Monthly Archives: November 2016

What We Ate Last Week!

Good nutrition plays such a huge role in a healthy body and mind. And my job revolves largely around helping my clients promote good health in their lives through things like meal planning, learning to read nutritional labels, choosing healthy foods at the grocery store, making healthy choices at restaurants, knowing which ingredients to avoid, the list goes on and on.

During sessions with my clients, I’m frequently asked, “So, what do YOU eat? What kinds of meals do you cook at home?” I love giving my clients ideas for simple, healthy meals that can be prepped in 30 minutes or less. Even though I love to cook and relish the idea of having hours in the kitchen to make everything from scratch and present a 4-course meal to my husband every night, the reality is that I don’t have time for that. And neither do most of my clients and friends. We need meals that are easily prepped, quickly prepared, and ready to be served ASAP. Most of us have busy, hectic schedules and dinner needs to be simple and easy.

healthy-eating-ecardAlthough the ideal is that everything would be homemade, with no prepackaged foods, and only organic, locally grown produce, the reality is that most people don’t have the time – or the money – for that. Sometimes heating up a bag of frozen green beans is the only way we’ll get our veggies in at dinner. I’ve learned over several years of being a Holistic Health Coach that if I give my clients complicated recipes that call for weird ingredients and take an hour to pull together, they’ll just end up driving through McDonald’s instead.  😛

For most people to invest in cooking healthy meals, they need to be as healthy as possible while still being as SIMPLE as possible, which is where I come in. 🙂 My goal is to provide my clients with recipes that are as healthy as possible, while also ensuring that they (and their kids, which is often the real challenge) will be willing to eat the foods involved.

I thought it’d be fun to do a weekly post on here about the meals that my hubby and I are eating each week! Hopefully it’ll provide some inspiration for those who are looking for healthy meal ideas.

I haven’t done my meal plan for this week yet, so here’s a look at what we ate last week, instead:

WHAT WE ATE LAST WEEK:

Monday: leftovers from the weekend!
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Tuesday:
Crock Pot Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings
– this is one of Rob’s favorite recipes that I make, so we eat this pretty often! 🙂 I always use drumsticks instead of wings, though (our personal preference).
– I made a pot of rice with this and some sauteed green beans for our veggie!

Wednesday: Trader Joe’s Shitake Mushroom Chicken
– about once a week we have a night where we need a super quick meal and I don’t have time to cook much of anything. Our go-to for those nights is Trader Joe’s frozen section! This was our first time trying this particular entree and it was delicious! We had leftover rice from the night before and ate that with the stir-fry.

Thursday: leftovers!lemon-chicken-veggies-1

Friday: Lemon Chicken with Veggies
– first time trying this recipe too, and it was delicious!
– I didn’t have room in my pan for everything, so I roasted the potatoes in a separate pan with just some olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder (our favorite way to eat potatoes!)

Saturday: out for dinner (at a friend’s adorable gender-reveal party with a Pasta House buffet!)

I’ll be back soon with a post sharing my favorite resources for healthy, easy recipes!
Time to get a meal plan going for this new week! Enjoy your Sunday, friends! 🙂

Lessons from the First 4 Months of Motherhood

Motherhood is sure stretching and growing me in many ways. I’m only 4.5 months in, so I’m a total newbie still, but if there’s one lesson that stands out in my mind so far, it would be this:

You are not in control.

Ha. Any mom who is reading this right now is probably chuckling and nodding her head.  I sat next to a really sweet lady at church a few weeks ago and we got chatting about our kids. Hers were several years older than mine and she asked how I was adjusting to life with a baby. I said, “Well, it’s definitely teaching me that I’m really not in control!” She laughed and said, “Honey, control is an illusion. None of us are ever in control.”

So. True.
But before having a baby, I definitely lived under that illusion at times. Okay, most of the time.
My life was so orderly, running like a well-oiled machine (for the most part). And there’s nothing like having a baby to teach a Type-A, schedule-loving, extremely organized person that life will be so much betterimg_2379 if you just let go of trying to be in control!

