LOVING LATELY & A MOMENT VOLUME 17
How is the last October full week upon us already?
Colorado welcomed us with open arms and this breathtaking sunset on the night we arrived. The trip started with Anna, Red and me alone for the first four days. I had no idea just how badly I needed to reconnect with her.
No one questions for a moment just how hard the middle school and teen years are. We can all empathize with our kids. But I was simply not prepared for how challenging it would be to parent these years.
Having this uninterrupted 1:1 time while both of us were slightly under the weather was a gift I had not expected. Getting reacquainted with my oldest in a way I haven’t been able to in years, couldn’t have happened in any other circumstance at home. Score one more for Colorado. And the profound impact that stripping life down can have on us.
Here’s hoping our family picture experience Thursday morning doesn’t destroy my dreams of continuing on this newfound friendship (that is 80% comprised of delusional thoughts in my head).
Somewhat related, If you want to read an amazing series about parenting around the world, check it out here. I bookmarked it and return to it every time I have a free moment to read about another nation. I'm endlessly fascinated by the culture and experiences families have across the globe.
Read on to see more about the week!
DEEP REST. It’s what I’ve been practicing and it’s made this trip to Colorado like no other.
The past 5 days have looked like this:
Wake up. Coffee. Walk Redstone. Eat with Anna. Turn on 1-2 episodes of a show. Walk to town. Take a mini adventure (short hike or shopping or lunch out). Return home for some time in the hot tub. Or on the couch with a book. Anna does homework. I do my work or cook. Walk Redstone again. Consider making dinner. Settle for ice cream in a glass. More funny TV, a game of scrabble or scattegories, talking. The end.
Oh and also loving the Patagonia bag you can *almost* see in these photos.
After embracing the privlidge that comes with bigger kids who don’t need you to carry their stuff, I had a moment with the lululemon belt bag. But I hated that everyone else did too. Plus every time I opened it, I felt like something was about to fall out. I also didn’t appreciate that it only zipped one way and I always had one too many things in there.
I found this Patagonia Atom Sling backpack in Forge Gray (with fun lime green accents) at my favorite shop in Frisco, CO called Rivers. (If I could only shop one store for all my outfitting needs, it would be this one.) It’s amazing because it fits all my purse essentials (wallet, keys, Pure Fin CBDa, phone, gum, lip stuff, sunglasses, a book and sometimes even water and a chuck-it for Red), without actually having to carry a purse!
Where are you on the handbag spectrum? I feel like it is a bell curve that directly correlates to how old your kids are. Currently I am coming back down the curve and needing something bigger but not ready to embrace the shoulder bag anytime soon.
A little reflection at what I see looking back at me as I write this post prior to our Colorado departure.
Friends, let me share a few tidbits that always seem to surprise people just getting to know me….
I am not always strong.
It is not always easy for me.
I’m not immune to the pressures of diet culture.
I am very scared of failure.
When I am at my best (which is most of the time lately), these thoughts don't cross my mind. It's when I’m living out my purpose and embodying who I am without input from anyone else that I am free from them. And most recently through therapy, I've discovered that above all I need to remind myself that:
I. AM. SAFE.
That photo I have on display is me as a 7 year old girl (next to our Golden, Taffy), and it is the best motivation I have to take care of myself. (Yes, even better than photos of my own kids.) At that tender age, I already thought my feelings would cause the somewhat unstable world around me to crumble. It wasn't safe. So I held them in.
But when I am in alignment, I am making space for all of them. Taking care of her. Making the same choices for the 43 year old me that I would make for her. That photo helps remind me.
When I’m not there, it’s because I’m comparing.
That’s it. That’s my kryptonite. It might be yours too?
Where are you right now? Let’s continue the conversation in comments because there are too many people either whispering about healing or, completely clueless as to why they can't find peace. In this space, I want to continue to normalize talking about this process.
In the most recent mediation she sent to her email subscribers, Sarah Blondin articulates powerfully how speaking our truths out loud (even if only as an anonymous comment) brings our invisible worlds into the daylight, allowing pain that may feel so sharp in the darkness of our minds, to soften. I can’t share it here, but I highly recommend subscribing if you haven’t already. I find her words to be so comforting, uplifting and enlightening.
This week in Colorado I have been enjoying all my favorite spots; the French bakery, the best coffee and ice cream shop and of course burgers, breakfast sandwiches and more.
But when we aren’t eating out (which is actually most of the time), I like to make sure I check the boxes on protein and veggies. Not because I feel like I have to, but because my body and mind run so much better when I do.
My only caveat is that they HAVE to taste good. No dry chicken and raw carrots over here. I want rich, savory, warming, family-style fun food that everyone wants a piece of.
In my family there are several go-to dishes I play with to achieve this; taco night (no one sees the cauli), lasagna (zucchini is the magic ingredient) and the simplest of all, chilil (I have more here and here). Once again, I am bringing you one that comes together in as little as 30 minutes (you only have to do some chopping!), and is easily customized to each person you are serving. Bring on the toppings!
Recipe: Super Light Turkey Chili
1 pound 99% lean ground turkey
1/2 large onion (150 g)
1 yellow pepper (150 g)
1 orange pepper (150 g)
10 oz can Rotel (with liquid)
10 oz bag frozen riced cauliflower
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
16 oz can pinto beans (drained)
water to thin
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
3 tsp chili powder
1.5 tsp cumin
*any additional add-ins you love: corn, black beans, kidney beans poblano peppers, etc.
