pamperedjaime

Thoughts on life, love, food, and living with Lupus

One of the hardest parts of being a mom July 20, 2021

Filed under: 2021,Life,Love — PamperedJaime @ 6:03 pm

One of the hardest parts of being a mom is watching your children work, practice, work and practice in competitions, and other areas of life to not see the successes they work towards. When my girls were showing livestock, they were always ethical in their practices of raising their animals, putting the needs of their animals ahead of their own, helping other members of their club or chapter, and putting heart and soul in into whatever they do. In the case of showing livestock, they did not have tons of money, or professional trainers, or cheat with growth hormones or have their parents take judges out to dinner the night before the show. No, my girls worked for everything, but you could walk around the barn and the same group of kids, who played in the pro-world, were already the winners before the show started, with a few exceptions. Nothing is more frustrating than seeing your kids empty handed after many years- except the knowledge of knowing they did it all themselves.

Fast forward to today. BOTH of my daughters are running in the Miss California Mid State Fair scholarship pageant. They have worked so hard. Countless hours of practice at home, meetings, workshops and rehearsals. Today was the luncheon and judges’ interviews. As I write this, they are in dress rehearsal for the anticipated pageant/show tomorrow night on the opening evening of the fair. Nothing hurts more than messages of one daughter saying they did awesome and the other thinks they bombed it. The emotions, the discouragement, the guilt. Top it off with job issues that happened right before going into one daughter’s interview. Throw in hormones to make it even more challenging. Nothing I can say can make it better. Except to try to listen and encourage. I can’t fix it, I can’t change anything. I would NEVER be that mom!

So many people have asked me how I feel about both of my daughter’s competing in the same pageant. It is hard. I pray all the time that my mother’s heart will be honored, that they both earn crowns and have their final year together at home be shared with the responsibilities to the fair and just that they make memories together. Deepen their bond to each other. Deepen their ties for when they are on opposite sides of the country.

We will know how this will all play out in a little over 24 hours of the time that I write this. I may look calm on the outside, but I am a freakin bundle of nerves inside. I will just keep praying and encouraging my girls to give it more than 100% even if they are feeling discouraged. NEVER give up! This will make them into better women, stronger, more resilient women. They are doing something I could have NEVER done. I never had that confidence, or anyone to encourage me for that matter, but that is a different story for a different day.

No matter how this all plays out, I am the proudest mom.

 

A Rough Go . . . June 23, 2021

Filed under: 2021,Life,Love — PamperedJaime @ 7:05 am
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How many of you thought on New Years’ Eve of 2020, “Nothing can be as rough as 2020? 2021 is going to be better!” That was me and my girls. It had to get better. We got through the end of my marriage and drastic, horrible changes to our family. We had to move my older daughter home after she lost her job and her school went online. Her sister lost all of her non-school life. I lost one of my jobs that was a big part of my income (scary for a single mom!) 2021 will be better! Yes it had to be . . .

Well . . . a few weeks into January 2021, not so awesome. Two daughters, 3 surgeries, 1 ambulance ride, and then . . . this last month of shock. About a month ago, there was a mass shooting in San Jose, CA. I am a Northern California girl and I was familiar with the location, but just heard about it in passing at work at the radio station. Until my Aunt called. My cousin Tim, was one of the victims. Murdered by a mad-man. He and 8 others. Just shock. Tim was a devoted husband, father, new grandpa, a son, a brother, an Air Force Veteran. My girls and I travelled to the graveside service at the National Cemetery in Santa Nella. My heart just broke when my Uncle saluted his flag draped coffin. Life is so short. My heart has just been so broken for his wife and family. For my Aunt and Uncle. Parents are not supposed to bury their child.

