Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Apparently I'm not great at this whole blogging thing b/c its been a long time since I've taken the time to write but tonight was too sweet not to share...

We've developed a routine at bedtime with Sammie saying goodnight to one parent (hugs, kisses ,etc) if they are home, then going to her room with the other for stories (a story a night from her Beginners Bible from G&G Wuerffel), prayers, etc.

Phil and I wanted to teach her to say prayers at bedtime and each have a similar (slightly different) prayer we walk through with her repeating us. Eventually the goal is for her to determine what she wants/needs to pray for but, what kid is really that in tune at 2?

Tonight I apparently really botched the prayer process that we usually do b/c I was corrected, not once but, twice by my 2 year old!  Here's how it goes:
"Dear Jesus, I love you.  Bless Daddy.  Bless Mommy.  Bless my family.  Bless my friends.  Bless my teachers.  Help me obey, grow strong and love You more.  Help me sleep good.  Amen"

Tonight Mommy must have forgotten to bless Mommy b/c I was stopped mid-sentence w/ "NO!  Bless Mommy!".  I also must have missed the opportunity to pray for Sammie to grow strong.  As I'm saying 'love you more' I was (again) stopped with "No Mommy!  I grow strong!"

Needless to say we made it through prayers and got in bed for the night.
With that I'll bid Good Night myself.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


There...I said it...I LOVE COFFEE MUGS!  I really do.  I love to give them as gifts filled with candy, coffee, hot chocolate or whatever.  Its a go-to Christmas gift every year  (we'll get to my love for Christmas later in the year) and I love to find a mug that really matches the person's personality.  for instance, a friend of mine used to always walk out the door with a regular mug of coffee that would, inevitably, spill in her car.  That year I got her a super cute travel mug (with lid).   

I rarely buy mugs for myself b/c its much more fun to get them as gifts so I can open the cabinet and see the various mugs, remembering when I received it and the gift giver themselves or, if I bought it myself (rare), where I was.  In fact, the only mugs I remember purchasing in the past 7 years are the Starbucks mugs from Cancun, Paris, and Barcelona.  Obviously bigger trips with significant meaning.

In addition to loving them I usually have a 'favorite' that I tend to drink my coffee from each morning (unless the dishes didn't get done the night before).  Currently my fav is the one I got for my birthday from my friend Michelle.  It's from Pier 1, white with multi-color polka dots on it.  Its light weight and the lip is PERFECT for sipping (not too thick, not super thin).  My previous fav is one that I received from another lady that I admire and is a "Life Is Good" mug, brown w/a  pink smiley.  Around Christmas, unless I get a new one this year, you'll usually see me sipping from a tall white mug w/ red & green polka dots from Starbucks.  If I make something in the evening I usually go for the bigger purple Minnie Mouse mug a friend got me in DisneyLand.  I hate to admit that the mugs that came with our dishes when we got married 4 years ago have been used by me maybe 5 times.

Here's my problem though...when I pick a new favorite I always feel like I'm 'cheating' on my previous favorite with the new mug.  From late November through Christmas you'll hardly catch me drinking from a non-winter/Christmas mug at home.  Again, I'm casting my fav mug aside for a month.  What to do...

Well, those are my thoughts for today.  It's been awhile since I've written and its been a tiring week.  I needed something to lighten it up a bit.  Here's to finding your favorite mug!

Happy sipping!

Friday, June 3, 2011

What's in Your Smoothie?

Earlier today I was browsing through some deals online and saw a coupon for a $0.50 off a 'smoothie'.  Based on the photo it looked no different than a slushy drink I could get at a gas station.  I guarantee that 'real fruit smoothie' is only a fraction real fruit and LOADED with sugar and calories!  I can run down the road and get another option with some soft serve added in too for a sugary and creamy treat.

That begs the question...'What's in YOUR smoothie?'  I work at Premier Fitness.  One of the things we offer to our members is the convenience of a smoothie/coffee bar inside the gym.  Many of our members grab a shake on their way out the door after a workout and to replace their breakfast or lunch. Our smoothies are loaded with actual nutrients, real fruit and calorie free sweeteners (if any) or honey.  For instance, the strawberry banana contains water, a REAL banana, frozen strawberries (not pie filling or ones soaked in sugary syrup), meal replacement protein powder that has a balance of protein, carbs and fat and ice.  That's it! How can you feel guilty about that?

