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Pork Marsala with Cremini Mushrooms and Shallots


If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.

Maya Angelou

HoneyBear has a problem. 

To me she is a confident, beautiful, smart, funny little girl. I'm not sure she feels the same way about herself. I really started noticing it this year. When I would go in for a hug and kiss at school drop off she would turn away and get very embarrassed. I always noticed that as a young child, when she got in trouble she would run away in embarrassment. Most kids would throw a temper tantrum that they got something taken away not HBear lol she threw a temper tantrum because she was embarrassed that everybody knew she was being bad LOL  

This summer we have lots on our plate so we didn't sign up for as many summer camps. One camp we did sign up for is Cooking School, she has been so excited! She LOVES MasterChef and tells everyone that she wants to be a chef... or an artist lol when she grows up.

That's why I was shocked when she came home yesterday very quiet like something was on her mind. I asked her right away "did you have fun?" And she was very loud in her response, "NO!"

I was shocked! She said she hated it :( I explained that we finished everything we start and tomorrow is a new day now off to bed.

Ninja went to his parents house to visit his Aunts and Uncle who just got into town and I got out my yoga mat. At about 9:30 a very upset HBear came into my bedroom.

"Mommy, I don't want to read anymore books to SBean but it's making her very upset" and she just started bawling. Her chin was quivering and she was letting out all of the emotion of the day. 

I grabbed her into a big hug and asked "Sweetie what happened today? I can't help you fix it if I don't know what happened."

She told me that she hated everything about camp. 

I asked her if she liked her teacher, she said yes. 

I asked her if she liked the food they made, she said yes.

I asked her if she liked the people she met? 

Silence. 

She then explained to me that she is the youngest, nobody let her do anything, and she felt terrible all day.

And the tears just wouldn't stop. OK time for some yoga we need to release and clear. She agreed and we stood there on the mat looking at each other for a while. 

As we breathed in and reached up to the sky we talked about opening our heart to fun. I quietly reminded her in order to have fun that we need to open up our hearts and enjoy every moment.

HBear took a test a couple weeks ago and the results were that she was invited into the Gifted program. When we went to speak with the Gifted teacher she really explained a lot of things to us. She explained the gifted doesn't necessarily mean smart it means that they see things differently, the bigger picture. It might be harder to get along with kids that don't share this view. I think this program, and this wonderful teacher will shed some light on how we can move forward with some of HBear's social anxieties.

After yoga we hugged it out. I listed off all of the qualities that make her special and everything she has to offer to new friends. I explained to her that it's hard to not know anybody but it will happen for the rest of her life. I told her that meeting new friends is a skill and it'll take the rest of her life to get super good at it but by starting at such a young age she will surely have many friends in the future. 

It absolutely makes me sick to my stomach.

This morning when she woke up she had to go right to the bathroom, her tummy wasn't feeling too well.

While we are brushing her hair she suggested going in a bit early, she told me that the teacher comes early and maybe it would be good if we went and talked to her.

So we quickly got ready, jumped in the van and headed over about a half an hour early. When we got in we spoke to the teacher about some of HBear's hesitations, and she was very thankful. She also told us that she knows some of the girls in the class that would be great buddies to partnered up with. The majority of the kids in the class are in grade 6 to 8… The camp is from grade 2-8. I didn't realize that the majority would be older. 

Granted, her Besty also signed up so at least they are together. Unfortunately, her Besty is a social queen LOL. I know that having these differences will be a blessing in the future but right now I think they might be too young to use their skills to help each other out.

The teacher was very happy to be aware of the situation. She told HBear that she was very responsible for taking charge of the matter. I explained to HBear that Mommy did her part, and the teacher did her part by offering to partner HBear up with a nice girl in another group, now it was her responsibility to work on the things that we spoke about last night. Her part is to smile, introduce herself, and open her heart to joy. It is a good thing she saw Inside Out this weekend :) 

I hope that today is a better day for her.

I just can't believe these insecurities are playing out at  such a young age. She is so sensitive and such a deep thinker. 

I wish she saw herself the way I do. 

*Update: when I picked the girls up they both had HUGE grins and said "they had the best day EVER!" :)
On an entirely positive note... we had a pretty fantastic weekend! Hanging out with family and enjoying the sun. We started on Wednesday celebrating Canada Day.



Ninja's Aunt and Uncle and Cousin were in town from Vancouver/Victoria
HBear was allowed to pick out a book at the reading tent... she began it right away lol

"You want me to pet that?"
Sisterly love :)






On Friday we went to the first annual Ribfest. It was Ah-Mazing PLUS my SIL and JQ flew into town this week for a surprise visit!!!















Saturday, all the family went over at my in-laws and had a super fun pool party/barbecue. It is always so much fun seeing everybody and finding out what's going on in their exciting lives.







We also went to an incredible birthday party! SBean's friend turned 4 and his brother is in HBear's grade, his Mommy just happens to be my HotLunchBesty and HER brother is 1 of Dad & Ninja's employees :) so it was a wonderful family affair.


The Birthday Boy!
A Bouncy Castle!
Trampoline!
Balloon Artist!
Water spout pool!


After the party Ninja, my SIL and my FIL took her to Inside Out :)



Ribfest was so good that to cap off the weekend... we had more! 



Speaking of Awesome pork, this is a recipe that I made a while back. It is one of Ninja's favorites. Trust me it is VERY good :)

Pork Marsala with Cremini Mushrooms and Shallots
Adapted from First Home Love Life

1 package fast fry boneless center cut pork chops 
2  shallots, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 cup Cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
fresh thyme
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard


In a shallow bowl mix flour, garlic powder and season with salt and pepper. 


Toss your pork in the mixture to coat all sides and tap off the excess.



In a large hot sauté pan add butter and oil, when butter is melted, add pork.


Add pork to pan and cook, flipping over one time when sides get golden brown.

Remove from pan. 

Lower the heat to medium-low and add your mushrooms, shallots, and garlic to the pan.


Add in your Marsala wine and chicken broth, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the bits at the bottom of the pan.


Add in fresh thyme (about a teaspoon-tablespoon)

Add pork back to pan. 


Cover the pan and let cook for about 7-8 minutes


Stir in Dijon mustard. 





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