:: choosing foods that fuel my body well and help shed pounds

:: sleep training my “baby” so we all get good sleep and the adults get our bed back

:: serving nourishing foods to my littles and foregoing unhealthy preferences to enhance healing and wellness

and the list could go on.

thinking this morning about these things and the concept of delayed gratification. oh, this familiar term is really what it comes down to, in these weak areas of mine.

what’s holding me back??

the easy. the inclination toward comfortable, less effort, more ease, more pleasure … short term pleasure vs long term known gratification.

i know the foods that fuel my body well; that facilitate loss of weight that is waiting to come off; that reduce bloat and aches and fog.

i also know cravings and hunger and the discomfort of self control.

but self control, restraint, intention followed by action, focus discipline -

that’s where it’s at.

and it’s time for me to decide.

so here it is, as i’m writing i am formulating my plan to address even just one of the points mentioned above …

the “hard thing” this week will be food.

- no gluten

-no added sugar

- no snacks between meals

- no late night eating

good fuel this week: protein, greens, ample veggies, some fruit, good fats. water.

and coffee. always coffee :)

“For the SPIRIT God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

lately

December 14, 2014

i miss this little corner. i cringe thinking of the life that is happening that isn’t being captured; the updates on the boys that sadly aren’t being recorded anywhere. this was my place for that. and what i know is that i forget, the things i believe at the time are unforgettable. ugh.

and so today i will share (dump) a few pieces of life lately at the green’s …

caleb:

this delicious dumpling is 2 yrs, 2 mos. seriously. in the past several weeks, his language has exploded. basically there is no baby talk left for him. complete real smart sentences, correct pronouns, the whole she-bang. but thankfully he still has a couple mispronunciations that i can’t bear to correct: “hanga-burr” (hamburger), “brudder” (brother) are my faves.

he is obsessed equally with josiah, his dad and balls.he follows every step that josiah takes, imitates every thing big brother does … if he hears that josiah doesn’t like a food, he won’t touch it; if josiah wants to play with a particular toy, he must also have it.

he throws every blasted thing and i mean everything – we always are just waiting for the food/crayon/ball/toy/item to be launched. it’s as if he can’t help himself.

he still loves nursing. and says, “nur-sang”. like, loves it. nurses to sleep for nap and nighttime.

he begs always to “wear my penis” and run naked with his brother (a recent favorite after dinner activity around here, lol) and every single time assures us that “i will not go pee pee on the floor. i promise.” and every single time he does. he has never gone in the big boy potty despite obsessively watching brother and understanding fully the whole process. i cringe thinking of the cleaned-up pee spots throughout our house.

he loves dora and every single morning, watches at least one episode when he first wakes.

he prefers savory to sweet always and loves nothing more than a big bowl of rice. and spaghetti. and chips. oh my.

his hair has grown SO much. long luscious curls with golden highlights.

his skin is soft as butter with no indication of eczema – pretty unreal. he has a few tiny “itchy” spots but nothing that causes distress or is noticeable.

december20141

my dumpling.

my dumpling.

we love our little local kid's indoor play place so much ... kidtime.

we love our little local kid’s indoor play place so much … kidtime.

really? my heart might explode. a little date alone with mama and i couldn't believe how big he seemed.

really? my heart might explode. a little date alone with mama and i couldn’t believe how big he seemed.

josiah:

this kid. he is something so special. he is so different than caleb – so rigid for caleb’s relaxed; such a rule-abider to caleb’s laughing disregard of rules.

josiah loves structure. he loves to know the rules, the right & wrong, the black & white. he loves knowing that on monday we go to the library. he loves knowing and reminding that he never ever walks in the street and he loves seeing the boundary line on the driveway where he must stop when riding his trike.

he is lanky and tall and his mouth and teeth are my favorite. he forms words so marvelously, usually with his tongue in a prominent way.

he loves to learn. LOVES it.

he will correct you immediately if you mis-identify a construction vehicle on the road (he’s been known to say, “no, that’s a milk tank trailer trunk” if you incorrectly call it something else). this is an area of extreme strain with his brother as caleb loves to instigate and intentionally call something the wrong name to which josiah screams and corrects.

