Sunday, September 30, 2012

31 Days of Celebrating the Moments that Matter

It's rarely perfect and if it is, it usually only lasts for 5 seconds. To many, it might not be beautiful but, to other's, it is seen as the way that it was intended to be. To me, this is life.....my life. It's a busy, beautiful life, with a 3 year old, a 1 year old and another on the way. It's hectic and it's filled with chaos but, inside of all the noise, messes and commotion, there are lots of moments- Moments that Matter.

October is going to be spent intentionally Celebrating the Moments that Matter. We will seek to make note of the moments that have eternal significance. The moments that carry far more weight than the busyness of our days. Along with The Nester and hundreds of other bloggers, I will do my best to post daily about what's helping me slow down in my day and focus on what is of eternal value.

Most of the posts will be short, probably very short but, I'm excited to sink back into the basics of why I started blogging in the first place: to document our days and shine the light on The Moments that Matter.
Angela

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake (One of my latest loves)

With this pregnancy, my food cravings and food aversions have been all over the place! For example, the other night I had something healthy, simple and yummy planned for dinner but then, I saw a picture The Pioneer Woman posted on Instagram of her homemade Macaroni and Cheese. It was all over after that. I even posted about it on Facebook because when you're pregnant, you do ridiculous things like post about food on Facebook, far more often than you probably should. 

Long story short, my family didn't eat until almost 7pm that night but, you better believe it....we had that homemade Macaroni and Cheese and it hit the spot. 

Another thing that I've been loving is canned pumpkin and thankfully, it's much healthier than the Homemade Macaroni and Cheese craving that I had the other night.

In just 1/2 cup of pureed pumpkin you can find:
•Only 40 calories
•Less than 1 gram of fat
•5 grams of fiber
•Only 4 grams of sugar
•2 grams of protein
•A HUGE amount of Vitamin A {300%!}

If you ask me, I think those are some great reasons why we should be eating pumpkin, pumpkin and more pumpkin! Today I'm sharing a recipe with you for a Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake. This shake is a complete meal and it'll keep you full for hours.

Here's what you need:
•1 cup milk
•1/2 cup pumpkin puree
•1 scoop vanilla protein powder
•3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
•2 tablespoons brown sugar (or other sweetener)
•A handful of ice cubes
•A sprinkle of nutmeg for the garnish

Mix all ingredients in a blender until well combined. Garnish with nutmeg and enjoy!
Angela
Linking up here

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Great Forsake and Take, Via Beth Moore

Recently I shared a little about the Beth Moore simulcast that I was able to attend. Really, it was so inspiring and even though it's been a couple of weeks, I'm still thinking about the way she spoke about fear.

Here are just a few of my notes:
       Fear is the crippler of a walking, talking miracle. 
      You are called to tell. YOU go out and tell YOUR story!
      The enemy takes a precious gift from us through fear. 

I believe that we all have a story. Some share their story through writing, others share their story through speaking and other's are sharing their story by being a light in the way they live. Maybe your mission field is in your home or maybe it's outside of your home and in your community but, wherever it is, it's real, it's important and even you, have a story to share.
At the simulcast, Beth Moore gave out a web address to a site that has her list of verses on fear. I wanted to share the link today because if you're like me and you struggle with fear, this list might really help you.
I'm printing these pages, keeping them on my kitchen counter and I'm speaking them out over my life and over my children.
Go check out The Great Forsake and Take HERE.
Angela

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Here I Grow: Week 13


How I'm Feeling: This week has been one of those where I feel like I've been sick almost constantly. I've complained way too much and I feel guilty about that. Just yesterday I started taking a Vitamin B6 supplement, in addition to my Prenatals, Vitamin D and Fish Oil that I take. The Vitamin B6 is supposed to help with nausea and I'm hoping that it works! I was literally up until 12:30am one night this week because I kept on getting sick and as much as I know how it's totally worth it....it's the stink'n pits!

Weight Gain: This week I stayed the same so, I'm still at 6lb total.

What I'm Wearing: Still wearing regular clothes but, I'm getting more picky about my pants. If they aren't lowrise, they're super uncomfortable and I can't wear them.

