Wednesday, January 30, 2013

2013 goals, January roundup

I thought I would check in at the end of every month to see where I am with my 2013 goals. I need some form of accountability and I figure this is the best way. So while this might be super boring to you (sorry!) it is more to keep me on track. Nothing like having to type "well I didn't memorize any verses or cook anything new again this month" to put a little motivation in my step.

So here's where we are at the end of January...

(And I decided to participate in this challenge for scripture memory, instead of what I originally had planned. So I will be learning two verses a month, instead of four.)

Homemade Beef/Veggie Soup (no link for this meal. . . my mom was making some for their dinner and gave me her extra ingredients and then talked me through the instructions. It was ok. Brandon requested more meat and no celery next time. Ha. I tried my moms a few days later and hers was much better. Oh well. Wasn't great but wasn't awful either.)

Layered Fiesta Casserole  - Yummy! We loved it. I had some extra black beans that needed eating so I tossed those in too.

Fuss-Free Ravioli & Cheese Bake - This was good, but the sauce was a little soupy. I checked the reviews and many others agreed. Next time I will probably add a bit more sauce and drain the diced tomatoes. We enjoyed the leftovers more than the night I made it, as it gave it more time for the sauce to thicken up.

Healthy Turkey Meatloaf - The meatloaf was good! I hand wrote the instructions a while back and just got now around to making it. If you want the recipe, let me know! Calls for lean turkey meat and several chopped veggies. I actually made this the same week I made the Ravioli Bake. I know. . . who am I busting out with two new recipes in one week?

Baked Chicken Parmesan - Everything about this was great. Easy, fast, healthy, delicious. Brandon actually told me I can make this chicken whenever I want, so I will consider that a big success!

Oven Tacos - Y'all - these were SO good. Brandon LOVED them. I used refried black beans instead of traditional refried beans that the recipes calls for. . . yum! I made these this past Monday night and I made enough meat mixture to get us through several meals. Last night I scooped the meat mixture into yellow bell peppers and baked at 400 degrees, until the peppers were cooked and the meat mixture hot. Topped it with cheese and they were awesome.

January Scripture memory:
"You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance." (NIV)
Psalm 65:11

"Your unfailing love and mercy still continue, as fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise." (GNB) Lamentations 3:22-23 

Oh - and I am on page 170 of my 7 book, so I'll consider that a win for the month.

Computer clean up - well. . . that is a work in progress. . . I have done some but ugh. . . boring!

So there you go. I am actually really excited about cooking attempting to cook these days and also memorizing scripture. Its like a little game where I am now constantly marking recipes I want to try and highlighting scriptures that I want to add to the list. 
If you have any easy recipes that will not completely overwhelm me (read - take 30 minutes or less AND don't have five billion ingredients) then please link in the comments!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Readers Request. . . When is it appropriate to comment on possible eating disorder or pregnancy loss?

I recently had a reader comment on my What Not To Say post,  posing the following question. . .

"When are you close enough or when are you not close enough to someone to ask/to comment/...about their difficulties or their loss. Unless it's crystal clear to me, if the person themselve did not let me know about their difficulty or loss, I normally do not comment. And I don't know if I am acting correctly...I am a very reserved person and it really hurts me when people comment, even when they celebrate things for me if I don't feel them close. I don't like that they know and even less that they feel close enough to share with me. Am I a weirdo?... Could you share your experience on this topic? I would like to learn."

Before I attempt to tackle this question, I thought I would open up the floor. What do you think? 

What is your opinion on this sensitive topic(s)? 

At what point are you close enough to someone to discuss or bring up these issues? 

How do you decide what to say & when, or when to hold your tongue?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Weekend Links 1/25/13

Anyone else excited that today is Friday? Today could not come soon enough. We've had a rather hectic week, and let's just say we are embracing this weekend with open arms.

Enjoy some link love. . . Catch y'all on Monday!