he struggles managing his strong emotions when things go wrong or when caleb instigates and often screams. “when you scream, you lose your toy” is a mantra heard often around here.

he loves being outside, being cool (no jacket please) and can play for hours laying on the ground with construction vehicles & sand.

he lays down for a nap most days but sleeps only some; nights are up and down and the past few weeks we’ve been back in a cycle of wakefulness and the only thing that settles him is getting in bed with me. last night he slept all night, glory be.

did i mention he loves routine? :) bedtime is brushing teeth, stories in rocking chair (usually with tea), then rocking with mama and songs. when i put him in his crib we say that same thing: “lights on or off?” and he says, “on”; “door open or closed?”, “open” … then as i walk down the stairs: “have a good rest!” “i will!”, “i love you!”, “i love you, too!”. has to be the same thing, every night.

his skin is so sad, such an ongoing pain and struggle and heartache. severe itchy/dry spots on feet, behind knees, elbows, wrists and neck. nothing seems to improve and every single kind of lotion or moisturizer *causes itching every single time. UGH. gold bond powder can help with itching. desperate for healing answers.

man, he loves tow trucks. especially the hooks on the back of the truck. he loves hooking anything he can from the back of one of his 4 mater tow trucks!

man, he loves tow trucks. especially the hooks on the back of the truck. he loves hooking anything he can from the back of one of his 4 mater tow trucks!

november20141

november20145

aww my handsome big boy. love love love him.

aww my handsome big boy. love love love him.

this is already so long but what the heck, i’ll share some other things as well since i’m here :)

:: i heard about the #RWRunStreak challenge on thanksgiving day – run one mile every day from thanksgiving to new years. i had *just read an article about the benefits of running a mile and decided to go for it. i’ve done it every day except day 10; today will be 16. feels really good. no excuses. and my mile time is decreasing – yeah.

:: i’ve had this sense that something’s been amiss at one of our neighbor’s houses … hadn’t seen the dad around for months, seeing the teenage son in pretty clear rebellion. my heart’s been heavy and i told hubby that i feel i need to stop by although i’ve just barely met the mom and seen her maybe three times in over a year. yet, i felt drawn to them.

so i was coming in from my run one day last week and she was walking out her front door. she walked right to me, across the street. i asked if everything was ok, if she was ok. she looked at me, her face fell and she said her husband had died. we stood in the street for 30 minutes; rain began falling. she poured out her heart. we hugged. she said she felt she was supposed to talk to me; that she kept seeing me running by and on this day felt that God had meant for us to talk. the rain started falling; she said it felt like raindrops from heaven. it was undeniably a supernatural encounter. she shared deep dark hurting places; God gave me words to speak hope and encouragement and vision. my heart has remained heavy for her and i am thinking of new ways to reach out, bless and comfort her.

ok, time to wrap this up :) kids are calling. here are a few more pics of life the past few weeks around here …

abundantly spoiled by some dear heart friends a few weeks ago ...amazing dinner and time together as families.

abundantly spoiled by some dear heart friends a few weeks ago …amazing dinner and time together as families.

we *love the sand park. we've missed it, as the weather has grown cold. but we snuck over on a mild weekend day recently and mom joined us. fun!

we *love the sand park. we’ve missed it, as the weather has grown cold. but we snuck over on a mild weekend day recently and mom joined us. fun!

our little local library story time. we go every monday and the boys are loving it and getting so relaxed and comfortable. yay!

our little local library story time. we go every monday and the boys are loving it and getting so relaxed and comfortable. yay!

this one nails it. their happy spot: this mud hole in our backyard, and pushing the trike in repeatedly and needing to be a tow truck or crane to rescue the trike. :)))

this one nails it. their happy spot: this mud hole in our backyard, and pushing the trike in repeatedly and needing to be a tow truck or crane to rescue the trike. :)))

my boys. thank GOD for such generous gifts.

my boys. thank GOD for such generous gifts.

thanksgiving ... and their great grandma :)

thanksgiving … and their great grandma :)

my babe - thanksgiving. so thankful.