There's a woman who works out at Premier and she and I happen to be Facebook friends too.  A few months ago she invested in a nice blender for her family and is loading her kids up with real nutrients.  She occasionally posts what she's made and they always contain tons of fruits and veggies.  **Side Note...did you know you can completely disguise spinach and other greens kids usually won't touch in smoothies if you mix them dark berries?**

I know, I know...who cares!  Well, I care!  It drives me NUTS that the same name is used for something so completely unhealthy as for something that's actually good for you.  I hate the fact that people drive up to certain fast food chains and snack bars and order their 'real fruit smoothie' thinking they've done themselves a favor.  In some situations they'd be better off going for the chocolate milkshake they are sacrificing not to order. 

Before you order a smoothie, ask the person making it what's in it.  If they can't tell you, than you probably don't want it! 

Don't get me wrong...I don't eat how I should all of the time.  I love ice cream and other treats.  What is wrong is companies advertising a product as 'healthy' when its loaded with half the calories you should eat over the course of your entire day!

If you ask and they can't answer your questions come by Premier...we'll make you a smoothie you can drink without regret.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

How Time Flies...

I started scrolling through old pictures of my daughter on Facebook tonight and love looking back at photos remembering certain events and milestones.  For instance, pictures from a lake house we were at almost exactly a year ago showed the turning point before she really started walking.  Thanks to my cousin's daughter (her second cousin or something like that) she got up to 8 steps in a row that weekend!  (I'll add pictures when I can get to them)

I look at other photos and remember her birthday and see the times when she really started changing, when her hair finally started growing and how tiny she was!  Don't get me wrong, she still is small as far as weight goes for her age but she was LITTLE!  I saw photos of close friends at the time that we rarely, if ever, see or talk to now.  

As I think back I want to say I miss those days but going back would mean giving up where we are now which is so much fun too!  Don't get me wrong, there are many things I miss about those days.  For starters, being able to carry her in her car seat in the store ASLEEP, multiple naps.  But, all the things I'd be giving up that I really enjoy now, her being able to communicate (using words!) what she needs and wants, how much more she can do and understand.  She's grown up from a baby into a little person in what seems like a single day.  As much as I hate that certain things are done I love knowing and seeing all that she has learned in such a short time!

So, instead of missing those days I'm choosing to cherish those days.  I got so tired of everyone telling you to cherish every moment because they grow up so fast!  But its so true! Now I find myself saying it to others.  

All this came to mind tonight while I was making a slide show of our graduates from church.  I was scanning baby pictures, photos of them as toddlers, playing sports, finishing each with each graduate's senior photo.  **On a side note, I must say that I'm pretty proud of this slide show.  ;-) **  I have only 16 more years to go and I'll be turning in photos of her for her graduation video.

All that to say what's on my mind tonight is to appreciate where I am now.  That doesn't include wishing I was in the past or wishing I was at a point in the distant or not-so-distant future.  Where am I NOW and what am I doing with it?  This is something I typically struggle with. When things are hard I look to the past and find myself thinking 'what if I had...".  On the flip side I often look to the future.  I'm a planner, I like to know what to expect.  Its difficult for me when big changes happen suddenly or to sit back and wait for things to just happen.  I'd rather make them happen.  

Right now I'm trying to remind myself that I don't have control over my future.  Sure, I have choices and though time will make many, many decisions but I don't believe those options are placed in front of my by chance.  Even when I choose to go a certain route I've often seen God close that door, forcing me to go the other way, the way I didn't want or choose to go.  The question is, am I doing my 'job' and trusting him for my future or am I trying to do God's job for Him?

Monday, May 16, 2011

God Versus a Postal Box

One of my former co-workers and I were talking on day a few years ago about trust when she made the comment 'I find it funny that I trust a blue postal box more than I trust my God sometimes.' This conversation  came to mind today when I was dropping off some mail on my way home from work.  

My daughter had tubes put in her ears b/c of chronic ear infections about a year ago. The past few days she's been showing signs that her ears hurt so I took her to the doctor this morning.  Sure enough one tube is out and one is barely in.  They are now useless leaving us with our first ear infection in a year.  Immediately fear entered in and trust flew out the window.  I started feeling sorry for myself and assuming that we would have to do another set of tubes (a very expensive 5 minute surgery) again in the next few months wondering how we would pay for it with her not so great insurance.  I immediately assumed worst case scenario and was trying to find a solution for the potential problem.  Just this morning the reading for the day in My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers was Recognizing God's Provision.  In his words 'No sin is worse than the sin of self-pity because it removes God from the throne of our lives, replacing Him with our own self-interests.'  I had essentially taken God off the throne, putting my 'problem' (that hasn't happened yet, I might add) as priority.  

We have blue postal boxes all over town, just about any city does.  I know I don't think twice about dropping a letter or bill I have to mail in them, trusting that it will arrive at its intended destination 99% of the time with 1% saved for errors on my behalf or a machine eating an envelope.  I don't care to know about the complicated system or how the letter will get where its going, I just drop it off and in a few days time it will have arrived.  Why is it that I can trust this blue box and complicated postal system more often that I trust the Creator of the universe? 

