Saturday, July 19, 2014

Another week in pictures

How about another round of my week in photos?

Abbey's friend spend the night with us on Monday and our plan was to get up and go to the pool on Tuesday. Sadly, we woke up to a cold, cloudy day with little chance of temps climbing out of the 60s so I gave them the choice of seeing a movie or going bowling at Bass Pro Shop. They chose bowling.
Shark! I crack myself up.
It has been a chilly, rainy week and I thought a puzzle would be a fun afternoon distraction. I love puzzles, always have. I have really good memories of putting puzzles together with my grandmother.
I discovered this yummy popcorn this week. I love sriracha and this snack did not disappoint. YUM! Beware, it's got some kick to it. That's why I love it.
I haven't made this roasted veggie and rice dish in a really long time but it was a great way to use up some squash and zucchini I had in the fridge. It's delicious and easy. Pair it with a roasted chicken ($5 from Costco) and you've got a quick, tasty meal!
Puzzle progress!
This cutie and I had a girls night out on Thursday. We went to see Earth to Echo (we really liked it) then shopped for a few things she needed for her trip to Arkansas next week. She talked my head off and I loved every minute of it. Abbey has really missed her sister this week.
I haven't hiked as much as I'd hoped to this summer, but a friend invited me to go yesterday and I was grateful for a chance to get outside. I was even more grateful for a beautiful SUNNY day after a week of weird weather.
I had lunch with a sweet friend one day...I liked what was inside my fortune cookie. Positivity is good.
Sure wish someone would have told me my sweater was on wrong side out yesterday afternoon. I was out running errands and John told me after I got home. Ironically he'd been out running errands with me. SERIOUSLY? He didn't notice? I am a D-O-R-K.
Finally finished our puzzle. Now what to work on next?
This is my favorite kind of morning--in bed with my coffee and computer. I laughed when I took this picture because IRONY! Unplug? Ha. Obviously, I'm not unplugged this morning.
Happy Weekend, everyone!!!!!! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Current Read: Still reading this book. Next up: The Fault In Our Stars.

Current Playlist: John and I have gotten sucked into one of those crazy 80s music informercials not once but twice in the last month. We used great restraint and didn't buy the (overpriced) set of CDs but I did download some sweet vintage tunes to my iPod. Right now I'm digging Phil Collins and Richard Marx. I've been mixing it up with some One Direction to keep things current. And Ingrid Michaelson. And Colbie Callait. Oh my word. I LOVE her new song "Try" so, so much.

Current Color(s): Aqua. It's just so summery.

Current Food: Homemade hummus. Y'all! Don't buy hummus; make your own! It's super easy. I made a batch in less than five minutes last weekend. The hardest part is opening the can of garbanzo beans. Seriously.

Current Favorite Favorite: This Rodan + Fields sunless tanner. My Life Is Good mug. Hiking. PiYo. Summer. The pool. Raspberries.

Current Addiction: Iced peach tea.

Current Wish List: This nail polish. I really, really love shellac but it destroys my nails. This is long-lasting polish and can be removed with regular remover. I want to try it! I also want one of these veggie spiralizers. 

Current Need: I need some kitchen inspiration! I'm also saving for a new MacBook. Mine is 5+ years old and starting to show her age.

Current Laugh: I secretly giggle when I see 40+ year old people using emoticons on social media. I promise I'm not making fun of you if you do this. It just makes me giggle. A friend's mom replied to a post on Facebook last week with a string of emoticons and it cracked me up. She's easily 65+ years old but if you didn't know that you'd probably have thought she was a teenager by her response. If you're 40+ and don't know what an emoticon is, then good for you!

Current Triumph: I haven't had a soda in 4 weeks. I was telling John this one night last week and he said, "I bet I haven't had a soda in 10 years". Well, okay then Mr. Smarty Pants. You win.

Current Annoyance: I have a varicose vein in my left leg. It's been there for years (popped up during my third pregnancy) but it's gotten worse this summer and is just painful and achy. I'm not really a fan of elective surgery but it's bothersome enough that I'll consider that as an option. I'm going to look into some herbal treatments and even essential oils before I resort to that though. Anyone have any tried and true remedies? 