What I'm Eating/Craving: I haven't had any new cravings or food aversions this week. Mostly, I've been trying to focus on eating healthy, eating plenty of produce and trying to drink enough water.

How I'm Sleeping: Sleeping great! Everyday around 1pm, I've been feeling like I'm so tired that I possibly might not survive so, I've taken a few naps this week. Normally, I'm not a napper but, you do what you've gotta do!

Emotions/Thoughts/Feelings: This is my last week in the first trimester and I'm feeling really relieved that this phase is almost over. I've had a lot more fear and anxiety this pregnancy and I'm thankful that so far, this baby seems to be growing just wonderfully. Fear is one of those tricky things that I wrestle with. I know that it's the enemy's way of trying to steal my joy and yet, I still struggle with it.

My goals for this week are to continue to eat really healthy, to excersise more, to get plenty of sleep and to remember how beautiful pregnancy is---- Because, it is beautiful, even when it makes your face breakout, when your pants can't button and when you feel like all you want to do is sleep. It's a miracle, an honor and my goodness, I can't wait to know more about this little person!

Have a great week!
Angela 

Friday, September 21, 2012

When it Rains, We Search for Puddles

This morning I woke up to a sound that I haven't heard in a long time-the beautiful, relaxing, can-I-stay-in-bed-one-more-hour, sound of rain. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we've been experiencing a record-breaking dry spell, which has been totally fantastic, minus our brown grass and my garden that's been begging for a little more moisture. 
After breakfast, we threw on our jackets and rubber boots and headed out to find some puddles. The air felt fresh and if it's going to be raining, you better believe that we're going to puddle jump.
 One of my confused Poppies that just sprouted and bloomed.....
 We didn't find many puddles but, we did have a blast running around and looking for "treasure".
Paisley and the snail.....
Our puddle searching turned into a scavenger hunt, where the kids and I tried to find interesting stuff that was soaked with rain.



 Judah, sniffing a wet pumpkin....
My coffee cup from yesterday that was left out in the yard. That's what happens when it's dinner time and you're trying to herd your little ones inside.

By the time we were done puddle jumping and searching for treasure, the kids were soaked and muddy from the waist down but, I find that this is my element. When we're outside, I'm a relaxed, go-with-the-flow Mommy because the house isn't getting all messed up and I know how easily pants can be changed and dirty hands can be washed.
And, just look at those pigtails! This girl totally rocks the rainy day hair, I think I'm a bit jealous.
Angela 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Today

Today I'm loving that my little bump is growing and from previous experience, I'm thankful that I can still look straight down and easily see my toes. The view of the toes is not to be taken for granted. If you're a Momma, you know that little things like being able to easily bend over and put on your shoes are no small deal. These little things are the moments I'm celebrating because soon enough, my view will be different.
Today, I'm loving the walk that we went on this morning. The cool mornings are refreshing and as we walked, I saw more leaves on the ground than I was expecting. Now that I'm starting to (hopefully) feel better, I plan on trying to put in a few miles as many times a week as possible. I know I'll never regret getting out and exercising....it's just a matter of making myself do it.
Today I'm feeling excited about the 31 Days of Lovely Limitations that I'll be participating in next month. Basically, you pick a topic and then write about that topic each day during October. Last year, I choose 31 Days of Random Acts of Kindness. I was stretched, taken out of my comfort zone and it was great. This year, I'll be writing about something totally different and I'm already stoked about it. No, I'm not telling you yet what my topic will be. All I can say is....My topic is simple but, it suits the season of life that I'm in and it's going to be daily reminder of what really matters.

Currently our house smells like fall because Pumpkin Spice Granola is in the oven. A big laundry basket filled with clean clothes is sitting on the dining room table and the sink is full of dishes because I made Pumpkin Curry while the kids were napping.
Nothing is perfect but, it's good enough for me and it smells ridiculously good in here.
Angela

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

3 Gifts: Fixed, Folded and Freckled

Earlier in the year, I read about the 1000 Gifts photo challenge. Basically, each day there is a prompt to snap three photos of a certain type of "gift" or journal about those gifts. Although I think it's a phenomenal idea, I didn't commit to the project because I was already doing Project 365 {+1} and we all know that I haven't even been blogging about that.....
Anyway.
Today I was in desperate need of a fresh perspective and journaling about these ordinary gifts has brought me from a place of discouragement to a place where I'd like to stay a long while: It's called "thankful".

