Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April Ten on Ten

It's been a long while (as in back on my other blog) since I've participated in Ten on Ten, but I've been wanting too for a while and today it finally worked out.

If you don't know about Ten on Ten, check it out here.

Starting my day in the Word, because after yesterday I knew I needed it.

Coffee to get me moving.

Zucchini blossoms, can't wait to have some fresh produce.  

Little man with a busted lip.  Poor baby fell off a stool while brushing his teeth.

Playing Team GeoTrax with the little boys.  Best.toy.ever.

Smelling fresh roses when I walk out my front door.  Spring is here!

Quality alone time with elliptical machine. Alone time is so good for me.

Because everyone should have their heart completely wrecked while in Chick-fil-a.

This little man is just getting bigger everyday and he gives everything he does all that he has. I love him.

Nutella and croissants.  Enough said.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Instagram, FINALLY

I feel like I've been waiting for Instagram to come to Android forever.  Okay, not literally forever, but you know.  Well, it's finally here and I've got it!  I love it.  It's so easy to post pictures to it and make them look cool with the different settings and then it's super easy to share with facebook and twitter.
So, if you're not already on the Instagram bandwagon then jump on.  Make sure you look me up, heathereclark.  Let me know if you're on so I can follow you.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Quick Yummy Lunch

We've been busy round these parts. We're in full remodel mode right now trying to get our house ready to put on the market. Did I mention that we found the perfect house for our family in the perfect location for the perfect price? So, now we've got to get our little home ready to sell and get a movin'!!
That means I've been painting like a mad women, cleaning out our rooms/closets and donating all the junk we've accumulated over 9  years of living here, and trying to make some this house look like someone else's dream home.

In the busyness of it all it would be super easy to just grab lunch out while I'm making multiple runs to Home Depot or Lowe's.  I'm trying to avoid that though.  I've found a great lunch I can have here at home that's not only super quick, but also healthy.  I got some frozen salmon patties at Costco and I can cook those up in about 10 minutes.  They're great on a whole grain sandwich thin loaded with fresh spinach and smeared with some Laughing Cow Light cheese.  A side of apples is the perfect addition.  

Monday, March 5, 2012

Time Flies

Goodness gracious!  It's been so long since I've blogged.
Time flies when you're having fun and then it drags and drags when you're sicker that sick.

For a couple of weeks we were super duper busy and having lots and lots of fun.  The hubs and I went on two spectacular dates (we saw The Artist, which I highly recommend!! and we had dinner and a fabulous restaurant, Bess' Bistro, in downtown Austin).  I even curled my hair!
Yes, that's me in old school curlers.  I have 4 kids people!  I don't have time to use one of those fancy curling irons.

And I mean who wouldn't want to look their best for this guy?  He makes me weak in the knees.
We celebrated my sweet grandmother's 80 birthday.  Her favorite color is purple (she wanted to paint her entire house purple) so we all wore purple and had a wonderful surprise party for her.
I took lots of pictures of her and her eyes were closed in every single one.  BTW, all my grandparents are still living.  I am so blessed that not only do I get to enjoy spending time with them, but my kids are getting to know them too.

Then the sickness hit.  It.hit.all.of.us.  We all got a stomach bug.  It went through us one at a time, just dragging out the misery.  So we had about 12 days of being home bound and the hubs and I cleaning puke off the floor because several little ones couldn't make it to the bathroom/bucket to save their lives.

I think we're finally back to being semi-normal (you can only be a little normal in our family), so things are looking up!  I might actually get to hit the gym tomorrow.  Oh my word.  Time alone at the gym.  I can't wait.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Rapunzel, Rapunzel Let Down Your Long Hair

I mentioned the other day that I've been taking Biotin on a daily basis for my hair and nails.  I just wanted to take a quick minute to show you the proof that it really works. 

This picture is from September.  I had just gotten it cut and it hit right above my chest.

This picture is from this weekend.  My hair has probably grown 4 or 5 inches in 5 or so months.
My hair is in such better shape since I started using Biotin.  It's thicker, shinier, fuller.  It's just great. I get complimented on it all the time. 