Current Blessing(s): Provision. Peace. Family. Health.

Current Outfit: Sweaty workout clothes. They're cute sweaty workout clothes though. 

Current Excitement: Our kids are headed to Arkansas next week and I'm excited for them to get to see family. I'm also excited that John and I will have some time alone. We're still not sure what we're doing but just being together will be fun.

Current Project(s): Will is having his senior pictures made next week so I'm trying to help him figure out what he wants to wear (boys! he could really care less about this!) and trying to figure out the location. I'm also trying to go through old pics and get them organized for some sort of album for him. I know if I put this off until next spring I will regret it!

Current plans for the day: I was going to take Abbey and her friend to the pool but it's not looking like a pool day. Maybe we'll see a movie instead? Other than that, I don't have much planned.

Current link: I agree so strongly with this article about how to talk to your daughter about her body. I know so many adult women with body image issues and I think it's so easy to (unknowingly) pass that stuff on to daughters. Let's change the conversation!!!!

Peace out, peeps!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A week in photos

Last Sunday my friend and I hiked Eagle Peak. I did this same hike in June when it was too cloudy to see much from the top. This day was totally different!
 In the picture below that tall, faraway mountain is Pikes Peak.
There is a meadow near the top of Eagle Peak and it was FULL of Columbine. Made my heart so happy.

John sent the girls and I to the spa one day this week for pedicures. Except the girls both wanted manicures instead. I opted for the pedi...and had a MUCH better experience than I did last time!
I love these girls of mine so much!
I also really, really love my PiYo workout. And my yoga mat. And my fresh pedi. 
 So, ummmmmmmm, this happened. I was too lazy to put the lid on the blender when I was making a shake. If you're ever tempted to think that you can just put your hand(s) over the top and call it good please think again. Trust me on this on.
 This is my very favorite salad. I could eat it every day...and I think I have this week. Recipe here.
This pretty girl is sixteen years old TODAY! She left early this morning for Seattle where she'll be all week with a group from our church doing mission work. 
Since we knew she was leaving on her birthday, we've tried to do a little something each day this week to make her feel celebrated. One night we managed to pull of a little surprise party for her! We invited some of her friends over for cupcakes and homemade ice cream (cookies and cream....YUM!) It was a fun night and she was quite surprised! Her youth group is going to celebrate her tonight in Seattle (shhh...another surprise!) so I think she'll feel the birthday love. 
The photo below makes me smile and even get a little teary-eyed. We pulled out some of our family photo albums last night--a birthday tradition--and spent some time looking through them. I rarely scrapbook these days but I am so grateful for the time I spent putting those albums together when my kids were smaller. They LOVE looking through them and reading the stuff I journaled about. It's stuff that I probably would not remember if it wasn't written down. All those scrapbooks tell the story of our family...and it's my favorite story of all.
Happy Sunday, everyone!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Pursuing Health: Do You Want To Get Well?

I've shared a few times here on the blog about "that getting healthy thing God has been calling me to" but it's always been pretty vague. I've felt lately that it was time to share a little more about what that has looked like for me.

One morning earlier this year, I was reading my Bible and came across the story of the paralytic by the pool of Bethesda. If you're unfamiliar with this scripture passage, you can read John 5:1-9 here but basically Jesus comes across a man who has been paralyzed for a long, long time. This man is waiting by a pool for a chance to be cured by it's healing waters. Jesus asks him, "Do you want to get well?" then proceeds to heal the man.

I'll be honest, scripture doesn't usually jump off the page at me but on that particular February day it DID. I knew deep down that Jesus was asking me that same question. Do you want to get well?

The question stayed with me for days. I'd already has the sense that God was directing  me to "health" this year but I didn't realize how desperate I was for it. Like the man by the pool in John 5, there were/are some things in my life that have kept me spiritually, emotionally and relationally "paralyzed" for a long time.

A few summers ago, I was desperate for physical health. I was dealing with a recurrent health issue and was so tired of taking medicine that only treated my symptoms and left the root cause untreated resulting in vicious cycle of infection/meds. Once I finally identified and began to treat the root of the issue, my health improved drastically. As I pondered Jesus' question, "do you want to get well?" I realized that He was really asking me if I'd quit trying to treat some of my "soul" symptoms and let Him heal those root issues in my heart.