A Gift: Fixed
{My children wash the deck and wash chairs to help "fix" all of the messes. To them, it's all fun and games. The soap suds surround her small toes and that is my favorite.}

A Gift: Folded
{Large stacks of maternity clothes that I've been sorting through. Most of these are from my sister or a dear friend. Just looking at them has made me feel a bit cow'ish but still, they are a gift.}

A Gift: Freckled
{Hello Freckles...I'm so glad that more of you pop out each day!}

Angela

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Here I Grow: Week 12, A Winner and Our Weekend

This weekend has been one of those that I can claim as almost perfect. Yes, it went fast but, it was filled with the absolute perfect mix of family, friends and encouraging words via Beth Moore.

Yesterday my hubby was sweet and stayed home with the kids while I attended an all day Beth Moore simulcast. Have you heard of Beth Moore? Have you ever seen her speak in person? Well, I'd heard of her but, I've never done any of her Bible studies or attended any of her events until yesterday.

Holy Moly......

I don't even know how to describe how amazing it was. Through her, God spoke to me a few very important things that I've been needing to hear. It was perfect and with her wonderful speaking and the sweet time of worship, I walked away super encouraged. So, if you ever have a chance to attend one of her events.....this is me telling you to JUMP ON IT!!!
When I got home from the simulcast, Judah was waiting to dress up in his fire clothes and have me take pictures of him and Daddy.
 In this picture, Judah said that they were "saving Paisley". Seriously, these guys melt me.
Sunday was filled with church, Seahawk football watching with my sister and her family, homemade chili and the best Chewy Gingerbread Cookies on this planet. The recipe is from Martha Stewart and I promise that you will not be disappointed! 
And now for Week 12!
How I'm Feeling: The nausea is still here and in full force. I'm getting tired of it but, it should be better soon and I know it's totally worth it. 

Weight Gain: I've gained 6 pounds. Not thrilled about that number but, it could be worse. My goal is to gain the average 25-35lb and if I stay within that range, I'll be a happy camper. 

What I'm Wearing: Normal clothes but, I'm starting to be a bit more picky with my pants. I still feel like I'm practically allergic to maternity clothes so, I'll be pushing my pants down low for as long as I can get away with it. 

What I'm Eating/Craving: Oh boy, my cravings or food aversions change by the hour. This week I've been loving cheese, V8 juice, my husbands homemade chili and I had the best hummus the other night. If I like it, it's like the best thing on earth and if I don't like it, you mine as well remove it from the house, before I remove you. 

How I'm Sleeping: Fine and dandy. Still getting up once a night to pee. 

Emotions/Thoughts/Feelings: At this point, I'm feeling grateful that the first trimester is almost over and that I should be able to feel the baby move in about a month or so. I'm feeling blessed, thankful and I'm not taking any of this for granted. 

Lastly, I just want to say a big thank you to all of you who entered the Erin Baker's Cookie Giveaway! You guys rock and you're one of the reasons that I love blogging as much as I do. 
The WINNER of the giveaway is.......................
So, tell me....What was the best part of YOUR weekend? 
Angela

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pumpkin Cream Cheese


This morning, the kids and I had a great time at Costco. Judah's been desperately wanting this firefighter costume and today was his lucky day.... The boy is officially all set for Halloween.
While we were there, we bumped into a friend from MOPS and had lunch with them, which was super fun. Besides getting an awesome costume and having lunch with friends, we picked up a BIG 3 pack of canned pumpkin, which was practically the highlight of my day.

If you follow me on Pinterest, you know that I've been pinning to my Fall Board for awhile now. I just can't help it....I love all things fall.

The recipe that I made this afternoon was just too delicious and easy to not share. This Pumpkin Cream Cheese is a new "must have", that needs to be in our refrigerator at all times. It's just that good.