my babe – thanksgiving. so thankful.

my sweeties at the "kid's table' at thanksgiving

my sweeties at the “kid’s table’ at thanksgiving

we invited maddie's CC class - and all 13 could come! - to our 2nd annual gingerbread house-making party. so much fun, having these amazing kids all together -they are so special and share such a precious bond.

we invited maddie’s CC class – and all 13 could come! – to our 2nd annual gingerbread house-making party. so much fun, having these amazing kids all together -they are so special and share such a precious bond.

gingerbread3

the girls :-)

the girls :-)

:: turkey veggie rice soup ::

November 14, 2014

i made this last night and was totally surprised by the depth of the flavor. it was delicious, we all loved it, and if i don’t write it down i will never remember it! also, i have never felt like i am much of a soup-maker … it was intimidating for some time and i am increasingly realizing that soup is very forgiving and it’s pretty hard to mess it up.

food pictures taken with a phone in bad lighting are really the worst but, i wanted some image to remind me.

food pictures taken with a phone in bad lighting are really the worst but, i wanted some image to remind me.

:: turkey veggie rice soup::

first, i chopped a lot of turkey breast – probably a couple of cups worth (i buy a cooked turkey breast at costco for about $12 and it lasts for *many meals in our home – chopped in soup, sliced and seasoned and fried, put in sandwiches, the options are endless).

i put the chopped turkey in the soup pot with some olive oil and generous amounts of cumin, oregano and real salt. i let this cook for a few minutes, until the turkey was browning and hot.

after removing turkey (and setting aside in a bowl), i added 1/2 a chopped small red onion, and a few chopped cloves of garlic to the same soup pot and simmered stirring in olive oil.

once the onion and garlic softened, i added approximately 1 chopped head of broccoli, about 1/4 head of cabbage chopped, and a few chopped carrots.

i let this simmer for several minutes, softening the cabbage and broccoli.

next i added about 1 cup diced tomatoes, a container of veggie broth and what was left of some beef broth. i brought to a boil and then reduced heat and simmered.

i generously seasoned this … adding a lot of basil, oregano and i am sure a few spoonfuls of real salt.

as this simmered,i added back the chopped cooked turkey and some leftover rice i had in the fridge – probably 2 cups.

i served this with feta cheese for me and the hubs; the kiddos ate it happily as is.

i will so be making this again!

pampered

November 9, 2014

my hubby returned this week from (yet another) business trip and during his trip, i was on the phone sharing an update with a dear person. i was happily telling her about the incredibly positive response my hubby received professionally on this trip; how wonderfully he was treated, how appreciated and esteemed. knowing this made my heart happy & gratified. after sharing this information, my dear friend commented that she is eager for me to be “pampered and spoiled” – that i am deserving.

i was quiet and found myself nodding and agreeing.

and then there’s this: the slippery slope of letting our minds camp out on what we “deserve”; what we want and feel we should be getting.

and i am so thankful for the grace of GOD which prompted my mind and brought this to the front: i am pampered and spoiled in ways that the world does not value but that are inexplicably more valuable. my man serves GOD and out of that love and service, he lives a life of love for our family. for me.

and sure, i would love if he thought along the lines of the way our culture thinks sometimes – i wouldn’t protest a gift certificate for a pedicure, for instance :).

but here’s the truth: i wouldn’t trade that for who i have; for the man of deep integrity, of sacrificial service and selfless love … would never trade it.

and allowing my mind to camp *there* – on the good, the blessing – is a much better place to be. :)

the doing & being

October 21, 2014

some days, my mind can survey the day or week ahead and be totally sunk when i think of the sheer effort that i will need to expend in parenting. there are so few pockets of rest and mostly, i need to produce … expend … give … share … create. i need creativity to conjure up meal plans and learning plans; energy to carry out play dates and outings and exploring; patience to mediate endless fights and battles; commitment to stick with discipline and follow through countless times a day; joy and excitement in order to set the tone for our home that i am responsible to set. and as i anticipate yet another super long business trip for my beloved, the weight feels heavier.