It's kind of scary to deal with your own "stuff", ya know? The paralytic in John 5 initially responded to Jesus' question about getting well with an excuse, and I found myself doing the same thing. I really prefer to think I have my act together most of the time and I can take care of myself thankyouverymuch. The truth is that I don't have it together--not even close. The truth is that trying to treat your "symptoms" might bring temporary relief, but it's ultimately exhausting and will only keep the vicious cycle going.

I was still wrestling with the "do you want to get well" invitation and my multitude of excuses when I went to hear Christine Caine speak one morning at New Life Church. She is an amazing speaker and said so many good things that day but the only note I took was this:

The only thing I could do after that was to submit!

For me this healing process involved identifying and pulling way, way back from a lot of things that weren't good for me. It also involved a lot of self-examination and a lot of prayer, as well as some counseling. It hasn't been easy (two steps forward, one step back) and I'm still not where I desire to be but it has brought tremendous peace and blessing in these four areas of health: spiritual, emotional, relational, and physical.

Stay tuned for Part II.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Stuff that makes me happy

Just a couple things that are making my life HAPPY right now...

1. One of the things on my to-do list today was to purchase plane tickets for a trip the girls and I are taking next month. I've been searching around for fares and found a pretty good deal and wanted to snag it before it increased. I forgot to buy it yesterday so it was on the top of my list today. Well, I woke up to a 20% off coupon from the airline in my inbox this morning. 20% off of airfare is nothing to sneeze at. I'm doing a little happy dance right now because my tickets were super cheap. YAY! I'll fill you in on our trip a little closer to time. It's going to be fun!!!

2. John and I celebrated our TWENTY-FOURTH wedding anniversary on Monday. Twenty-four years. That is so crazy to me. We spent some time on Monday talking about our years together and all the people who've been a part of our story--the good, the hard, all of it. We've had our share of heartache over the years but mostly we're just grateful for a happy marriage. It's a blessing that we don't take for granted. 

3. You know I love yoga, right? I bought a new PiYo workout program and I am loving it. It's a combo of Pilates and yoga and it's faster-paced than traditional yoga but I'm 10 days in and I already feel stronger! Excercise makes me happy!

4. I walked in the family room the other day to find my girls snuggled up together watching a movie. They are SO sweet to each other and it just makes my heart happy to see them love each other. It's a huge blessing.

5. Yesterday our high temps didn't climb out of the 60s. Summer in Colorado makes me HAPPY! I miss the south, but I certainly don't miss the heat and humidity...or the mosquitos.

Happy HUMP DAY, everyone!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

June Currents

Current Read: Yesterday I started reading And The Dark Sacred Night by Julia Glass for the sole reason that it was in a stack of books John brought home from work (working for a publisher has it's perks). I know nothing about it but am fifty-five pages in and haven't lost interest so that's good. I recently finished The Secret Keeper (very, very good) and The Aviator's Wife (also very good!) I guess I'm on a reading kick. That's typical of summer. Yahoo!

Current Playlist: I'm so boring. I like listening to the same stuff over and over. It's a mix of pop and worship music, but this song is my current fave and I put it on repeat often.

Current Color(s): Navy and white with aqua.

Current Food: Gazpacho. So yummy! I've been trying to eat more veggies so this soup is an excellent way to get all my servings in each day.

Current Favorite Favorite: Lazy summer days at the pool!

Current Addiction: Shaved ice with our homemade sno-cone syrup! They are perfect on hot, sunny days.

Current Wish List: A getaway with my husband. Psssst--I think my wish is going to come true soon.

Current Need: An audio cord to connect my iPod to my car's AV output jack. I splurged and bought one for myself yesterday ($2). I left my old one in the rental car I had while my vehicle was being repaired.

Current Triumph: I feel like surviving May and June was a triumph. Crazy-crazy-crazy busy months! OH YEAH! I finally beat the game 2048. HUGE triumph.