I like to keep my nails short, but they're growing like crazy.  I have to clip them at least once a week to keep them the length that I want.  I used to have huge problems with my nails peeling (you know where they'd just sort of split apart at the top).  I don't have that problem anymore.  They're hard as rocks.

I got my Biotin at Costco.  You're supposed to take 3 pills and I split it up during the day.  I take one with each meal (along with my Fish Oil and CLA).  I think if I took it all at once it might upset my stomach.

Anyway, if you're wanting to grow your hair or nails out I definitely recommend taking Biotin.  It's for sure helped me.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What's Working For Me

I lost got rid of 4 pounds last week.  I haven't lost gotten rid of that much in a week since I did the detox.  I'm feeling great about it.

I wanted to share a couple of things that I've been doing that I really feel like have helped me to shed the pounds.

1.  I'm working out like a mad woman.  I'm doing an hour of cardio, plus strength training 5 times a week.  I've also thrown in several 90 minute Bikram Yoga classes on top of that.  Hello Calorie Burn!

2.  I'm being extremely mindful of every single thing I put in my mouth.  I'm trying to eat 100% clean foods (nothing processed).  The key word here is trying.  I've eaten 1/2 a whole wheat bagel thing several mornings and I ate several foods at our Super Bowl Party that weren't clean.  Overall though, it's been mostly clean.  For breakfast I usually eat 1/2 a whole wheat bagel thin topped with a couple of egg whites or steel cut oats with blueberries.  I also have some coffee with unsweetened vanilla almond milk.  For lunch I'll either have a Green Monster Smoothie or a big spinach salad.  For dinner I'll have some grilled chicken breast or salmon with brown rice and veggies.  If I get hungry during the day between meals I'll have a metabolic reset shake or an apple with some peanut butter.  It's all pretty boring food, but it's working for me right now.  I'm sure I'll get sick of it soon and have to jazz it up a little.
I'm also drinking a ton of water.  This hasn't really been an issue since I started doing Bikram.  It makes me so thirsty that I can't get enough water.

3.  I had a big talk with my hubs.  You know the one..."I'm fat.  I hate being fat.  I hate that you have a fat wife.  You deserve better.  So on and so forth."  He was so sweet and said I was beautiful and that he loved me, but he also said he doesn't want me to be unhappy and he wants me to be healthy.  So I asked him to keep me accountable for what I eat and how much I'm exercising.  He hasn't really had to say anything to me.  Just knowing he's watching has helped keep me in track.  He's awesome.

4.  I'm consistently taking a couple of supplements.  CLA, Fish Oil and Biotin.  I don't really know if these have helped me git rid of the weight, but I'm sure they're not hurting.  My body definitely needs the Omega 3 from the fish oil and the CLA is supposed to have good weight loss benefits.  Since I've been taking the Biotin my hair and nails have been growing like crazy!  My hair seems so much thicker and I know a lot less of it is falling out (it seemed like it never stopped falling out after I had my last baby).  Like I said, I don't know for a fact that these are helping, but I feel good about them.

That's about it.  There's no miracle pill or exercise, I'm just working hard to achieve the results that I want.  There you have it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Oh Bikram, How I Love Thee

I did my third Bikram yoga class this weekend and I'm hooked.  I love it.  It is so hot and so intense and so hard, but it is so good and I'm in love.

Seriously, I'm not sure I've ever sweated this much in my whole life.  It's 105 degrees in that room!  I look like I took a shower with my clothes on.
Here I am 15 minutes after I finish all sweaty and red faced.  Don't let the smile fool you.  I thought I might die.
If you know me you know I'm not a morning person, but I got up at 5:15 (yes in the AM!) and went to a 6 am class because that was the only time I could go.  That's how much I love this class.
Besides the fact that I nearly sweat to death and bend my body into positions that I didn't think were humanly possible another great thing about Bikram is that it makes it so easy for me to drink my 100 ounces of water.  I drink at least 32 ounces during the class and another 32 pretty soon after.  I have to or I feel like I might die.  I've been freezing my water before I go so that it starts to melt during the class and it stays nice and cold throughout the 90 minutes.
If you haven't tried a Bikram class yet you really should.  I was afraid I would be the biggest person in the class and the least flexible, but that wasn't the case at all.  I felt totally comfortable and I'm so glad that I am going.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Best Friends, Best Super Bowl Party

I seriously believe that I have the best friends in the whole world. They are amazing. We love each other like family and I can't imagine my life without them.

