Malachi’s Birth Story

They say that every pregnancy, every baby, and every birth is different, but after having two natural, unmedicated, and yes – different – births I thought I knew what was coming for our third. While to an extent that was true, Malachi’s birth was yet again a different birth, a different experience, and a different story that I’m excited to share. 

The difference really started when I was 38 weeks pregnant. The pregnancy had already been vastly different because I felt h u g e (he was our biggest baby), it was a historically hot summer, and I struggled with a lot of pelvic pain. So when I started having regular contractions at 38 weeks I was excited at the thought of no longer being pregnant! It started on a Saturday night: after having mild contractions every 5 minutes for several hours I decided to go to bed and try and rest as best I could, hoping contractions would pick up during the night. Well I was surprised to wake up the next morning with no more contractions and obviously still very pregnant. This off and on labor continued for the next two weeks, but I was trying my best to simply live life and rest as usual.

At my 40 week appointment the midwife asked if I wanted a membrane sweep as I was about 70% effaced and almost 2 cm dilated. I said I wanted him to come in the Lord’s timing with minimal intervention, but I went home slightly discouraged that I wasn’t already 5 cm dilated from all my off and on contractions.

Over the next three days I walked (hard to do in late August in Texas), cleaned (hard to do at 40 weeks pregnant) kept the laundry done and pantry stocked just in case, and hung out with my girls, knowing we would soon not be a girls-only family. When I was 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant, I noticed a change in the contractions I’d been feeling, but continued about my day as normal still. 

Because I was feeling jittery and slightly discouraged, my mom and dad had offered to take the four of us out to dinner that night. We met them that evening at Chili’s where I thoroughly enjoyed my steak, mashed potatoes, and steamed veggies, but kept remarking to my mom when the contractions came and really began to notice them in my lower back. After dinner, they offered to take us to Crumbl, but there was a shift in me. I could not stand to be in the small, crowded, loud atmosphere — I wanted to be outside with my husband, fresh air, and a wall to lean on. I was certain now: this was real labor. 

While driving home I began timing the contractions and they were about every 4-6 minutes apart, but felt more intense than the ones I had been having in weeks prior. They were still very manageable, though, so I was able to help David get the girls tucked in for bed, the pull out couch ready in case my parents needed to come over in the night, finish packing things for the birth center, and take a shower. After showering we settled in to watch TV and the contractions had slowed down, but still felt very “real”. At first I was disappointed by this, but we decided it would be best to try and sleep as it was 11 o’clock at this point. 

During the night, contractions would wake me up about every 20 minutes and I would breathe through them. Though they were slow and spaced far apart they were gaining in intensity. Around 2 AM, I woke up shivering and felt worried I was about to transition (I wasn’t) so I called the midwife who advised me to keep sleeping until I couldn’t any longer. She said sleeping was the very best thing I could be doing right now. 

Historically I knew to expect a long early labor, and with the girls I would constantly move and walk and hike trying to get into active labor, but I trusted that God, being the Creator of birth and my body, would move my labor along without me having to do anything. So I kept sleeping when I could even though the contractions kept coming. Sometimes, in my half asleep state, I would have to get on my hands and knees to help through a contraction, and David would reach over and rub my back in his half asleep state. It felt so nice to be in our bed, not worrying if we needed to rush to the hospital, and trusting the Lord and His process for birth and how He designed my body. 

Around 5 AM I couldn’t sleep any longer. I got up to try and enjoy the quiet of the dark, early morning. I put on some comfy clothes, made some toast and coffee, then sat down on my yoga ball with my breakfast and Bible. As I began moving around, the contractions intensified and began coming about every three minutes. I was thinking we’d still have awhile before it was time to go to the birth center, but knew that I wouldn’t want the girls around while I was having such intense waves, so I called my parents and asked them to please come pick up the girls around 7. 

While trying to read my Bible and eat my toast, contractions continued to come in waves of increasing intensity and some being only one minute apart. I knew we needed a change of plans — as soon as my parents arrived I wanted to leave. So around 7, my sweet daughters still sleeping in their beds, I left a half eaten piece of toast and a half drunk cup of coffee on the counter as David and I drove to go welcome our son into our arms. 

I texted my discipleship group and home group that it was time and to please pray against traffic as the contractions were very intense and we were driving to Ft Worth (45 minutes without traffic) at 7 AM on a weekday. I believe I witnessed a modern day miracle because there was not a spot of traffic! 