I found this recipe on Pinterest and the source is LaaLoosh, which is apparently a site that features Weight Watcher's recipes.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese
•8oz cream cheese, softened
• ½ cup canned pure pumpkin
•1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
•1 tsp vanilla
•2 tbsp brown sugar
•dash of salt

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until smooth and creamy.
I spread mine onto my favorite whole grain bread and it was absolutely perfect. It reminded me of how pumpkin pie tastes but, without the guilt or all of the effort.
So, what do you love to make with Pumpkin? Isn't this time of year the best?
Angela 

Linking up here. 

It Was Me That Cried Through Bedtime

Maybe it was the 12 hours of parenting solo, it was the first trimester fatigue or it was the lack of adult conversation that I'd been craving but, last night during bedtime, I lost it. I'd asked him not to run for what seemed like the 100th time but, he took off running anyway and his milk went squirting out of his cup, all over the carpets and all over his sister's dresser.

As I told him to sit down on the chair and not get up, I scrubbed the milk and the tears started to fall. They fell through story time, they fell while I brushed teeth and I sang songs with a cranky voice as they continued to fall, turning my face into a big, red mess.

When the hubby was finally off work, I sat on the couch in a silent house and cried my eyes out some more, saying that "I'm just sure that I'm sucking at everything". Yes, everything. You name it, and I was sure that I sucked at it.

I flopped into bed last night and the song "Forever Reign" started running through my head. It goes:

You are good, You are good
When there's nothing good in me
You are love, You are love
On display for all to see
You are light, You are light
When the darkness closes in
You are hope, You are hope
You have covered all my sin


You are peace, You are peace
When my fear is crippling
You are true, You are true
Even in my wandering
You are joy, You are joy
You're the reason that I sing
You are life, You are life,
In You death has lost it's sting

Oh, I'm running to your arms,
I'm running to arms
The riches of your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign


You are more, You are more
Than my words will ever say
You are Lord, You are Lord
All creation will proclaim
You are here, You are here
In your presence I'm made whole
You are God, You are God
Of all else I'm letting go


Oh, I'm running to your arms 
I'm running to arms
The riches of your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign


My heart will sing
no other name
Jesus, Jesus


Oh, I'm running to your arms
I'm running to arms
The riches of your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign


This morning, the air is crispy and my coffee is hot. I'm back to realizing that I really don't suck at everything and that when I'm tired, my perception of reality is totally off. 

I share my teary bedtime because if you're a mommy, I'm guessing that maybe you've experienced something similar and I want you to know that it's not just you. The good news is that today is a new day and there isn't any reason why this day won't totally rock!

Happy Friday!
Angela 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Fall Routine, Socks on the Bedposts and Paisley's Eating Song

In just two short days this week, we jumped full swing into our new fall routine. As I sunk into the couch last night at 9pm, I looked at my husband and told him that I couldn't believe it's only Tuesday night. In just two days, we not only got through but, loved our first day of preschool, I gathered what seemed like 1000 things while herding my children out of the house early for our first MOPS and we dropped Judah off at his first Awana. For many of you that have older children, this flurry of activity is nothing new for you but, for me, this is only just the beginning and so far, I'm loving it.

I crave routine and my children need structure. Fall is beautiful because it comes with cooler temperatures, delicious pumpkin treats and gorgeous colors. With all of the beauty around us, I'm seeing our family begin a new rhythm of activity and so far, it seems to suit us well.

We've entered a new phase lately where no one cries when being dropped off in the nursery at church, in their classes at MOPS or really, anywhere else that we go. It seems like for a few years, it was either Judah or Paisley that would be sad during one of the drop-offs but for now, we are tear-free and this Momma's heart is happy.

It's one thing to have your heart ache a little when you drop your child off at his first day of preschool but, when he walks in like he owns the place, the ache is so much smaller and different than the ache that you experience when your child needs to be pried off of your legs.

All things are only for a season though.....I'm 11 1/2 weeks now and so eventually, we'll begin the whole little baby adventure again. In some ways, it will be the same and in some ways, it will be different. Like most Moms,  I see qualities in myself as a Mommy that I'd like to keep around and then I see areas- a lot of areas, that I'd like to change. Last Sunday I didn't write my 11 week post because my hubby was gone golfing and I didn't get my 11 week picture done. So, just wait for it....the 12 week post will get me back on track.

