. I haven’t gone to church this season but I think my struggle with organized religion has been documented enough. 

The Catholic guilt is strong with this one. Every year I beat myself up about this failure. Even more so than the new year resolution debacle! It’s almost like this is how it’s supposed to be. So I can say I’m bad or that I don’t know if I truly believe. Maybe I sabotage myself and don’t even realize it. I mean when I give up things I usually succeed. Who knows. I guess only time will tell. In the meantime I have some reading to do. 

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Mugshot Monday

Do you mugshot Monday? Or what’s in my cup? I’m talking hashtags and pics people. For a while now I have been doing both, but when I left my job at Starbucks I have found it more difficult to keep up. 

Partly because I’m a little messy looking first thing Monday morning when not at work and partly because I don’t always have coffee! I know I know I’m losing my title here. But since my injury I don’t drink as much coffee. All the medication I was on after surgery made my tummy so sensitive I just couldn’t handle it. I drink a lot of tea- even more than before. (Side note: just discovered Irish breakfast tea and I love it!) 

Anyway go into instagram and show me your mug! Every Monday take a pic of you and your mug and tell me what’s in it! #mugshotmonday #whatsinyourcup

Here are a few of my fave mugshots! 





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I’m A Hooker and I Like It! 

Hi my name is Alicia and I have a problem. I am an addict. A crafting addict. I first took up knitting, then loom knitting, but my latest passion is crocheting. I’m hooked on hooking and I don’t care who knows it! 

Man I have aged about 20 years in the last 7 months. Spending months unable to walk around your mind can only take so much television. So I started learning new things on YouTube to keep myself engaged. Out of everything crocheting has really been my thing. 

It started out as scarves and beanies for the boys and family members. You know totally casual and harmless. But I really took time to learn to read patterns and started looking at all the functional things you can crochet (thanks Pinterest). Now I’m making blankets, bags, baskets, oh my! But I’m glad I found a way to engage my brain and have some fun. So if you need me, I’m the crazy girl with yarn everywhere and an iPhone and iPad in her lap looking for patterns! 





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Me, of Little Faith. 

After my aunt died I developed really bad anxiety. To the point of not going anywhere or doing things with my family because at any moment bad things could happen. I finally got a grip on it. Discovered my triggers and while it sneaks up every now and then, I have been able to keep it at bay. I had finally convinced myself that the awful, horrible way in which my aunt was killed was the worst and bad thing that happens to good people thing that will happen to me. Until Jujy 4th. 

I have felt it lurking, sneaking into my thoughts after the crash. And even then I have kept it quiet. I have wrestled with the question did God save me in the crash or punish me by being in the crash? I try very hard to tell myself I was saved. That God is not yet finished with me. But it’s getting harder to believe. 

I wonder how many more bad things are going to happen. I mean the crash was awful. The recovery awful. Then when I thought I was getting something the sentencing proved to return me to day 1 of the crash. Then silver lining I am getting my story out and helping with MADD. But again that is momentary and now that it’s done, well my dark thoughts are creeping. 

I’m trying really hard to not believe the things my brain imagines in the dark. The bad things that happen everyday and seem to happen to me. I am trying to keep the faith that my bad things have happened and from now on life will be bad things free. I’m trying so hard!! 

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The Smith’s do Love Day!

Aiden kicked off Valentine’s Day by taking a cooking class at a new place that opened just recently here in Bakersfield. He took a baking class at The Kitchen.

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He had such a blast! I must admit he has never been a shy child but today I planned to drop him off and come back in an hour and a half and he surprised me! He was so nervous!! I think the roomful of girls had something to do with it, but I told him he would be fine and I would drop off his brothers and come back.

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Isn’t he the cutest little chef! I am so proud of him for staying there and participating. They made marscapone cupcakes with strawberry frosting and hot cocoa with homemade whipped cream!

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It was very yummy and I can’t wait to make these delicious treats with my little baker. I love finding these fun little classes for the boys to do. They are in the kitchen with me a lot but there’s something special about doing it with other kids your age and in a fun environment like a professional kitchen.

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Aiden said he felt like the chefs on Top Chef, one of his favorite shows. Best of all he saved a cupcake for me and we shared some cocoa at the end of class. He even took silly photos of me to commemorate the day!

