Thursday, February 11, 2016


{found via mama glow}

yesterday peter and i started a two week cleanse. i wasn't going to post about it for a few more days because apparently today and tomorrow are when it's supposed to feel rather terrible. i'm not looking forward to it, but i am trying to stay positive - i don't want to feel terrible just because i'm *supposed* to feel terrible. i don't want to feel terrible if i don't actually feel terrible.
that placebo effect can be wicked.

anyway, the biggest thing we're eliminating is sugar. as in, all sugar. we can have meat, veggies, eggs, some nuts, coffee {otherwise i'd not be doing it}, water, and real cheese. basically. 

no carbs, no grains, no fruit, no legumes, no milk. and of course, no sugar.

and sugar has become completely ubiquitous in our society. seriously. it's in everything.

we started talking about doing this cleanse about a month ago, and so i've started paying closer attention to ingredient lists. and it's in so much. in many things it's a trace amount, but it's there. so one thing i'm looking forward to {since i have a wicked sweet tooth} is becoming more sensitive to sugar again. becoming more sensitive to sweetness. it's just like anything else - ahem, any other addiction; once your body becomes accustomed to sugar you need more of it for something to taste as sweet. and i say this because i'm 100% sure i'm addicted to sugar. 

but at the end of this cleanse i'm looking forward to really noticing how my body reacts to certain food. i'm looking forward to discovering how sweet food really is, but i'm also looking forward to really understanding how i react to other food as well.

and i want to see what happens when i exercise. part of the argument for reducing sugar is that when we exercise our bodies burn sugar first. in order to really burn fat when exercising we essentially have to burn through the sugar in our bodies first.

i think we've forgotten that food can be the best medicine. i know if i start feeling bad i don't often think it's because of something i ate. i don't often relate my sluggishness or my energy to food. sure, if i'm exercising i think about whether or not i had enough fuel {usually sugar-filled fuel}. if i just finished a cup of coffee and i get an energy boost i relate it to that, but generally speaking i don't think about my energy levels relating to the food i put in my body. 

and part of it is that people react differently to different food. there's no one dietary prescription that works for everyone.

the simplest way i've seen it broken down in a way that makes sense is from michael pollan - eat real food. mostly plants.

but that is pretty tough to do in our world. it is so tough to consistently get real food with no additives and no added sugar {or other crap like that}.  and it's tough to go grab a bite to eat with people if you have a lot of dietary restrictions. it's kind of ridiculous in a way that your diet can inhibit community. {although the community inhibitors in our society will have to be reserved for another post - there's a lot to unpack there.}

in any case... have any of you tried a cleanse like this? what have you found when you add restricted food back into your diet?

i'd love to hear what you've discovered!


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

6 weeks into forever

last night i started thinking about all sorts of crazy life things. peter and i have been talking about where we'll go on our 10th anniversary trip, and it made me think about how crazy time is. it made me think about how crazy it is that we've been married for almost 10 years. how crazy it is that once we hit 11 years i'll have had his name for half as long as i had my own.

and then i started thinking back to the very beginning. we went on our first date at the beginning of november, started "officially" dating at the beginning of december, and i knew i wanted to marry him by mid-january.

that in and of itself is rather crazy - which is probably why i didn't tell anyone back then. i remember exactly where i was sitting, but i couldn't tell you what state i was in at the time.

i was on a road trip with the family i nannied for, and deeann and i were talking about life, and marriage, and she was telling me about some of the more mundane, everyday things that are part of marriage.

after that conversation i wrote in my journal for a bit while all of the kiddos were content in the car. i wrote about how i knew in that moment that i wanted to be the one to make sure that peter had clean socks and deodorant every day.

i wanted to make sure that he was taken care of even in the simple little everyday mundane things.

it wasn't some huge grand gesture that made me want a life with him. it was knowing that i wanted him to be next to me every day. i wanted him to be the one i do this whole life thing with. i wanted him to be the one i was next to even when we had to do all the boring stuff.

that was in january of 2003.

as weird as it is that i "knew" when we were only 6 weeks into forever, the year we got engaged {3 years after we started dating} peter told me he knew even sooner.

he doesn't have a deodorant and socks story, but he said by the time we rang in 2003 he knew we would ring in all of our new years together.

of course this isn't to say there weren't ever any doubts. in fact he almost waited too long to pop the question. i wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, but if he wasn't going to ask me to, i wasn't going to wait around for much longer.

and then he did.
and as they say - the rest is history.

