Wednesday, March 05, 2014

wrapped with love

There are days when I just want to wrap my arms around my children so tight and never let them go. Sometimes watching them go through growing pains is too much to witness, but I just have to continue with a brave smile on my face, letting them know that not every day will be cloudy, and the sun will soon shine again.

I remember, even when I was a young child, how the nights would amplify my fears.  When I would lie awake staring at the ceiling, analyzing every little detail of the day and contemplating its' earth shattering affects it will have on the next day.   I would ponder things like if I changed my hairstyle, would I have more friends? Or if I received a perfect score on my next spelling test, would that impress the cute boy that doesn't even know I exist?

Deep down in my heart, I think what I was really worrying about during those long reflective nights... was growing up.  In fact, I was terrified of it.  Especially those days when things weren't going my way, like not doing as well on a test or a disagreement with a classmate, it would feel like the world around me was caving in.  I thought, how could I be a successful adult if I wasn't (what I perceived at the time), a successful kid?  How could I conquer the world if I couldn't even conquer geography class?

A few weeks ago, during a particularly snowy weekend, our daughter finished her lunch and all of a sudden, started putting on her snowsuit.  We weren't sure where she was going, but on her own initiative, announced that she was going to shovel the driveway.  Not particularly OUR driveway, but several driveways in our neighbourhood.  She was determined to go out in the snow because she knew there were people who were tired of digging out of it and she was hoping to use her timely services to raise money to donate to those in need.  Despite what was seemingly a physical obstacle (the shovel is twice her size!), this wasn't how she viewed herself, and she managed to shovel 3 driveways.  She was so proud that day and planned her plane ride to hand deliver the funds to those who needed it.  In a rare moment of sibling camaraderie, her brother wanted to support his sister, and quietly went into his own allowance, and matched the donations she raised.

Despite those difficult parenting moments when we watch our children navigate their world around them, it's easy for us too, to forget those proud moments, just like on that snowy day.  We need to remember and remind our children of those shining moments. To help them understand that to change the world around us, we have to change the world within us.  That day is a reminder for me too, that we have to change how we view and love ourselves first, before we are able to wrap our arms around others.

Bacon Wrapped Italian Meatloaf
Adapted from: Tasty Kitchen

This was a quick and easy recipe that used whatever I had in the kitchen.  The bread soaked in milk made a big difference in making this meatloaf moist and tasty.  I was able to use some left over tomato sauce that I used for a previous meal for this recipe, but BBQ sauce or ketchup is just as delicious.

  • 1 cup 3% milk
  • 5 slices whole wheat grain bread 
  • 1 pound of organic ground beef 
  • ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • Pinch of salt and pepper 
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 7 slices bacon (I used all natural bacon)
  • 2 tbsp. thick tomato sauce (BBQ sauce or ¼ cup of ketchup with 1 tbsp. of brown sugar works too).
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  • In a large bowl, break the bread into small pieces.
  • Pour milk over the bread slices. 
  • Allow it to soak in for several minutes then "mush" the bread with a fork until it's soft like dough.
  • Add the ground beef, parmesan, salt, black pepper, and Italian seasoning.
  • Pour in beaten eggs.
  • Mix the ingredients until well combined. 
  • Line a loaf pan with 6 slices bacon, width wise so there is enough to "hang" along the edge.
  • Place the meat into the loaf pan.
  • Brush the top of the meat with BBQ sauce.
  • Fold the bacon slices onto the top of the meat mixture.
  • Top with one more slice of bacon, running lengthwise to fill where the middle where the 6 slices don't meet.
  • Brush with tomato sauce.
  • Bake for 1 ½ hours, basting the meatloaf approximately half way through with more sauce, if desired.
Serve and enjoy!

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