You Only Get One Good One - Our Journey (can anyone else relate?)
Terrible Twos - The Blogivers (This list had me lol. . . although probably not as funny when you're the momma! The things I have to look forward to, ha!)
Because sometimes you just need to laugh - The LPM blog
5 Great Reasons to Not Watch (much) TV - Simple Mom
You're a Mother. You're a hero. Period - Lisa Jo Baker (get some tissues ready)

Eating Disorder and/or Self Esteem
If smacking the television was acceptable - True Worth
The media needs to do its homework - ED Bites
Starvation study shows that recovery from anorexia is possible only by regaining weight - Psychology Today

Food and/or Recipes
Lazy Girls Ravioli Lasagna - Iowa Girl Eats
Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Orange Vinaigrette - Peas and Thank You
Red Velvet Monkey Bread - Something Swanky (are you kidding me???? yes please!)
Early Morning Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal - Oh She Glows
Snickerdoodle Muffins - Sweet Pea's Kitchen

Monday, January 21, 2013

Healthy Weight Week Jan 20-26

Yesterday kicked off Healthy Weight Week for 2013. Have y'all heard about it?

The 20th annual Healthy Weight Week is a time to celebrate healthy diet-free living habits that last a lifetime and prevent eating and weight problems.  Our bodies cannot be shaped at will. But we can all be accepting, healthy and happy at our natural weights. (source)

Specifically. . . 

January 22, Tuesday is the 24th annual Rid the world of Fad Diets & Gimmicks Day
January 24, Thursday is the 20th annual Women's Healthy Weight Day

The initiative also seeks to highlight the Slim Chance Awards, which are awards that expose the widespread fraud and quackery in the weight loss field, and are aimed at helping people, especially girls and women, move on from chronic dieting to improving their lives in more positive and lasting ways. These are truly the worst of the worst of the many weight-loss products and programs that flood the internet, the airwaves, and the pages of print materials each year in seemingly increasing numbers. Diet quackery disappoints and defrauds its vulnerable victims, and all too often it injures and even kills. The annual Slim Chance Awards are announced at year's end as a lead up to Rid the World of Fad Diets & Gimmicks Day on Tuesday of Healthy Weight Week, which is celebrated the third full week in January. (source) 

Click here to read more about the Slim Chance Awards, or basically the worst diet schemes of 2012.  Spoiler alert - Dr. Oz may or may not be a recipient. Duh. Sorry all you Dr. Oz fans. 
In honor of Healthy Weight Week I wanted to repost this article titled Skinny Doesn't Mean You're Healthy by nutritionist Meghan Telpner.  She took the words right out of my mouth. Hit the nail on the head. I encourage you to take a few minutes, read and let these words sink into your brain. 

There is a massive paradigm shift happening on ground level among 30- and 40-something women. 

We are leading the way in a new approach to how we look at our bodies and at our health.

We are sick. 

Few of us got through our adolescent years without being prescribed a hormonal supplement (birth control pill), few of us got through our 20s without mood and digestive disorders and few of us are going through our 30s and 40s feeling great about our bodies.

This challenge to our collective health is behind the shift. Leading this charge is a group of amazingly dynamic, driven and healthy group whom I am honoured to call my colleagues and my friends: the new nutritionists, chefs, educators, authors and motivators.

We are excited, we are making change happen and it's because we understand that health is not about being thin and eating an optimal amount of calories, or getting the "healthier" option at the drive through. 

Healthy is not about looking at a plate of food and seeing 650 calories and ratios in grams for carbs to proteins. Healthy is not about cheat days or finding junk food in the health food store that abides by our latest list of dietary restrictions.

We're about keeping it whole and real -- and you are digging this approach because it works.

Health is not an absence of disease. Health is having something. Having lots. 

Health is about waking up, excited for the day, having a feeling of calm, vitality and steady energy. Health is about cooking the best food ever and enjoying it. Health is about the sense of empowerment that comes when we take control of our health as an active participant in the process.

I have a degree in fashion, I spent four years working in advertising and then my body gave out on me. At 26, I was too sick to go to work. After a three-year battle with digestive distress that doctors said was "normal" for my age, at 26, I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, a chronic incurable, inflammatory bowel disease.

Opting to take my health it into my own hands, with the inherent belief that if the body and mind are given what is needed to heal, than health would be the inevitable end result.

My symptoms went away within a couple of weeks and now, over six years later, I remain symptom-free.

As a result of my experience, I have worked with thousands, I have taught over 250 cooking classes, appeared on national television, I write daily and have a book coming out across North America in April 2013. I will be leading my 5th annual health retreat in February, this year in Costa Rica.

The greatest gift that these opportunities have offered is enabling me be a catalyst in this new paradigm shift that can only benefit people on an individual basis, benefit communities by having healthier, more positive members and benefit the greater universe by helping people find their place of optimal health where they are able to give their best to the world.

Health is not about weight. Skinny does not equal healthy.

