Saturday, November 7, 2015

Goodbye and Hello NW Healthy Mama

Well, this news is way overdue, but it's time to let you all in on a little project I've been working on since my last post here. I've been in the process of creating a new website called NW Healthy Mama and I'm excited about where this will go!

Basically this all came together when my love for the beautiful Pacific Northwest was paired with a passion for all things healthy and active. On NW Healthy Mama, you'll find tons of amazing recipes, adventure ideas, gardening tips and inspiration to Mother well.

The best part is this website is not written by myself alone. There are far too many amazing women in this world for me to not share this space! The girls who are contributing play such a vital part in this and I can't tell you enough how thankful I am for them!

This personal blog has been such a great outlet for me and a perfect place to record special memories, but as life changes, we move onto new adventures. A big thank you to every person who's shared an encouraging word with me here. Your comments and love over the years have been such a blessing to me. I have huge amounts of love and gratitude for you! And now... please join me on the new site, NW Healthy Mama
Lots and lots of love,
Angela

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Picking vs. Packing

That moment when you're supposed to be packing 'cuz your house closes in 10 days, but you're out gathering dinner from the garden instead.
Today the sunshine and the garden won. Tomorrow, I'll try that packing thing again. Gosh, I'm going to miss this little outdoor space.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

On the Sea and Above the Clouds

We adventured a lot last weekend, before starting to pack like crazy people this week. That's right, we're packing up our entire house to move in just about a week. I'm apologizing in advance for silence on the blog. Packing, kids, life... they all take a lot of time these days. 

As I uploaded the photos for the post, I realized that to the person on the other side of this screen, I might look like I'm all adventure and no fear. Then I thought about a women's retreat I went on about a year ago and the breakdown I had where I told a couple good friends about the anxiety I sometimes experience. After sharing, one gal looked at me and couldn't hardly believe it. She said "but you're always out doing all those fun things and going all over the place!" Yes, it's true, but I think when we tell our story, we give the world a gift when we tell the whole thing. 

By nature, I tend to feel fear very easily and that's why I decided about a year ago to intentionally try to live brave, in a smart way. I try to bravely tell people how awesome they are, when I see strengths in them, because loving big is something you'll never regret. I climb mountains with girlfriends because when my girls are older, I want them to be adventurous, too.

My husband and I kayak alone, because when our kids are out and married, I want them to date their spouse as well. And I write these words because I never want you to think that only "brave" girls do "brave" things. Girls with anxiety do brave things too and I'm guessing that you, whoever you are....are also much braver than you know. I bet you're really fun, too. Yep, that's another reason why us Moms need to go out and do things....we need to have fun and be strong and healthy and be the women that God created us to be. We owe it to ourselves, our families and the One who created us with muscles, brains and a craving for relationships.

On the Sea//
Jeremiah and I had talked about getting kayaks for the last 10 years or so. Finally, we gave in and I'm so glad we did. First we kayaked around Pass Lake (near Deception Pass) and then we kayaked around Cranberry Lake in Deception Pass Park. What a perfect date this was.



I turned 31 last week and so, after our date, we had a Birthday party over at Sally's house. She always makes the best ice cream cake. I swear she could have a highly successful ice cream cake shop, if she wanted to.

There's so much to love about your 30's. Right now, 31 is where it's at.
Above the Clouds//
Later in the weekend, 7 of us girls climbed Mt. Pilchuck together. I've never experienced a hike this beautiful. It was hard for sure, but the view from the top was out of this world. Truly, we were above the clouds.

Clouds below us and mountains in the distance.
These girls are amazing. They were so fun to hike with and super positive, even when it was hard. I'm so thankful for them!
Almost to the top!
Yoga on a mountain....just because.
Mt. Pilchuck look out!
On the way up, something kind of funny happened. After climbing for about 2 miles, we came to this clearing and someone mentioned how the lookout tower was way up there. We thought the hike was 5 miles roundtrip and so surely, after all the climbing we'd just done, we must be just about there! I laughed, totally thinking they were joking! But, nope they weren't. It WAS way up there. And so, we kept on going and eventually we made it.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Gratitude Lately

Lately I've been thankful for delicious and healthy new food combinations. A new favorite is a couple eggs cooked up with about 1/3 of a can diced Italian tomatoes, topped with mozzarella cheese and pepper. 
For car washing parties that turn into epic water fights.
For this big kid, sitting on the counter in his jammies, helping me cook. 
 For little moth friends, who look like they have hearts on their wings.
For chickens and chalk art.
For Young Living happy mail and my good friend Sarah, who's teaching me how to use these!
For the first strawberry of the year.
For cookouts with cousins.
For a beautiful Mother's Day hike.
And for the look this girl gave me when I told her that skunk cabbage bouquet couldn't come home with us.