David and I talked to the sweet midwife Erica on the phone as we drove, she suggested stopping and getting a Gatorade to stay hydrated, but the amount of pressure I was feeling made me feel worried to make any extra stops. When we got to the birth center at 7:50 AM, I told her the pressure I was feeling was immense. Even with the intense pressure, I was surrendering to the contractions, not fighting the pain or pressure, but letting them do what they needed to do. Before she checked to see how dilated I was David reminded me that whatever number she would say didn’t mean anything. He encouraged me that I was doing well handling the waves and that we would meet Malachi soon no matter how dilated I was in that very moment. However, I was encouraged to hear that I was 6 cm dilated and that the baby’s head was extremely low which is why I was feeling such pressure. 

Once I made the excruciating trek up the stairs I walked around the birth suite, squatting while contracting, and waited for the tub to be filled. Sweet, thoughtful Erica got clary sage and frankincense diffusing for me — these oils are supposed to help with stimulating contractions — and got me a barf bag (I was beginning to get nauseous) with a drop of peppermint oil in the bottom. 

Once the tub was filled I was so eager to soak, deeply relaxing and enjoying conversation and laughter in between contractions, and was beginning to get very focused during a contraction. Erica called her birth assistant, Melissa, and said she could tell by my sounds that I was about to have this baby. (So far with all three births this has been my pattern: take a looong time to get to 6 cm but then go from 6 to birth in a couple of hours.) Melissa arrived soon after that and I was entering transition — the last bit of dilation before pushing which is usually the most intense. Melissa had me get out of the tub, straddle the toilet with one leg propped up, and stay there for a few contractions. I threw up at one point there, then we moved me to the bed to get checked. 

I didn’t want any fear to hold me back so I said out loud “I am nervous that I’m not fully dilated because I never got to a full 10 cm with Selah and had to push through a lip on my cervix.” But Erica checked me and exclaimed “Girl, you’re complete!” I briefly talked through my struggles I had delivering Selah because, again, I didn’t want any fear to hinder me. Up to this point, I had felt very in control ironically by not trying to control the contractions, but simply by letting them wash over me and surrendering to God’s process of labor. Now however, I needed to push and be a more active participant in this birth. I asked Erica to break my water to help intensify contractions. It was hard. I worked to get Malachi out for about 40 minutes — the longest pushing phase I have had yet. 

I started pushing on the birth stool, I pushed while kneeling on the ground, I pushed on my hands and knees, I pushed on my side, I circled back around to the birth stool, back to my knees; I was constantly changing positions. I was pushing with all my might — pooping, which is apparently a good indicator that you’re doing it right lol sooo let’s normalize it — throwing up, grunting, saying over and over “I can’t do it!” and at one point kind of sobbed weakly “I’m trying.” David was, as always, my rock in these moments. He was the best coach, a helpful birth assistant, and such a comfort to me by reminding me how God made my body, and telling me that I could do it and in fact, I was already doing it. 

At one point, Malachi’s heart rate dropped, and Erica said “we need to get him out on the next contraction.” Fear gripped me, and I just wanted to stop pushing and hold him in — this is probably why it took 40 minutes to get him out — but of course there was only one thing to do. Keep pushing. With encouragement from David, I kept pushing with all my might, changing positions at Erica’s direction, and finally, on my hands and knees, at 10:59 AM, I delivered our precious son, Malachi Arrow. The first touch he ever felt was from the hand of his father catching him, and after his nuchal cord (could be why his heart rate dropped) was unwrapped from his neck, he cried loudly and was passed between my legs to hold. 

Erica and Melissa exclaimed “That’s a big baby! He’s got to be nine pounds!” (He was 3 ounces shy of 9 pounds.) His big size definitely made me feel validated after I struggled so to push him out! (However, for the first time, I did not need any stitches after delivery, which was yet another answer to a specific prayer. Because of this, postpartum healing was amazing, and I felt totally myself within a day or two.)

I spent the next four hours at the birth center snuggling my fresh, sweet smelling, not-so-little baby skin to skin, nursing him, and being treated like a birthing queen! I got a healing herbal bath drawn for me, I got food prepared for me and brought to me in bed, and the birth assistant Melissa filled out all necessary documentation for us. All I had to do was lay there with our son; it was a wonderful and magical afternoon, and going home that evening to sleep in our own bed with no bright hospital lights or interruptions was a dream!