it's so strange now to think back to the inches of life. sometimes one little thing shifting one little bit wouldn't have made any difference at all. other times it changes everything.

it's like that story that emilio estevez tells in the mighty ducks - "a quarter of an inch, charlie".

most sports are games of inches. they are games of skill, and games of luck - both. and you need both.

but life also comes down to a whole lot of "inches". literal and metaphorical inches. when you stop to think about how close everything is to being entirely different it's kind of crazy. we don't know exactly what would have happened had something shifted even just a fraction of an inch. {this is why that "if only..." game we all play is pointless at the end of the day. we have no idea how things would've gone down. we have no idea what all would've been affected had that one thing happened differently.}

we don't know what the future holds.

we don't know what the future holds, but just like the timing of our engagement 10 years ago, i have to trust that i know who holds the future. i have to trust that God is in control of everything.

i have to trust that he is at the center of the greater story. because that's the only way life makes sense to me. otherwise we're all just striving after the wind.

i know that sounds rather melancholy in some ways, but it's not meant to be. because our lives don't have to be just about us. they are part of a larger story. we are part of a larger story.

we get to take part in something much bigger than ourselves.
and that is nothing short of amazing.


Friday, February 5, 2016

some days

{found via pinterest from the artful parent}

some days are harder than others. some days are better than others. this is simply true. as a parent it somehow feels even more true, but i think that's just due to the mood swings which accompany toddlers and preschoolers.

our days are often like chapter 3 of ecclesiastes: "there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: ...a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance..."

except all of these "times" happen back to back in quick succession - sometimes within the space of about 15 minutes.

but at the end of the day some days you take a deep breath and smile at the snuggles and the laughter and the silliness. you smile so big because your big preschooler is learning how to go to the potty without any assistance, and your toddler is learning more words, and you somehow have a sweet nostalgia for the time that's right now. you remember to enjoy the moments as they're happening as he makes up his own games, and better articulates what he's thinking and feeling. you remember to appreciate the toddler snuggles for the few seconds they happen each day, and love how you can see her little mind working as she runs to the stairs to go down to the kitchen at snack-time, or runs to the door when you ask her if she wants to go outside.

those are the days and the moments you want to remember. the ones that will show up in the memories of "the good old days" later.

other days the deep breath at the end of the day sounds more like a sigh, and you shake your head at the food thrown all over the place at dinner because someone didn't want to just sit in her seat when she was all done. you shake your head at the melt down about having dinner served in the wrong bowl. you need some meditation time so you don't lose your ever-loving mind at the up and down the stairs because someone has gotten out of bed to go potty - again. and you need some wine for the injuries they sustained while deliberately disobeying what you asked them to do.

or the morning {that may or may not be happening right now} when you wake up early to spend time with Jesus, and have a chance to write and drink some coffee before the kids wake up, only to have your toddler wake up 1 ½ hours early, and not fall back asleep; and your preschooler wake up 1 hour early, and go through three of his overnight pull-ups just so he has an excuse to come out of his room.

of course it's the one morning of the week when your husband leaves the house early to do a book study with some guys so you can't really get mad at him for trying to become a better husband and father, even if at this moment being a better husband and father feels much less like leaving early than being here to help wrangle the children back to bed.

and it's on these days when i try {some days not as hard as i should} to remember back to the years of trying and failing to have a baby. i think back to the nights when i would have given up my right arm for the chance to put my child back in bed for the fourth time. i think of those moments of heartbreak when i would have cried so many happy tears had i known i would one day wipe away the tears of my kids.

i try to remember how thankful i am for these two little miracles who drive me crazy on a daily basis.

some days require more patience and fortitude than others. and some days are wrapped up with all the good stuff. but most days are peppered with a bit of both.

some days i'm a better mom than others. some days my patience gets worn down and tired in the first hour they're awake. other days i last for two. some days i have to ask for a lot of forgiveness from my kids, and my refrain turns into "i'm sorry i yelled {again}."

these are the days when i end up sitting on the couch in the evening with a bag of m&ms. the days when i have to stop and remind myself once again of that old refrain: this too shall pass.

i love them so much it hurts. and as much as i appreciate some time away one of my favorite things is to come back to them, and see their faces light up.

i know one day their faces will not light up when they see me. they won't really miss me when i'm gone, and they may actually prefer the times when they're apart from me. but for now, for now i will enjoy those moments. i will store them up and ponder them in my heart.

one day my son will not wake up early just because he wants to sit and snuggle with his mama. one day my daughter will not run to me as soon as i walk in the door, and immediately start waving bye-bye to whichever baby-sitter was watching her at the time.

so for now i will try to be grateful. i will try to be grateful for the early wake-ups and the sadness that accompanies my leaving. i will try to be grateful for the moments that show me how much they love me even if those moments make things a little bit harder at the time.

i will be grateful that i get to be their mama. even when it's hard. because it is hard.
but just like anything else, i think the hard is a big part of what makes it great.
{just like tom hanks says in a league of their own. "the hard is what makes it great." and yes, i've referenced that before.}

happy friday, friends!


