Google+ Google+ Google+

The Reality Challenge – Day Four

When I need a good dose of reality, I’ll think back to my newlywed days. It’s not that I’ve “Let myself go”, so to speak, but things aren’t exactly like they were when we were still in the honeymoon phase. Not only did we spend a lot more time snuggled up on the couch with one another, I also went above and beyond what is actually required of a woman in the meal department. Elaborate meal plans, hours spent planning and prepping a gorgeous meal, just for the two of us.

Fast forward to today. I have no idea what we’re going to eat for dinner. Well no, scratch that. I do know, I’m just a little embarrassed to admit it. Let’s just say it starts with an “S” and ends with “loppy Joe Casserole.” A few weeks ago, we had both Tater Tot Casserole and Sloppy Joe Casserole in the same week. I could almost hear my cookbooks crying from their new home in the dining room hutch. “Don’t you miss us, Krista? Remember all the fun and calories we had together?”

I do miss them, a little bit. It was fun to make those nice meals but it was also unrealistic for me. If that’s what you do and enjoy it, more power to you, it’s just not me. I like casseroles, easy meals, and very little planning. Not only that, but I’m trying to lose weight and I know that the more complicated my meals become, the more likely it is that it’ll be something creamy and cheesy and full of yumminess I shouldn’t be eating in large quantities.

For the first few years of marriage, I refused to cook or bake for my mother-in-law or my husband’s grandmother when they came to visit. I felt inadequate and inferior compared with what they could make and what I felt a good wife should be able to provide for her family. Why did I put that kind of pressure on myself? Is that really how the rest of the world eats every night? A four-course meal that took hours to prepare?

Sometimes I feel like the last person on earth whose kids eat PB & Js for lunch every day instead of hummus on carrots and celery sticks. That maybe I’m the only one who doesn’t want to eat like a caveman and still enjoys Coke. Whose kids don’t eat salad. Who doesn’t particularly enjoy salad herself.  Whose food turns into a fail 25-50% of the time. Is that you? It’s me, for sure.

Join The Reality Challenge at!

Today’s Reality Challenge is to tell me about some of the “real” meals you’ve had at home lately. Maybe you’ll Instagram it and share it on the Facebook page with a caption like “Mac N Cheese, y’all!”. This isn’t about healthy vs. unhealthy. Healthy can still be quick and easy. This is about not only sharing the superb but sharing the normal, everyday stuff.

Your Super Challenge for today is to invite someone over and have a normal meal with them. If you tend to eat a simple chicken breast with noodles for dinner, why feel like you have to rival Thanksgiving dinner just because you invited friends for dinner? Your friends care about you, not how awesome your ham tastes. Special occasions are great and we should all have them, but not at the expense of our sanity.

Are you enjoying The Reality Challenge? Please share it with your friends! We all need a heaping helping of reality and your friends will thank you for it! Sign up for Reality Check, my free email newsletter that will deliver 2 more weeks of reality challenges, beginning next week!

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Affiliate Offer

About Krista

Krista is a full-time working mom of two boys, currently aged 6 and 7. She lives in Kentucky with her husband, Brandon.


  1. Rita Futrell says:

    Krista, Our daughter Amber introduced this meal and it is very good and easy. Cut up chicken (a couple of breast) put in skillet and coat with light zesty Italian Dressing. Cook for about 45 min or until all dressing is gone and chicken starts to get a nice brown coating. Make some lipton chicken rice and a veg. Cut up a salad, because my Dave doesn’t like a meal without salad. Makes a nice meal and is very good.

  2. Last night we had dinner at small group: chilli and peanut butter sandwiches (which no one in the North has ever had together!). Monday night we had tacos. Tuesday I ate leftovers of the tacos and gave Nora left over green beans and mac & cheese and a box of raisins because we were in a hurry and I knew she’d eat that faster than tacos. We are definitely a family of embarassingly lame dinners! I even made a meal plan this week and haven’t even come close to following it! With my work schedule and our church schedule we almost never have a dinner that takes more than 20-30 minutes to make. We survive 🙂

  3. This part of parenting is so challenging, though I NEVER fixed a four course meal pre-kids. When my oldest was about 18 months, I got a part time job and work in the evenings. My husband can cook, and this put the burden mostly on his shoulders if he wanted to eat. Now either he cooks, or we cook together. We are also challenged with weight troubles, and have tried to lose the weight we both gained during my last pregnancy. I really fear that my kids will be overweight, and I feel overly sensitive about it. We try hard to cook healthfully, with vegetables at every dinner. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes not so much, but each day we do try. We get bored a lot with what we eat, so some days we do drag out the recipe book, mostly to keep the bordem from taking us out to dinner. I wish real meal planning and making didn’t take so much time (or $) or we might be able to do it more often! BTW, I have never had either sloppy joe casserole or tatertot casserole…care to share the recipe?

  4. Rita – Yes! That’s one of my go-to “healthy” meals!

    Joy – Chili and PB??

    Bonnie – They’re very easy!

    Tater Tot Casserole (the way I make it) is a lb. of ground beef (lean), browned, mixed with a bag of frozen mixed veggies and a can of cream of mushroom. Put that in a 9×13 casserole dish and top with tater tots and maybe some shredded cheese if you like. Bake at maybe 400 until it’s all cooked through.

    Sloppy Joe Casserole (the way I make it) is a lb of lean beef, browned, mixed with a can of sloppy joe mix and a handful of shredded cheese. Put it in an 8×8 casserole and top it with prepared Jiffy cornbread mix (prepared batter, that is) and another handful of cheese. Bake at 400 about 20 minutes until the cornbread is cooked and golden brown on top.

  5. This week we had (I’m nuts)
    Monday-taco salads (made with left over chilli, FRIED flour tortillas, lettuce, RF sour cream, cheddar cheese, etc.)
    Tuesday-went out to eat for a school fundraiser.
    Wednesday-cashew chicken
    Thursday- chicken nuggets/fries –cooked in OIL
    Friday-Philly cheesesteaks
    I have a list for next week

    Cheese/ham quiche w/salad, potato soup, homemade toquitos, pasta/sauce w/garlic bread

    I can’t remember the rest. Sorry.