This weekend they threw the best Super Bowl Party ever. They've got an enormous front yard and set up a screen to watch the game outside and brought out a couch, chairs, and fire pit. There was also TONS of yummy food. I contributed chips and salsa and Pioneer Woman BBQ Jalapeno Poppers.

Here's Jerad and Eli in front of the fire pit ready to watch the game!
The boys got to make some s'mores, which they thought was awesome.
It was kinda cold so we enjoyed the game snuggled under a blanket on the couch. My oldest may have been a little worried about the game.
Here's me with three of my little rascals and Lindsay with her one little football player. I love her boy and you can see how much Seth loves her!

One of the great things about my friends is that when they get an idea in their head they go all out.  They decided they wanted to use the Super Bowl as a way to meet more people in their neighborhood.  They put fliers on the doors of houses all around the neighborhood and invited everyone to the party.  Lots of people they'd never met before stopped by and hung out.  It was incredible.  I see lots of movie nights in their yard coming up in the future and they are going to make a huge impact on their community (did I mention that Lindsay and her husband both teach at the same high school?  She works with the "at risk" kids and he's the Athletic Director and Head Football Coach.).   

I am so thankful for the people God chose to put in my life.  They make life fun and are there when life isn't fun and help make it better.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Lord, Send Me

Everyday I pray for God to send people to help rescue those that are in slavery.  The children in bondage, the women and men enslaved around the world.  I pray that God would raise up an army to rescue the helpless and hurting and oppressed.  I pray that He would move in the hearts of people to take a stand against modern day slavery and bring redemption to those that have been sold as property and not valued as human life.

Today I stopped praying all those things.  I stopped asking for God to send someone and I started asking for God to send me. 
Lord, use my hands to loose the bonds of wickedness and undo the heavy burdens, and let the oppressed go free  Isaiah 58:6

Lord, use my feet to go to where others will not go, to walk the path You've laid out before me

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:  
"Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?"  
Then I said, "Here am I!  Send me."  
Isaiah 6:8

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Love 146

My heart breaks
My soul weeps and mourns
2 Children
Every Minute
Sold In Slavery
Help Stop Child Sex Trafficking 
Love Protects~Love Defends~Love Restores~Love Empowers
LOVE 146

Love146 History from LOVE146 on Vimeo.

 Isaiah 58:6
loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New Things

I met one of my goals this weekend and tried Bikram Yoga for the first time!  It was so hard, but so good.  There was only one pose that I 100% could not do.  The rest of them I was at least able to attempt.  If you're in the Austin area and looking for a place to do Bikram Yoga I highly recommend Pure Bikram.  I had a great first experience.  The staff was super friendly and it was a great class.  I'm going back tonight!

Another new thing....I reached a new low weight on this journey!  181!  I was beginning to feel like I'd never see the scale move down, but it is and I couldn't be happier.  I'm exercising a ton and being extremely mindful of everything I eat.  No processed foods, mainly raw and organic, almost totally vegetarian.100% Clean Eating.  I've also been consistently taking CLA and Omega-3 Supplements.

And finally, this little man turned 5 on Monday!  How in the world did that happen?  He asked to play glow in the dark mini golf with friends and then have a small family party, so that's what we did.  It was perfect.  I love him to pieces.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Perfect Night

A late night around our fire pit after the babies were tucked in bed was just what this girl needed.

Time with just the hubs to talk about the future.
Our house plans.
Growing our family.