We chose the middle name Arrow for Malachi because of Psalm 127:3-5 which states, “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are the children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” And though it is hard to be pregnant, hard to give birth, hard to raise children, (I am still very green on this journey), scripture says they are a gift and a blessing from the Lord! Not something that just happens to us or that we can plan for, but something He gives out of His goodness and love for us. 

When Malachi was born, the song playing was “New Wine”; the lyrics say “make me a vessel, make me an offering, make me whatever You want me to be.” This simple lyric being sung as I worked to bring forth life is such a beautiful thought. Because, yes, it is scary, but I long to offer all of my life — including my children and my own body — as an offering to my God. 

I pray that the story of our first son’s birth brings Him glory. He is the amazing Author and Creator of birth and these beautiful children. 

“For everything comes from Him and exists by His power and is intended for His glory. All glory to Him forever! Amen.”  – Romans 11:36


Baby 3: Third Trimester Recap + Freezer Stash

I’m typing this sitting on my yoga ball and breathing through some Braxton Hicks contractions; we are one-ish week away from meeting our little man! Since I wrote about the first and second trimesters of this pregnancy plus all three trimesters with my second pregnancy, I didn’t want to take a blogging break before writing about this final trimester.

The Scoop on Trimester #3

To sum this third trimester up in one word: hot! It has been a blazing hot (I think record-breaking!) summer, and because of that I have experienced some swelling, but nothing too major (my first pregnancy I had pitting edema in the dead of winter) and I am so thankful for the modern miracle of central air conditioning! With that being said, exercise this trimester was a little tough. I still did my short home workout every weekday morning, plus swimming here and there, and this trimester I also added in some prenatal yoga and tried to do squats throughout the day. The girls and I typically get out for a short walk several mornings a week, and in the last few weeks I’ve made sure to do my curb walking; hopeful to get Brother in a good position for delivery. Physically I have been tired, but thankful to have had an active pregnancy to keep the aches and pains at bay.

In regards to food, I didn’t have any specific cravings that I can think of, but I made sure to take my prenatal vitamins more regularly, and in the last few weeks have been making lots of nice cream with dates to help ripen my cervix. I’ve also been drinking at least two cups of red raspberry leaf tea a day to help strengthen and tone my uterus for the [prayerfully soon] delivery. I give into my crunchy/salty cravings often with plantain chips, and my sweet cravings with nice cream or dark chocolate almonds. Yum! I am not about depriving myself, just finding alternatives that taste and feel good!

Prepping for Postpartum

Before having our second daughter, I stashed our freezer with homemade meals, and I started making double batches of several dinners this month to do the same. Some meals I have in the freezer are:

  • spaghetti sauce (easy enough to boil some noodles and toss this veggie-laden sauce on top)
  • chili with extra veggies (similar to this recipe)
  • sweet potato meatballs
  • egg and bacon breakfast tacos
  • protein pancakes
  • salsa chicken for taco bowls
  • curried chicken with roasted sweet potatoes
  • frozen pizzas – yep!
  • frozen chicken nuggets – also yep! Both easy to toss in the oven and I know the girls will enjoy
  • plenty of bags of frozen vegetables that can steam in the microwave (even though this is usually my favorite way to cook frozen veggies)

In the pantry I have:

  • pretzels
  • larabars
  • other granola bars and applesauce pouches for the girls
  • seaweed snacks
  • packaged rice to toss in the microwave to help round out our meals
  • canned tuna (so delicious mixed with this chipotle mayo, relish, and red onions)
  • sweet potatoes and russet potatoes for making baked potatoes

In the fridge I have:

  • boiled eggs
  • hummus (for pretzels – yum!)
  • overnight oats with flaxseed and brewer’s yeast for lactation

I think that is everything! I am praying for a peaceful transition in our family and a calm postpartum experience. All of you experienced parents of 3+ kiddos out there send me your tips! Until I come back to write Brother’s birth story… enjoy your pinch of crazy!

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Baby 3: Second Trimester Recap

My due date is literally one month away, which means we will most likely have a baby in 2-6 weeks! I cannot believe how fast this pregnancy has flown by, even in the midst of a *historically* hot summer. In just a couple of weeks I will start my postpartum freezer prep and will hopefully be able to update here before Brother makes his big debut, but for now I will recap the second trimester AKA the “honeymoon” trimester.