Last week, I found out the son of a friend, a little one who had been in several of my classes, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Leukemia. That was Wednesday. Saturday morning I received the call that he passed away. 10 years old. 2 weeks before he and his twin sister are to turn 11. The day before his younger brother’s birthday and Father’s Day. That fast. My little friend who always wanted me to create explosions in STEAM class. Life is so unfair. He was so young. I hate cancer. I hate what it brought to a young life and a young family. Shattered hearts. Parents are not supposed to bury their children.

With so much that has happened in my recent history, the message that is repeating in my mind is to spend as much time with my girls as I can, especially as they are getting very close to their turn to fly. To make sure that those around me know that I love them. To not give up on the future. Hug your loved ones. Don’t hold back on letting them know you love them. This last month has shown me how important this all is. It has been a rough go, but it will get better.

 

Finding Joy April 4, 2021

Here is the new episode of my Home Ec Express podcast!

https://anchor.fm/jaime-umphenour/episodes/Episode-6–Finding-Joy-eu7vmf

I really was pondering what to discuss, as it is Easter weekend. Joy is a theme I have been focusing on personally. My girls and I have had some challenges, not just the last few years, but this was one of those weeks . . . in this week’s podcast I discuss that struggle and the little stuff to build that joy back up!

I hope you enjoy it! Feel free to share in the comments what you are joyful about!

 

Changes in our bodies March 21, 2021

Who would have thought this would be a topic I would write about. Not me! But it has become so pronounced the last few months due to changes, not only in lifestyle in the last year, but stress, hormonal changes- you know . . . all that fun stuff!

When the lockdown began last year, I never realized how much walking I did in a day. The building I taught in took up a city block, and I spent much of my time there. When all of a sudden you are told you can’t go to work, then we worked virtually, your body starts to talk to you about not getting the same amount of exercise each day. When the lockdown first started, the girls and I were thinking that we would be taking all these great walks and how we would have extra time to do X, Y and Z. Well, I could not have been more wrong, speaking for myself.

As the last year has progressed and I have lost significant income for our budget, I have had to pivot everything I do to make money, and it all involves being sedentary. I have never sat this much in my entire life. I have always been active. Between trying to work and homeschool- the aches and pains of my not-so-young body have made themselves known. As a single mom, throw in all the household everything- cleaning, cooking, and trying to prevent my house from falling apart! I had been trying to maintain my weight- a year ago, I was in a great place . . .

Let’s just talk about the last 3 months- the stress level of being there for a very depressed young lady (she is missing her old life and her outlet), and my other daughter breaking her arm (two surgeries!) , then my younger having a wisdom teeth surgery that ended up sending up back to the surgeon 3 more times, and that not nice girlfriend named Peri-Menopause knocking on my door way more than she is welcome to . . . it has become a bad combination!

I had to go in for a check up a few weeks ago for my annual visit and my doctor, who I have gone to for 23 years and I adore, took one look at me and my weight on the chart and said, “Oh Jaime, stress and cortisol is getting you!” So here I am, dealing with 3 months of weight gain, stress I never imagined and my body screaming at me for the changes of the last year . . . What is a girl to do? I have tried to sneak in hikes/walks when I can, lots of stretching, cutting back on certain foods, all the things I know, but desperately needing to get some kind of structure in my life. Routine. Routine is good. The last year has been about just going moment by moment and dealing with one crisis as it comes and of course putting the needs of my kids first and foremost as they have gone through so,so much in the last few years that no child or young person should.

My hope is that when Spring Break approaches the reset button can get hit and we get a fresh start. That is what Easter is all about, right? Renewal, Refreshing, letting God do His work? I need to refocus and get ready, I have a glimpse of what is coming at me in the next 18 months, and if I cannot get myself on track, the train is at risk of derailing. We can’t have that happen. There is some good out there on the horizon. . . I just want to be able to run into it without huffing and puffing . . . That is not too much to ask, is it?

 

Starting Over . . . January 3, 2021

Filed under: 2021,Life,Love — PamperedJaime @ 9:36 am
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Just the phrase of “Starting Over” feels like a contradiction of emotions- dark, dreary and impossible- hopeful and exciting. I am not sure which side of the emotional spectrum I call into. Like most topics and issues in life, I float, landing somewhere in the middle after much pondering, praying, researching. We shall see . . .