Oh and several s'mores.  S'mores consumed with my man around an open flame.  Perfection. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Feeling Hard Pressed

The past couple of weeks have been tough. 
Last night my husband asked me what was wrong and I told him that I felt hard pressed.  I told him that I knew there was a verse in the Bible that said something about being hard pressed on every side and that's how I was feeling.  I'm feeling defeated in my parenting, attacked in my marriage, depressed, failing at friendships, seeing friends walk away from marriages and God, frustration in my fitness and diet, exhaustion, and the list goes on.  Like I said, hard pressed.  Right now it seems like I can't find a way out of the hole that I'm in and it's dark and filled with nastiness. 
I hate being here.  I hate it.
Today I decided to actually look up the verse I was thinking of and see if God had anything to say to me about this feeling of being hard pressed on every side.

Oh did He have something to say.  Thank you Lord, for saying something. 
Here is the scripture in the entire context of the chapter:
2 Corinthians 4
1 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
 13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Twice this passage says "we do not lose heart".  Oh how I needed to read those words.  I've been losing heart.  God can renew me if I'll let Him.  I've been turning my heart from Him and seeking my comfort in other things.  Why didn't I turn to Him?  He's the only one that can heal this broken heart I've got inside of me. 
He reminded me today of the path He's brought me down, this life He's allowing me to live.  It's not been easy and yes, at times I feel hard pressed.  But friends, I am NOT crushed, I am NOT in despair, I am NOT abandoned, and I am NOT destroyed. 
The light of Jesus shines in my heart and I know that He is my only hope.  I hold on to that hope with white knuckles never letting go. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Green Monster Smoothie

I've been seeing Green Monster Smoothies all over Pinterest recently and finally decided to give it a try.  I found this recipe on Iowa Girl Eats used it because I had almost everything it called for already in the house.

Here's my Green Monster
I made this with a couple of variations to the original recipe.  She used frozen bananas, but I didn't have any, so I just used a fresh one.  Also, she used greek vanilla yogurt and I used fat free regular vanilla yogurt.  Other than that everything was the same.
Truthfully I was a little leery.  I mean I combine spinach with apples and carrots all the time and juice it, but I've never just put in a blender with something else.  I really thought it wouldn't taste good, would be gritty, just yucky.  Guess what?  It wasn't.  Actually, it was really good.  Very peanut buttery, which is a plus in my book because I'm not a huge banana fan. 
I'm having a really hard time getting all my fruits and veggies in everyday, so this is a great way to sneak some into my diet.  I'm not sure it will be an everyday thing (it's about 350 calories), but definitely a couple of times a week.
So, if you haven't tried a Green Monster Smoothie, go ahead and try it.  You won't be disappointed.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Biggest Loser Cookbook Review

Recently I was browsing through the cookbook section of our local Half-Price Books (it's a used bookstore, in case any of you haven't heard of it).  I came across The Biggest Loser Cookbook and it was $7.98.  After flipping through it and seeing some good looking recipes I decided to bring it home.

I've made several recipes out of this cookbook and they've all been great.  We particularly liked the Sweet and Spicy Pork Tenderloin and the Strength Builder's Stuffed Mushrooms.  All the recipes I've made so far (about 10) have been very easy to follow and easy to make.  I also appreciate that the recipes include how many servings each recipe makes and then the nutritional value for each serving.
So, if you're looking for a cookbook that's got some healthy meal options, that are also delicious, go pick this one up.  I don't think you'll be disappointed.

**Just to be clear, I wasn't asked to do a review of the book, or given the book for free by anyone associated with it.  I found it at the bookstore, bought it and tried it at home.  I just wanted to share a good cookbook with you all.**