Easter at our church

Celebrations and Eating Healthy

We had plenty of celebrations in the second trimester: Easter, our second daughter’s birthday, pre-K graduation for our oldest, Mother’s Day, and the start of summer fun. I never want my daughters to feel like mom doesn’t enjoy fun times with them because I sit out from “fun” foods (although all foods are fun and have a purpose) so I always join them with a piece of cake or a couple of cookies if these are present. And I tell you what, I craved all sorts of sweet treats during the second trimester, and treat myself almost nightly with dark chocolate or nice cream.

Aside from celebrations, our everyday eating remained much the same. I always try and include a fruit and a vegetable in every dinner, sometimes lunches or breakfasts, too, as well as a fat, protein, and carb. Other than sweets, there are no specific cravings that really stick out to me from the second trimester. I was (and still am) just always trying to feed our family as cost effectively, healthily, and simply as possible. Some favorite meals we always enjoy are “bowl” meals: taco bowls, sushi bowls, and Mediterranean bowls to name a few.


As I’ve mentioned in my last few posts, my exercise routine has remained the same for well over a year now: a ten minute home workout every weekday + walking whenever I can (usually 2-4 times per week). However, with summer starting in my second trimester, I started adding in the occasional lap swimming. It is a little tough to swim laps with two small children in the pool with you, but I get in what I can when I can. I also did some prenatal yoga with Spinning Babies exercises occasionally. I find that as long as I am doing something enjoyable and achievable, I will make it happen, and I love getting exercise!

Goodbye Honeymoon Trimester, Hello Heat

I think that is all for the second trimester; it was easy and over too quickly! During the second trimester, we moved the girls into the other bedroom and put them in bunk beds, started on the baby’s room, got his clothes put away, and did some small home projects. Now I’m currently baking the last bit of this baby and literally baking in the Texas summer. I’ll be back soon with a freezer stash! As always… enjoy your Pinch of Crazy!

Kitchen Hack: Making Frozen Veggies Taste Amazing

I’m sure all of our wallets have felt the sting of inflation when visiting the grocery stores lately. Milk is nearly $4 a gallon, bread is over $3 a loaf, and meat prices are astronomical, too! When you shop on a budget and most of that budget is spent on essentials, some things just have to get pulled back. Maybe that’s less snacks, maybe that’s less organic items, or maybe it’s replacing fresh vegetables with frozen.

I have been buying frozen vegetables for a while now because 1. they’re easier (no chopping!) and 2. they’re cheaper. This started probably sometime in 2020 after having our second daughter, and then into 2021 I bought more and more frozen broccoli. Our second daughter has been a pickier eater than our first, but broccoli was one of her favorite foods – and up until recently – the only vegetable that she’d actually eat. It was because of this that I started experimenting with different ways to cook frozen vegetables, and I think I nailed it! Read below for the “recipe” that takes your frozen veggies from sad to fab!

Instead of boiling your veggies to death or steaming them in the microwave you’re going to get out a cast iron skillet and a large lid.

Then pre-heat your skillet on high heat. Once it’s hot, dump your 12-16 ounce bag of vegetables directly into the pan and cover them. The water that is released will steam them while they’re covered.

After about 4 minutes, uncover your veggies, add two tablespoons of olive or avocado oil (or butter), salt and pepper to taste, and about 1/2 tsp of garlic powder. Give all of that a stir then cover again.

Cook for an additional 6-8 minutes, covered, and with the heat turned down to about medium.

And that’s it! These are so easy and it gives the vegetables a little bit of a crisp on the outside while they still maintain the tenderness of steamed veggies. And this isn’t just for broccoli! I’ve used this method with all sorts of frozen veggies: carrots, cauliflower, halved brussels sprouts, green beans, peas, bell peppers, frozen stir fry mixes, and corn kernels. It turns out spectacular every time! If you try a different vegetable, please give me an update.

I hope this little hack serves you well. Save some time, spend less, eat some veggies…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

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Baby 3: First Trimester Recap

Well summertime is just around the corner…and so is my third trimester! Now that I’m nearly into the third trimester I figured I should write about my first trimester before I completely forget it all.