Current Annoyance: I got a pedicure a couple of weeks ago with a gift card I'd had for over a year and forgotten about. WORST PEDICURE EVER! The polish was sloppy and the girl didn't even exfoliate my (rough, gross) feet. Wish I'd used that gift card on a massage or something instead. Oh well. :)

Current Mood: It's can one not be HAPPY!?! And relaxed! Yay!

Current Blessing(s): Will is home from his work crew assignment at Crooked Creek. After almost a month away, it's so nice to have everyone home together again. Another huge blessing is having John home with us for a couple days a week this summer. He moved to a part-time job earlier this year that allows him to work only three days a week which makes for some nice family days together and I LOVE THAT SO MUCH!

Current Outfit: Shorts and a t-shirt. I wore a skirt TWICE this week and that's rare for me so it must be noted. 

Current Excitement: The 4th of July is almost here. It's my favorite holiday and I'm excited to spend it with my family.

Current Project(s): I'm taking the month off from projects. Ha! I'm finally moving into my lazy summer stretch and I just want to enjoy it without having "projects" hanging over my head.

Current plans for the day: Well, the day is winding down but I'm going to make dinner soon and start prepping for tomorrow, which is my "get-everything-done-so-we-can-play-all-week" day.

Peace out, peeps!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A lesson learned

I've just returned from Las Vegas for Beachbody Coach Summit. I'm a Beachbody coach but I also work part time for a friend who has a highly successful Beachbody business. I went to Summit as her worker-bee assistant, but also for fun and learning for myself. I had a great time, but man-oh-man, Vegas is weird and definitely lives up to it's reputation. I saw a LOT of things I wish I hadn't. Ha!

I had a realization on the flight home that I've been mulling over for a few days. It was one of those "aha" moments for me.

The flight we were on didn't have seat assignments. You choose your seat on the plane based on what's available when you board. By the time we boarded, all of the aisle seats and window seats were taken. So I found a middle seat between two guys that weren't too scary looking. Well, actually one looked normal and the other looked a bit like a thug, but the seat was close to the front so if I had to take a middle seat then at least I could exit the plane quickly after we landed. Strategy. 

Since it's kind of creepy to stare at your seatmates, I didn't. But the "thug" next to me had lots of piercings and tattoos and was dressed in mostly black (goth) and I was certain that the music he was listening to on his iPod was nothing at all like the music on mine. Judgement.

Usually on airplanes I do not enjoy talking to people. Which is the complete opposite of my personality. If you were to ask my children, they'd tell you (while rolling their eyes) that I talk to anyone and everyone all the time--in the grocery store, in the drive-thru, in parking lots, elevators, etc. I'd watched my boss on this trip talk to everyone around her and we joked about her making friends wherever she went, so I decided I should probably be a tad friendlier to my seatmates. It helped that the USA-Portugal soccer match was in it's final moments while we were boarding so that made for easy conversation since the whole Las Vegas airport was watching (and cheering)! We made small talk about the World Cup and then about football. They were impressed with my knowledge and my all-girls fantasy football league! I thought that our enjoyment of football was where our shared interests ended so I put my earbuds in and put some music on and felt like I'd done my best to be polite.

As we neared Denver, the "thug" next to me opened his window shade and peered out at the Rocky Mountains. And since you guys know I LOVE the mountains, I peered out too.

The strangest thing then happened. That "thug" got so excited and started pointing things out to me about the things he was seeing out the window--the mountain streams, the passes, the birds, the clouds. Everything. He was giddy about the beauty of the place we both call home. We then had the nicest conversation about hiking and 14ers and the stunning beauty of Colorado and how much we both love where we live. It was a sweet moment. I'm pretty sure I'm old enough to be his mother and I'm pretty sure his lifestyle is much different than mine but ya know what? We connected over beauty. It was so cool to find something in common with someone so outwardly different than me...and it was very moving to see his response to it.

So the thing I can't stop thinking about?
DO NOT PRE-JUDGE someone you haven't met. Be open to conversation. Be open to connection.
If I'd gone through my normal air travel routine I might have missed a moment of true beauty. We're all more alike than we realize sometimes. The guy I had labeled a thug turned out to be a really nice guy with a giant love of nature and people. And fyi, he talked my head off the rest of the flight. And I enjoyed it.

Lesson learned.