Here's to gratitude and how it turns everything into enough.
What have you been thankful for lately?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!
Heading into the weekend with a few things that caught my eye this week.

FAVORITE LIST:
Not only do I agree 100% with this article by Food Babe, talking about how BAD the chemicals in sunscreen are for us. What I love is that she doesn't just stop there, leaving us feeling discouraged and not knowing what to do.....She gives us a list of Sunscreens that are SAFE for us. I'm pinning this one for sure!

FAVORITE LOW-CARB COOKIE RECIPE:
The kids and I made these this week and added  dark chocolate chips. I haven't been eating real flour or sugar so to me, these were great! The kids liked them, too. Jeremiah said they're definitely healthy because he can only eat just one. Hahaha!

FAVORITE VIDEO:
The Wiegand's first episode with The Design Network came out this week. It's super cute and I love what they created as a family. Hint, it involves re-claimed wood and chickens. No wonder I love it.
To watch the show CLICK HERE.

FAVORITE PARENTING ARTICLE:
Instead of using the rubber bands to remind myself to build up my kids, I put them on my wrist one day to remind myself to laugh more with my kids. For every belly laugh we had together, I moved a rubber band to the other wrist. 
If you're looking for something to help you remember to build up your children, laugh with them, tell them "I love you", or smile at them more, this might be a fun thing for you to read.

FAVORITE POST I WROTE THIS WEEK:
When you get to write about your friends, a beautiful family farm and life-giving food, you just can't help but smile. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A Little Video

So, you know when you watch a video and you love it so much that you start making kissy faces at the computer screen?
Hmm...maybe that's just me.

Well, this video does that to me because yep, my 3 are on here, talking about why they love their Mama. I'm so flawed....we ALL are and yet, our kids think the world of us.

Happy early Mother's Day to all my beautiful inside and out Mama friends.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Mother's Day Tea

I went to my first Mother's Day Tea today. I think my cheeks are literally sore from smiling. That sweet boy of mine was waiting for me when I got there and like a gentlemen, he escorted me to my seat and then served me cookies and water. For the next hour, he sat on my lap, sang me songs, recited poems and showed me the projects he's been working so hard on.

Besides the fact that he unashamedly still snuggles me in public, what blessed me the most was how we got to have another little guy sit with us today----a boy that doesn't have a Mom.

This boy's story is his and not mine, so I won't go into details. All I can say is he lost his Mom last year and Judah has become one of his good buddies. So today, I sat with one boy on my leg, my Judah who continues to steal my heart more each day, and this other little guy, right next to my leg, who didn't have his Mama at the Mother's Day Tea.

I gave him my cookies and gosh, I just wanted to bring him home and do all the things that Mamas do, if we're being real here. But, it doesn't work like that and it's not really necessary. He has a Daddy who loves him and he has a school full of teachers who are cheering for his success.

See, the thing I've learned about "public school" this year is it isn't all bad, like the media and the viral Facebook posts make it sound. Actually, there are lots of teachers who care so much and work their tails off for the good of our kids. These teachers are sometimes the most stable people in these kid's lives and when everyone is ranting about how awful school is and yanking their kids out left and right....I just wonder about the teachers who might need to know that we've still got their backs.

So, back to cookies and tea.....
As I sat between my boy and his buddy, my eyes drifted to the lockers. Each locker was decorated with a picture each child drew of his/her Mama, that is, except for this little guy. And that's when I just about lost it. One locker without a hand-drawn Mama picture.

Parenting can be so hard. Sometimes it can feel like it just might break you, but when you sit by a kid who's missing his Mom? Well, it makes life seem pretty darn good and it makes you want to quite making little annoyances seem so big. It makes you want to raise your voice less and maybe lower your sky-high expectations a notch or two.