One of the things that I'm loving about our new fall schedule is the opportunity for our children, specifically Judah, to have adults who love him and love Jesus, speak into his life. It's so good to see him have opportunities to listen to his teachers, learn how to obey in a classroom setting and learn how to participate with a group.

Today has been a quiet stay at home day for us, before we hit it hard again tomorrow. I woke up more nauseous than I've been in awhile and literally had to stop and pray for a better attitude while I was making beds this morning. Does that ever happen to you? Ever feel like you just don't want to do the same old junk day after day?

My prayer was quickly answered when I noticed that Judah had stuck his socks over his bedposts. I know, it's not that funny but, this is my life....weird random stuff like socks that are stuck over bedposts for what, decoration? I don't know.

We spent most of the morning outside. The air was chilly but, I planted myself in the sunshine and it was what we needed.
Since I got my iPhone, Instagram has pretty much become my best friend. Here's the only problem, my good camera is being neglected, like really ignored. For a camera on a phone, my new phone isn't too shabby but, the picture quality is nothing compared to my camera. So, if you're on Instagram, please leave your username in the comments, I'd love to follow you and yes, I'm slightly addicted. And to my nice camera that I really do love: I'm sorry, I'll be obsessed with you again soon, I promise.
This little miss must be going through a growth spurt or something because she's been throwing back the groceries, like it's no ones business! Lately, she's been out eating her brother and today during lunch, she was singing "I like to eat, eat, eat", while finishing up her plate. Oh, Paisley...I love you. Mommy understands. 
Angela 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Judah's First Day of Preschool: I was a mess, now I am not

It was last night, while Daddy was reading bedtime stories and I was trying to pick out the perfect "first day" outfit, that the tears started to flow. I was in the laundry room, sorting through clean clothes, picking out a pair of pants for my boy that he can easily easily maneuver without any assistance. While sorting through the clean clothes, and shaking the wrinkles out of his pants, I turned into a mess. Here I am, laying out clothes for my Judah's first day of preschool, tears falling so fast that I can barely see which shirts I'm pulling out of his closet, for him to choose from in the morning.

Story time ends and that sweet boy walks in and sees me there, with his clean clothes and tears streaming down my cheeks. His face quickly went from happy to concerned and as he pointed to my tears, he said that he could "see my feelings".

I explained to him that I'm not sad but instead, I'm actually so proud and excited for him. I told him that it seems like it was only yesterday that he was a tiny baby that I carried around in my arms and now, he is so big (yet, still so small).

Most of us Moms cry. We cry over happy stuff, we cry over things that make our heart ache and we even cry over milestones that we are celebrating. I have 100% peace about our decision to send Judah to preschool. Does it mean that we will do public school later? Maybe or maybe not....that's up in the air. Even though my heart is filled with excitement for him and joy over this new season, I was a mess. It happens and I'd so much rather be in the moment and feel it than be numb and not feel these milestones in our lives.
Our morning went ridiculously smoothly. Judah and Daddy watched a little "Manny, the Firefighter", while drinking coffee and milk. Breakfast was Cinnamon Raisin Pancakes, smothered in Nutella. It was Judah's first time having Nutella and he loved it.

After he was dressed with his teeth brushed and hair fixed, we stepped out for a few pictures. When I pinned this "first day" photo idea months ago, I thought it was a creative idea. Now, I'm just like every other Mother who had her kid hold a sign for their first day photo. So much for being original.......
For the life of me, I couldn't get him to look me in the eye. He was having a great time and making all sorts of funny faces but, eye contact???? What is eye contact???
Here's what it looks like when you're trying to get a decent picture of your 3 year old and they're excited.......
Dropping him off at school was easy. He trotted on in like he owned the place and Paisley and I drove off, while I shed just a few more tears.
Having just one child for a few hours is a nice change. Paisley and I rarely have time for just the two of us and I think she really enjoyed playing on her own and not having anyone to compete with.

Today my recipe for Cinnamon Raisin Pancakes is being shared over at "Or So She Says.....", the site that I contribute to monthly.

If you like stepping outside of the Krusteaz box once in awhile, go check it out. :)
Angela

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