Friday, April 30, 2010

food inc.

I know it's been all the rage - this documentary - I feel like the last one on earth to watch it. 

It made my heart sad to see the direction America has turned...we seem to want to cure companies want us to be healthy...doctors want to have success in providing healthcare.  YET - the most basic of needs is being denied to so many....especially to those who are on a limited budget.

I guess it shows me that all we need to do as families is simplify.  Eat our vegetables, fruit, whole grains and proteins.  It makes me want to read more, investigate what I buy, and ensure the health of these boys. I think we are moving, as a country, in a direction where we will growing our own food once again.  I think we might even get our own chicken.  I'm kinda serious.

I want to start growing some of these:

Thursday, April 29, 2010

one of the best days EVER

Jude and his classmates held a Tea Party in honor of the Mommy's!  We had decorations made just for us...a beautiful lunch with yummy desserts.  The best part was hearing Jude tell me that his favorite part of the day was sharing it with his Mommy.  Um, yeah....doesn't get any better than that! 

This pic is of the questions Jude had to answer about it!

The above pic is of the room they decorated for us!


Jude and his wonderful teacher, Mrs. Cinadr.  She is such a darling woman! 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

a week of 3 cool things

1-I really love organizing-but don't always make the time to do it.  This week I overhauled our closet, the computer/desk area and our finances.  feels like I lost 10lbs!

2-My little guy is nearly 6 months old.  I love that he rolls around.  I love that he likes to eat my nose.  I love that he smiles at his brother EVERY time he sees him.  I love that God answered my prayer by giving him to us.  I love that life is getting so much more 'normal' now that I know how to be a Mom of 2.

3-Jude is planning, along with the rest of his preschool, a Mother's Day Tea Event. All he will tell me is..."We're gonna make those Moms Cry!"

Here's to a week of loving simple...thanking others...

Monday, April 26, 2010

a quote

So this new show on Bravo started last week.  9 by design
This show is totally on my 'MUST WATCH EVERY WEEK CUDDLED UP WITH JOEL & A HOT CUP OF TEA' list.

This family is huge.  Their interior design projects are something from a different planet.  The spaces they create remind me of a fairy tale.

Something I heard the wife/mom say in last week's episode stuck with me this week.  While she is enormously pregnant and still manages to take care of 6 children...they get ALOT of press.  They get invited to a ton of parties and social events.  As she and her husband are being interviewed, they say something that blows my mind..."We'd rather hang out with our kids than anyone else..."

With all the media attention their design gets them...with the obvious talent exuding from this union, they still value the tight, close-knit time together with their young.  It's inspiring.  Sometimes I don't feel like that.  Sometimes I can't wait to leave my house.

That quote stuck with me...this past Saturday was my cousin's Sweet 16 party.  It was a long day.  I got home and I was looking forward to having the boys in bed and just laying down.  As I was about to send Jude up to bed, I turned on the TV and noticed one of his favorite movies was on: Ratatouille  - so I went and got us a snack...asked if he wanted to snuggle and watch the rest of it with me.  The moment I will never forget was when Jude, upon finishing his snack, put his arm around me (like he sees his Daddy do all the time) and cuddled me close.

Savor the moments, friends....savor.

start of week 4 p90x

Ok, so we totally worked out last week....but not all 6 days. 

We also ate ice cream.

We have started a new week.  Thankfully, I still lost about .25 of a pound last week.  phew.....

A few thoughts as we start our 4th week:

1-We might be switching from P90X Lean to P90X classic.  My cousin informed me that its a bit more of a challenge and we might get more 'bang for our buck'
2-I'm THRILLED about being down 1 size.  It gives me tons more options in my closet.
3-I am enjoying the feeling of being sore - good thing as that is how I feel nearly all the time. 

I'm still nursing Leland....and plan to until he turns 1.  I noticed my milk supply drop so I increased my calories a bit as well as my water and things seem to be MUCH better.

Keep asking us questions....bringing on the to press PLAY!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

simplicity is sacred

I sometimes have to watch myself.  Joel and I both have a tendency to dream...dream so big that we covet things we don't yet have....wish we had more money to get those things....and sit a big pile of discontentment.  While this doesn't happen often, it happens.

It's in those moments I realize the power of a grateful attitude and taking a moment to realize the success we have had.