Friday, January 20, 2012

I Ruined Date Night

As you know, one of my personal goals for 2012 was to plan 12 great date nights.  Last night was one of those nights.  We met some friends at a very nice restaurant for dinner and then went to see The Civil Wars at the Paramount Theater.  Amazing, right?
Wrong.  I ruined it.  It all started when my husband was running a few minutes late.  Instead of chilling out and getting things ready so that we'd be good to go when he did get home, I got stressed and mad, and frustrated and mean.  He walked in with pizza for our sitter and boys and I told him we needed to go.  No "glad your home, honey," no "thanks for getting the pizza," no kiss.  Just, "we need to go."  Then he walked back in the house with flowers.  Some of my favorite flowers.  I think I mumbled a thank you under my breath and repeated that we needed to go.  We got in the car, fought traffic in silence, and finally made it to the restaurant where we were meeting our friends.  It was packed, so I start to get more frustrated.  I'm short with him when he asks me questions.  I'm short with him when he makes some suggestions.  I was so unkind.  I knew he was upset and I really did absolutely nothing to make it better.
Then, we headed to the concert at one of the most beautiful theaters I've ever been in.  The opening act was AMAZING!  Seriously check them out, The Staves.  Then The Civil Wars came out and they rocked it.  One of my favorite concerts.  They're so good.  And the whole time I'm sitting there thinking about what a complete jerk I've been to my sweet husband all night and how this should have been a great night seeing one of our favorite groups perform live, and I'm ruining it.  Of course we're in the middle of a sold out performance, so it's not like I can lean over and apologize and try to make things right.  It just sucked. 
We had both been looking so forward to this night.  We paid our babysitter a lot of money to enjoy some time together, and we didn't really enjoy it.
Why did I do this? Honestly, I have no idea.  That's a lie.  I have an idea.  I haven't read my Bible in a few days and my attitude with everyone has been foul.  I'm short tempered, I'm cranky, I'm miserable to be around.  Notice the lack of blog posts this week?  Yeah, there's a reason.  I'm in no mood to air my crappy crapfest to anyone. 
We got home late and went to bed.  We got up this morning and went our separate ways.  I've got major repairs to do tonight to our relationship, but I'm not going to bed until they're done.  My husband deserves so much better from me.  He is my best friend, my biggest supporter, my warrior, my prince charming, my rock and roll heart throb.  And I'm his...well, last night I was his adversary.  I tore him down and stomped on him.  I love this man of mine and he's worth every apology I need to make, worth every tear I'll probably shed, worth every bit of me, and worth so much more.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I'm Still Around

I'm so sorry I haven't been posting.  Thank you to everyone that's been reading my blog.  Life got super super busy over the last several days and I just haven't had time to sit down at the computer and write up a blog post.  I haven't been slacking on my big goals though!
I've been reading my Bible daily (can't wait to share some of things I've been learning).
I've been spending lots of great time with my hubster and my kiddos.  We even went to the zoo!  So much fun to be had with those little guys.
I'm counting calories and seeing some changes and I'm getting in all my water.
Oh, I'm also working on the Couch to 5K.  I did week two again today, but I think I'll be ready to move on to week three by the end of this week.  Woohoo!  I'd really like to read some running books (you know, how to start running and avoid injuries, how to increase your speed/distance, etc).  So if any of you runners out there have any recommendations I would love them.  I've got an amazon gift card that I can't wait to use!
Again, sorry for not posting, but life is great.  I'll try to get back to regular posting asap.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Encouraging My Husband and Counting Calories

So, one of my new years resolutions was to encourage my husband more.  I am so thankful for all he does for our family, but I know I don't let him know how much I appreciate him nearly enough.  I decided that this year I would be consistent in showing him my gratitude and appreciation.  I've been sending him texts throughout the day just to let him know I'm thinking about him, love him, miss him, etc.  I've also been making sure to have his favorite drink ready with dinner (since I usually only drink water sometimes it's easy to forget to make his stuff), making sure he's got clean clothes, you know just stuff that makes him feel good.  Well, he doesn't read my blog, which is totally fine with me.  So, he had no idea that this is one of my resolutions, but I can tell that he's noticing.  His moods when he gets home have been a lot better (usually he's just really tired and wants to go unwind in a room alone, but now he's coming home and hanging out with us).  He's been super affectionate towards me and the other day he stopped on his way home and picked up a little something for me.
The Adele 21 album!!!!  I was so excited.  I've been wanting this cd for a while, but we're trying to be wise with our money and so I haven't bought it.  It meant so much to me that he got this for me.  It was encouraging to me because it meant that he was thinking of me during the day while he was away.  I didn't resolve to encourage him more so that he would do things for me, but this sure was nice : )

In health/fitness related news, I've decided to start counting calories again.  I haven't done this in a while, but I realized that I really have no idea how many calories I'm actually eating each day.  When I lost the 75 pounds 4 years ago I counted everything.  So, I know that, for me, in order to see the numbers on the scale getting smaller I need to do it again.  It's a pain to figure everything out, but in the long run it's totally worth it.  Counting calories also really helps me be conscience of what I'm eating and not just randomly eat through out the day.  I think it's gonna be a good thing.