Give a large stock pot a little spray with oil, turn heat to medium and begin browning your meat for 1-2 minutes.
Add onion, peppers, Rotel (tomatoes & green chiles) with liquid and seasonings, and stir to combine.
Add frozen cauliflower and crushed tomatoes.
If desired, add 1-1.5 cups of water or chicken stock to thin the chili to your desired consistency.
Allow to cook for 5 minutes, then add the beans and any other mix-ins you love.
From here you can eat right away, or let the chili simmer for 30-60 minutes for maximum thickness and flavor.
This chili is for the time you want to keep the main dish lean with plenty of protein & veggies, and make your toppings the star of the show. While it will hold it’s own in a bowl with a sprinkle of cheese, it’s perfect option for a chili bar featuring all the fixings!
6 servings: 275g each
Calories: 189 Carbs: 25
Protein: 21 Fiber: 6 MFP Entry: Katie Crokus Super Light Turkey Chili My topping options were rather limited, but here is what I would include in my dream lineup: tortilla chips, guacamole, taquitos, quesadillas, shredded lettuce, sour cream or greek yogurt and plenty of cheese! Please let me know if you give this super easy recipe a try.
For a printable PDF of this recipe, click below.
I also made a printable PDF of the Sweet Potatoes I shared last week. Click the link below to download!
Edited to add: preheat oven to 400 degrees
THOUGHTS IN PICTURES
Anna and I left Madison just as the weather really turned. This was right before the snow came!
Always the easy traveler, where I go, he goes.
We had a lot of trouble adjusting. Not sure if it was altitude or something more, we took it really easy since coughing fits plagued Anna and I didn’t want her any higher than she already was in Frisco (elevation 9100). Walks, games and books kept us close to home.
I loved listening to this podcast while walking. Hearing how Melissa McCarthy raises her girls was one of my favorite parts. I also loved her reflection on being raised Catholic, her spirituality today and how to apologize. This is absolutely one of my top 10 recommended episodes of 2022. Listen here.
Edy’s Slow Churned ice cream is outrageously delicious for the macros. I’d take this over Halo Top any day if I were tracking. It’s rare that I want anything other than Kohr Bros (hello NJ!) soft serve when it comes to ice cream, but this is the brand we always have at home and everyone loves it!
We get pizza from Downstairs at Eric’s every time we come to Breck. Anna and I split the garlic white crust with chicken and spinach. While we waited she spent $11 in the arcade across the hall to win a light up plastic sheep from a claw machine. Whyyyyyy?
No trip to Breckenridge is complete without a Snickerdoodle coffee and chocolate from Clint’s Bakery & Coffeehouse. Currently enjoying this (with an audience) while I type! (Edited to add: I could not sleep that night. This is not a good 3pm snack.)
Because we didn’t take hikes from trailheads, we found so many new neighborhood paths and trails. It was so much fun exploring.
Landed ourselves in this gorgeous spot for family pictures. That’s Peak 1, Victoria and Royal mountains in the background, which are the backdrop of Frisco. Fingers crossed that we get ONE without someone looking like they are being pinched, that’s all I need. (Edited to add: we did NOT get one. The photographer reached out and said she never had to make ’this call’ in her career. Her lens broke after she snapped the first picture and we carried on, fingers crossed that the others would be ok. But the sunrise light was way too harsh on our faces. And I look like I'm being pinched.)
Have you seen these Hydrascape infinity stickers? They have them for several national parks. Anna chose this one depicting Mt. Rainer. They are about 2 feet long and wrap around making a unique design on your water bottle.
We love our breakfasts at Butterhorn Bakery! The portions are as massive as the food is amazing. Anna loves the biscuits and gravy, eggs on the side for later. I always get a breakfast sandwich, and our potatoes never get touched. It’s pretty nice to come home with a FULL+ meal every time we go.
Basically this comes home and gets reheated in a pan for another meal. It’s perfect.
I hope you’ve gotten a package of G2G bars recently. They are like an entirely new experience with these chocolate chunks!
Coming next Sunday: this chicken tortilla soup! I didn’t have a chance to write it up for this volume, but I’ll share it next weekend. I don’t know if it was the mountain air or the fact that I made it hours before we ate so the flavors really had a chance to build, but it was gone so fast that this is the only photo I got. I’m obsessed but I don’t think I have time to make it again before we go!
I did have enough forward thinking to set aside a bit of the ’meat of the soup’ to use as a salad topping the next day along this stellar grilled cheese sandwich, made on the bread we got from La Francaise Bakery in Breckenridge.
Caught this perfect moonscape early one morning walking Red.
We made it to the tippy-top of Mount Royal on Friday morning. Winds were whipping and my legs were shaking for many reasons but WHAT A RUSH.
While walking this week, I realized that I was *actually feeling* some the things I’ve been reminding myself the past two years:
Take care of your soul and your health will follow.
Distraction is loud. Intuition is quiet.
In the pursuit of finding peace, intention matters.
Curiosity over judgement.
Start believing before seeing. Believing IS seeing. Trust this. And read this: my favorite post of the week.
I hope you can weave some of these thoughts into your week! Please tell me or comment below when you do. Warmly, Katie P.S. Could I ask a favor? In an effort to keep this community bustling, it would mean so much if you could leave a comment. Tell me anything; what you like to see in these posts, what you don't like so much, what's happening in your world this sunday...anything! Let's connect with each other! G E T I N T O U C H Communicate & Connect firstname.lastname@example.org @katiecrokus
S U B S C R I B E
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