Tuesday, April 22, 2014

So...Because of Him

Easter Sunday 2014
 
Maybe you get sick of hearing it, but I'm not going to stop saying it -
I am so in love with this family of mine and feel so blessed to be a part of it.
 
They are everything to me.
They are my reason and motivation for everything I do.
They are a rock that keeps me grounded and the source of my daily joy.
I cannot even describe the amount of love and gratitude I have for this little family of mine.
 
I feel privileged to be mother of this family - even though I'm still figuring a lot of that out and working on my attitude/perspective/patience/endurance - deep down I always know that it is an honor and a privilege and my greatest blessing to be mother of this family.
I really do know that.
 
When I think of my family, when I really think of the miracle and blessing of this family, the best way to describe how I feel is "I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me." 
 
And because of Him, our Savior, Jesus Christ, and the covenants Husband and I made in the temple and strive to keep every day, we get to be together forever as a family.  How amazing is that?!
 
What an incredible blessing.
Glory be to God!  His name we praise!
 
 
 
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Thursday, April 17, 2014

So...Killing Me Softly

So...this allergy season is killing me.
Killing me.

I don't know what is in the air that my body so badly dislikes, but I feel like I want to itch my eye balls with sand paper half of the day.  And the roof of my mouth.  And the inside of my ears.  I haven't worn makeup for about a month now and it's kinda funny how many people ask me if I'm OK when they see me.  The no-eye-makeup-swollen-watery-eye-balls look is not so flattering and kinda makes me look like I've been crying for weeks.  I don't really have an excuse for the hair, except that if I'm not going to do my makeup, why do my hair?  Or get dressed for that matter? :)
This is my logic.

Which reminds me...

Whenever First Daughter catches me in the bathroom getting myself dolled up, she always says, "you look prettier without makeup on, Mom."  It is the sweetest thing.  I love that she knows and sees that beauty is more than a pretty face.  I hope that she always remembers that. 

She also caught me this week checking Facebook and she said, "You're on Facebook?  I thought you didn't do Facebook."  It may have just been me, but I thought I heard a hint of disappointment in her voice.  I admit, when she said that, there was a part of me that wished I had stuck to my anti-facebook commitment.  I want my kids to know that it is OK not to be doing the same things that everyone else is doing.  That's kinda what my not-being-on-Facebook thing turned into, but now that's not there.  Hmm... I may have to reevaluate this decision...

Spring break was last week and it was so nice to have some time off and some good weather to enjoy.  It got us all very excited for the summer.  I'm a lot less organized coming into this summer - no camps or swimming lessons lined up - but we do have one big family vacation/reunion that we are very much looking forward to. 

I'm getting the feeling that this summer is going to be a regrouping time for us - a time to get into a rhythm around here and for me to get a handle on things again.  We could use some focus-on-our-family time.  Son #2 was born right in the middle of a very busy time and then school started right away and we've kind of just been holding on for the ride all school year.  We've been getting by and getting to where we need to be and doing what we need to do, but we're still in survival mode and it will be nice to restore some sort of order (as much as we can).  I keep looking for more and more ways to simplify our lives and opportunities to teach our kids to find fun wherever they are and to be content with their circumstances.

I'm working on this myself - learning to be content, see the abundance, and be filled with gratitude.  I love everything about my life.  It is definitely not perfect, but it is beautiful and wonderful and full.  I'm not always good about remembering this, but I want so much to be better at it.

I don't know how I got so lucky, but I am married to the most amazing man.
He is my most favorite thing in the whole world and my greatest blessing.
My kids are too, but they can be annoying sometimes...believe it or not, Husband never annoys me.

Except for when he goes and loses 40 lbs. in 2 1/2 months without doing anything except eating less - that's kinda annoying, I'm not gonna lie, but I love him anyway :)

And speaking of annoying...
You know what's annoying?
Allergies.
I'm so done with them.



