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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Stewart

Cats in the Cradle and Mason Jar Salads

I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about the elements of working. Working a job. And what that means to us as people. Humans. Working long hours on a job that we absolutely love? Or absolutely abhor going to every day? This idea that society has engrained into our heads that the only way to survive in this World is to have money. To work hard and to make money… lots of money. The more money we have, the happier we will be. Or so we think…

Last year, my husband’s company moved our family up to the Seattle area to help execute the finish line of a construction job. An upward move for him… not only in his industry, but just over-all learning and growing within the company. He works almost 13 hours a day… and then some nights he brings it home with him. I love seeing his growth over the last year… his knowledge expand… and his determination to be better. Do better. But why do we crave this hard labor that some days destroys us mentally, emotionally, and physically? Outside of the financial reasons… why isn’t every job just an 8 hour day?? All consuming… where we can’t even be present with each other because of the demand it has on our time.

These days, my job has shifted. I’m a full time mama now… probably the hardest job I’ve ever had. However, it’s left me the gift of time. Time spent with my children. Time that I never got before when I was working full-time. This shift has also allowed me to take care of my husband when he’s not able to take care of himself. A couple of years ago, my husband lived on turkey and cheese sandwiches for lunch. His office was (more or less) in his truck… so sandwiches served in a zip lock bag did him just right. Cheese, Bread, Turkey, and Dijon Mustard. That’s it. However, these days, since being at home with my kids, I have more time to explore healthier additions to my talented and very smart husband’s diet. He’s never been much of a vegetable guy, but when it’s drenched in ranch dressing and/or some kind of sauce, he will eat it.

That being said, I discovered the perfect way to make us both happy. MASON JAR SALADS!!!! A super-find on Pinterest that I’ve managed to dominate over the last year. It’s not hard and you can be as simple and/or authentic to your salad as much as you want! So here are the basic details of this very fun, yet simple recipe.


1.) Salad Dressing

2-4 Ounces of Dressing is plenty depending on size of Mason Jar

2.) Add Non-Absorbent Veggies

You want Ingredients that won’t soak up the dressing

3.) Soft Veggies and Grains

You want to pack everything in tightly - less air between layers will help keep

your ingredients fresher

4.) Protein and/or Nuts

Nuts, Cheese, Proteins are optional and can be added last minute

5.) Lettuce

This keeps a moisture barrier that keeps the other ingredients from getting soggy! I like to add this on top...

When you’re ready to eat… Shake and Dump in a bowl and you’re ready to eat!!!

My husband chose this week's song pairing... Cat’s and the Cradle by Harry Chapin. Wow. Wow. I wasn’t even going to blog about something so powerful with Mason Jar Salads… But this was a winner. It goes along with my never-ending thoughts of over-worked. Work. Working. We, as a society, cannot pause. Cannot sit and be present with one another. Even me.

“My son turned ten just the other day He said, "Thanks for the ball, Dad, come on let's play Can you teach me to throw", I said "Not today I got a lot to do", he said, "That's ok" And he walked away but his smile never dimmed And said, "I'm gonna be like him, yeah You know I'm gonna be like him"

It’s taken me time to accept me being a stay-at-home mom. Im not sure why... except that I’ve "worked" my whole life since I was 14 years old. Sometimes 5 jobs at once… working one job and driving to the next just to survive. Bartending, Waitressing, Hostessing, Interior Designing, Acting, Administrative Assisting, Event Planning, Web Designing, and Writing. It's all hard. And when it's not it's not. The juggling of bills, the managing of time, the ability to stay present, strong and most important loving. But God’s gifted me this time to hold my baby’s close… so I’m hanging on to that. Because one day they won’t need me to hold them so close. And I will miss that so much. In the mean time, while my husband continues to work hard at his job, I'll spend this time making sure he feels loved too. Even if its with Mason Jar Salads.

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