Grace. We could all use more of it. When I scan my list of things to do each day, with the chaos of crying children, piles of laundry, and stacks of dirty dishes surrounding me, I often feel a pit in my stomach and my heart begins to race. How on Earth am I ever going to get it all done? School drop-offs, toys to pick up, emails to respond to, lunches to pack, and those pork chops in the fridge that need to be used? My mind literally spins trying to keep track of everything.
And then the juice spills, or the boys start fighting over a toy, or I forget to send in the field trip money again. There are so many instances in my day when I honestly feel like I’m paddling upstream in a solo canoe. But I’m working on grace.
Being patient with myself, embracing the mess, and just rolling with it a little bit. Because as much as I’d love to get everything checked off my list each day, the reality is that it’s just not going to happen. And instead of focusing on what’s not accomplished, I’m choosing to focus on all that I get to do. I’m not looking at the “should do” or the “have to do” list. I’m enjoying the list of small things that I am fortunate enough to enjoy each and every day — chatting with my kids on the car ride home from school, lacing up their soccer cleats for practice (even when we’re running really late), and eavesdropping on their conversations as they construct Lego cities together.
So often in the hustle and bustle of life we miss the small moments of joy that can add up to an hour, a day, a week, and a lifetime of precious memories. Instead of letting these difficult-yet-fleeting years pass me by, I’m diving head first into the good, the bad, and the BUSY. Because that phone call can wait, the dish can soak, and the crumbs can be wiped up later. But the hug, the kiss on the boo-boo, and the bedtime story definitely cannot wait. Life isn’t perfect (that would be boring!), but we are perfect parents because we’re doing the best that we can.
And on my craziest evenings, when I feel like I’m failing at just about everything, I can always turn to a simple sheet pan supper to turn the day around!
With just 10 minutes of prep, dinner comes together on one tray and results in the most delicious juicy and tender ranch pork chops with crispy potatoes. I might not be able to check off everything on my massive to-do list, but I end the day around the table with my family — feeling accomplished, nourished, and full of love. A homemade dinner might not be everything, but tonight it’s more than enough.
I hope that you’ll show yourself some grace, bake some pork chops, and enjoy the smiles around your table as well.
PS – It’s fine to tell your kids that it’s chicken, if that convinces them to eat it. Works like a charm with my two-year-old!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 (1 ounce) packet ranch seasoning mix (just the dried seasoning)
- 1 lb. baby red potatoes, halved
- 4 thick-cut bone-in pork chops (about 7 ounces each)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil (for easy clean up) and spray with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, butter, garlic and ranch seasoning.
- Place potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet and drizzle with about half of the oil mixture. Toss to coat.
- Place in the oven for 15 minutes to give the potatoes a head start in the cooking.
- Remove potatoes from the oven and place pork chops on the baking sheet with the potatoes.
- Brush pork chops with remaining oil mixture and place baking sheet back in the oven to cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until pork is golden and cooked through.
- For a crispy, charred finish place the sheet pan under the broiler for 2-3 more minutes.
Cooking for Only Two? I purchase these thick-cut pork chops in packages of two at the grocery store, so this is a very easy recipe to just cut in half. Save the other half of the ranch seasoning mix for the next time!