I find myself at the place in life I never thought I would be- a single mom, life turned up-side down, and just when you thought, “OK, I think the worst is behind us now, we can rebuild our lives”, throw in The Rona- loss of most of my business, switch to virtual teaching at my other job, then laid off. Moving eldest back home, youngest lost her entire extracurricular life (her whole outlet). Darkness has loomed for months of just trying to make it from day to day, seeing what life will throw at us next. And it keeps on coming.

The only thing that has been stable is my radio job, but that does not pay a fraction of the bills on its own. My side business weighed heavily on the events industry (weddings, proms, pagents), and that is gone for a long, long time (Thanks Dictator Newsom!). Secret weddings have popped up, thank God! Being laid off from my teaching job was a big financial hit for us. Add into it, I don’t appear to be eligible for unemployment and getting help and questions answered on that front has been next to impossible. So, what is a girl to do when you don’t want to supplement with savings forever? Figure it out, like I always have.

So . . . I go back to what I know and what I have done. I am trying to see where the pieces fit together and how to make things work with my life. My girls, especially my younger, need me, as they have no one else. They are my priority until they fly. I almost forgot I had this blog! I look back at all those years ago with twinges of sadness. I was so hopeful and excited to see where life was going. I did not think I would be here. With the alarm clock ticking with so many decisions to make (work, and way beyond!) My focus must remain on providing for the three of us and healing from all the darkness and abuse that came upon us.

So here is to fresh starts, right? That is what the New Year is supposed to symbolize. Or so we thought. It is the day two years ago that things changed. It is the symbol of when the darkness took over our house. But, this year, as we drove up the coast and I told my girls, “Throw it all in the ocean- the negativity, the bad thoughts- and let it all wash away. We deserve to be happy and not live in bondage anymore.” And we won’t. I will figure it out. Where we will go, what I will do (the girls are close to flying!).

I guess coming back around to this blog could be the beginning of something good. I need good. I need direction. I need fun.

 

Helping with a pie . . . February 13, 2013

Filed under: 2013,Food,Life,Love — PamperedJaime @ 12:12 pm
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We had a dinner party coming for the quadruple birthday and I needed dessert, but in our little neighborhood, one friend lost their dad and another had their teenage son in a bad car accident. I thought a pie for these families would be a good thing. Once I got started, I thought it would be a good idea to snap pictures of the process. So many of you are afraid of making homemade pie crust and it is SO EASY!

I use a basic recipe that I got in high school. It has never failed me.

Using pastry blender to crumble together the shortening and flour

Using pastry blender to crumble together the shortening and flour

Add ICE cold water and mix in with a fork

Add ICE cold water and mix in with a fork[/caption

[caption id="attachment_111" align="alignnone" width="300"]Using a well floured pastry mat, mine is silicone, pat the dough into a nice circle Using a well floured pastry mat, mine is silicone, pat the dough into a nice circle.

 

Using your pastry mat to help fold the crust, fold into quarters and move to your pie plate.

Using your pastry mat to help fold the crust, fold into quarters and move to your pie plate.

Unfold crust in pie plate and start crimping the edges to make the pretty!

Unfold crust in pie plate and start crimping the edges to make them pretty!  A pretty pie is an eaten pie!  We eat with our eyes first! 

A close up of using the finger-method to flute your edges.

A close up of using the finger-method to flute your edges.

Completed pie crust!  Now it just needs filling . . . I still had pumpkin from November so that was an easy decision!

Completed pie crust! Now it just needs filling . . . I still had pumpkin from November so that was an easy decision!

2 delicious pumpkin pies ready to be baked and sent off to love someone!

2 delicious pumpkin pies ready to be baked and sent off to love someone!

Who says you can only have Pumpkin Pie October through December??  Not me!