5 Favorite Things 4/17/13



Okay, so its a day late…but won’t be one “Favorite Thing” short…


My newfound 15 minutes of prayer time in the EARLY morning.  ‘Nuff said.


My lovely girl.

My lovely girl.

This little lady.  She completes our family in ways that I cannot and probably will never be able to express.  She consistently surprises me with her incredible faith.  For Christmas, I bought my husband The Brick Bible – Old Testament.  Girl took it over and read it cover to cover.  Started asking me questions like, “Why did people die when they touched the Ark of the Covenant?”  And when we would answer she would say “But why?”  So this week she brought her Lenten Prayer Book home.  Basically, scriptures her class read once a week and then their own reflection on that verse.  This was one of her many cool responses:

Ava's Lenten Journal


Sigur Ros Live

Sigur Ros Live

Sigur Ros…

I actually went to a real live grown up concert last weekend.  My sister, her husband, my husband and I spent a lot of money on tickets to stand on a concrete floor, get beer spilled on us*, get a secondhand high from the legal pot (thanks again Colorado), watch the opening act guy sit in a chair and flip knobs to make weird music (our theory was that he was checking Facebook) and lose count of all the following: plaid shirts, thick framed glasses, skinny jeans on men, beards,  – all in an attempt to watch one of my favorite all-time bands sing in a language I couldn’t understand. (literally.  they are Icelandic)  But when they began, really, NOTHING they did disappointed.  They are amazing.  If you haven’t yet, check them out.



Maybe a bit negative, but one of my favorite things is that I am NOT into CrossFit…

I’m sorry to all those Crossfitters, I know y’all love it and rock it and burpee the nights away, but its just not for me.  Speaking of my awesome sister, her hubs and her are doing the CrossFit thang, and while they were in town last weekend, we decided that on Saturday morning, we would go try out their friend’s CrossFit gym on Field Day.  My husband and I were – in all of our newfound workout cockiness – ready to do this.  Then it happened.  Basically, 3 rounds of partner competition (which included running 400 meters, rowing machine, endless pushups, jumprope, counter-intuitively lifting a 25 pound weight over my head, and 18″ box jumps) and I realized that though I can hang with the CrossFit people…I don’t wanna.  My legs and strange muscles in my feet I didn’t know existed told me so the next day and I’m pretty sure though the other women look awesome doing it, I look like the sad TRex above.  In fact, while searching for Mr. TRex, I entered “CrossFit” into my Pinterest search engine, and saw too many women who looked like they wanted to hurt me.  For those of you who love it, God speed…or make you do box jumps…or whatev.




CrockPot Turkey Quinoa Meatballs

In our quest to eat healthier and NOT have to make 2 meals for dinner so that our kids will stay alive, I came across this recipe.  It is hands-down one of my faves.  The kids love it…I love it…  They get whole wheat spaghetti, we get spaghetti squash…. which is awesome, as long as I get my sprinkle of parmesan.  If you like it, then I better put a link on it.

*Okay, so I spilled it on my sister’s leg and foot. Because, as usual, I was trying to multitask holding a cup in between my lips, while holding my phone in the other and switching my why-did-I-bring-all-this-crap purse onto my other shoulder)

5 Favorite Things


Okay, this is my first stab at this kinda linky thing.  I am a busy woman.  I am struggling with keeping pants on my 2 year old at any given moment much less tackling the Blog-to-English dictionary.  BUT, even as such, I have resolved to do more writing AND I just so happen to love MoxieWife (aka Hallie Lord), her blog, her fashion sense, her husband’s book Choosing Joy and her cool book Sex, Style & Substance .  I’m linking this up to her blog Moxie Wife.

And… I like favorite things.  I really do.  I am somewhat of a reserved emoter (is that even a word?) so you might not see me jumping up and down and screaming about my favorite things like a freaked out Oprah audience, but I think its a sweet practice to notice the little things that brighten your life week to week. Because, really, if mama ain’t happy…well…you know the rest.

So here goes:

1.  My Kindle

Look at her. Isn’t she pretty???  She’s not just looks either.  Girl’s got some brains to boot.  She allowed me, in post-Middle-School retreat exhaustion, to order a pizza from her and then continue reading only getting up to pay the pizza guy.  And then, right about nap time every day, and after a few chores, she lets loose a siren song so sweet and convincing, that I can no longer help myself.  I sweep her up and settle on the couch with Peppermint Tea, a blanket and a prayer that naptime last a tad longer.  And no, she does not have a name.  That would just be creepy.



Kindle Sister

2.  Peppermint Tea

I looooooove tea.  I drink probably a little too much of it.  Me, my tea and my Kindle are like besties every afternoon.  And since there are so many types of teas, I’ll be specific.  I tend to lean towards a local company, Celestial Seasonings, in Boulder (hippie capital only second to Berkeley) who started their business by gathering “herbs”  in the 70’s.  Uh huh.  But I’ve been on their tour, watched my husband don a hairnet for such, and walked into their Peppermint Room – and let me tell you, both figuratively and literally – it brought tears to my eyes.  Its gooooood stuff.


