Have you seen this trend going around the blog world of a Photo Per Hour? When I first saw it, it instantly reminded me of the new-ish app called BeReal. BeReal is the least “filtered” of the social media platforms because it’s all about no filters, no editing photos, no curating a feed that’s glamorous! The app notifies you at a random time during the day to post a photo of what you’re doing along with everyone else you’re friends with. I personally love it :)
To document my day through a photo per hour, I set an alarm to go off on my phone every 60 minutes from wake up to bedtime and capture what was going on in the moment. On this particular day, my husband was flying a “local” trip, which means he didn’t spend the night in a different city; he started and ended his trip in Boise on the same day….although he was still gone from 8:40am to 9:15pm.
Here we go!
We needed to be out of the house before 8:30 today, because we had some errands to accomplish before Brynnley’s first nap and my work. So even though I typically just let Brynnley wake me up, today I set my alarm for 7:30am and threw on a sundress and some 5-minute makeup. I recycled yesterday’s hair style and sipped on my (first) cup of coffee.
Brynnley and I are in Walmart for some necessities! This is the new pose she does when she wants me to hand her something and I love it. In this moment, she wanted me to hand her some scrunchies off the shelf….which I did and let her carry around until it was time to checkout haha.
I need to pause and make a mention – Walmarts in Utah & Idaho are very different than Walmarts in other areas. Growing up in Southern California, our local Walmart was very dirty and disheveled and not somewhere we would shop because it was just chaos. For whatever reason, Utah & Idaho treat their Walmarts like Targets. They are clean, organized, stocked well, and I personally don’t think they have the same “people of Walmart” stereotype of customers. If you’re from here, I think you’ll agree. And if you aren’t, you’ll have to check it out for yourself when you visit! 😅
It’s my mom’s birthday! Yes, that is my mother 🤪 She defies all laws of aging.
Brynnley and I surprised her and brought a little birthday goodie bag to her. Brynnley loved playing with the balloon at her Gigi’s desk!
We are home with about 30 minutes to kill before Brynnley’s first nap time! She plays with some toys and books while I start some laundry and fold the load in the dryer.
She’s asleep so now I get as much work done as I can! I am a part-time employee for an online company, and my title is Blog Manager and Copywriter. (It’s totally separate from Strong Like My Coffee which is just a hobby.) During my naptime hustle, I had a video call with the director of operations, and a couple of copywriting deadlines to meet. I also manage the company’s app and business Pinterest account so I worked on these as well!
I really wanted to squeeze in a run while Brynnley was snoozing so at 12:30 I hopped on the treadmill and turned on some music. I got in 2.5 miles and broke a good sweat! Then I logged back onto my laptop until Brynn woke up around 1pm.
I made Brynnley and I some smoothies for lunch – vanilla yogurt, banana, blueberries, strawberries, chocolate protein collagen powder and a splash of milk. So yummy! Brynnley sips hers in her high chair while I clean everything up and wrap up the copywriting task I was working on my laptop.
Time for some sunshine! We head outside for a 35 minute neighborhood walk. She loves to see any birds, dogs or cats along our route :)
We wind down before her second nap of the day. I usually put her down again around 4pm. Some days she crashes right away and other days she happily plays in her crib for half an hour before she falls asleep. I usually bust out another work session during this time!
The kitchen sink is nearly full from the days’ dishes and it’s not even dinner time yet! I decide to clear them out quickly for a clean slate at dinner time.
I throw together a salad with a bagged kit plus some extras we had in the fridge. This one came with a blueberry lemon vinaigrette! I made a batch of Mac n Cheese for Brynnley’s dinner which I’ll serve with some applesauce and black beans.
The BeReal. App notification went off just as we were starting a pre-dinner walk with our neighbor and friend Kat! She’s the one who introduced BeReal. to me. We walked and chatted until our bellies were growling and headed back to our homes for dinner time.
Dinner usually gets a little messy so we just go straight to the tub afterwards. Brynnley LOVES playing in the water and is always in the best mood!
The kitchen is clean again and I’ve prepped three bottles – one for her upcoming bedtime, one in case she wakes in the middle of the night and one for first thing in the morning to grab along with my cup of coffee. I usually put her to bed by 9pm, but I knew Zeb would be home from his flights at 9:15 so she stayed up with me a little later.