 A boy without a Mom at a Mother's Day Tea, kind of makes you want to go out and be the best dang person you can be because hey, your kids still have you and that's HUGE, if you ask me.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Happy Links for the Weekend

Happy May!
Yesterday was crazy full and since I didn't get around to writing my Friday Favorites post, I thought I'd share just a few things tonight that I'm loving right now....

Even though we're in the process of packing, without know where we'll be moving yet (what an adventure!), I've been loving springtime so much. Yesterday I took a break from my list and stood super still in our yard with Judah. Together we watched a Mama Robin stuff her face with worms. She speedily stuffed in as much as she could, before heading back to her nest to feed her babies. And then the day before yesterday, I saw a Mama duck stop traffic to cross the largest highway in our town with her babies following in a line behind. This time of year, I find myself completely astonished with all the new flowers, the growth in the garden.....all the new and beautiful things.

So, in an ode to the wonderful newness spring brings, here are a few NEW favorites from the week.

Favorite New CD
Christy Nockles led worship at the IF:Gathering and this girl has a gift. I'm sure her new CD will be one I'll want to have stuck on repeat.
Favorite New Blog Design
Kelle Hampton has been one of my favorite bloggers for awhile. Her new site design is bright and clean. I love it. 
Favorite New "Me Time"
So, I did something new recently...... I dropped my kids off in a very safe and fun childcare area and I went to yoga. This Mama wants to be strong and healthy and ya know what? It's good to let your kids stretch their wings a bit, while you do something healthy for yourself. The funny thing is Paisley said the best part of her day is going to the gym. I guess it's a win/win for all of us.

Favorite First Dandelion 
These two. Smile.

Favorite New Brave Moment
Until now, he was happiest with his training wheels on. Last night however, something clicked with him and he suddenly decided it's time to take them off. 
Hope you're having a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

3 Kids, My Thoughts After Two Years In

Judah said something to me on the way home from school the other day, that I just haven't been able to let go. From the back seat, he randomly piped up "Hey Mom! You know what? I'm glad we have Eliza in our family. Having a baby has taught me so much." 
Those words of his...I needed them so much.

Since adding Eliza to our family 2 years ago, I've felt spread too thin, more often than not. Someone always needs me and someone else is always having to wait for something. Some days I go to bed with terrible guilt, convinced that I am not enough. When you have 3 young kids, you can't go and do all of the things as easily as someone who has 2 or 1, or kids much older. For me, having the 3rd has been the breaking point, where I no longer have it all together. However, my JOY has truly tripled. 

I've been watching how Judah and Paisley are with Eliza and while it might not as easy for me to take them all to certain places, for example, a pool to go swimming (nope- I wouldn't do that alone), the experience of having a baby in our home has been such a rich and irreplaceable experience for them.

The other day, Judah and Paisley were building all sorts of neat creations with blocks in the living room. Well, you can only imagine what happened when Eliza decided to join in. Two year old's don't build, they destroy. To solve the problem, I overheard Paisley ask Eliza to take her hand and come with her. To prevent Eliza from destroying what they'd just built, she gently led her off to another room and then played with her for awhile.

That baby sister of their's throws fits and she gets into their stuff. When she naps, they need to be quiet and sometimes we can't go as many places because it's too hard for me with all 3 of them.
However.....they know how to care for her and they are so much better from it. They love her and I can honestly say they haven't complained, not even once.

Right now, in my journey with 3 littles, I'm especially thankful for what a beautiful experience this is for my older ones. No, it's not easy for them, but I've never wished for my kids to have an easy life. I wish for them to have a life filled with opportunities to give and receive love. For opportunities to be taught and to teach. For patience, kindness, problem solving abilities and for a sensitivity towards the needs of others. And mostly, for the BIG  joy that comes when you pour out the love God's given us on someone else.
A real friend helps you roll up your pants, before encouraging you to go all in.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Pine and Cedar Lakes

Our monthly ladies hikes continue to be one of my favorite days of the month. This last week, we had 9 ladies and together we did the Pine and Cedar Lakes trail.

Here are a few photos from our little adventure:
Thinking of our good friend who lost her brother and his family recently. She speaks the message "Love Well" so bravely, even during this most difficult time. We're so proud of her.

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