Success in the simple things is so beautiful.  I love to wake up in the morning...enjoying the sounds these boys make as they play & giggle on the bed...get a cup of coffee and give my love a sweet kiss as we start our day.  I love when Joel tells me a story of something funny at work and we just laugh and laugh. I love when he is working on a website and shows me his progress or asks my opinion.  I love when we find a show we love and cuddle up just as it starts.  I love preparing for one of our workouts and seeing that he put some extra ice in my water.  I love when Jude colors a picture and before I have to ask what it is, I suddenly see what his little imagination dreamed up. 

I think of the verse that I consider my lifetime motto:  If you refresh others, you yourself will be refreshed.  (prov 11:25) It's a contagious thing to value what we have.  It makes us realize our problems are so much smaller than our eyes can see in the moment.  It brings joy to a heart that is downtrodden...

So, look at your many hours do you have left before your kids go to bed?  What things can you do together to make the 'simple things truly sacred'?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Start of week 3 of P90X

So....we are staying with it....the workouts are intense.  Honestly, I'm not even close to doing all the reps or using all the weights yet...but we are working HARD.  Sweating HARD. 
We are down a total of:

It was massively encouraging to hear so many of you following our progress...and honestly we look at you all like one big accountability group!

Happy Monday...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The West Side Market

In the last year, Joel and I have fallen in love with going to the West Side Market during the spring/summer.  He works just minutes away and it makes for a great lunch date.  Now that I have a reliable vehicle, we can have lunch dates more often...and while they are only an hour, I look forward to them so much.

The market has been around since the mid-1800's, believe it or not, and has undergone many renovations.  It's a fantastic place to get fresh produce, meat, cheeses, breads, desserts....however, with our strict diet.  It was fruits/veggies on the menu today!

 Take a look at all we got for only $9.50

Leland was with us today since he didn't have any other plans....oh and yeah, he's 5 months old and 100% dependent on me!  ;)
Jude was at preschool so it was nice having just the baby, Joel and I.  It was his first experience at the market.  He cooed and smiled at strangers.  An old woman came over and told us she thought he was very cute.  We agreed with her and thanked her with our smiles.  I love living in a city where people still talk to one another...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

i did not feel like working out....

but I did it anyway.

in fact, i even texted my accountability partner.  she simply texted back, "You must do it."

everything hurt.
it hurt to text.
it hurt to cook.
it hurt to type.

however, i love that i am pushing myself.  I love how it feels. I know I will see results. 

so....guess what I made for dinner?  Joel LOVED it....bunless burgers with carmelized onions and tomatoes...and green beans (cuz they look the most like fries) Oh they were great!!!

starting week 2 of P90X

Joel and I began P90X last Monday.  We took 'before' pics.  I refuse to look at them but I choose instead to look forward to the 'after' photos. 

Our meals are consisting of mainly whole grains, veggies/fruits and protein.  We are off 'sweets' and high-carb items.  It's made a difference in our energy levels and in the weight loss we've seen already.

So far, I'm down 4lbs and Joel is down 2lbs.  We are really excited about the lifestyle change together. 

A few of you have asked for some of our meal ideas....and while we're still gaining some to the repertoire, here are a couple of meals we've clung to these days:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with honey and fresh fruit
or Protein shakes

Lunches: Turkey on whole wheat with fruit and almonds; Grilled Chicken over brown rice; Sauteed Zucchini/Peppers/Onions with potatoes and garlic

Dinners: Stir - fry baby!  (We throw in lots of crushed red pepper to get it full of flavor without adding any fat!) Also, we are trying to get creative with salads utilizing crunch and unique proteins to keep it fresh....

We love spring/summer for the variety at the fact, tomorrow I will be posting some information on Cleveland's own West Side Market...stay tuned! 

Monday, April 12, 2010

A clean start...

Hi Monday!

I love that you are here.

I love that I am motivated by you each week.  I got up early for you.

I did 3 loads of laundry by 8am.  I had a cup of coffee with my husband.  I nursed the cutest baby in the world. After I click on 'publish post' I plan to clean this kitchen til it sparkles.  I plan to dress these boys for the day.  I look forward to accomplishing much.  I have our meals planned for the week.  Fully balanced with fruits, veggies and proteins.

Excited to make this day all it can be.  I do not look forward to the end of this day for there is much to enjoy.  I remember this today.  I hope it inspires you to be better than you were yesterday....

Friday, April 9, 2010


Thanks all for the encouragement really  inspired me that so many of you cared to read and hear my heart.  It really really really blessed me. 

I think one of the most important parts about a life-change is realizing you must give yourself grace in the tough moments but not to allow it to turn into excuses.  It's a fine line.

