Tuesday, March 25, 2014

No More Excuses!

Do you want to clear up your skin?  Do you want more energy?  I started to write a long post about this and then deleted it.  It's simple really.  Fruits.  Veggies.  Eat them.  Drink them.  They are good for you.   God made them to be the perfect fuel for our bodies.  They heal you from the inside out.  

In all seriousness we love us some meat, but fresh produce has now become the primary source of what we eat on a daily basis and we have never felt better.  It literally makes to sick to think about what I used to fill my body with every day.  Highly processed "junk" that would just turn to sugar the minute I ate it.  Kadynce actually told us this weekend that she couldn't eat noodles because they would just turn to sugar.  That's right, sweet girl, that's exactly what it does.

I used to make excuse after excuse.  Unless it was covered in ranch or fried I didn't like veggies at all.  Making juice or fresh smoothies?  That took too much time.  No more excuses here y'all. I've learned to eat what I used to despise and we make the time to prepare fresh and healthy food.  God has given me this body and I want to treat it right.  God has given me this life and I want to enjoy it to the fullest.  What about you?!?!?  What are your excuses and are you willing to throw them out the window for a healthier life?


Friday, March 14, 2014


Today's SUYL topic at Kelly's Korner  is what we are currently reading.  I've never really been a big reader.  I'm not really sure why.  I think it's that I just always find something else to do and reading tends to make me sleepy. I do almost always have a book that I'm in the process of reading, it just may take me for-e-ver to get through it.  Right now I'm reading Growing Up Duggar by the four oldest Duggar girls.  

As I've mentioned before, we're big fans of the Duggar family.  I use the word fan lightly because it's not like they are a sports team or rock band, they are simply a bigger than average family living their lives to bring honor to The Lord.  I was so excited about this book because I just told Jonathan recently that I was hoping they would write something like this. In the book they discuss what it was like growing up in the Duggar household, especially during those tough teenage years.  The girls are far from perfect and they freely admit that, but I have always so admired their passion for purity in all aspects of their lives.  They never seem bitter and never say the way they live is because their parents said to.  They live the way they do because they know it's what brings the most honor to God.  I'm just in the first chapter of this book, but I'm so excited to see what they have to say.  I know my girls are still very little, but they are growing so fast.  Kadynce is so inquisitive and is already asking questions that I thought we wouldn't have to answer for a few more years.  Even though she sometimes takes me off guard, I love watching her soak everything up like a sponge.  I'm just so honored that God chose me to be these precious girls' mommy.  To teach them about His love and what it says in His word.  I have some incredibly Godly women in my life that have been such a wonderful example for me, but I am looking forward to some good insight from the Duggar girls themselves.

Also, I can't forget what I read daily with my littles.  Lydia LOVES to read.  She would sit in my lap and read all day if I let her.  Kadynce is finally to the point where she likes to read too.  If we're having a tough day we just sit on the floor in the playroom and read book after book.  30 minutes later everyone has a better attitude.  Lydia is at the age where she loves board books.  Especially the ones with different textures on the page or flaps to lift.  Kadynce likes to read longer stories now.  There are several books that the girls and I read frequently, but my personal favorite is Audrey Bunny by Angie Smith. 

If you don't know the story of Angie's precious daughter Audrey Caroline, you can read it here.  I could go on and on about how Audrey's story has impacted my life and helped me choose joy while carrying our Isaac, but I'll save that for another day and another time.  Needless to say, Audrey Bunny is the sweetest story and has the most beautiful illustrations.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My Glamorous Life

The other day I posted this picture of my green juice, Parenthood on the TV, and a pile of laundry beside me, on Intagram and Facebook with the hashtag #lovemyglamorous life.

Yes, this is my definition of glamorous.  This life that I'm living right now is all I've ever wanted.  Having the privilege to stay home to raise our children.  Using the couple of hours during nap time to catch up on laundry and my favorite shows.  It's really a dream come true and most of the time my heart feels so full that I think it might burst.  If I'm being honest though (and I am) there have been times recently that things haven't felt so glamorous, even by my standards.   Friends moving away, losing jobs, facing infertility, finding out their cancer has relapsed.  Not to mention the extremely fussy 18 month old that has been battling a cold and getting new teeth at the same time for what seems like forever.  It just hasn't been a pretty month.  Yesterday Jonathan came home to music blaring in the kitchen in my efforts to drown out the fit that was being thrown in the playroom.  When he turned it down I went on a rant about how I hate that I'm limited to Christian music because I never know what's going to come on the other stations.  (Sidenote: I love Christian music, but I love other genres too.  Feel free to judge me.)  I asked him if he would put together a playlist that the girls and I can both listen to and enjoy.  My witty husband replied with "so basically you want me to make you a mixed tape?"  I said "exactly! Isn't that supposed to be one of the biggest signs of love?  Making someone a mixed tape."  Then I burst into laughter as well as tears and fell into his arms because I was completely and utterly worn out from the day.  The constant crying.  The emotional roller coaster that our lives have recently become.  Sometimes it seems like too much.  I've lost my temper more than I care to admit.  I haven't consistently been the example of a Godly wife and mother that I want to be for my girls.  I've let fear and worry fill my mind and my heart.  I've even eaten a few too many bowls of popcorn.  All of that being said, I'm not going to beat myself up over any of this.  I'm giving myself grace.  Some seasons are more challenging than others.  We've learned that very well over the past few years.  This season is one in which I often close my eyes and imagine myself in Hawaii.