Speaking of calories (and because I just want to share the pictures), we consumed some extra calories last night in honor of the littlest man's birthday.

Isn't he just the cutest thing ever!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Happy Birthday Littlest Man!

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!  How in the world are you 2 already?  These two years have flown by.  You are a complete joy.  Always happy (except when football or basketball games get interrupted by commercials), a huger, a giggler, a singer, a precious little bundle of energy.  You keep up with your big brothers and amaze us all with your independence.
Thank you for being a part of our lives.  God's got big things for you.  I pray you'll grow to love Him with your whole heart.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Favorite Candy of All

Oh my goodness.  It's that time of year again when every trip to the store is a test in will power, a struggle to stay in control.  It's time for Easter Candy.  My favorite candy in the whole world are Cadbury Creme Eggs.  These little things are like crack.  As a kid it was the only candy I got in my Easter basket because all the other junk was worthless to me.  So, when I walked in the grocery store and saw the little section of Easter Candy already out (good grief we just finished Christmas and haven't even had Valentines yet!) I got a little giddy.  Folks, I've been known to buy a 4 pack of these little beauties and eat them in the car on the way home.  It's bad news for me.
However, I fully believe in moderation not deprivation.  So, I bought one and only one.  I knew if I bought more to have later I'd never make it to later.  I didn't devour it in the car on the way home.  I waited until I got home and enjoyed it.  I might buy another one before the Easter season is over, but being deliberate about just purchasing one and not going crazy like a starved maniac really put me in a good mindset.  If I have another one it's no big deal, but I'm perfectly content with the one I've had and I don't feel the need to rush out to the store to get more.

Look!  Isn't it pretty? : )  I know, I have a problem.

In other news, I started week 2 of Couch to 5K.  It was hard.  I wasn't feeling great and I ran and walked slower than I did during week 1.  Oh well, at least I completed all the running segments, so I guess at this point it doesn't matter how fast or slow I go.

Here's my stats on the run.  I know you're probably not interested in this part, but putting it on the blog helps me keep track.

I also did some lower body weights (for the first time since my hernia surgery...it was hard) and then I got on the elliptical machine, but just for 10 minutes because I was hurting from the weights.

Have a great Tuesday everyone!  My littlest man turns 2 tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Working On My Goals

Last week I started working on the goals that I set up for 2012.  Overall I think I did fairly well.  
Here's a quick run down on some of the things I worked on. 
Personal Goals 
Love Jesus More--It's really neat to see how God really knows our heart and wants to give us what we ask for.  I know Jesus wants me to love Him more, and He knows I want that too.  I lead a mom's group through my church and this morning we had a leadership meeting.  We're getting ready to start a new book and they told us that the main goal of this time we're going to spend together is that we will love Jesus more.  I love it!  

Read the Bible Daily--I've done better on this one than I ever have in the past.  Usually I make it two or three days and then start skipping, but I've read my Bible every single day this week.  I can honestly say that it's made a huge difference in my attitude and affected working on my other goals.

Read the Bible to My Boys Daily--We've only missed one night of reading the Bible to the boys and that was because we were out really late and they were exhausted and ready for bed.  They're loving the time we're taking to read to them and they're asking lots of questions about the stories were reading.  I love seeing their enthusiasm for God.

Read 12 Books--I'm currently reading Missional Moms, so that will be the first book I complete this year.  I'm going to review it when I'm done (I've got three chapters left).

Plan 12 Dates with My Hubs--I've started brainstorming different ideas for fun dates (not just dinner and a movie) and I think I've got some good ones.  I've already got January's date all planned out and I'm working on February.  I can't wait to post about them!