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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

So...Running

So it's that time again.
Training for another half marathon.
This time around there are two more friends I'm training with and it's so fun.

Our early morning discussions and pep talks about entering the world of running and tackling a half marathon for the first time have reminded me of some of my most profound and meaningful lessons I have learned while running.   I want to write them down so I don't forget -

1) We are capable of so much more than we know.
2) Trust the process.  It works. 
3) When the finish line seems overwhelming or daunting, just look at the ground in front of you and keep moving forward.
4) Everybody's experience will be different - different things hurt at different times, on different days, in different ways.  Everyone has good and bad running days.
5) Line upon line, precept upon precept, one step at a time, one mile at a time.
6) The biggest and sometimes hardest step is making the decision to start.
7) There is power in positive thinking and positive speaking and sometimes you need to hear it from the person next to you.
8) Exercise is so good for the soul.
9) It's an amazing feeling to see how far you've come - even if there's still a long way to go :)
10) It's not about winning. 
11) I never regret doing it, but I might regret not doing it.
12) Make it a priority and it will happen.
13) Our body's are incredible machines!
14) Complaining will never make it less hard.  In fact, it's more likely to make it harder for me and the people I'm running with.
15) Running faster than I'm able makes running much harder than it needs to be and increases the risk of injury. (Remember #10)
16) It always feel great to push myself and accomplish something hard.

Oh how I love running - and I am so grateful that my body works and that I am able to run.
Finishing up week three of our 13 week training schedule and it's feeling great.
So grateful that I have found this hobby and some friends who like it too.

If you've ever thought about trying running, just do it! 
I dare you :)
Here's a place to start.
You won't regret it! 

From that day on, if I was goin' somewhere, I was run-ning!
(man that's a good movie - might have to bust out the archives)

P.S. Running may be my most favorite metaphor for life - and the gospel - and life :)



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Friday, March 21, 2014

So...Happy Friday

::tonight is date night - so excited to go out with some family members and eat so yummy food::
::we went to the park today with some friends we haven't seen in a while - it was so wonderful::
::half marathon training has officially begun and I am so very excited about it::
::I have learned to love running with friends - it is a wonderful thing::
::my hyacinths and tulips are blooming.  spring is coming!::
::vacuumed out the car today - even under the seats - and it felt a-maz-ing::
::we are back to blasting music in the car with the windows down - one of my favorite things to do with the kiddos::
::it feels so good being back at the gym::
::soccer season starts next week and our lives will get crazy busy.  grateful for so many opportunities for my kids to be involved doing things they love::
::working on engaging more with my family when I'm at home - Third Daughter and I collaborated on an art piece for our kitchen to help remind me::
::my hidden stash of Reese's mini cups are dwindling.  this is not good news::
::did I mention I was excited for date night tonight?  cause I totally am::
 
Happy Friday everyone!
 
 
 
 
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

So...A Step On My Journey


I came across this quote on Pinterest and it seemed to fit so well with my motto for 2014.
I've been focusing a lot of my study, meditation, and prayer around this goal of mine to let go of my pride and humble myself before the Lord instead of seeking approval from the people around me.  This quote is a huge step toward that goal.

The thing that struck me the most about this quote is how much power I can give to those that don't truly know or care about me, or even care to know me.  Why are those the people that can shake my self esteem?  Why do I even care what they think about me?  Why do I spend any time trying to explain or prove myself to them that are committed to misunderstanding me?  When put this way, it really doesn't make any sense why I would waste any time doing that.

I've been pondering this question for many years.  There have been a few instances where I've really struggled with knowing that some one's perception of me isn't really who I am, or knowing that someone doesn't like me based on things they think they know about me.  I usually stress over the idea that if they really knew me, or gave me a chance to show them who I really am, then they would in fact like me and know that I'm a good person.  And I always come to the same conclusion - why do I care what they think anyway?