Going back to the end of 2021, I suspected I was pregnant when, on Christmas Eve, I gagged while trying to eat peanut butter toast. A perfectly normal breakfast for us, one that I usually enjoy, just didn’t sound appealing and I couldn’t even finish one little piece of toast. The next day, Christmas Day, we were leaving my parents’ house and I was either carrying gifts or a child, but whatever it was had me extremely winded… also odd. When my cycle was one day late on December 27th I took a test which immediately popped up positive. I thought I was only four weeks along and was shocked at both the extremely early symptoms and the dark pink positive line, but we found out a few weeks later at the midwife that I was a week further along than I thought. So there you go; the early story of Baby 3!

Symptoms and What I Ate

Even though I gagged easily in the first trimester (like eating the toast on Christmas Eve, also every time I brushed my teeth or changed a diaper…) I never actually threw up, and I didn’t even feel that nauseous. I didn’t feel great in regards to my stomach, but it wasn’t terrible, and I was able to stay feeling well thanks to lemon lime Sparkling Ice waters, the lime flavored Outshine popsicles, under-ripe bananas, and oddly enough, uncured salami haha! Other things I ate often in the first trimester were: California sushi rolls, bean burritos (super unusual for me), and avocado toast. I could not stand peanut butter, eggs, and even chocolate was iffy for me! I also started quickly on my prenatal vitamins – I took these vitamins while pregnant with and while nursing Selah so I just immediately ordered them again. This was my first time having my first trimester be in the winter so maybe the colder weather helped me feel better, maybe it’s because it’s my third, or maybe it’s because it’s a boy. Whatever it was, I was thankful that I made it through the whole first trimester without being sick. (Other than when I caught a stomach bug from my girls.)

Now, nausea may have been no biggie, but the exhaustion was (and sometimes still is) so tough! I also got covid at 6 weeks pregnant which wore me out, though thankfully nothing too severe, and that + pregnancy had me falling asleep on the couch as soon as the girls went to bed. I struggled to wake up in the mornings, I felt like I couldn’t make it through the day without a nap, so most days I would try and sneak in a power nap when possible. And as has been the case with all my pregnancies so far, coffee just wasn’t it. I could usually handle a cup in the morning, but later in the day it was too revolting to think about a second cup. Sleep was the only thing that could cure what ailed me.


As I wrote in a recent post about body image, my exercise routine has remained largely the same for the past year and a half. I get in five super short morning workouts a week and walk about three times a week. This has felt both enjoyable and sustainable for me and I plan on keeping this up! I did take some breaks at the beginning of pregnancy, though, due to exhaustion, then covid, then a stomach bug a month or so later. But on those days that I didn’t feel I could do squats, or bicep curls, or get out for a walk, I would just do some nice gentle stretching. This way I could still get some movement in – this is something that has only recently become important to me – and that movement felt good for me. When I was six weeks pregnant, dealing with backaches and headaches thanks to Omicron and I was exhausted and queasy due to the teeny life in my womb, the last thing I would want to do would be squat jumps! Some gentle stretching is sometimes all you can muster, and as one of my midwives said to me during my last pregnancy, any movement is better than no movement.

Thankfully now that I’m 25 weeks my energy level is much better! I do still take power naps when I can (just woke up from one before typing this blog hehe), but exercise is much easier to accomplish now. This morning, for example, I did a quick 10 minute workout of skater jumps, squat jumps, then grabbed my dumbbells for wall sit with bicep curls, walking lunges with chest press, tricep kick backs, and delt flies, then ended with some Spinning Babies stretches. After breakfast and getting the girls dressed I was able to get out by myself (thanks to my husband for working from home!) for a 1.5 mile walk. I got a little sweaty, but didn’t feel like my exercise was too intense, and it was very enjoyable!

If you are in your first trimester right now… rock on, mama! Find what feels right for you, whether it’s popsicles or salami, walking or stretching, and keep it up. You’re doing great! Get some rest…and enjoy your Pinch of Crazy!

This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase using the links, there will be no extra charge to you, just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Kitchen Hack: How to make a Cake Mix Taste Homemade

I love baking from scratch: muffins, cakes, cookies, biscuits, you name it. However, after having my second daughter, and especially now being pregnant with my third (a boy!) I’ve come to appreciate the convenience of a store bought cake mix. I mean, you cut open a package, add some eggs and water, and you have a cake with barely any effort! The downside to not making homemade desserts is that they don’t taste homemade. I mean, they aren’t, but why can’t it taste the same? Well I have a few hacks (that I have used plenty over the past couple of years) that can make a cake mix taste homemade! People will never even know 😉