Plan 12 Family Days/Nights--We spent Saturday hiking around Lake Georgetown as a family.  It was so fun.  The weather was perfect (mid-70s) and we had a blast spending time together.  

Say Yes to My Kids More--The boys are always asking to go to the bike park.  It's a huge pain.  It used to be better because I had borrowed a friends bike carriage and could load up the little two and we'd all ride to the park together, but I had to give that back because they needed it and so now I don't have one.  So, I have to load the bikes in the back of my car (they barely fit) and haul it all to the park.  However, I decided to stick to my goal and say yes.  I picked the boys up at school on Friday and surprised them with already having the bikes in the car and taking them to park.  We spent a great afternoon racing up and down the dirt tracks and hills.  I'm so glad I said yes!

Keep the House Cleaner--Um, this is a work in progress, but I am working on it.  

Encourage My Hubs on a More Consistent Basis--I haven't been great about this one.  My goal for this week is to do at least one unexpected thing that encourages him.

Encourage My Boys on a More Consistent Basis--I actually read an article last week that talked about how to encourage your kids and it had some really great information.  One of the things it said was that as the kids get older you have to get more specific in your encouragement.  For instance, when my oldest held the baby's hand in the parking lot instead of saying, "thanks for helping" I said, "thank you for holding his hand.  It made it a lot easier for me to get everyone in the car and I really appreciated that you took care of him without me having to ask you to do it."  He's taken his little brother's hand every single time we've been in the parking lot since then.  That one statement made a huge impact to him.  I've also been doing similar things with the other two and I'm seeing great results.

Manage Our Money (Stay on Top of the Budget)--Again, working on this one, but the book I'm reading has some good ideas and I'm looking forward to sharing how I put them to practice when I review the book.

Find a Way to Get Involved in the Fight Against Human Trafficking--I'm doing lots of research and I've done a blog post about this.  I'm also praying that God will provide opportunities for me to get involved.
Health/Fitness Goals
5+Fruits/Veggies a Day--I haven't done well in this one yet, but that's because of my wisdom teeth surgery.  I saw my oral surgeon on Friday though and he gave me the go ahead to eat normal food, so this should be better this week.

100 ounces of Water a Day--I haven't reached this yet, but I'm definitely seeing improvement.  I think it will happen this week.

Exercise 5 Times a Week--DONE!  Woohoo!  I hit the gym four times and I'm counting our hike as exercise because it was almost two miles.

Run a 5K--I am doing the Couch to 5k program and it's going great.  I think I'll be moving to week two this week.

Run a 10K--Still working on the 5k, but I know I'll get there.

Run a Half Marathon--See above.

Get Under 150 pounds--I lost 4 pounds this week, but I know it's because my food intake was pretty limited due to my wisdom teeth removal, so I'm expecting a little bit of it to come back on.  I know I'll do this!

Try Bikram Yoga--Not yet, I need to get a little more confidence.

Try a Body Pump Class--See above : )

Try an RPM Class--See above : )
Complete a 10 Day Detox--I'm trying to decide when a good time to do this will be, but I'm thinking sometime before Valentines.

Blog 5 Times a Week--Working on it : )

Here are some pictures from our fun times this weekend.

At the bike park!

 Enjoying a family hike!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Stop Human Trafficking

Did you know that today over 27 million men, women, and children are held as slaves?  Yes, modern day slavery exists.  Until last year I had no idea.  I live in a bubble.  I take my kids to school, I go to the grocery store, we go to church, and I don't know what goes on in the world around me.  It's shameful.

Last year a group came to our church to sell fair trade goods.  I'd never heard of fair trade goods.  Why would someone need to sell them at my church.  That's when I first hear about human trafficking.  I bought some gifts for family members, got a cute purse, and went on my way.

Several months later I went to another fair trade sale to pick up some more items and saw a booth where they were selling bracelets for $3.  $3, now I can hang with that.  I went to check it out and found out it was The Red Thread Movement.  I found out they help stop women and children from being sold into slavery in Nepal.  I found out that it is estimated that 30-40,000 women and girls are being trafficked from Nepal to India every year to be sold into sexual slavery.  WHAT????  How did I not know this?  How did I not realize this was happening?  I bought my bracelet and several other things and felt a little better.

