Sunday, June 7, 2015

things i love lately...

these energy bites.

i have been making them for awhile but am still just as obsessed. they are SO good. my kids love them and i do too. i have to take a break from making them because at some point, they become not so healthy when i can't enable self control.

in more food things, i am still eating this salad at least once a day. no lie or exaggeration. i will probably get sick of it at some point but, for now, it always sounds good. i always include butter lettuce salad mix, avocado, tomato, roasted sweet potatoes, salsa and seasoned ground meat (usually turkey) and most often plantain chips. i have added in leftover zucchini and asparagus and it was good like that too. i just had it for lunch.

not wearing make-up. (more on this another time)

dresses. i am on a mission to wear simple dresses/skirts this summer as much as possible. so much more comfortable than shorts. i just got this one at target with a giftcard and i am really thinking about buying another in blue. it's so comfortable!

Body PUMP!-that should link to a video to give you an idea of what it's like if you haven't taken a class before (this is not the class we go to-just a video that popped up on a google search!)

gregg and i have been going to a body pump class 3x a week for over 2 months now. i am really loving it and can definitely see a difference in my arms. as with any workout, i don't always feel like doing it but i am always so glad i did once it's done. i like this class because it's really up to you how much you challenge yourself and how much weight you add on to lift. it's also great for me because i am just not going to do any strength training on my own. it's just not going to happen. 

30 rock! i was getting sick of watching FRIENDS on netflix (who knew i could get sick of FRIENDS?) and decided to give 30 Rock a try. i watched a few seasons while it was on but never watched it regularly. Tina Fey is all things hilarious to me, so i'm not surprised i like it so much but it has been very entertaining rediscovering how great it is.


and i have to mention the s'mores frap from starbucks even though i've only had it once and probably won't get it again because ohmygosh that can't be healthy...but it's SO good.


the end.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

on seeking community

one afternoon last week i found myself with some time alone in our house. gregg took the kids to the playground and i stayed home to get dinner started. as soon as the i heard the garage door shut behind them, i was hit with this need to talk to God.

i've been a little distant with God lately and i honestly don't know why. when i get a free minute, the thought to pull up the She Reads Truth study will pop into my head and i will quickly dismiss it and go back to pinterest instead. when i am alone in the evenings now i will think about spending some time just talking to God, nothing formal and structured, just talking, but i'll shut it down and pull up netflix. and i don't know why.

but that day, i just couldn't ignore it any longer and i didn't want to. i just started talking and soon myself in tears when i realized that my heart has been seeking after people so much more than it's been seeking after Jesus.

since moving here, i have been so focused on creating friendships and community. i left some really great friendships in texas and my heart longs to have that here as well. i know it's not something i can create on my own or overnight, so i have been praying for patience.

i have read this quote several times and i have always thought of it in terms of the danger of becoming consumed with the love material (created) things. that afternoon i started to see it take on another level when i came across it on pinterest.

while alone in my kitchen, it became very clear to me that i have very much been consumed with pursing friendships much more so than pursuing Him. i put quite a bit of time, thought and energy into seeking out community here in jacksonville and building connections. i love having people over to our house and meeting new friends for myself and our kids. i don't think there is anything wrong with it. in fact, i think having a community of close friends is an incredible gift and tool. it is so important to have people in our lives that we can open up to about the hard, hard stuff, who will speak truth into our lives and hold us accountable. i feel so fortunate that God has brought those people into my life and allowed those relationships to sustain a cross country move and i am so excited about the idea of developing similar relationships here. i truly hope to not only find community for myself but to also BE community for others.

unfortunately, my heart has been longing for community and friendship so much more so than it has been longing for the One that created it. i have spent way more time sending texts messages and setting up play dates than i have talking to God or seeking His direction. it's an easy habit for me to fall in to. it seems so logical for me to look for things that I can DO to help the process along rather than wait patiently on His move.

"my heart and my flesh may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
ps 73:26

my hope and my prayer is that He would be enough for me. that more than anything or anyone else in this world, my heart would long to be made full firstly in His presence.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

sunshine and more sunshine

we just finished up a long and great weekend.

saturday morning gregg and i were up bright and early to run a 5k race on the beach. this was my 2nd one and it went about just well as the first. i am so not concerned with speed, i told gregg not to even worry about the timing chip because i really don't care and i knew i would come in towards end.  my only goal was to not walk and not come in last and happily i can say those goals were met. i am really surprised by how much i enjoy these races. i am enjoying them so much so that we are signing up for a 5 miler later this summer. my goal is do a 10k this fall. now that i've put it out there, maybe i will actually do it!