Chocolate/orange cake for a friend’s baby shower

With a typical cake mix you usually need to add oil, eggs, and water, so some basic swaps I like to make are: melted butter for oil, an extra egg, and milk (or coffee in a chocolate cake) for water. Those changes alone will take your cake mix to the next level, but you can take it a step further by adding some extra goodies to the batter. Some things I like to add are salt (always! It helps balance out the sweetness), ground cinnamon, some orange zest in a chocolate cake, lemon zest in a vanilla cake, a flavor such as vanilla (in any flavor), mint (in chocolate), or almond (in chocolate or vanilla), or some extra mix-ins like chopped nuts, shredded coconut, or chocolate chips. Be sure to stay away from anything too wet such as fruit because it will mess with the baking times.

When it comes to frosting, the same things work. Make canned frosting creamier by adding a bit more butter or cream cheese, add a pinch of salt, maybe flavor it with an extract or citrus zest, maybe mix in some jelly or nut butter, and it will taste like delicious, creamy homemade frosting!

This is such an easy kitchen hack, but it’s really been helpful, and I’ve been able to gussy up so many basic boxed cake mixes. These simple swaps and additions can help make an ordinary cake into something special, in a fraction of the time! Have your cake and eat it, too…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

Some Thoughts: Pre-pregnancy body, vanity, pride, and health

Hello people of WordPress! I have not blogged since Halloween… oops. November and December passed in a flurry of holidays, then on December 27th, my husband and I got a late Christmas gift of a positive pregnancy test. Yep, Baby #3 will be joining our family in about five months!

Since those fateful two pink lines I’ve been… well, exhausted. This pregnancy has been (ironically) the easiest nausea wise, but the toughest exhaustion wise. I’ve basically floated through the first 1/4 of 2022 just trying to get the daily tasks done, and consequently I’ve fallen off the blogosphere.

I’m now 17 weeks pregnant and starting to get some energy back, so hopefully I’ll be back to monthly blogging… at least for the next five months! I’ll get a first trimester recap up soon, and have a couple of kitchen hacks (not exactly recipes) coming too, but I thought I would jump back into blogging with some thoughts about body image.

17 weeks pregnant with Baby #3

It’s hard to imagine that 2021 was a whole year and some months ago, but let’s back up to there. At the start of 2021, I was still about 15 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight, and Selah (Baby #2) was almost one. But I wasn’t too worried about it; I thought with all my exercising with Fit4Mom I’d drop the weight once Selah was weaned. Well, thanks to covid, the Fit4Mom franchise I worked for lost all members and I lost that workout avenue. Shortly after that, in February, we started getting Selah involved in Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) for her gross motor delay. She was 6 months behind developmentally and needed weekly physical therapy as well as bi-weekly feeding therapy because she was unable to use a cup due to poor muscle tone. I also was taking her to twice weekly chiropractor visits, and we had frequent meetings with our ECI case manager at the beginning of services. So at that point, we had 3-4 appointments per week, I was dealing with the stress of knowing my baby has something “wrong” with her, I was juggling two children, two part-time jobs, faced with the loss of one job and a workout avenue in one, and was still nursing my almost one-year-old probably 6-8 times a day because she had no other source of hydration. It was a very stressful start of the year for me as a mom, and really for my whole family. As most people do when times get stressful, I let some things go; in my case that was working out and cooking from scratch for my family. I started buying a lot more packaged goods, and even though I tried to make “healthier” choices, there are so many added ingredients that aren’t ideal. Add that to my complete lack of exercise and my stress with Selah’s needs and I quickly gained 10 pounds. I felt terrible about myself; I was only five pounds away from the weight I was at 40 weeks pregnant!

I beat myself up mentally for a while, but then I started actually seeking the Lord about weight loss, and was convicted that I was being vain. My body is actually here on this earth to serve Him; not to be thin or even strong. Now I knew that I wasn’t taking care of myself the way I should, so I just started doing a ten minute workout every day and walking when I could. A year later this is still my current workout plan, and I feel great about it! This is something that is sustainable for me no matter how crazy life gets, and I feel wonderful starting my day off with exercise, even if it’s not “hard core”. I continually need to go to the Lord in prayer about my attitude regarding my body and my health because I can easily get swept away in sinful, vain thoughts; this vanity can be in the form of pride or self-loathing.