When we feel great, looking great is a by-product. Health has nothing to do with the size of our jeans or where we land on the body-mass index. As young women, we have seen our mothers, aunts, grandmothers, and many public figures battle the bulge, looking for a diet that works, sacrificing and stressing over this.

The solution, as many women are beginning to understand, is not to focus on what we are giving up, what we can't have, what we are missing out on, but to focus on the health; focus on what we are getting and gaining and how amazing that is.

Healthy is the new skinny and that shift in mindset will change how we view food, how we view our body, how we view each other and how, ultimately, we will make every choice count. " (article and picture source)

So. . . What is health to you? What does healthy look like in your life? Any other crazy diet gimmicks you've heard about that didn't make this years Slim Chance Awards list?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Weekend Links 1/18/13

It's Friday. . . you know what that means. . . time for a little link love. . .

For my friend in the hospital with her child - Life Rearranged
Do You Wish You Had a Pause Button on Your Life? - Grace Full Mama
Valentine's Tips For The Misters - Lysa TerKeurst
The gathering that helps you make friends, right where you are - Simple Mom (another plug for (in)RL)

Food and/or Recipes
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cranberries with Barley - Cookie + Kate
Kale Fried Rice - Iowa Girl Eats
Crispy Roasted Chickpeas - Steamy Kitchen (so good!!)
Banana Crumb Muffins - The Girl Who Ate Everything
Crock Pot Spinach Lasagna - Eat, Live, Run (on the meal plan for next week!)
Pumpkin + Goat Cheese Lasagna - Kath Eats Real Food (or should I try this one?? Not sure Brandon could handle the flavor combo but sounds great to me!)
Biscoff Crescent Roll Cookies - Cookies & Cups

Eating Disorder and/or Self Esteem
Body Dysmorphic Disorder -
Eating Problems - Signs You May Have An Eating Problem -
The Grey Matter of Self Worth - True Worth
Treating co-occuring EDs and OCD - ED Bites
2013 Healthy Weight Week Body Image Awards - We Are The Real Deal

What are you all reading these days? Link away in the comments!

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Clara 8 months

So this post is a little late, but like they say, better late than never.

8 months old on January 2, 2013!!

Oh how we love this girl. . .

Loves: reading books, tummy time, playing with her Vtech Move and Crawl ball and Fisher Price piano, dancing (if you stand her on your lap she will shake back and forth like she's getting down. . . pretty cute), taking walks in the stroller, kicking and splashing in the bathtub, playing with her chain link toys and grabbing my arm when I'm changing her diaper.

Does not love: eating green beans or green peas, when we put lotion behind her ears (has eczema back there) or when we try to get boogers out of her nose. We reintroduced her reflux meds several nights ago, just to see if it would help calm her at night, and it is safe to say she's not a fan of the meds. She has also started throwing little tantrums when she has had enough food or when she's ready to get out of her highchair. The glare. . .

Eating: She is taking four bottles (5-6oz each) a day (morning, late morning/early afternoon, late afternoon, bed) and we have now introduced lunch (where before we were doing just breakfast and a dinner). She will usually eat the most for breakfast and dinner where lunch is hit or miss. She is still on the jarred Stage 2 baby food. Not quite ready for table/finger food since she is 1-not showing interest in our food at all and 2-is not yet able to pick up food/smaller items and bring it all the way to her mouth.

Sleeping: She goes down for the night between 7-8pm (depends on wake time of last nap) and sleeps until anywhere between 6-8am. If she wakes before 6am and is happy, I leave her in bed to play. She will usually play in her bed for 45 min - one hour before getting antsy, or before falling back asleep. This happens maybe three times a week.

I mentioned in a post last week but recently she has been going down for bed just fine yet waking 1-2 hours later crying. We will rock her until she is calm (duration just depends on the night, some nights she is unconsolable for several hours, other nights she is calm within minutes) and then put her back in bed awake and then she plays in her bed until she falls asleep, usually without fussing. If she is having a "wake up and cry for several hours kind of night" we might try to feed her and will know within seconds if she's actually hungry (so some days I guess she actually gets five bottles). This is still a mystery to me how she wakes, without fail, within the first two hours of going to bed. It's like she thinks this is just a third nap?? Who knows.

