Thursday, May 1, 2014

Our Health Journey

We try our hardest to eat the best we know how to.  We are extremely passionate about what we have learned concerning what is good and not good for our bodies and health and desire to impart that wisdom to others.  Our motivations are not to judge, condemn or push but rather to extend the grace that has been given to us in learning the importance of taking care of ourselves as a whole.  The blessings that come from being intentional about our health are endless and what we have experienced so far are some of these: feeling good, more alive, well rested, sharper minds, no bacterial illness only viral when we are sick, less doctors visits, better long term health and wisdom to pass on to our children.  Of course, it is costly so we do our very best and give ourselves grace when it's not financially/socially doable for a certain time/season.
Back in 2008 our healthy journey began. We had heard from a friend about a book called "The Makers Diet" by Jordin Rubin.  We read that and did a total makeover in how we perceived food, bought, ate and prepared food and became overall more intentional about our health.  We completely overhauled our refrigerator and pantry and made our first trips to Trader Joes and Whole Foods.  The cost of that trip was $600 because we lived 1 1/2 hrs away from there and we were shopping for the entire month and totally restocking our pantry and fridge with no pre-packaged or processed foods (sea salt, almonds, honey, condiments, spices, etc).  
During that first month we also purchased probiotics (that would help our guts get healthy and give us good bacteria that we miss because of the lack of quality food and amount of quality food we consume.)  We also purchased the cleansing system and a multi-vitamin that would aid in giving us those vitamins we were lacking in our food.  We were intentional to only go with the vegetable casing and the healthier supplements.  As we continued our journey of eating and living more intentionally healthy we came across Doug Kauffman and saw even more benefits to this lifestyle.  Living in Southern Illinois at the time it was very difficult to implement this lifestyle fully because the health food stores were so far away.  We did utilize the farmers market in the summer and were thankful when the local grocery store began carrying more clean, organic items we were eating.  We were also able to purchase a half of grass-fed long horn beef which was a huge blessing!   Had we stayed longer we would have grown our own garden and lived more sustainably. 
Moving to Cleveland we were delighted to know that we were only 5 minutes from Whole Foods and 15 minutes from Trader Joes and that all of our local grocery stores carried more of our foods!!  This would make this important part of our lives a little easier especially with a newborn!  
With two children and one on the way it was important for us to be as intentional and even more intentional (as now we would get to teach our kids to eat this way too and to eventually teach them how to prepare these foods).  
Thankfully, more resources are available at our fingertips and it has made it even that much more doable with a family.  
Since this is such a large part of who we are and what we are passionate about you will see many posts about healthy living. 
Today, I leave you with being intentional about teaching this to our kids.  Nataleigh is frequently in the kitchen with me, learning not just how to measure and mix but about the ingredients she's putting into what we are making.  
These are gluten free and grain free blueberry muffins.  We use Raw unsalted Almond Butter from Trader Joes as the nut butter. (Peanut butter is a no and here is a great article explaining why: Here's the recipe:
Click here for recipe

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Life From Death

Our family is experiencing life from death in more than one way during this Holy Week!  This day of remembering the loss of our first child rarely visits us during Holy Week.  6 years ago today we miscarried our first baby.  As the grieving process took hold of me and shook me so hard to brokenness I from that moment chose to NEVER live life the same way any more.  I was so caught up in the doing and not BEING...a believer and follower of Jesus.  I embraced Jesus as He embraced me in a whole new way that allowed me to see a new side of His beauty and grace.  
Life from death? In brokenness of our sin and sin in others around us we are offered life.  We are offered a new life, a restored life not just a little bit here and there but COMPLETE restoration and new life that comes from the Father.  He gave His one and only Son as a sacrifice for our sins (in place of a lamb) that whoever believes (here is where our choice comes choose to believe) in Him WILL NOT PERISH but have everlasting life!  -John 3:16 
A life restored!  A new life in Him for eternity!  A new life not just for later but for now that we can experience here, with others and to others!  I want and have chosen that for my life and hope you will too!  
God has blessed our family with our oldest, Nataleigh. She was conceived 5 months after we miscarried.  She was a completely normal, healthy pregnancy and now we have Mia, almost three years old and one due in September!  Jesus GIVES us life from death and Nataleigh, Mia and this new baby are reflections of that!  
He calls us from death to life to be made new and is the ultimate sacrifice for ALL sin!
All Sons and Daughters beautifully sums this up!

"There was a day we held our breath 
And felt the sting of bitter death 
When all our hopes were buried in the grave 
Our eyes awake our hearts were torn 
Between our faith and what we knew 
Before our king was buried in the grave 

And grace was in the tension 
Of everything we've lost 
Standing empty handed 
Shattered by the cross 

All we had 
All we had 
Was a promise like a thread 
Holding us keeping us 
Oh from fraying at the edge 
All we knew 
All we knew 
Was you said you'd come again 
You'd rise up from the dead 

There was a day we looked for proof 
That you had risen from the tomb 
And all our doubts began to roll away 
We touched the scars upon your hands 
You kept your word 
Oh son of man 
You buried death by taking on the grave 

You came here to save us 
Cuz everything was lost 
No longer empty handed 
Clinging to the cross 

All we had 
All we had 
Was a promise like a thread 
Holding us 
Keeping us 
From fraying at the edge 
All we knew 
All we knew 
Was you said you'd come again 
You'd rise up from the dead 


All we have 
All we have 
Is the promise like a thread 
Holding us keeping us 
Oh from fraying at the edge 
All we know 
All we know 
Is you said you'd come again 
You rose up from the dead"

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fall fun!