Once I got back down to a weight I was comfortable with and felt I could maintain I realized that I may never be back to my pre-pregnancy weight, and that’s okay because I am not the same pre-pregnancy Molly! I was able to take part in the miracle of bringing another baby into the world, and it’s okay if my body reflects that.

And now, here I am blessed with another life to carry, and Lord willing, birth safely into our family! I have already gained a healthy 7ish pounds. I am a good bit heavier than I was at this point in my pregnancy with Selah, and probably around the same weight I was with Z, and I’m still working on being okay with it, honestly. But I know it is okay! I do my ten minute workouts, I walk a few times a week, I cook frozen veggies (one of the delicious kitchen hacks coming!), and I eat grilled cheese sandwiches and dark chocolate semi-regularly! All I can do is take care of myself for the glory of the Lord, for the furtherment of His Kingdom, and as an image bearer of Him. Eyes off of me, eyes on Him.

“…Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” – Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)

Halloween Cookies

It is Halloween weekend, and you know what that means! Costumes and candy galore, of course! I want you to imagine the spooky holiday season from a different perspective for a minute…the candy’s perspective. Imagine being given to someone awash with excitement and wonder at the thought of you only to sit on a counter for months getting yuckier by the minute. Eventually you get thrown away and replaced by festive Christmas candy. What a sad life all our leftover candies live!

Well we can make these candies have a purpose again! After all the Halloween excitement has died down next week, these pumpkin cookies are a fantastic way to utilize leftover chocolate candies (I would not suggest mixing pumpkin spice with sour gummy worms…) and eliminate food waste. The cookies themselves are fantastic: thick and cakey with real pumpkin, the chewy texture of oat flour, all the fall spice flavors, and sweetened with maple syrup. Then you add some chocolate on top and wow! Halloween explosion in your mouth!

I tried three types of chocolate candies with these: plain dark chocolate, crushed up Heath bars, and Reese’s cups. I will say that the Reese’s ones did not look too attractive because the candy didn’t really hold its shape, but those were a family favorite based on taste alone. I kept thinking that Rolos would taste amazing with the caramel, peanut butter or plain M&Ms would be a fun pop of color, and probably almost any of the little snack-sized chocolates would go great on top. If you try these out with your kids’ leftover candy, please let me know which candies you used and how they turned out! If you’re like me, throwing out food makes you cringe, so I hope this recipe hits the spot while simultaneously creatively using leftovers. Happy Halloween!

Halloween Cookies


  • 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup of melted butter, ghee, or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 cups of oat flour (you can blend your own old-fashioned oats for this)
  • 2 tbsp of ground flaxseed
  • 3 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cloves
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 30 small chocolate candies/pieces of candies


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  3. Combine all wet ingredients (pumpkin through eggs) in a medium mixing bowl.
  4. Add dry ingredients (except candy) and stir to combine.
  5. Using your hands or a cookie scoop (my favorite birthday gift from my husband!), place 1 tbsp balls of dough on baking sheet.
  6. Press candies on top, slightly flattening the cookies – they are so cakey they don’t spread much.
  7. Bake for 17-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean
  8. Store leftovers covered at room temperature for three days; after that, store covered in the fridge.

If you can’t get enough pumpkin this season, be sure to check out my Pumpkin Bread with Crumb Topping or Pumpkin Spice Cake, and for fall-inspired breakfasts, check out my Pumpkin Pecan Muffins and Pumpkin and Oat Blender Waffles. I hope that whatever you eat this weekend warms your tummy and your heart. Be safe, have a fun Halloween, enjoy family…and enjoy your Pinch of Crazy!

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Easy Instant Pot Carnitas

By now, y’all probably know that I just love bargain shopping! Saving money and eating healthier? That’s a literal win-win! If you read my weekly January meal plans this year, then you know I try and spend as little as possible at the store each week. Basically, I can’t pass up a good deal and/or coupon! There was recently a buy one, get one for a penny deal for pork shoulders at the store. So you already know I got two of those pork shoulders and we ate some delicious carnitas tacos/taco salads two weeks in a row!

After my first time making this succulent pork in the Instant Pot I knew I needed to write it down to share with you. It is flavorful (but not too spicy for kids), juicy, fall apart tender, and ready in less than an hour thanks to the pressure cooking powers of the Instant Pot! My suggestions for serving as a salad are to top with habanero ranch, crumbled plantain chips, guacamole, fresh cilantro, and a hefty squeeze of lime juice. My suggestions for serving as a taco are on a fresh, warm tortilla topped with salsa, cilantro, and, again, a hefty squeeze of lime juice. I hope you can enjoy this delicious, healthy pork recipe for a Taco Tuesday real soon!