She takes two naps a day, usually starting anywhere between 9-10am and 2-3pm. These times are shifted earlier if her morning wake time was super early. Both naps are usually two hours although if she takes a super long morning nap (she can sleep three hours some mornings) her afternoon nap is shorter. She can last a little over two hours from wake wake time to first nap, and then three hours until next nap and three hours from last nap to bed. Catching her at the two and a half hour mark is usually perfect as she's getting drowsy but not overly exhausted. She always wakes up happy and in the best mood!!

Development: I mentioned in her 7 month update that there are some concerns with her development. We are still in the testing phase, but once all the results are received I intend to write a post with some type of update. So. . . stay turned. One recommendation was to get her into occupational therapy, which we did, and she's been going weekly since December 14th (day of her initial evaluation). At that time she was not sitting up unassisted, yet she sat up for the first time all by her self only five days later!!! We are doing exercises at home everyday, and I'll say they are sure paying off. . .

Here's our girl. . .

Other developmental milestones to note: more eye contact, more smilies, better head control, she is showing more interest in her toys and is able to pick up small toys (although hard for her to hold them for longer than a few seconds). She now grabs her paci and takes it out of her mouth although hasn't learned how to put it back in. She's been teething but haven't spotted any new teeth just yet (still just bottom middle). Size 2 diapers and size 3 overnights. Wearing mostly 9 month clothes.

Adventures: We enjoyed Christmas with Brandon's family and the day after with my family. Clara was spoiled, as expected. :) Oh - and she made her first gingerbread house. I'd say she did pretty well!

We haven't really traveled or had too much going on lately, which is nice since a alot of time right now is spent taking Clara to and from appointments.

Think that about sums it up! Thanks for continuing to pray for our little girl!

Monday, January 14, 2013

(in)RL 2013

I received an email from Lisa Jo-Baker and the in(courage) team asking if I would help spread the word about In Real Life 2013. Have y'all heard about the In Real Life [(in) RL] women's conference put on by the contributors of the site (in)courage/daily devotional for women?

The idea was started last year and was a HUGE success. I wasn't able to participate, since I was too close to my due date, but I hope to join in this year. Heres a little sneak peak for those that are not familiar. . .

Here's a few more details:
  • Registration opens TODAY Monday January 14th at 
  • Everyone who registers on the day registration opens (Monday Jan 14) gets a copy of the (in)courage 365 Daybrightener while supplies last (US residents only).
  • Everyone gets a copy of their first eBook: “Best of the Beach House 2012.”
  • About: (in)RL was born out of two years spent listening to women in the comments at (in)courage craving local, real life community. Derived from the social media acronym “IRL” or “in real life,” (in)RL is an invitation to share what we’ve learned about community and encourage women with stories and suggestions for connecting deeper in real life.
  • Think of it as a FREE girl’s weekend away that doesn’t require packing or plane tickets, where women can kick off any expectation of perfect, set aside their fears, their shyness, their worry that they’re not good enough, and find some of Jesus’ words of rest woven into every video shared here.
  • When: The (in)RL webcast kicks off on Friday, April 26 and (in)RL meetups follow on Saturday, April 27.
  • What: Last year we explored the nitty gritty of community. This year we're taking a closer look at what it takes to stay rooted in community when sometimes just walking away would be so much easier and tons more convenient. Women share stories of how they've chosen to stay through hard marriages, challenging parenting, worthwhile friendships. How choosing to stay has freed them more fully and unexpectedly than if they'd cut and run.

So. . . who's in? Anyone want to participate with me this year? Locals - we can coordinate a meet up at my house, or yours, for the Saturday web cast sessions. How fun would it be to get a big group of girls together for some fellowship, goodies (think lots of coffee and yummy eats) and girl talk? 
Let me know! 

"Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do,
but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near."

Friday, January 11, 2013

Weekend Links 1/11/13

First off, a huge thanks to everyone for all the information and input regarding questions posed on my last post. Wow - y'all really came through. . . so thanks for that! Love hearing about everyones experiences and ways of doing things, even if we all are a tad different in opinion or method. Love y'all!

Here's some weekend links if you find yourself with a little time to relax and read over the next few days. . .

he still waits - Rage Against The Minivan (get the kleenex box ready. . . you've been warned)
Building Fire For Moms (An Analogy For The New Year) - Inspired To Action (so true!!)
8 Ways To Nurture A Child's Soul - Simple Mom
When you don't want a New Year but a new you - Ann Voscamp
Problems, Problems - Lisa TerKeurst
A weekend of (in)couragement - (in)courage - Check back Monday the 14th for a more in depth blog post about this years girls weekend! 