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Good pictures right?! We then spent the day playing around at my parents house and then met them for dinner where the boys each presented nana with flowers. Then we came home to awesome treats from our nana toot in Texas and greeted the sickly hubs who spent the day in bed. We started a new tradition tonight too. I try to get a book for each child as a gift for most holidays so after giving them their gift tonight we finished the evening by snuggling in bed reading everyone’s new book. I hope we do this every Valentine’s Day! I hope you felt the love on Valentine’s Day! 💗

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Getting My Justice.

MADD sends advocates to the court house to sit in on cases and help victims as needed. I had the pleasure of meeting Carla, my local advocate, during this process. She is amazingly strong and so passionate. I immediately felt a connection to her.

The DA in my case was also awesome. Explaining to me that this was not what he wanted. That he was prepared to fight for me and my family. I am very proud to have these two people in my corner.

I felt so lost after the sentencing. I felt like a victim in a way I had never felt before. I survived my crash so basically it meant no big deal to the judge. I felt like I had been slapped in the face and that what I am going through doesn’t matter. I drove around, I wandered Barnes and Noble for hours and I stayed in bed for a day. I was lost. Then Carla called.

She told me that channel 17 wanted to do another segment during the news about DUI and they wanted to tell my story. I immediately said yes. I felt charged and got right out of bed. This was my justice. I was going to tell my story and I was going to tell people that driving while under the influence of anything was not okay. That even when people live you still destroy and alter people’s lives forever.

Aric Richards came to my home with a camera man and did an interview. They were so nice and immediately my butterflies were gone. I felt at ease and am so thankful they came. I am even more thankful for the amazing job Aric did telling my story and the truth about drunk driving.

You can see and read the segment here

Please share and help me. I want people to understand what they are doing when they choose to drink and drive.

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My Victim Impact Statement

Tuesday, January 13th, I stood before Judge Humphrey and told her about my story. The weeks leading up to this, I was so emotional. With the New year I had resolved to let my feelings about this die with sentencing of Frankie Skip Kahle, the man who crashed into us. But on that day and based on the things that have happened I cannot and will not let that be the end of my story. I wrote out most of what I wanted to say because it was so hard to say everything and make it make sense. I also couldn’t say it without running through the emotions of anger to sadness and sobbing uncontrollably. So what you are about to read is what I wrote. I did elaborate on some of it in the moment but I don’t remember all of it.

There is so much to say I really don’t know where to begin. July 4th will never be the same to me. July 4th is now the day I thought I was going to die. It’s the day I saw a huge truck barreling down towards us. It’s the day I thought my boys were going to become orphans. It’s the day that this man decided to get behind the wheel of his vehicle and attempt to drive without any regard for human life, including his own. At first glance I look pretty normal. At first glance you may say she is so lucky to walk away perfectly fine. But I didn’t just walk away and I’m not perfectly fine and I am not the only victim.

I don’t know what’s worse, the physical injuries or the emotional ones. In the accident my husband broke his finger and had bits of glass embedded in his chest and arms. I broke my hip and my knee and still have injuries like my shoulder that are not healing after months of rehabilitation. I have an MRI scheduled to find out if it needs surgery to correct it. I flinch when a car gets too close or cuts us off. I see that green truck every night when I close my eyes, taking my breath away as if it is happening all over again. After being pulled from the wreckage by firefighters I was in the worst pain of my life. I had a super scary hip surgery that came with all sorts of complications including nerve damage, which I have above my knee. I was left in a full leg brace and metal plates and screws holding my hip together, these things left me wheelchair and walker bound for 3 months. During that time I had to go to a rehab hospital to learn how to take care of myself without the use of my right leg. What hurt most during this time was not being able to be the mom I used to be and that my boys expected me to be. I had days where I felt stronger than ever and days where I couldn’t stand to be awake in this nightmare that was my reality. I battled depression and insomnia with my husband taking the brunt of my frustrations. He had to do it all by himself. Cook, clean, take care of the house and the kids and he had to help take care of me. He had to bathe me and help me in and out of the bed and car. While I am forever grateful for having him by my side, this hasn’t been easy for us. Then came months of rehab to rebuild some muscle in my leg so I could walk on my own. Again I have days where I am great and days where I can’t move. I am still not okay. I walk without my cane which is still new for me. But I can’t do it for very long. I have to take lots of breaks and if I do push myself further than before, I spend most of the next day in bed. I am the sole provider for my family. My job requires me to walk around 8-9 hours a day, sometimes more. I don’t know if I will ever be able to do that again. The pressure I feel to get better is heavy. I have 3 sweet little boys counting on me.