Baby’s in bed and I’m ready to relax for a moment! I had just a little bit left of this book left, which I really enjoyed! It was a gift from one of my book club friends & she picked well :) I sipped on a Peach Lemonade ICE water, which I have to buy in bulk at Costco because I love them so much.
And that’s a wrap! Not every day is the same so this was a fun little random glimpse into life currently :)
Last week I filmed and shared a little vlog on my YouTube channel that just followed a day in the life with Brynnley and I as Zeb was on a four-day trip. He’s a commercial pilot, so our lifestyle is unique in that he’s gone between 3-5 days a week. That means a whole lot of solo-parenting, and a lot of unique challenges to our family’s schedule. Which is something I thought I could share a little more about here as well!
Until I started dating Zeb, I actually had no idea that pilots spent many nights away from their home. I assumed they had a “route” that they flew back and forth and ended back at home each night. Nope! There’s nothing normal or regular about their schedule! They also do not have a designated “route.” Based on seniority, they can request certain criteria in their flight schedule but very rarely do they fly the same trip twice!
Zeb’s trips can start on any day of the week, including Saturday and Sunday. They can be 2 days, 3 days, or 4 days. Their layover and hotel can be in pretty much any city with a major airport. Sometimes he’s in Burbank, Salt Lake City, and Houston, and other times he’s in Nashville for three nights in a row! Some trips he flies from 5am-noon every day and other trips he’s hanging out in a hotel until 4pm and flying until midnight. It’s ALWAYS different.
One of the interesting aspects that many people don’t think about when it comes to a pilot (or flight attendant) schedule is packing meals and snacks for their trips that can be up to four days long. Most of the airplanes my husband flies actually don’t have microwaves to heat up his meals! He takes a rolling luggage bag and a large cooler bag on each trip. Many days he starts his trip as early as 5am and it might be 12 hours until he can transfer his food into a hotel mini fridge for the evening. So logistically, there are some restrictions to what kinds of food he can take along with him to avoid eating out for all four days. Eating airport and restaurant food is not the healthiest option but it also adds up to so much extra money spent on food!
I don’t mind meal prepping for him so that he has nutritious food to eat on his trip, but it’s taken a while to figure out what types of foods keep well for multiple days in a cooler bag and are something he will actually EAT and not bring back home to dump down the garbage disposal.
This post is only going to contain one recipe that was a hit for his last four-day trip, and I’ll continue to share more as I make them each week! I’ll have to start a new little page on this blog specifically for pilot meals, packing tips, and more about this bizarre lifestyle.
First thing to consider when picking a recipe to meal prep for his trip is that it has to taste good both hot and cold, in case he needs to eat it as lunch or dinner on the airplane and doesn’t have a way to heat it up.
On his most recent trip, I made a shredded chicken tamale casserole that was a hit!
Shredded Chicken Tamale Casserole
- 1 casserole dish , greased
- 1 box cornbread mix (plus ingredients on packaging)
- 4.5 oz diced green chiles
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 cup Mexican blend cheese
- 1 cup creamed corn
- 15 oz black beans
- 10 oz green enchilada sauce
- 1 Tbs garlic powder
- 1 Tbs cumin
- salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 9×9 casserole dish.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the cornbread mix and the ingredients listed on its packaging. Add diced green chiles, set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, combine the shredded chicken and spices. Add black beans, creamed corn, 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, 1/2 cup Mexican blend cheese, and green enchilada sauce.
- Pour the chicken mixture into the greased casserole dish and spread evenly.
- Pour the cornbread batter evenly over the top of the chicken mixture.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Then add the remaining Monterey Jack and Mexican blend cheeses.
- Continue baking for another 15 minutes until the cheese begins to brown.
- Allow to cool and enjoy! Optional toppings: sour cream, cilanto, salsa, and avocado.
I divided up some big portions into three containers for Zeb to pack along with some Spanish rice, just in case he was extra hungry!
I had one container left at home for myself and can attest that it was yummy hot AND cold, if necessary!
Some snack staples that Zeb also usually packs along are beef jerky, almonds, and a few of my homemade “Cat balls” (peanut butter energy balls). He has unlimited airplane snacks, including whatever is offered to first class, which have actually come a long way from pretzels! Now there are fun options like pistachios, chocolate covered almonds, and Sun Chips. He brings me home some extras sometimes and I never want to eat another Biscoff cookie in my life haha.
Any other fellow spouses of an aviation crew member? Share your favorite meals to pack with me!