Food and/or Recipes
Pumpkin Smoothie - The Pioneer Woman
Apple-Cinnamon Raisin & Walnut Baked Oatmeal - Brown Eyed Baker
No Bake Quinoa Crumble Cars - Chef In Training
Chewy Peanut Butter Granola Parfait - Something Swanky
Cheesy Baked Spaghetti Squash Boats w/ Grilled Chicken - Skinnytaste (I can't eat squash but these look awesome and super fun!)
Chicken and Broccoli Pie - Scattered Thoughts of A Crafty Mom
Penne with Chicken, Spinach and Tomatoes - Scattered Thoughts of A Crafty Mom

Eating Disorder and/or Self Esteem 
Eating Disorder or Diet? -  Something Fishy, A Website on Eating Disorders
Negative Voices - Something Fishy, A Website on Eating Disorders
Tips for becoming a critical viewer of the media - NEDA

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Going to the pros. . . questions about the 8 month old napping/feeding schedule

So I a few questions about the 8mo old feeding (bottle & baby food) and napping schedule. Thought I would go to the pros since all of you have way more experience than I do. Obviously ever baby is different, and what works for one will be different for another, but just thought I would poll other mommas out there to see what worked for you and your little one. Thanks in advance for all the input! (And don't worry - I'm not stressing about this stuff at all, just trying to gather info)
  • Is there such thing as a five hour schedule? Up to this point Clara has been on a 4 hour schedule but 1-I am constantly having to wake her up from naps to eat at the four hr mark and 2-she is not showing interest in taking a bottle at four hours. She might take two-three oz and then I end up giving her the rest of the bottle later, closer to her next nap. I am just wondering if I bump up to a five hour schedule if she will be getting in enough milk during the day. I'm thinking she won't. Thoughts? I have looked in the Babywise book/blog and can only find info on the four hr schedule. 
  • When you added baby food to your babies diet did you offer it immediately following a bottle/nursing session or did you offer bottle/nurse and then wait an hour or so to offer the baby food? Sometimes when I offer it right after her bottle she is not interested, probably b/c she's too full. I don't want to get in a habit of her snacking though if I wait an hour to offer the baby food. Thoughts on this?
  • How many bottles/nursing sessions was your baby getting at this point (8 mo) in a 24 hour period? Right now Clara is getting four bottles during the day (wake time, late morning, afternoon, bedtime) and maybe a fifth bottle during the night if she wakes. Some nights she does and some night she does not. 
  • Clara has been a bit unpredictable in her wake-time each morning. Somedays it is 5:00am (she's happy playing in her bed till 6:00am which is awesome, but this sets our day off with a super early napping and eating schedule). On other days it is 8:00am and I literally have to wake her up. Should I just not worry about having a set eat/nap times during the day? All the books I read make it seem so easy to have set times every day for feeding/naps at this age, but when her wake times are so varied I just don't know how to accomplish this? Thoughts?
  • I am using these storage bags to store frozen breast milk but having issues. I have a lot of frozen milk (so so so thankful!) yet when I go to thaw a bag, the milk SMELLS to high heaven. Like it smells rancid and when I try to give it to Clara she refuses to take it. I don't blame her.  I was very good about storing milk within a few days of pumping it, and I have kept it in the back part of freezer (not the door). Has anyone else experienced this issue?? I shudder at the thought of having to trash all this frozen milk, but so far I keep throwing bags away. :( 
  • Did anyone ever mix formula with breast milk? How did you do this/what ratio? Random question but just wondering. 
  • For those of you whose littles had reflux. . . can reflux come and go? Or once it's gone is it gone for good? Clara will go down just fine at bed and then wake 1.5-2 hours into bed unconsolable. Crying hard and it's a "I'm in pain please help me" cry. This has been the trend lately. At first we thought this could just be teething, but now we are wondering if reflux could be the culprit? Ex - Monday night she went down at 7:45pm, slept until 9pm, then was up until 12am crying and nothing would calm her. 
Clara has been lagging behind in development for a while, so please know that I take that into consideration when asking you these questions. I realize that what is normal for most 8 mo olds might not be normal for her for a little while, and that is ok. Still just trying to gather info.  