Don't get me wrong, I'm so thankful for all of my blessings.  The fact that I have babies that cry when they need me.  The pain I feel when a friend is hurting because they are like family.  The heartbreak of saying goodbye since you love them so much.  Someone once said to me that they just didn't want to develop close friendships anymore because people always move.  I told her it's kind of like the saying "it's better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all."  When we become so invested in other's lives we feel their pain.  If their heart is broken so is ours.  If they move away it's like we're losing a piece of ourselves.  That pain though, it's totally worth it for the joy and growth that those relationships bring.  So here I am.  Just going through the day to day hard stuff that many of you are facing as well.  Sometimes wishing I could escape to a tropical paradise, but mostly just relishing in the fact that I really do love my glamorous life!                   

Friday, March 7, 2014

Kickin it Old School

I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner again for a fun topic.  Awkward pictures from your past.  I didn't have a chance to go to my parent's to look through all of our old pictures so I was limited to what we have around here.  Like most people I feel like my most awkward years were during middle school and early high school.  I'm also throwing in a few pictures that I just thought were cute and or funny.

The moment I had waited for my entire life.  Playing the flying angel in our church's Easter Pageant. 

Check out the Hanson shirt.  I was pretty obsessed, I'm not going to lie.
Gotta love those overalls.  I actually hear they're making a comeback.  That should be interesting... 

The time I highlighted my boyfriend's hair.

Going to a Stardusters dance.  What you can't see very clearly is my furry leopard choker and bracelet.  

80's day!

Wasn't I a beautiful bride?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

All you need is....

Last week I asked a simple question on Facebook.  "What is love?"  These are some of the responses I received:  
 "Love is simple, given freely, contagious, full of grace and open armed! Fully God and shown to each of us!" 
 "Love is meeting needs"
Love..is God-given...it motivates and drives us to action--to fight, to put needs of others before one's own, causing us to put aside our own desires and preferences for the sake of someone else. When I think of love I also think of how it encompasses truth, justice and "grace...it treasures, cherishes deeply, and goes to great lengths to protect.
"True love is a choice, a choice to be selfless and put the needs of others in front of your own, and we all have unique needs which creates unique love."
For the past several years people, especially the younger generations have adopted somewhat of a "hippie" attitude.  Now don't get me wrong, I have been referred to as a hippie myself recently and I'm not planning on abandoning my essential oils or juicer anytime soon.  But, I'm referring to the "all you need is love" attitude.  The idea that loving someone means you stand by their every choice and every move no matter what it may be.  Even if that means going against what you know to be true.  It's all in the name of love and that seems to make it ok.  Or not... Let's look at a few verses and see what the bible has to say.

Philippians 4:8-9 says 

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."  
 Then in Ephesians 6:10-18 when talking about putting on the armor of God 
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but againstthe rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 
In looking at these verses (among others) I believe that standing up for the truth is a very important part of being a believer, even if it means disagreeing with what others are saying.  Just because you don't agree with what someone is doing or how someone lives their life doesn't mean that you can't and don't love them.  I have seen so many people either stand up for what they believe to be wrong or not stand up for what is right in the name of love.  This truly saddens my heart.  It makes me sad because we live in a society that believes you can't disagree with someone and still love them.  It makes me sad because so many are missing the fact that we can truly share Christ's love and stand up for the truth at the same time.  In fact, many times the best way to love someone is by sharing the truth with them.  I'm not talking about getting in their face and being rude or judgmental.  The bible says in Matthew 7:1-5
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye."
We must deal with our own sins and be careful not to be judgmental, but that doesn't mean that we can't or shouldn't address the sins of others.  If you take a stand for what you believe the bible says to be true, but don't reject or shun those that don't listen, that is loving them well.  That is loving how Christ loved.  Jesus spoke the truth.  He didn't sugar coat it.  He didn't change his message depending on who was listening.  He didn't worry about who he was going to offend.  He knew that people weren't going to listen or follow everything he said, but he still loved them the same.  He loves me, even though I go against what he says on a daily basis.  Even though I know what he says is true, and right, and good, I still mess up.  He loves me anyway.  This is the type of love our world needs more of.  The type of love described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[a] it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.   
If we look back at the responses I received to the question "what is love" I see a very common trend.  People see love as meeting other's needs and doing this freely without expecting anything in return.  They believe it's a reflection of God's love for them.  I think this fits perfectly with where my heart has been for a while now.  People need the truth.  If they don't hear it from you, someone that loves them,  how do you know they ever will.  Speak the truth in love.  That's what Jesus did.