What people don’t see are the other victims of this accident. My parents, who thought their daughter might die or never walk again. Who had to take in my family and help take care of us after I was released from the hospital because we couldn’t do it on our own. My 3 boys, Aiden, Caleb, and Callen. Whose lives have changed in so many ways since July 4th. The fear when they found out their parents were in a crash. Then the unknown because it was almost a week before they could come visit me. Then the reality that while mommy will be okay, she won’t be the mommy they are used to. Callen is 2 and growing so fast. With the weakness in my arm and shoulder there have been more days where I couldn’t pick him up than days where I could. The first time he saw me he got scared and ran away from me. That broke my heart. On good days where I try to do more around the house and with my kids my middle little Caleb has said to me, “that’s it mom! You’re almost the mommy you used to be!” That kills me. Because I know I may never be that mommy again. I have to live a cautious life. I cannot do the things a normal person can do or anything that puts me at risk for reinjuring my fragile hip. I only have 3 plates and some screws holding my hip in place. One of my fondest memories was our annual father daughter ski trips I took with my dad. Last year we took our boys to the snow for the first time and I dreamed and planned to take my oldest, Aiden, skiing this year. I cannot do that because if I fall I could break my hip and injure myself even more severely. That moment I had envisioned, that memory I wanted to make with my boy is gone. I can’t even run around the yard and play soccer with them. This man took that from them. And while after today he will move on I won’t. I have more rehab, and more doctor’s visits to figure out my long-term care. That’s more time off and more time away from my kids.

I know I am lucky we both lived and I know I am lucky my wheelchair wasn’t permanent but this “accident” (crash) should have never happened! This man shouldn’t just get to plead no contest and receive a slap on the wrist. He did this! He changed my life and my family forever. My injuries are a life sentence and he shouldn’t get just the minimum time or probation. He chose to break the law and put society at risk. He has not paid his debt to society. He has not paid his debt to my family. I know I have to forgive him to heal myself completely. I know that I am stronger than my injuries. I know that someday this will happen and I will be okay. But forgiveness in no way makes any of this okay. Thank you.

Judge Humphrey then sentenced Frankie Kahle to probation. I am devastated. I am not done. This is not how my story will end. I am mad. I am hurt. and I will fight.

If you haven’t read my whole story you can find out the beginning of this chapter of my life in the July and August 2014 archives or the Road to Recovery category.

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Wordless Wednesday: Moochie

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A Classic Resolution.

ORGANIZE.

I am so cliché this year I just can’t even. (ugh did I really just type that?) Anyway, I used to be on the express train to the plan it out, work the plan party with all the other young new mommy’s. Now I am on the pick that up and smell it first before putting it on train. Yup, I am almost that sad. When my husband said he wanted to take a year off before going back to work I said okay. We can figure this whole stay at home dad thing. Then my new job got real, real quick and I had to work more and work weekends all the time. I had no energy, as per usual, and I worked crazy shifts. I just wanted to come home to a clean house and laundry.

They expectation when we both worked was that we would share duties and I did a little more than half. But now the hubs is home so it should all be his right? Well it got to the point where he was drowning and every suggestion I would give made him feel like I was nagging. Things started to pile up and before I knew it we were sinking fast. Then enter the car accident and my injuries. There was no way no I could help if I wanted to.

I am just now getting more involved and helping. I know that having routines in place will help us achieve a better home and make my inner organized self so much more happy. But there are still days, especially lately with the cold, that I am super sore and bending and walking are just not in the cards. But I gotta push myself to do something every day. So when the opportunity came, I knew exactly what to write.

For New Year’s this year I decided we all needed to fill out pieces of paper reflecting on the past year and resolving to do better in the new year. (I know but it was the simplest way to explain it to the 8 and 5 year old) One of my resolutions is to be organized both personally and as a homemaker. Enter pinterest and all the free printables and advice a person could imagine. I am a little overwhelmed but I know I will make it. I started by organizing our new desk area and finishing up the kids communication center. So while I am sitting here being basic with my resolutions, I have to say being basic feels good. What are your resolutions? Did you even make any?

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