Thursday, February 4, 2016


{found via pinterest from}

lately i've had a horrible case of wanderlust. there are many reasons that contribute to this building urge to go on an adventure. i think the biggest one is probably that we haven't had much of a true vacation in a while. i haven't been to many new and exciting places in the last couple of years. we've traveled plenty to visit people, but it has been quite a while since we went somewhere with the sole purpose - or at least the primary purpose - of seeing the sights.

i miss that. i miss taking trips like that.

now i'm trying to think of the best place to go for our anniversary this fall. our kids are younger than we anticipated when we first started talking about our 10 year anniversary trip, so we won't be going to britain  - just the two of us - like we originally hoped. we decided that a long weekend will have to suffice, and now it just comes down to the where.

we don't want to spend a ton of money, but we do want to go somewhere we haven't really seen before, and unfortunately it will need to be in the same, or a neighboring, time zone. but as i've thought about it more i have realized that for as much as i enjoy being home, and as much as i like our house, and our neighborhood, and staying put for a bit after the go-go-go of the holidays; i want to go somewhere new. i want to experience something i've never seen before.

this isn't to say there aren't a million places i'd love to go back to, but there are also so many amazing places i've never been.

even trying to pick a place within two time zones in this country is incredibly difficult. but once you open it up to the whole world, and i think about all the places i want to go? it makes me want to start my own nomadic tribe and just go. i have no idea how i'd fit all of my shoes into the closet of an rv, but it'd be fun to try. {peter doesn't need any clothes or shoes, right? exactly.}

granted i also love having a place to really come home to, but that whole tiny house thing is looking better and better the more i think about it.

i want to climb mountains. i want to see the northern lights. i want to see lantern festivals. i want to take a canoe through canterbury. i want to visit the great wall of china. i want to see the highlands of scotland. i want to experience why denmark is the happiest place on earth. i want to see bridges, lakes, castles, and canyons. i want to see glaciers up close. i want to swim in all the oceans and see the great barrier reef. i want to go on safari in africa. i want to spend months traveling around this country, and years traveling around the world.

i recently heard a long-time national geographic photographer - dewitt jones - give a talk on creativity. and he said when he worked for national geographic they used to tell him {and their other employees, i'm sure} to go out and capture what's right in the world.

find what is right in the world.
it's a great way to plan your days.

today i'm going to go out and find things that are right in the world.

sure, there's plenty wrong with the world. we all know that. we all experience that. and it's very easy to get caught up in it. and it's not to say that we shouldn't try to make wrong things right again - or as right as they can be. but it is to say that we shouldn't get stuck there. we shouldn't get lost in the wrong. it's an awfully hard place to live your life. sometimes we have to walk through those times of struggle. and struggles are real. but as much as possible trying to focus on what's right - having gratitude for those things that are right with the world, even in the midst of trials and struggles can go a long way to bringing salve to our souls.

even though there's much of me that wants to find what's right in the world in all the different corners of the world i need to remember that i can find what's right with my little corner of the world - exactly where i am today.

i hope you get a chance to experience different places in this beautiful creation. and i hope wherever you are today you focus on what's right in the world.