You see, I have a hard time knowing that someone doesn't like me and just letting that go.  It's really hard for me.  I feel like if someone doesn't like me that means that I'm doing something wrong, or that I've offended that person, or that I'm not a good person, and that I need to change.   I've been working a lot on this, because there is no possible way to please everyone and the last thing I want to be is someone who changes just to please the people around me.  That is not the definition of confidence or integrity and it is not putting God's approval above the approval of others.

This quote was a piece of clarity for me.  It's put so simply.
It is a waste of time (and energy) trying to explain myself, or to prove myself to people that don't even care to understand me.  And if I am letting go of the approval of others, than I need to stop trying to explain myself.  Because they're gonna think what they wanna think and I just gotta do what I gotta do - be myself.

Just thinking of letting this go feels so very liberating.
It's an important step on this journey my motto is taking me on.
I'm excited about what I'm learning and hope that I am growing from the process.



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Monday, March 17, 2014

So...We've Been Busy!

Remember when I actually used to write on this blog?
Ya, me too...
 
Well it's been a busy few weeks over here.
I'll start with my trip to BOSTON. 
Yes!  Boston!
 
Son #2 and I hopped on a plane and headed to my hometown for my mom's 60th birthday.  The best part about it - she didn't know we were coming!
 
We showed up at my parents' house while they were out to dinner.  We put Son #2 in a high chair in front of the front door so when they walked in, this is what they saw.
It was awesome.
We all jumped out at yelled "surprise!"
She was so surprised and so excited.
Son #2 cried a lot - poor guy didn't know what was coming.
Mom with all her grandkids that were there

Son was such a champ throughout the whole trip and on the plane.  It was really nice to have some one-on-one time with the little guy.  He's such a mama's boy so he especially loved it.  He even got to sleep in bed with me the whole trip!  He would grab onto my arm and snuggle me in the middle of the night.  So sweet.

We came home on Daylight Savings Sunday and needless to say, the adjustment was a little rough.

We also got new windows last week!
Wahoo!
I am so very beyond excited about this.

We had two birthdays this week.
Third Daughter turned five.  We celebrated with a disco party, princess cake, and a trip to the dollar store (her request).  She got a new bike, tea set, and clothes from grandma.  She was very happy!

Second Daughter turned seven.
She had strawberry cupcakes with vanilla swirly frosting.  We celebrated with lots of Minecraft (her choice), friend time, and hot tubbing at night as a family.  She also got a new bike, new shoes, paints, and clothes from grandma.  She also got a picture frame from her best friend with a picture of them in it.  She loves it!

In other news -
We've been loving the warm sunny weather
 
and First Daughter has discovered a photo booth app on my phone :)
 
The leprechauns visited our house this morning for St. Patrick's Day but we didn't get any photos to prove it.  Just imagine lots of gold coins, Reese's peanut butter cups (they're gold too), Werther's, and green clothes.  Oh, and Lucky Charms. 
 
It was a breakfast of champions.
The kids loved it.

And the leprechauns turned our milk green too.
Naughty leprechauns...

Corned beef for dinner tonight.
I've never cooked it, and I've never eaten it.
This should be interesting.



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Sunday, February 23, 2014

So...Mint Chocolate Green Smoothie

Tonight for dessert we had mint chocolate chip ice cream.
With spinach and avocado.
And my kids loved it.


Mint Chocolate Green Smoothie
1 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk (or almond milk, or coconut milk)
1 generous handful of spinach (about 1 cup)
1 generous handful of arugula (about 1 cup)
*I didn't have arugula tonight, so I substituted with more spinach*
2 ripe avocados
1/4 cup greek yogurt (optional)
2 tsp peppermint extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 T agave
1/2 cup chocolate chips
ice

Blend, and enjoy!
The Blendtec has an "ice cream" setting - I use that.
It's so thick and creamy the kids eat it with a spoon.

The kids love this and ask for it often.
Even Son#1 will sit still long enough to drink this - and that's saying something!
I absolutely love that they're getting they're leafy greens in their dessert :)
Mother win.



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