Then I came home and started doing some research.  I found out nearly 2 MILLION children are exploited in global commercial sex trade.  2 MILLION!  This is heart breaking.  Oh, and it's not just happening in far off countries.  It's estimated that over 100,000 children are exploited here, in the United States.  That is sickening.

Here's a quick fact for you:  After drugs, human trafficking is the second largest criminal enterprise in the world.  That's huge people!

The more I read, the more I researched, the more sick and angry I became.  Then I was at my parents and something came on the news about human trafficking and my dad said, "I don't get it.  What is this?  How are people trafficked?"  That's when I realized that it wasn't just me that didn't know about it.  There are tons of people in the world that are unaware that people are sold into slavery every single day.

Well, I'm sick of it.  I'm sick of sitting by and feeling helpless and praying that God will send Jesus to take us all home so that all this will end.  I'm sick of feeling like I sit in my bubble and can't do anything.  I can't do it anymore.  It's time for me to fight.  It's time for me to get passionate about something that breaks my heart.

So, this year I've resolved to do something about it.  I won't sit by while people are sold into bondage.  Apparently, the President agrees with me.  President Obama has declared January National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.  There are so many ways to get involved and you're going to start seeing lots of them here on my blog.  Start by checking out International Justice Mission.  They've got lots of good resources and ways to get involved.  Stand up for people that can't stand up for themselves.  Make a difference.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Off on the Right Foot

Well, today was the first day after I made all my Resolutions and I have to say that it went fairly well, considering. You know, considering I just got my wisdom teeth out, so I can't eat solid foods, and considering we had a mild crisis and ended up taking a kid to doctor. Yep, pretty well considering.

 I did get up early and read my Bible. That's one of the biggest things I want to accomplish this year. Consistently reading the Bible in the mornings so that it will set the tone for the rest of my day. I'm reading through John and I'm approaching it more like a book rather than just picking a couple of verses or a chapter to read. It's going much more smoothly and a lot of things make more sense to me when I read it like that, so it's good. I also signed up to do the Hello Mornings Challenge over at Inspired to Action and I'm super excited about it.  It's another way to keep me accountable to spending time in the Word and exercising.

After my time reading I got the boys up to get ready for school and made them breakfast.  They were supposed to be getting dressed, but when I checked on them my oldest was laying on the floor in just his jeans.  I asked what was going on he said his heart hurt.  Now, this is a kid who never complains about being sick, never wants to miss school, etc, so I knew to take him seriously.  Honestly, this has been happening more and more frequently (about once every 10-14 days he'll say his chest hurts and want to lay down, but then in a few minutes he's fine and ready to go...so I didn't worry about it too much), but it scared me today so I called the doctor.  Our pediatrician got us in and listened and looked at everything.  He's not sure what's going on so we're seeing a pediatric cardiologist tomorrow.  If you pray, I would appreciate your prayers.  I'm a scared mom.  It's his heart.  It's scary.

We ran a few errands and had lunch at Panera so that I could have some soup.  Broccoli Cheese soup counts as a serving of vegetables, right?  I am beyond ready for my mouth to heal and be able to eat real food.  Jello and soup is not where it's at.

This afternoon we went to the gym and I rocked it.  I repeated yesterday's run, since I didn't finish it well yesterday.  I did all the runs and intervals and never felt like I was going to die.  It was hard, but I wasn't about to hurl.  I did 1.9 miles in 30 minutes.  Not too bad.  I've definitely done worse during week one before.

After the run I was still feeling good and so I got on the bike and pounded out another 6 miles.  It felt great to get in more exercise.  I've been missing it.  Oh, don't let the time elapsed  number on the picture fool you. It reset after 28 minutes because of the program I was doing.  I went for 31 minutes and 25 seconds.

So, I didn't meet some of my goals, but I did meet several of them and that's great with me.  2012 is off to a good start.