{and if you want to see the photos that have inspired my wanderlust as of late you can check out my pinterest board here.}


Thursday, January 28, 2016

snowstorm + virus

{found via pinterest from midwinter dream}

yesterday was the first morning i've been up at my "normal" time since last thursday. all thanks to a horrible virus that just wouldn't let go. it reared its ugly head last wednesday in what i thought was a fluke.

on that day peter got adele up in the morning and discovered puke all over her bed. but she seemed fine, and hungry, and basically like her normal self, so we didn't worry much about it. we stayed home wednesday, of course, but with no other incidents we proceeded as usual on thursday.

then, on thursday we went to pick up keane from preschool. his eye had been a little goopy for some reason, and his teacher mentioned it as he got in the car. {to this day, i have no idea what it was because it never turned red, or got itchy, or seemed to bother him at all. just a bunch of eye goop.} i pulled forward in car line, and as i got out to buckle him into his seat; he threw up.

right there in the car, no less than 60 seconds after he left preschool, and he threw up. poor kid.
besides spitting up as a baby he had never really thrown up in all of his life.

we made it home, and in the door, and then he started throwing up in the entryway, and all over the bathroom before it actually started getting into the toilet. i cleaned him and the bathroom up, managed to get adele in bed for her nap, and got him ready to try to sleep. then i started cleaning up inside, outside in the car, and throwing laundry in the washing machine. i had to send a few messages as to my now-defunct afternoon plans. and just after that i started feeling woozy. just after keane woke up needing to throw up some more, and throwing up the water i had just gotten him to drink... i started throwing up too.

thankfully peter could head home a little bit early to take care of us, but then he started throwing up an hour or so after he got home.

that is when i was reminded what a blessing it is that nana & papa live so close, and can come over in an emergency and put your kids to bed, so you can stay in bed next to your puke bucket.

by friday all of the throwing up stopped, and the snowstorm had moved in for the weekend.

peter and keane recovered fairly quickly, and adele didn't have any more issues when the rest of us were sick, but yesterday was the first day i felt basically normal from the word "go." it was the first day i even started out with coffee since sunday - and sunday's brew ended up largely left over.

you know i don't feel well when i abandon coffee!

anyway, charlotte is finally recovering from the snow & ice storm that moved through on friday and saturday. though it did make me laugh that it was close to 60 degrees tuesday, and yet the students still didn't have school due to ice on the roads.

granted, i did have to go ice skating on the driveway to get myself and the kids in the car. and i'm not going to lie - at one point the driveway won.

anyway, i'm thankful that the virus seems to be gone from our house. personally i'd be okay with more snow and more cold {just no more ice}. but i think this town would fully and completely shut down if that happened.

as it was i heard a story about one lady grabbing 15 loaves of bread the day before the storm moved through. fifteen loaves of bread! that may have been a bit of an overreaction. just a smidgen.

i think it's funny that after the storm moved through i've heard more and more people talking about the spring, and how they can't wait for spring. i just laugh because it's still january, and we had a couple days with snow on the ground - followed by a 60* day, no less.

i'm not quite ready for spring. i feel like we've hardly had winter yet. and i'm one of those weird people who actually like winter, and not just at christmas.

when else do i get to wear all of my many sweaters?

anyway, i hope you are enjoying your winter wherever you are - sans sickness that is.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

scary close

{found via pinterest from amazon}

i spent most of the kids' nap time reading last friday. after finishing culture care i moved on to don miller's newest book: scary close. thursday night i read the first 4 chapters, and despite wanting to keep reading i knew i would end up reading the whole book if i let myself. i put it down and went to sleep. but friday. friday i finished it.

i could not put it down.

granted don miller is one of my favorite writers, and i've read most of his books fairly quickly. this one was about intimacy though. not just intimacy with your spouse, but real relationships with people. it's about opening up and being your true self, the person God created you to be underneath all the masks and the pretense.

he's really honest about his tendencies to perform, and how his wife, and some of his friends helped him see that and are helping him change it.

{found via pinterest from}

we are beaten down by life. we're taught that we shouldn't be our full selves. and often we're all just performing because at one point or another we were taught to act a certain way, and not to act other ways. we are taught that we are not enough as we are. we are taught we are not enough as God created us. and we are imperfect - don't get me wrong. i'm not advocating we all start acting like toddlers, and understood that temper tantrums are not the best way to express ourselves. but we shouldn't go through life feeling like we need to hide.

{found via pinterest. source unknown}

we've all been taught that we only matter if we accomplish certain things. we've been taught we're only successful if we have the things that make us successful. we've learned that fame is worth chasing, and other people can control our own worth.

but i don't matter because someone else says i matter. i don't matter because i have x amount of friends on facebook, or x amount of followers on twitter, or x amount of likes on instagram. i don't matter because i have x amount of readers, or any other "x" you can think of.

i matter because i am created in the image of God. period.

that doesn't mean that i should embrace all of my faults and weaknesses. that doesn't mean that i shouldn't try to look more like Jesus in how i live my life every day. it's not an excuse to just do whatever i want to do.

i don't have to play the game. i don't have to put on some other self when i go out into the world. i don't have to perform for anyone else because at the end of the day - no matter what i do, no matter what you do - some people will like you, and some people won't.

our job is not to impress everyone we come into contact with day in and day out. our job is to love people. as they are and where they are.

too often people are living scared. too often i am living scared. scared to open up and be vulnerable because we're taught that vulnerability is weak and shameful. but vulnerability is incredibly courageous.

being rejected when we're putting our real, true self out there is incredibly painful. but when we don't put our real, true self out there we are never really, truly loved.