After 5 days of 'clean eating' and working out, I've already lost 3lbs....worked every muscle in my body to the point of pain....and enjoyed some awesome time with my husband working out.  That is a total BONUS in all of this...getting some time in with him.  As cheesy as it sounds, that man believes in me more than I can understand.  It's more motivation than I realize. 

So, I'm going to be posting some of the ideas and recipes that I'm making as of late as a portion of our new lifestyle....and would LOVE to hear your healthy/clean/organic recipes too!  So, send them over, friends....

One of my ALL TIME faves...stuffed green peppers made with brown rice, black beans, red onion, tomatoes, crushed red yummy!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Time for a really honest post.

While it's honestly tough to write about this, I know its healthy for me.  I know that fruit can come of being open...rather than hiding.

As a child, I had a seemed to creep on me everywhere.  It was my weight.  I couldn't, for the life of me, look like everyone else did.  It embarrassed me.  It made me feel like I wasn't as good as others. 

As I've grown, I have tasted momentary healthy periods but it's still a consistent struggle.  I look at the family I've come from.  One side, in particular, struggles with their weight. diabetes. high blood pressure. heart disease.

It's sad, honestly.  One attitude to have is a 'Well, those are my genes, guess I'm stuck with them...." or "I realize my history and NOW is the time to work towards preventative healthcare."  I am choosing the latter.  I am choosing to be a Mom/Wife/Friend/Daughter that is an example of health, self-control, and discipline. 

I'm doing the p90x program right now.  Joel is joining me.  More than the program, however, is the life-change.  It's the change of how I make choices that affect my body.  Rather than, "Oh well, this party only has fatty foods, guess I'll eat them!"  I make a choice to pre-plan...carry protein bars with me...offer to bring a healthy dish so at least one item is OK for me to have.  I know I can do this.  I have before.  I will again.

I write this not just for my own personal therapy but for inspiration to everyone.  What was the 'thing' that you struggled with all those years?  What attitude or negative thought has followed you like a dark cloud?  Make today the day it ends.  Make today the day you start something fresh....removing the old and starting the new.

This is a photo of me after I had lost 40lbs...ironically I got pregnant JUST after reaching my goal.  I was at Motherhood Maternity trying on clothes with the 'fake belly' they give you.  :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

hi spring!

It's a record-breaking year...spring has never (that I can recall) come so early and been SO welcome!  The warm days have us out and about.  Jude is riding faster on his bike this year....Leland is feeling grass beneath his feet for the first time.  The wind blows his silly faux hawk around and brings on the spontaneous giggle.

Spring is a reminder of how no matter what has happened in the life always sprouts once again.

Happy Spring, friends.....

Thursday, April 1, 2010

a conversation

It was a gorgeous day today. 

Everything about the day made me smile.  I took the boys to the metroparks...watched geese, turtles, and walked around getting in some much-needed vitamin D.  Afterward, Jude was ravenous and I decided to take him to a playland of some nature.  We ended up at BK-hadn't been there in ages and knew he would be thrilled.  What I didn't realize was who I was about to meet.

2 young children played along with Jude.  The boy and his little sister accompanied by Grandma and Grandpa.  I sat holding Leland and listening to the laughter.  Little did I know Leland was making eyes at the cute Grandma across the way.  She smiled as he cooed and bashfully smirked back at her.

Small talk began...I learned of their reason for being with their grandkids...they were watching them while they folks celebrated 10yrs of marriage in Toronto.  I told her how wonderful I thought that was.  She asked me why I thought it was 'so wonderful.'  I went onto say how I know of some Grandparents who spend little to no time with their grandkids....and all the while, they could be building that relationships with them...and also helping invest into the marriage of their parents. She whole heartedly agreed. She also mentioned she had 4 kids of her own.  After the 4th one was born, her husband and their father left her...helpless...hopeless..alone.  With 4 kids under 5, she had to go at it the best she could.  She teared up telling me how she wishes she could have enjoyed it more when they were young....but her only goal was to survive.

6 years after he left her, a new man came into her life...swept her off her feet...and willingly proposed to her.  She could not believe a man wanted to marry her because of how many kids she had....this year, those two celebrate 37 yrs of marriage.

I am grateful for my family.  I am thankful for the husband I have.  Today, however, I am thankful even more for his faithfulness to me, our sons and our God.  It is amazing the people that surround us each day that we barely glance or smile at...and yet, inside each of them is a story.  Hers happened to be one of redemption.  However, my heart must wonder how many stories are missing the redeemer role.  Perhaps I need to listen more my heart more willingly...share the truth more readily...