Easy Instant Pot Carnitas


  • 2-3 pound pork shoulder
  • 3 tsp of chili powder
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 2 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp of black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp of onion powder
  • Cayenne to taste
  • 1 and 1/4 cup of chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup of salsa
  • Juice of half a lime


  1. Season pork shoulder with all seasonings chili powder through cayenne
  2. Turn Instant Pot to sauté feature (or sauté on the stove in a pot if yours does not have this feature)
  3. Cook for two minutes on each side, until brown. Your Instant Pot might give you the “hot” signal (mine did), but it is okay – it won’t burn!
  4. Remove pork shoulder and set aside.
  5. Add chicken stock, salsa, and lime juice, scraping up brown bits.
  6. Put pork shoulder back in with the liquids, close lid and set to “pressure cook” feature.
  7. Cook for 15 minutes per pound (add 5 minutes per pound extra if your shoulder is frozen) and allow for a 20 minute natural pressure release.
  8. Shred meat and serve with desired fixings!
  9. Store leftovers covered in fridge for up to a week.

The Instant Pot is a quick and easy way to get a flavorFULL meal on the table in no time! For more Instant Pot recipes check out my Instant Pot Black Beans and my Instant Pot Mushroom Pot Roast. It took me a long time to actually utilize my Instant Pot so if you would rather use a slow cooker check out some of my slow cooker recipes like Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos or Slow Cooker Potato and Kale Soup. I hope whatever you decide to cook that you love both the process and the outcome, have a family meal…and enjoy your Pinch of Crazy!

This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Strawberry Creamsicles

Summer is almost over; Labor Day is right around the corner, and hopefully cooler temperatures are soon to follow. That is not the case right now, though! It is late August in Texas and we are all about ready to sleep in our freezers. Every time I walk in from outside, I literally say a little prayer thanking God for air conditioner; I can’t imagine how miserable we would be without it!

Now, as hot as it is, summer brings lots of fun things like swimming, lake trips, beach trips, and of course delicious summer produce like berries! Selah, my youngest daughter could eat her weight in blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries, but Zemirah, my oldest, is a bit more picky when it comes to fruit. She doesn’t really like blackberries or raspberries because of the seeds, only likes the perfectly firm yet sweet blueberries (such a pain trying to find those illusive berries in the container), and loves strawberries…dipped in honey. In general Zemirah is less of a picky eater than Selah – not so when it comes to berries! But what is a mom to do in the summer when the store has wonderful sales on berries?! I have to get them! Oftentimes I use berries in smoothies, but when I got a giant bag of frozen strawberries (for a super steal!) I decided to do something a little different with them.

While we do love to eat nice cream or drink chocolate milkshakes for a summer treat, something portable is always a nice option. When Selah started refusing bottles at 10 months old, I started making her breastmilk popsicles to have while I was away at work. Because of that I had these popsicle molds and I thought blending up a creamy strawberry popsicle would be a hit for the girls. Check out these pictures to see just how much they enjoyed them! They were a perfect treat for us all (mom, too) after playing outside in the sprinkler one hot summer morning. These are so easy, full of only real ingredients, creamy, sweet, and I bet your kids will love them as much as mine did!

Strawberry Creamsicles


  • 1 cup of fresh strawberries (stems removed), or thawed from frozen
  • 1.25 cups of full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp of maple syrup
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor
  2. Blend until smooth
  3. Pour into popsicle mold or small freezer-safe cups
  4. Insert popsicle sticks or small spoons or straws if you’re using a cup
  5. Freeze until solid – at least 3 hours
  6. Run a little warm water over the molds to easily remove popsicles
  7. Store leftover popsicles in freezer for a month.

These little frozen treats are so deliciously strawberry flavored, sweet, and so creamy thanks to the coconut milk, and they are so refreshing to have on a hot day. If your kids are crazy about strawberries, they will love these! If popsicles aren’t your thing, but you’re not trying to sweat with the oven on, check out some of my other no-bake treats like Date Cake, Cookie Dough Bites, or my coconut milk based Cheesecake; all of these desserts will satisfy your sweet tooth while keeping you cool! It may be hot, but soak up these last few weeks of summer, get some sun…and enjoy your Pinch of Crazy!

This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!