1, 2, 3… Jump!

Jump

So here I am 3 years later… and ready to blog again. Too many things have happened to “catch up” on so I am just going to jump back in and update as I go. I know that this time I will be writing about more than just food. This blog will share our life, the stories and the crazy world that I am living in with my husband and now three kids.

At the park this week I was watching my one year old jump. She loves to jump and I mean really jump. We have never had a child be so young and actually have the coordination to jump. Usually they are doing some sort of butt sticking out slide thing off of whatever surface they are trying to “jump” from. You know what I am talking about where they either barely miss the edge some how or their rear gets caught on the edge and they hit hard. Well, this child is different. She gets it and she loves it. At some point during the day she finds something to stand on and you can here her saying 3,4,7… jump. Or some other number sequential that is not in the right order but when you hear the numbers being yelled, you know she is about to take off from somewhere and JUMP.

So she was jumping at the park. And jumping off anything. No fear, just joining. Jumping from heights taller than she is and just laughing and having fun. Complete abandon. I realized in watching her joy that I need to jump more. I need to let go and jump. Maybe not physically because I am sure these knees and ankles could use a little conditioning strength training right now but in more of the spiritual and emotional areas, I need to put myself out there and jump. I need to take some of the wild abandon my one year old has and let go. Over the past few months I have been dipping my toes into the world of meditation and mindfulness and before you get turned off by those “buzz words” as I know in the past I would have been, it has really made a huge difference for me. I have seen so many positive changes through exploring my own meditation practice that I feel like I am at a place where I am starting to see some really positive changes. I haven’t figured it all out yet but I am daily seeing how just quieting my mind even for five minutes is having a huge impact and I feel like I am ready to share some of those experiences and our life again. Maybe this will just help myself … or maybe it will speak to someone else out there who has also been struggling and holding back but is now ready to JUMP too!

 

Jump

Jump

Happy and Whole30

Happy and Whole30

Hope you had a wonderful end of 2014. We had a great night celebrating at our home with goods friends and enjoying quiet a feast of wonderful treats and homemade eggnog. And the kids had a blast with sparklers.

Chris and I had planned to wake up the next morning and start our next round of Whole30 but at the last minute we changed plans and enjoyed one last day indulging ourselves, primarily so we  could take part in the traditional southern New Years Day good luck feast that our friends invited us to and boy, it was worth it! This picture was taken on my phone so it doesn’t do it justice. The flavors on this plate were out of this world and hopefully will lead to lots of luck and goodness throughout the coming year.

Happy and Whole30

So today then marks our official first day of our next Whole30 journey. I had big plans to do a lot of food prep but that was side stepped with getting down all the Christmas decor so I will work on it tomorrow. I am hoping to document and provide a weekly Whole30 update every Friday or Saturday. Pictures will be included similar to below with some recipes and ideas that you can follow and hopefully help you on your own journey. Chris and I completed our first Whole30 in August of 2014. We continued to eat the same way most of the fall but have felt through the holidays we were really missing the structure and had thrown some of the principals out the window so it is a great time to start. I knew when I said more than a couple of times “I really miss eating vegetables!” that I was definitely game for the challenge again. This time I am sure we will expand what we were doing on a daily basis and hopefully try some new things as well. I am looking forward to sharing our plan with you and hope we can help you too!

Day 1 – complete!

Happy and Whole30

Are you taking the Whole30 challenge? Did you make other resolutions? Chris and I have some big goals for this year that we will share more of in the future, but other than healthy eating, I think as a family we are working on quieting and organizing our house and our life. We want to be intentional about the choices and commitments we make and not just say “Yes” to things all the time. Have you sat down and made plans for 2015? Any ideas you want to share? I am always encouraged and challenged when I hear people talking about the areas they want to change. Good luck to you all and I hope when we look back at the end of this year that we all made more progress than we could have ever imagined!

Simply merry and bright

2014 ChristmasOur December has been busy. And I am sure you would say the same thing about yours. Lists have been made. Lists have been lost and then remade.  And I now wonder, did I ever finish even one of my list? Does it really matter? Here I sit two days before Christmas feeling tired and like I have not done enough but as I scroll back through the pictures from this month, I know I have. It was the simple things. Not the productions. Christmas to a child is simply merry and bright. This was our first Christmas having a child at the age where they are starting to get it. The twinkle of a strand of lights. Driving past a neighbors home with a blow up Ho-Ho (Santa). One candy cane. Seeing a live camel in “Bethlehem”. An unexpected wrapped gift from a neighbor.  Decorating the tree. Sitting in big church for the first time and hearing the children’s choir. A candle. Adding to her felt advent calendar everyday in anticipation for adding baby Jesus. Learning the words to Away in a Manger and getting excited every time we hear it. Jingle bells. And a small taste of the childhood magic of Santa. I can go on but you know what I mean.

Christmas 2014

In these photos I see the simple moments we have had with our children. No, we did not get to all the events on “my list” but we made memories. We created new traditions and continued old traditions. We laughed. We sang. We ate. And the best moments were when we experienced life like a child. Many days I am so busy with my list of “shoulds”, rushing us through the day and then I hear from the back seat, “Look mama, lights!”. Or I see Mary Stewart and Charlie carrying around Mary and Joseph blocks and fighting over who gets to hold baby Jesus. And I have to ask myself, why do they get it and I don’t. They see so simply what is important and I miss it. HE is the reason for the season! I’m worried about how well my house is decorated and if I have the right gifts and not the gift that was born in a lowly manger so long ago. So this week I have been making more of an effort to focus on the real moments. It has not been perfect but it is a start.

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Here are photos from our month. Not all are food. Not all are perfect. But this has been our Christmas month. Be prepared there are a lot. It is hard for me to pick just a few…

Some of the food we made…

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A few of our projects…

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Decorating our tree…

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 Decorations around our house…

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Our family memories…

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And at the end of the day all we really want is joy, love and laughter.

Luke 2:14

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014

If you are still with me at this point, wow! Thanks for sticking around and seeing our simply merry and bright moments in December! May we remember to make memories and moments like this throughout the whole year!

Smile: Charlie is One

Charlie is one

I can not believe it has already been a year and Charlie is now one year old! There are many things to reflect on when I think back on the past year of my life learning to raise a little boy, but I have just one quick thought before this day is done.  This year has had its up’s, down’s, and many sleepless nights (as every year with a newborn has) but there has been one thing that has been constant, no matter how tired or weary I have been. It has been the one thing that has blessed me and was given to me, especially me, as a way to see life in a new way — Charlie’s smile. My boy can smile. It is a contagious and light-up-a-room smile. It is real and it infects you when you see it. When Charlie grins, you can’t help but grin back.  It is a gift and I pray that this smile leads him through his life. Charlie has brought our family so much joy this past year and I pray that as he grows and matures, we are able to love and guide him, as parents, to be a strong and loving man of God behind that amazing smile.

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From the beginning…

Isn’t that where you start something like this?!?

From the beginning?

But where exactly would that be. How do I tell you my story? Our story? I mean seriously, have you met us, we have a story. And if I do say so myself, it is a pretty good one, but that would be jumping ahead and sharing all the dirt before you have paid your dues and gotten to know us and we become friends. Because we will become friends!  So I guess we start right where we are now and hopefully in time, as you follow along, you will get to know us. So this is the beginning.

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