I can honestly say that I don't have a great answer to this question other than the fact that I'm human and full of sin.  But, I still throw the question out there...anyone?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Let's Go Outside!

One of my daughter's favorite things to do is 'go side!' (go outside!).  It doesn't matter what we're doing, where we are, if its hot or if its cold...she wants to go.  I hope she never loses that love.  

Years ago I coordinated kids' programming for a local church.  During one of the evening programs we didn't have much teaching time and it was beautiful so I sent the kids outside to the playground (a HUGE school playground) to play.  That night was the moment I realized how different the kids of today are.  I had a little boy and girl look at me with complete confusion when I told everyone to head out the doors. 

This is the conversation that took place.
Kid:  'But what are we going to do?'  (SERIOUSLY!) 
Me: 'Play'.  
Kid:'Can I take my video game?'
 Me: 'No, just go outside and play?'
Kid: 'But what am I going to DO?
Me: 'I'll bet you can figure it out, or go ask your friends.'  
Kid: 'Fine!'

I was baffled.  A 6 year old kid didn't know 'what to do' when sent outside to play.  What is wrong with this picture?  EVERYTHING!

I grew up and remember countless hours shooting free throws on the driveway, riding bikes in our neighborhood, playing on our play set in the backyard, playing catch, you name it.  Sure, we had TV with lots of channels and at one point in my life our living room was graced with the presence of a Nintendo featuring Mario Brothers, Contra, and Tetris.  But these were minor parts of our day, a last resort primarily used on days when we were rained or snowed inside.  

I hate to see what is happening to our kids today.  We talk day-in and day-out about childhood obesity and the failing health of our kids.  Usually the ones talking about it are the worst about getting their kids active.  They have the kids who can't leave the house without taking their DVD player or video game.  Now, don't get me wrong, my daughter loves a good Dora or Veggie Tales video.  She's learned some great things from those videos.  Dora helped teach her how to count to 10.  She sings a song about being thankful thanks to Madame Blueberry.  There is value to some forms of media (emphasis on some).  As in life with everything else from your diet to workouts the best things come in moderation.  There's nothing wrong with your kids playing video games, that is, until it turns into a 5 or 6 hour a day practice.  

Set limits.  Be a good example. PLEASE don't be that parent that makes exercise and activity a chore.  NEVER tell your kids they are fat or need to go on a diet.  Make activity a way of life for your family.  I challenge to you parents out there to turn off the TV, put away the video games and get your kids outside.  Get them ACTIVE!  We will never make a tiny bit of difference in the health problems affecting our kids until we do.

Friday, May 6, 2011

I Don't Want To Workout!

I can't tell you how many days I'm at the point of 'workout time' and I just plain don't want to.   Maybe I've not had enough to eat that day or the energy level is low or we had a rough morning.  Here's the problem with this...I WORK IN A GYM!  That's right, I sit in an office with treadmills not 10 feet away from me for hours of every day but the thought of getting on one makes me want to cry. 

Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture?

I'm not saying I'm in great or even good shape (I'm not) although others who aren't in the fitness biz would tell me I'm in good shape.  Let's just say its all a matter of perspective.  I played college softball and was in the best shape of my life my senior year in college, 10 years and one baby ago.  I can thank Coach Tom for that, our ex-Marine Drill Instructor Assistant Coach, and 'foul poles'.  I could lift crazy amounts of weight, was fast (for me) and as flexible as I've ever been.  I've had ups and downs over time with the other major up being my 'running phase' where I was running 4-5 miles a day without a bit of pain.  Perspective.

I share an office with trainers whose job requires that they be (or at least look) in good shape.  I have a degree in exercise science and know what I'm supposed to do...why don't I want to do it?  I've learned that, as much as I want to look like I did 10 years ago, I'm really not that dedicated to getting there. I know what it would take and I don't know that I want to take that time away from my family not to mention go through the pain. 

So, its all a matter of perspective.  I still do workout consistently, some days I want to and others I don't, to stay healthy. Here's why...I want to be able to run with my daughter while we're playing in the park.  I want live longer.  I don't have the money for a new wardrobe. I like to enjoy foods like ice cream and cookies.  

I don't have a major goal, competition or thing to achieve except to be happy being me.  My hubby will tell you that I'm happier when I workout.  It helps with stress levels and makes me feel better about myself even if the scale stays the same.  That makes life better for everyone involved b/c when I'm less stressed and feel better about me I tend to be a better wife and mommy.

Its all a matter of perspective...now go workout!