Thanks, friends for your input and helping a momma out! Ready, set go! 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Currently. . . Jan 2013 edition

Loving: My 2013 Erin Condren Life Planner. Yes - I finally gave in and ordered one and then felt sick with buyers remorse. But let me tell you. . .  it is money well spent people. If you are a planner/organizer/list maker geek like myself, then you too would get your moneys worth. 

Reading: 7 by Jen Hatmaker. Can I just say that I am in love with this book? It has made me think about a lot of things in my life, areas in which I could use a little a lot of perspective.

Watching: Parenthood. Somehow this show keeps drawing me back time and time again. I always end up in tears. Always. Does anyone else suffer from the "I know Kristina's condition is going to make me cry but I keep coming back for more" syndrome? Please tell me I am not alone here.

Listening to: Dessert song by Hillsong United. The chorus gets me every time...pretty powerful huh? I am known to blare this song at home while I am cleaning or doing random tasks. Am I the only person who finds songs that much more powerful when volume is at top notch? I may or may not have woken Clara up from her nap Sunday afternoon because of said obsession. Mother of the year award right there.

Thinking about: What I am going to make for dinner this week. You know. . . in the spirit of my new years goals. I am thinking about this yummy looking mexican dish, but that will depend on if I brave walking to the store on a day when there is a 90% chance of rain. Thank you Rav4 for dying on me and not responding to any type of battery charging. (please note the sarcasm here. I am so blessed to even have a car when I know many people cannot say the same.)

Looking forward to: Watching this girl make progress in her development (will give more updates on this at a later time). She has been in Occupational Therapy for a month now and went from not sitting up to sitting up unassisted after just one week of therapy sessions. Now girlfriend thinks she's all that. Will have nothing of me helping her. She wants to practice her new skill all. the. time. without assistance from her momma. Love.

Making me happy: Our weekend ahead that appears to be wide open with hardly any commitments. Sometimes a clear calendar is good for the soul.

What are you loving these days? What is making you happy? 
Please share or link to your Currently post in the comments! 
Have a great day! 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Help me trust You in the dark

I have amazing friends. I really really do. They know just what I need, exactly when I need it. After an unexpected phone call on Thursday morning, which left my heart and mind in a complete tizzy, and after sharing what I learned with said friends, I have received text messages EVERYDAY with words of encouragement and also scriptures, that offer hope. My sister in law even texted me a picture of the Jan 4th entry in Jesus Calling, which I had JUST read moments prior.

God. . . you are cool like that. Thank you for stirring action in the heart of my friends, to ultimately stir up extra peace in my heart.

Here is what I have been meditating on the last few days. . .

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

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

"The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in Spirit." Psalm 34:17-18

"Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

And a quote I read this morning. . .

"Time is a trainer, teaching you to wait upon Me, to trust Me in the dark." - Sarah Young, Jan 6th entry in Jesus Calling

Thank you, precious friends. You know who you are. I am honored to journey along this life with you.

More details in time. . .

Friday, January 4, 2013

Weekend Links 1/4/13

The Inspiring Video Every Mother Needs To Watch - Inspired To Action
The Importance Of Being Current - Simple Mom
The Year You Were Loved - Lisa Jo Baker
13 small steps to becoming a happier mom in 2013 - The Happiest Mom
A Letter To New Moms - Erika from Something Beautiful (so very well worded, please please read!)

Food and/Or Recipes
Pineapple Chicken Teriyaki - Steamy Kitchen
Mini BBQ Cheddar Meatloaves - Iowa Girl Eats
Crock Pot Pork & Apples - Eat, Live, Run
Whole Wheat Roasted Veggie Lasagna - Pinch Of Yum
Cookie Dough Truffles - Blue - Eyed Bakers

Eating Disorder and/or Self Esteem
Guilt Trip? For Shame! - Make Peace With Food
10 Ways To Lighten Emotional Burdens In The New Year - Weighing The Facts

Keeping it short and sweet this Friday...
Happy weekend! Enjoy it!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New goals for this New Year, bring it 2013

It's that time again. . . time where the world kicks off the New Year by setting various types of resolutions and where your google reader blows up with posts a lot like this one. Now, I love me some resolutions. I am the type of person who gets giddy about setting some fresh, new goals each New Year.

Shocker, I know. I mean, on your average day, I get excited just making lists of all the lists I need to make. Yes, I am really that cool,  just in case the jury was still out.

Anyways, I really love thinking on the year prior and hashing out what I did well, what I didn't do so well, what I would like to do more of, what would make my life a little easier, what would add some fun to my/our days, etc. It's like a clean slate where you can dream and paint a picture for the next 365 days.

