Saturday, July 26, 2014

Another week in photos

Obviously, this photo-documentation of our weeks is growing on me. 

Sarah got home from her Seattle trip (late) last Saturday night. She sat in the floor and talked our heads off until after 1AM. She had a great time and we were all so happy to have her home...even Will. I say this all the time but I am very grateful for kids that love each other.
Late Sunday afternoon we went to The Rock House for some ice cream. 
Dairy disagrees with me so I had lemon sorbet. One word: YUM! 
Later than evening we grilled flank steak for dinner. Southwestern flank steak and Greek salad is my favorite summer meal. Have I mentioned that I'm a carnivore? I love meat, but especially red meat. 

On Monday night Will had his senior pictures made. I know it seems early, but the yearbook submission deadline is mid-September and I was ready to have that crossed off of my mental list. We did them outdoors at a park with amazing views of the mountains. I cannot wait to see the proofs.

Obviously, I'm the amateur photographer but see why I'm excited about the proofs?

Wednesday night, we put these guys on a plane to Arkansas where they're spending the week with their grandparents. They arrived safe and sound and are having a great time.

Originally John and I had planned to get away to the mountains but finances plus an unexpected project derailed those plans. Our adjusted plan has been fun though. We've been spending our daytime hours working on our "project" (hopefully I can share a little about that next week!)(it's exciting!) and our evenings OUT on the town. Ha ha. That basically means we go out to dinner and are back home by 7pm.

Yesterday we left around noon, went to lunch and to Costco, then went downtown and saw a movie. Wish I Was Here. You know we like those odd, quirky films and this one didn't disappoint. I really liked it.

Meanwhile, our kids were having fun in the sun. :)
We had dinner in Old Colorado City with two of our favorite people in the world and on the way home, we drove past Garden of the Gods. I made John stop so I could take a picture. This view just never gets olds. Stunning, isn't it?

Happy weekend, folks! John just brought me breakfast in bed so I'm signing off to enjoy a few more minutes of leisure before I get in project mode.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday

There are a couple of food and nutrition blogs I read that do a "What I Ate Wednesday" post each week and maybe I'm a nerd but I find it fascinating to see what others eat. 

I remembered to take pics yesterday, so this is really What-I-Ate-Tuesday-but-I'm-posting-on-Wednesday-because-the-title-flows-better kind of post. 

Breakfast (around 7:30AM):
Two cups of coffee (with splash of almond milk) and Tropical Strawberry Shakeology blended with almond milk, fresh raspberries, and pineapple. I've tried to give up coffee y'all but I just can't. It's a simple pleasure and it's staying. Forever.
Mid morning snack (around 10:00AM): Raspberries and blueberries. Yummmmm. Berries of any sort are my very favorite. I ate almost half of this container before remembering to take a picture!
Lunch (around 11:30AM): I had some mixed greens in the fridge that I needed to use up so I topped that with some yellow cherry tomatoes, purple onion, diced orange pepper, craisins, and some leftover quinoa. I drizzled some balsamic vinaigrette and some olive oil over it all and called it lunch. It's basically a clean-out the fridge salad...and it was tasty!
Mid afternoon snack (around 2pm): Yogurt. This pomegranate flavor is my favorite.

I started making dinner around 5pm and snacked on some slices or orange bell peppers (forgot to take a picture of that snack!)
Dinner (5:30pm): Grilled hamburger patty topped with tomato and avocado, oven roasted sweet potatoes, and cherry tomatoes. I also added ketchup to my sweet potatoes after I snapped this picture. 

And there you have it--What I Ate Wednesday.

A few months ago, I did the 21 Day Fix. It's a nutrition/fitness program that comes with portion control containers and an eating plan that takes the guess work out of losing weight. It's been months since I did the program but I find myself referring to the eating plan often as a way to make sure I fuel my body with the right combination of foods.

Here's how yesterday stacked up on the 21 Day Fix eating plan.
Based on my weight and my calorie needs, I should eat:
3 green containers (veggies)
4 red containers (lean protein)
2 purple containers (fruit)
2 yellow containers (healthy carbs)
1 blue container (healthy fats)
1 orange container (salad dressings)

Here's how I did:
3 green containers: salad greens (2) salad veggies (1) snack/dinner (1) = 4
4 red containers: Shakeology (1) yogurt (1) hamburger patty (1) = 3
2 purple containers: fruit in Shakeology (1) berries (1) = 2
2 yellow containers: quinoa on salad (1) sweet potatoes (1) = 2
1 blue container: avocado on burger (1) = 1
1 orange container: dressing on salad + oil for sweet potatoes = 1

I was short on protein. I could have remedied that by adding some chicken to my lunchtime salad but quinoa is packed with protein so I'm going to assume I got enough. The almond milk is considered a yellow container, which I just realized I didn't count, and I didn't count the craisins or ketchup either but you know, I'm not a stickler about that stuff. I don't count calories. I don't stress about carbs. I just try to put real, healthy food in my body! I should probably do a post like this for days that I don't eat so clean...because believe me, I have days like that too! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

SMP 7.22.14

SMP = Seven Minute Post

Good morning and Happy Tuesday. I love Tuesdays. Mondays are my busy, busy day but Tuesdays are usually unplanned and laid back for me. I woke the girls up a few minutes ago and asked if they wanted to go to the pool since it's finally sunny and hot, but they both said no and rolled right back over. Well, alrighty, I guess we're not going to the pool today so that leaves my day wide open! I'll take it. I'm starting to feel sad about school staring back in a few weeks. I'm not ready to give up these long, lazy days. 

Switching gears...

We've lived here for almost eleven years and last evening I discovered a beautiful park in Colorado Springs that I didn't even know existed. It was so tranquil, not to mention GORGEOUS! I have big plans to do some more exploring there in the very near future. It's always fun to discover new things to love about where you live. 
I don't usually find Will to be my "chatty" kid but last night I had a few hours alone with him and he was super talkative. I love that kid and am so proud of who he is becoming. This coming year is going to be a big one for him but he is already navigating his way with confidence, purpose, humor, and some really great friends by his side. 

My seven minutes are up and my wide-open day is beckoning. Peace out, peeps. 

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!