as soon as we got home from the race, i changed, grabbed abbey and we went off to adventure landing for a few hours just the two of us. adventure landing is a small waterpark that is perfect for kids and pretty fun for adults too. we have seasons passes for the summer and i really excited to go over and over again with the kids. they love it! it had been awhile since i had any alone time with abbey other than a quick run to target and i had forgotten what a fun girl she is. she is at such a great age and i often feel like i wish i could give her more one on one time.

sunday after church, gregg's parents came to pick up the kids for the night and next day leaving gregg and i all ALONE for 24hrs. it was glorious. we headed to the beach and then out to dinner at this great taco place (yes! there are a few, and i mean a few decent tacos here) and then of course, we ended up at target. i can't imagine a night out without kids not ending up at target.

the next morning we slept until NINE am. NINE! then we headed out the beach again for brunch at this hole in the wall dinner before heading out a long bike ride through the beaches. we ended up cover nearly 11 miles in total on our beach cruisers. it was a beautiful day and riding through the neighborhoods on the ocean is always amazing.

the kids came home later that afternoon and we headed out the beach AGAIN! it was just such great weather and we knew they had napped and wouldn't be ready for bedtime until later than normal. we spent about 2 hours out there playing as the sun went down.

it was truly a great weekend. i found myself feeling so thankful while we were riding through the beaches monday morning. i think you are either a beach person, or you aren't and i definitely am. i just feel so full and thankful when i'm out there. every time i walk out on the sand i just cannot believe we are living here and this is my home.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

whole30 revisited

on march 30th gregg and i restarted whole30. i really wanted to give it another go and make it the whole 30 days this time. we finished last tueaday! hooray.

it was much easier for me this time and i think that's largely due to having kept some of the eating habits i established in my last attempt. habits like replacing bread with lettuce wraps and eating eggs or another protein heavy food for breakfast. it also helped that i already had some go to meals and snacks in place when getting started.

outside of eggs, one of the breakfast options that saved me were paleo pancakes. sometimes, you just cannot handle another egg and these pancakes definitely grew on over the last month. i also ate a lot of tuna with carrot sticks for lunch, sweet potato nachos/salads, avacados, plantain chips and salsa. oh plantain chips. we made the raw brownie bites a couple times too. those are super good and technically not something you should eat a lot of while on whole30 but it's really nice to have a treat on hand that is all whole, healthy ingredients.

while it was easier this time around i really, really wanted to quit days 22-27. like really wanted to. but, i didn't and i am glad i stuck with it. i don't have a way to weigh myself but i am fitting into a size smaller in most shorts and overall, i just feel lighter and less bloated. 

okay, so those are things that i did right, now let me tell you how i messed up. ha.

on days 19-20 i was at a women's retreat and wasn't sure how i was going to pull off eating on plan. overall i did really well because they had really healthy, fresh meals. i did end up eating some tortilla chips at the last dinner because there really wasn't much i could eat and i was starving. i also got talked into trying "the best cookie in the world" but i ate half and i passed up a TON of cake. oh my gosh the cake people. so, it could have been much worse but i technically didn't eat "whole30" those days all the time. oh, and in interest of honesty, i put milk in my coffee the whole month. sometimes regular, sometimes almond, but always milk. so there you go. 

overall it was a good experience, worth the effort and i'm really glad i did it. i have needed to force myself to eat a more balanced diet for a long time and this really helped me learn some healthy habits. i don't think i will be doing it again for awhile but i hope to keep up most of the some chocolate ;)

in interest of being honest...

i post a lot of pictures of us at the beach, spending time outside and just generally doing fun things with our family. while we are doing all those things and having so much fun, the obvious truth is my life isn't all sunshine and sand.  one of the things i really want to be in life is honest. i really hope to be as authentic, real and transparent as possible. there are certainly things that wisdom tells us is better kept within a close circle but for the most part, my prayer is that i will be okay with sharing my struggles and hangups because i know how encouraging it is to me when i hear that i'm not alone.

i keep getting texts from friends and picture comments about it looks i am doing so well and am so happy. and yes, we are doing great and yes, i am really happy. we are loving our home here, starting to make real connections with friends and seriously, who doesn't love the ocean right down the road? but, i have been feeling like i should also open up a little bit about some things i've been struggling with that aren't easy to capture in an instagram picture.