there is no way around it: parenting and especially with 2 toddlers, is insanely exhausting. it is relentless.

the other day i was sitting on our couch, curled up and honestly thought … i just want to stay curled right here. to not have to jump up and *do*.

thankfully, i don’t stay in this place long. i am so thankful to mostly feel well and healthy and *able to do and be all that i feel called to do and be. i am strong. i am healthy. the days that i am fighting the funk and wrestling with these feelings, are far fewer than the days that i genuinely feel the energy and flow to do what i need that day.

and really? most of all, i am desperate. for the strength of the savior; for the peace and rest in my spirit that ONLY He gives.

with intention

October 8, 2014

my mind and heart have been

here

and

here.

both beautifully capture the enormity of this role of being a mama, of being a wife … the stewardship, the responsibility, the potential. the capacity to be God’s agent in equipping future generations while loving well my partner along the way.

and a theme strikes me: intention.

here’s what i know and yet i fear my life evidences that i often forget: distractions keep us distracted.

the daily-ness of life; the pull of schedules and chores and recreation and to-do lists and logistics … and then a week passes then it’s a few months. then years. the big stuff – the real stuff – can be pushed aside. so easily.

i don’t have the quick pat answer but i do like sally’s encouragement:

“Simplify your plan,

create the essentials, the rhythms that need to be established to get the work done,

cut out the unnecessary expenditures of time and energy and money that are not necessary to the overall building and

be sure to plan in rest and refreshment every week along the way.”

i am so desperate to do this mothering thing well. it’s the hardest work of my life and as hubby and i were sharing hearts about it this week, we agreed that it – parenting – is the greatest tool God uses to shape *us, to crucify our earthly focus and to grow in Christ-likeness as we desperately lean in to Him for strength and wisdom and patience. and He grows us, in this. and it’s hard.

i want to love my man well. he is God’s gift – our marriage is the sweetest gift from the One Who saw my repentance and surrender, and blessed exceedingly abundantly. oh, that i would not get caught up in the trivial, in the silly irritations and grievances but instead, as gary thomas writes,

“‘Making allowance’ means we are sensitive and encouraging about each other’s weaknesses and idiosyncrasies, the quirkiness of our natures that sometimes needs to be accommodated. We do this with joy and a good spirit. God created our spouse, so it is a joy to worship Him by celebrating this unique expression of His creative genius.”

and

“To have a marriage worthy of our calling, we need to be humble and gentle. We are not attacking each other, we are not harsh with each other. We do not “lord it” over one another. We are servants, mutually caring for each other. That’s what best models our calling, because that’s what most reveals the character of Christ.”

august refresh

September 14, 2014

i love coming together with other mama’s, sharing hearts and encouragement as we walk this wild journey of motherhood.

a friend from church and i had been throwing around the idea of hosting a mama’s bible study since early last year … but there were always obstacles and hiccups. the timing seemed off.

around the middle of this summer, the inspiration came to me again so i started thinking of ways to make it happen. the phrase, “august refresh” came clearly to my mind and i knew that’s what we’d do: meet weekly just for the month of august. to refresh.

i asked just a few friends to see the interest and got a resounding “YES!” from almost every one. we were all looking for this thing, right about now. i wasn’t sure at first what book to study – or should we study scripture? – but after some looking and seeking, i found the very perfect choice for our group: “Desperate: Hope for the Mom who Needs to Breathe.” yes, that was us.

as i think over the month, over those 4 tuesday mornings that we met, i smile. it was *such* a time of sweet refreshment! we were able to have my maddie and her darling friend watch all our kids, upstairs! away from us! contained and mostly happy! :) the first week, once babies and kids were happily upstairs being cared for, we all sat and laughingly agreed that if we didn’t discuss a single thing, the week would be a success: we’d have this 1 1/2 hours to rest. to breathe. ;)

but it turns out, we *did* discuss much. we shared insights, convictions, concerns, burdens, ideas, prayer. there is something so special about women coming to together!

i am so thankful for the blessing the women and that pocket of sweet time was in my august … thankful that i decided to step forward and do the thing that was on my heart. looking forward to next time :)

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