I do think it is important (at least for me) to make the goals as positive as possible. You won't find me writing "Stop drinking soda" on my list. Instead, I would write something like "Drink x oz of water a day." I find that the more positive the association I have with each resolution, the more likely I am to keep at it beyond say January 31st. I also think it's vital that goals are broken down enough where they can be measurable. This keeps me on track. I will probably be more successful if I say "power walk/run 3x a week" instead of a goal such as "exercise more." (this is just an example people, don't think I'm going to get all crazy on you and start running, ok?).

So here are my five main goals for 2013. I could have written down a million little things yet in order to keep from feeling completely overwhelmed I knew I needed to keep it to five. Each month, at the end of the month, I am going to do a little check in post to see how I'm doing, where I am at, in order to keep me accountable. If the thought of that bores you to tears well. . . sorry in advance.

2013 GOALS:
Memorize one new scripture a week : I am awful at memorization. Awful. I tend to use this as an excuse as to why it's ok not to memorize God's word. This is no longer ok (well, it was never ok, but you know what I mean). I was recently convicted of this - if I want Clara, and future children, to learn scripture at an early age, they need to see their momma doing the same. If Clara never sees me studying and reciting scriptures from memory, why in the world would she want to? So here we go. . . one new scripture a week which means at the end of 2013 I will know, from memory, approximately 52 scriptures by heart. Bring it.
***Edited to add: On the evening of 1/1/13 I received an email from a friend detailing 2013 Scripture Memory Challenge (SSMT) that Beth Moore is kicking off for 2013. The general idea is to memorize two scriptures a month and post them in the comments on her blog, on the 1st and 15th of every month. Then in Jan 2014 there is a huge party to celebrate God's word, with other local participants. I decided to follow this plan, instead of what I outlined above, for my scripture memory goal. You can select your own memory verses or choose the one that Beth posts on her blog. Click here for her 1/1/13 blog post and Verse 1. Does anyone want to do this with me and attend the party together in Jan 2014???***

Cook one new recipe a week: As much as I love the idea of meal planning, I struggle with it. We end up eating the same seven - 10 meals over and over and over because I get nervous of bombing a recipe and thus never branch out. Poor Brandon. If he eats another bowl of plain spaghetti or taco soup he just might vomit. Now. . .  Brandon loves to cook, he is good at it, and quite creative to boot, yet I want to step up my game a little bit in the cooking department and not rely on his skills all the time. So. . . one new (to me) recipe a week. And I consider a crock pot recipe legit. Don't judge. I'll link to the completed recipes in each monthly update post.

Organize the photos/documents on my computer (dedicate 30 min a week) : Y'all - this is one that brings me anxiety just thinking about it. I have had "organize computer photos" on my weekly to do list for who knows how long. It is time. Time to delete random documents from college, organize photos and bring some type of order to Microsoft Word and IPhoto. So, I will spend a minimum of 30 minutes a week on this goal. I have no idea how long this will take me. Maybe it will go quicker than I think? Regardless, here goes nothing.

Read at least six new books this year : I love to read yet never make/take the time. I find when I do take an extra 30 min here and there to read something for fun (whatever that may be) I walk away feeling so satisfied and refreshed. One book every two months = six books read at the end of 2013. Your welcome for doing the math. I originally had "read one new book a month" as my goal, but that might just be a little much. Here's a little sneak peak of some I have in mind. . .

Pour more of myself into this little blog (& into the people this blog has brought to my life) : I don't really know what this means just yet (totally goes against what I said about setting goals, oops) but I have recently been convicted of the power we share by coming together, the power we share in community. So many of us write, share experiences, share photos and in some mysterious way (a total God thing, in my opinion), we are brought together as one. I'm so thankful for those of you who I have "met" and the experiences we share and encouragement we give, even if it's behind a computer screen, our houses separated by thousands of miles. I am excited to see where 2013 takes us. . .

And a little goal I have going into these five. . . give it my all but don't beat myself up if I don't meet the marks perfectly, or if say several of my new recipes bomb miserably. After all, goal making isn't about perfection, it's about trying your best while working towards a fresh new standard.

Your turn. . . Anyone else making goals for the New Year? Want to join in and commit to a weekly memory verse? Please share in the comments or link to your site!!

Happy Jan 1st! 

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