let's go back about 3 years to right after tucker was born. the transition to two kids hit me hard. i am sure tucker's resistance to sleep played a role in it but whatever the cause, i found myself dealing with some serious anxiety. i would wake up in the middle of the night in a complete panic state. i knew rationally that everything was fine but i could not talk myself out of the panic and make the feeling of being out of control go away. i would have to wake up gregg and just have him sit with me until it got better enough for me to go to back to sleep. when i started feeling that panic feeling creep into my waking hours i knew i needed to talk to a doctor. at the same time we also joined a gym and i started working out 4 times a week, that combined with tucker's sleep finally getting consistent seemed to be enough to keep it under control and i managed to avoid medication. when eisley was born i was pretty concerned that it would be an issue again and was so relieved when it didn't show up immediately after her birth. flash forward four months later and it came back full force and much worse. i now had three children, 3 and under needing me all the hours of the day. i would be standing in the kitchen trying to make them breakfast and just get this feeling of total panic. it's really hard to explain because it's so irrational. when eisley was 7 months old i finally went back to the doctor and got a prescription for an anxiety medication. it seemed to help for a few months but it eventually started giving me migraines and i had to get off of it. my doctor did give me a prescription for a different medication but i really wanted to try to find a way to manage it without medication. i looked into essential oils and picked up my workouts some to see if that would help. it definitely didn't take it away completely but i just dealt with.

it felt manageable until about two months ago. i suddenly found myself feeling that panic feeling creeping in during my everyday life. i hate it so much and i wish there were an accurate way to explain how it feels but i haven't figured it out. in those moments i just feel so lost and as if i literally can.not. keep going. in addition to the anxiety this time, i also found myself dealing with depression in a way i never have. it seemed like i could only hold it together long enough to find a space to be alone to fall apart. i spent so much time driving around town running errands while crying in the front seat with my kids sitting in the back. i really think it took a few months for our move to catch up to me. i had a feeling it would be that way when we moved. i process emotions really slowly and it takes awhile for my heart to catch up to my mind. so, after a few months of this, i finally reached out to a couple of friends and shared how i had been feeling. they really encouraged me to get some help and share my feelings with Gregg. i think he already had a feeling i was struggling without knowing just how much. after talking to him, i decided to go back to the doctor and try medication again.

it's been about a month since that visit and i honestly feel more like myself every single day. i am not driving around crying or feeling totally incapable of doing something simple like making my kids lunch. i am finding myself having more fun with my kids and saying yes to them more often. i feel clear headed and optimistic about relationships and our purpose here in jacksonviile. while i still miss my texas friends so, so much and my texas family just as much (and mexican food!), i know that those relationships can continue to grow despite the distance. i don't walk around with the crushing weight on my chest anymore. it is truly an incredible feeling and i am so thankful for it.

i still have a ways to go. i still have rough days. i would love to get into counseling at some point to help me hash out some of the root causes of the anxiety and depression. for now though, things are looking up and i am grateful.

so, there you go. a truth you may not have needed to know. hopefully if you are struggling with the same thing it helps you feel a little less alone.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


i restarted whole 30 again 10 days ago. it seems much easier this time. the first time it was really rough for me figuring out new meals and what i can eat. this time, i already know and i've kept up a lot of those eating habits from my first attempt, including eating non-carby breakfast which is pretty amazing if i do say so myself. however, i am craving sweets and chocolate MUCH more than i did last time. my meals have been pretty lack-luster though so i need to work on that.

which brings me to...i really don't like vegetables. i just don't. unless they are cooked in something, i am mostly not interested. i force feed myself carrot sticks, roasted zucchini and green beans pretty regularly. one thing i do LOVE is roasted okra. i could eat that every single day..and salads. but, ugh. vegetables.

gregg and i did the Color me Rad 5k a couple weeks ago and it was actually really fun. just days before i had decided i was done trying to get into running. i was calling it quits but then i enjoyed that 5k so much (and actually ran the whole thing without feeling like i was dying) that i'm sorta wanting to sign up for another. i realized that i am not good at pacing myself and try to go much faster than i am actually capable right now and burn out really early. running with gregg helped me keep a better pace and realize that i can actually go much further than i realized at a slower pace. i could care less about getting speedy, but i am curious to see if i can do longer distances eventually.
i'm in the back right
gregg over there in the middle
afterwards. we didn't get nearly as messy as i expected.

we also joined the YMCA again this week. the one closest to us is really, really small and basic but that means it is really cheap. they have a great pool, splash pad and playground offsite a little further away from us that will be awesome this summer. we got a family membership so gregg and i did a body pump class together monday and really enjoyed it.

eisley. oh eisley. she continues to be the cutest and most opinionated child. good grief. she kills us with both daily.

trader joes, i have no idea how i lived without you for so long. i am loving their salsa and i am not really a salsa person. it's soooo good with plantain chips and even makes carrot sticks bearable. i am also loving their dried apples and banana chips lately.

we have been spending A LOT of time at the beach lately. the weather is warm again and it's been just beautiful out. it's about a 8 minute drive from our house so it doesn't feel like a huge hassle to go and the kids seem to never get tired of it.