Minty Freshness

3.  Hillsong United – Zion Album

If you haven’t ever heard of Hillsong United and their music.  I am so sorry.  I really am.  Someone should have prompted you to know the existence of their music.  They have a way of weaving beautiful praise lyrics with incredible instrumentation to make one-of-a-kind stuff.  This album, Zion, though very different than their previous albums, might be my favorite.  In one word.  Ambient.  Loving it and especially the words of truth spoken in my favorite track “Oceans.”  See more in the pic below…

Soul Penetrating Oceans Lyrics

Soul Penetrating Oceans Lyrics

4.  Shakeology

I mentioned a post back about our incredible fitness journey.  One tool that has helped us tremendously is Shakeology.  Breakfast in a glass.  Previously, I didn’t have enough time to cram a piece of peanut butter toast in my mouth while yelling at the kids to get their shoes on for school and chugging coffee.  It was chaos – a moment every day when I was glad a reality show was not following us – but also, not so good for digestion.  Enter Shakeology.  The blender creations we have made have not only streamlined our mornings, but also our health.  And mom is a tad more sane every morn.




5.  The Outdoors

We live on Vaughn Street.  But its a cul-de-sac.  But called a street.  Confusing for many people who have tried to find our house, as you might guess.  But that cul-de-sac/street ends at a preserved Wetlands.  My 2 year old loves nothing more than to take a walk (which for him means running the entire time) through the wetlands and point out different things.  Him: “Duck” Me:  “No, Goose”  Him: “Sword” Me: “No, stick” Him: “Wolf.” Me: “No, that’s a dog.”  Anyway, you get the idea.  It is a delightful way to be present to my small man-child and spend some quality time together in God’s creation.  I love him & Him.

On our "walk"

On our “walk”

And so there you have it.  My week’s worth of favorite things.  Be well, my friends… and enjoy all your favorites today…



Proof that pre-Beachbody I ran a 5K... once.  I was thankful to be alive...

Proof that pre-Beachbody I ran a 5K… once. As you can see from the finish line, I was thankful to be alive.

I was one of those annoying people.  You probably know those people.  Weird people who don’t have to do anything to stay thin.  They eat what they want – with their speed-of-light metabolism – and seem to burn calories while using the remote control or knitting needles. You ask them how they seem to manage their svelte figure and they just giggle, wave a hand in your direction and say “Genetics” or something equally as puzzling to the average human.  I say “was” because my speed-of-light metabolism has slowed to an excruciating crawl… or maybe, a metabolism with a walker.  Somewhere between my 3rd pregnancy and now, I seem to have to watch what I eat… and –  wait for it  – work out!   Whaaaa?!?

To the above-referenced average human, I suppose you couldn’t really tell that I had packed on a few pounds in the past few years.  (Thank you, fashion industry, for all those flowy tops and empire wasted dresses that hide my fluffiness so chic-ly!)  But the fluff has slowly been accumulating – my jeans becoming harder to button… and  I ignored it.  Until January.

Conversion.  The root word – Latin – meaning “to turn.”  God is consistently surprising me with His twists and turns for my life.  And really, He can and does turn people on a dime…a million conversions happening to change the course of our lives.    He turns us more towards Himself – more fully of who we are made to be – with each one.  Maybe its a job, an idea, a school, a new friend – or an illness, heartache, loneliness or suffering – something happens that unexpectedly wakes us.  We go to bed one way, and wake up another.   That’s how my conversion happened in January.

For me, it was a professional disappointment.  Something happened that felt unfair and unsettling.  Because I had this overwhelming feeling of injustice, I felt rejected and invisible.  It seemed as though no one was there to fight for me.  I said a lot of little prayers that day.  With my self esteem seemingly at an all-time low, I prayed that I would see clearly who I really was and would hold my head up – to a higher purpose.  And so, I went to bed that night… and woke up to a new day… different.  I was ready to fight for myself.  I got out of bed that next morning and had the strange and unsettling urge to put in a workout DVD for the first time in months.  The DVD primarily consisted of kickboxing.  Kicking…punching… oh, sweet baby Moses, it felt good.  Don’t get me wrong… the good feeling was slightly outweighed by the fact that I couldn’t suck in enough oxygen and I lost a liter of water in sweat.  But, with each physical kick, I felt myself kicking the old beliefs away.  A slow realization came to me that I could – with God’s help – restore healing to myself.

I started looking into other workout programs and found P90X by Beachbody.  I inquired on Facebook whether anyone had a copy I could borrow…and lo and behold, found my coach.  This outstanding woman gave me a lot of direction and insight.  She had been where I was.  She knew the struggle of creeping towards 40 and not feeling right and feeling as though something was lacking.  She is a mom to 6 and was still able to lose weight, change her lifestyle and eventually become a certified TurboKick instructor.  With her help, I joined a 60 day challenge group with 16 other women from around the country.  We all dove in together… changed our diets, got up at the crack of dawn, had our children make fun of us, some dragged their husbands in on the adventure (such as my lucky hubs)… but we all had the ultimate goal in mind.  To convert the old way of thinking to the new.

We just finished the 60 day challenge.  I am back into those jeans… 16 pounds down… definition I’ve never had…. you’ll see more posts on this subject in the weeks to come.  I’m a believer!!  So much so that I signed on to help others as an independent Beachbody coach and will be seeking my own TurboKick certification in April.  I would’ve laughed at myself doing this 6 months ago.  My motto 6 months ago was “I only run when chased.”  Today, it feels right.  On good days, I feel discipline and strength seeping out of my pores.  On bad ones, its really not as glowingly awesome.  Some days it hurts… like that time I inadvertently punched myself in the face during a workout.  But oh the reward of knowing that God has made this way for me… turned me down this road… and given me the strength to fight for myself.

“Tribulations cannot cease until God either sees us remade or sees that our remaking is now hopeless.” C.S. Lewis

Fitness products we used:

TurboJam by Chaleane Johnson