Just a little something I have to add at the end of this.  Notice that I didn't mention any specific "truths" in this post.  That is not what this was about.  I don't what to debate certain sins. My prayer is that if you have not already you will take time to dig into the bible and see what it has to say for yourself.  Also, as a believer remember that you have the Holy Spirit inside you to help you discern right from wrong.  Allow Him to guide you through those difficult conversations.  Ask the Lord to give you a spirit of love.  A Love like what He so freely gives to us.        

Monday, March 3, 2014


A few weeks ago I promised a series of posts discussing what we eat throughout the week.  Once again we are not experts, but since you've been asking I decided to answer.  I've already covered breakfast so let's move onto lunch.  I've heard so many people say that lunch is one of the hardest meals to plan and I agree.  A lot of times it ends up being a hodge podge of whatever is in the fridge or pantry, a sandwich, or maybe even nothing at all.  I know moms are so guilty of the later.  By the time we get all of the tiny mouths fed we really don't want to make anything for ourselves.  We end up eating a hand full of nuts and calling it a meal.  Those of you that work outside of the home have a whole other set of challenges.  I'm sure packing a healthy, but yet tasty meal can seem daunting.  Not to mention those times your coworkers want to go grab a burger.  All of these reasons and more is why lunch is such a struggle for so many of us.  

Once again the solution is somewhat simple... plan, plan, plan!  I usually plan my meals for the next week on Saturday and we do our grocery shopping on Sundays.  I don't plan our lunches as strictly as I do dinner, but I basically make sure I have healthy and easy options to choose from.  Here are my go to meals for lunch.  Keep in mind that this is what Jonathan and I eat.  The girls eat your more typical "kid foods" for lunch such as peanut butter and honey (natural peanut butter, local honey, and whole wheat bread), homemade mac and cheese (not as hard as it sounds), and nitrate free, organic hot dogs with raw milk cheese.  They love to eat any type of fruit as a dessert after lunch.  Back to what Jonathan and I eat... 
  • Chicken Sausage with Sautéed veggies.  HEB has several different varieties of natural chicken sausage that we really like are they are very low calorie.  Our current favorite is Feta and Spinach.  We like to eat this with sautéed onions and peppers.  It is so yummy it's hard to believe it's healthy!  
  • Egg Salad - I like to boil eggs and make egg salad by just mashing up the eggs with some mustard, chopped dill pickles, natural ham or bacon that's been chopped up, and fresh cracked pepper.  I just eat it out of a bowl with a fork.  You could also eat it with pieces of bell pepper. That would be delicious and a good way to get your veggies in.
  • Guacamole and turkey/ham roll ups - We make our own guac when we want it by mashing up an avocado with some lime juice and spices, but you could easily buy some freshly made from your produce section.  Just look at those ingredients and make sure it's all natural.  We like to put this on a piece of ham or turkey with a slice of bell pepper and sometimes some bacon.  4 of these with a side or raw fruits and veggies is an easy and very fresh tasting lunch packed with great nutrients.  
  • Sandwiches - Every now and then we'll make a sandwich on whole wheat bread, but we really try to stay away from a lot of breads, pastas, etc especially at lunch.  Not that they're all bad we both just notice our bodies react better when we stay away from them.  Weight loss is so much easier without those things.  
  • Leftovers - I've never been a huge fan of leftovers, but this really is a good one.  If you're cooking healthy dinners then eating that for lunch the next day is a wonderful option.  There are many options for meals that make wonderful leftover lunches such as soup and chili.  When we grill a lot in the summer we like to grill more meat than we need and use it the next day for salads or a simple meat and veggie stir fry. 
I feel like this is such a simple list, but we really do try to keep it simple around here.  I'm more likely to follow through with my plan if it's quick and easy.  I know I didn't address the eating out issue because I'm planning on doing that in a whole post of it's own.  Another thing I need to mention is that most of these meals seem fairly small or incomplete.  There are several reasons for that.  We live in a culture where lunch is not complete without chips or fries on the side.  This is such a dangerous thought process.  We should be thinking a meal is not complete without enough veggies.  With all of our meals we either mix our veggies in like with the sausage or on a sandwich, or we eat them on the side (sometimes with hummus) like with the roll ups or the egg salad.  The nutrients found in fruits and vegetables is essential to our health.  It is what allows our bodies to heal themselves on the inside.  Also, these meals are all quite a bit smaller and lower calorie than a typical American lunch, even more so than the ones that would be considered healthy.  We have been trying to space out our calories throughout the day, meaning lunch and dinner are a little smaller, but our snacks are bigger and more nutrient filled.  This is what is best for your metabolism, but once again it may not fit with all lifestyles and schedules so you really have to figure out what works for you and your family.  

I hope you all find this at least somewhat helpful.  Like I said before, the key really is in the planning.  Figure out some quick and healthy go to meals that your family enjoys.  Keep those ingredients on hand and you're one step closer to reaching your goal of a healthy lifestyle!