{found via pinterest, source unknown}

have you ever heard the quote, "in as much as you are known, you are loved."? i don't remember who said it, but man is it true. if people do not know you for who you really are then they are not loving you for who you really are. they are loving some character that you play.

we've all been hurt by others. we've all retreated inside of ourselves because we thought we'd be safe in there. but now we're just lonely.

putting yourself out there is scary. {hence, "scary close."} and you may get hurt, but that's one of the many reasons we're called to love people well. everyone is hurting. some more than others. but quite often - hurt people, hurt {other} people. i think we are called to love people in part because everyone needs to know they are worthy of love.

i'm realizing more and more how much of an impact it has to know - to really know - we are created in the image of God. that sometimes they're obvious, and sometimes they've been dusted off, and dusted off, and dusted off, but we can see the fingerprints of God in each other if we look for them. if we look for them.

are we willing to look for them? in yourself? in others?
are we willing to courageously, and vulnerably, put our real selves out there?

i hope so.

Monday, January 18, 2016

weekend ramblings

{found via pinterest from flickr}

i love when peter has friday off. everything feels much more relaxed, and even if the week is absolutely crazy i feel like i can breathe through it because the light at the end of the tunnel is that much closer.

this past weekend was no exception. peter had friday off, and i spent 90% of the kids' nap-time on friday reading a book. and finishing said book. a book that i started on thursday night. i rarely get to do that anymore, but i couldn't put it down. i have a whole post brewing that's all and only about that book because i recommend it that much.

besides the fact that i am still mulling over ideas shared in the last two books i read, i'm also remembering why i love reading so much. and the task-oriented side of me is pretty ecstatic that i get to check off my two books for january, and get ahead of the game for february since soccer season unofficially starts this week.

we're about to get into a crazy time of year. basically we've had our two week break to get back to life after the holidays, and now the fun of soccer season starts.

this weekend peter and i got to go out on a date, and spent all of our time talking about various things and ideas without interruption which was quite wonderful. we go on dates fairly regularly, but when life gets busy and we're worn out we don't always take the time to plan them. that's one thing that we want to change this year. we're trying to be much more purposeful about going on dates regularly.

we're trying to be purposeful and intentional in general because life takes us in all kinds of directions if we're not purposeful and intentional. it's kind of annoying, really. it's annoying that we have to be that heads up, and our lives will dissolve into chaos if we're not careful. but it's true nonetheless. the things that are easy to fall into are rarely the things that are really good. the really good things take work.

one of the other things we talked about this weekend is being more intentional about getting individual time for both of us. peter is definitely an introvert, and i'm borderline introvert/extrovert, so we both need some alone time to decompress.

peter was kind enough to give me some alone time yesterday afternoon, and i went shopping for a little bit by myself - it was so.very.nice. and i mean that. it was nice. because normally when i go shopping i have two beautiful little miracles with me. and while they're generally really good while we're shopping there's also a feeling hanging over the trip that says: this could derail at any moment.

of course the end of the night last night did not end up quite so well as i would've liked. my team lost. granted, with the injuries sustained on our team over the past few weeks i wasn't shocked. it was more that we really could've won. i knew we could've won going into it, and when the game turned out that way - that we really could've won, but didn't - that made it hard to watch the end.

after the kids went to bed i wanted something sweet after a bitter ending to the game and the season, so peter found me in the kitchen dipping graham crackers into a can of funfetti frosting.

yes, really.

it was delicious.
so gross, and so bad for me, and all the rest. but still - delicious.

he walked around the corner, and i just looked at him and said, "yes this is happening right now; don't judge me." and he started laughing and said "you've been judged." and we both just stood there and laughed at the ridiculousness that was happening.

because sometimes in life you just have to laugh at the ridiculousness.

i hope you had a chance to laugh at something ridiculous this weekend. and wherever you are in life right now, i hope you can find time to laugh. because some things are just ridiculous.