This fall has been so special as the girls get older and we aren't bound to the house for morning naps!  We have played a lot outside and have enjoyed the changing leaves and marveling at God's creation!  Our dear friend and neighbor, Shannon took some family pictures:

We also visited Patterson Fruit Farm where we enjoyed the country, Mia loved the pumpkins and Nataleigh loved the playground!  Daddy and I enjoyed watching our girls marvel at the the sights and smells (apple cider doughnuts).  There's nothing like a beautiful fall day in Cleveland, Ohio (except when it's rainy and dreary)-which would be today and why I have some extra time to blog! ;-) 

Happy Fall y'all! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

one of my loves-water skiing!!!

When I was little my wonderful brother taught me to ski!  Here I am this summer and it's always a highlight of my trip when I visit my family!  Def. get sore a lot quicker now!!  So thankful for the opportunity to grow up on the lake!!  ;-) 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

15 months

It is so hard to believe that at this age with Mia, Nataleigh was this age when I was pregnant with Mia!  We're good for now, though!  ;-)  We'll rest in our family of four at the moment!!   

There are times that Mia still seems more like a baby to me-probably because she is our second child, or maybe because she has no hair?!?  :-)  

Mia enjoys eating!  She's picky sometimes and we've learned it's basically when Nataleigh is picky about something.  But our rule is what momma makes, that's what's for dinner and you can take it or leave it but I'm not making something different if you're not a fan!  ;-) 
She's still napping twice a day.  Typically 9:30-11 and 1:45-3:30.  She's in bed by 7:30 and wakes at 7:30.
HUGE language milestones over the past month!  She's basically repeating everything we say, 1-2 words at a time.  Our favorite 2 word is-"excuse me" after she burps :-) 
She loves sissy!  They will be giggling in another room while I'm in the kitchen and I'll peak in to see them tickling each other, chasing each other, etc.  Of course they have their moments when they dislike sharing :-)  I'm enjoying watching their interaction as they realize they have each other through everything!! :)
Mia's a big fan of strolling her baby around outside in the play stroller.  She also loves the park and is very much into climbing right now!!  ahhh-she makes me nervous sometimes! :-)  She loves water, so it's been a fun summer for the lake and pool!  She's been walking since a little over 12 months.

Their "playhouse"  

Summertime pool fun! 

The swings at the park!

The beach!

Friday, July 13, 2012

June summer fun!

Since I'm wAYY behind on my blog posts here is the whole month of June in a nutshell!  :)  Enjoy!!

First time in the pool for the summer!  
...Then R.I.P. pool because a coon got to you in the middle of the night! :)  booo

Cleveland's own Mitchell's Ice Cream for Nat's Birthday ;)

Mommy and her girls enjoying a hot summer day!

Just Mia, Mommy and Daddy out to eat because big sissy went to Grandpa and Nonna's for the weekend!  ;)
 Date night!!  Sunset on Lake Erie!

 Enjoying the pier as people fish & enjoy God's creation!

 The best of both worlds!  City and Lake!  I love you, Cleveland!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Nataleigh's 3!!

Nataleigh's 3rd Birthday was on a Friday (Daddy's day off!) so we got to celebrate all day together as a family!  It began with her fav-pancakes, opening her present from us and Birthday cards she got in the mail....she woke up to her favorite tunes of Dora's Birthday.  Nataleigh and mommy then went to the library (another favorite of hers where she can check out all of the signing time library :) and books) and then to the store.  Her lunch was grilled cheese made into the shape of a butterfly.  While they napped we went across the street and met our new neighbors (yay for new friends!!).  We got out the kiddie pool and the girls played til their hearts content, had sketti (leftover from the night before when we had our friends, the Jones's over for dinner) and then treated Nataleigh to some of Cleveland's best ice cream, Mitchells!!!
pancakes-not our original recipe-mommy forgot to get some ingredients but we improvised!
Happy Birthday sweet Nataleigh

such a girly girl-pink and a dress (she would wear one everyday if she could!)

 The next day was her party which we had at a local park (since they are tearing up our street and it's a mess to park on it-and what 3 year old wouldn't their party in the park?!)  :)  Cousin Bryan surprised us as he came with PaPaw, GG and Grandpa Great! :)  We had a blast and of course, it was a Dora party!
It's a Party!!!

The sweets table (complete with choc. chip pudding cookies per Nat's request)

Love to watch the sweet girls playing together

Sweet Emma and Nat playing
putting a craft together (each kiddo got a "Fiesta" frame to decorate and take home) and they got a group pic sent in their thank you card
The kiddos-Jonathan (2nd cousin), Nat, Emma, Noah and Elijah (Harris Fam), Bryan (cousin), Mia(sissy)
Grandpa Great holding Mia and watching with joy as Nat opens a gift...