You realize as a mom that everything is flexible. I used to hate that word!! 😛 Now it is my lifesaver and my mantra.

Want to meet for coffee? Ok, I’ll be there around 10:30. Oops, baby had a diaper blowout…be there at 11!  Need to run to the grocery store? Wait, she’s falling asleep so I think we’ll just go after nap-time. Babies are great at helping us crazy Type-As learn to just go with the flow. 🙂 It wasn’t an easy transition for me, but I’m slowly getting more used to it and becoming more…dare I say it, flexible.  😉  let-go-of-control

Because I’ve always been a timely person who hardly ever cancels on anyone and hates to make changes to the original plan, I feel horrible when I have to reschedule or arrive late to a coffee date with a friend. It doesn’t happen too often any more (I’ve learned to build in a 20 minute buffer to get out the door, haha!) but when it does I always apologize profusely and struggle not to feel like an awful person for keeping someone waiting. Did I mention I also have a perfectionist side? I’ve also been learning a lot about being okay with imperfection in my life. (Not that I ever thought I was perfect, but I definitely tried to be.)  I think I need to re-read the book The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. My counselor recommended that to me during my recovery from anorexia, and it was very instrumental in my healing. Anorexics are notorious for being perfectionists, and I was definitely not the exception.

Speaking of imperfection, motherhood has helped me be okay with an imperfect house too! While I still maintain a pretty clean home and keep up with the dishes and laundry for the most part, I’ve loosened the reigns a lot when it comes to dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning the bathrooms. I realized one day that my friends would still love me and come over to hang out even if my coffee table was dusty and my bathroom hadn’t seen Windex in a couple weeks time. Imagine that.

All of this to say, I’m really grateful for these lessons that motherhood is teaching me so far. I’ve got a long ways to go, but my other favorite mantra in this stage of life is “one day at a time” so I’m just going to keep chugging along. 🙂

Not only is this little cutie an amazing joy and blessing, but she’s teaching me so much every single day. I’m really thankful for this mama life.  ❤

Favorites of Fall with Lydia

I’ve loved this Fall season with our little girl! Once she hit the 3-month mark, she became so alert, interactive, and responsive to the things around her, which makes everything more fun!!

We went to the pumpkin patch with my family one evening and she was fascinated at all the people and pumpkins.
After picking out some fantastic pumpkins, we went back to my parents’ house to eat IMO’s pizza, the best!!


For my birthday on Oct 18th, Rob planned a fun day of surprises for me!! He let me sleep in (what a treat that is nowadays! 🙂 ) and I came downstairs to him cooking an amazing breakfast: omelets, bacon, fruit, OJ, the works!! Then we went and worked out (he knows me so well, haha!) and then he told me to pack up and we headed off to apple picking!! It was such a beautiful day for it, and even though we were near the end of the apple picking season, we managed to come away with a great haul. Lydia’s favorite part was riding behind the tractor through the orchards.

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That night, Rob had arranged for his parents to come babysit for us and we went on an awesome date night to a new-to-us place called The Rack House Winery in Cottleville! Our meals were amazing, and when Rob mentioned it was my birthday they brought out an incredible dessert: homemade brownie with caramel ice cream, bourbon whipped cream, and a sprinkling of bacon on top! We weren’t too sure about the bacon at first but it actually went really well with the sweetness of the brownie. Overall we loved this restaurant and definitely want to come back sometime!!

We ended our date night just chatting at Starbucks… it’s crazy how special those times are now since we have a little one at home! Having some time to just sit and talk without distraction is something we never take for granted any more! 🙂
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Speaking of time to chat, Rob’s mom came over on Wednesday so Rob and I could get out for a little date-time in the afternoon! We went to a park just a few minutes away with a blanket, some coffee, and a deck of cards. Loved getting to enjoy this beautiful fall weather with my guy.

For Halloween, my mom got Lydia an adorable little butterfly costume! We went to a party at a friend’s house and Rob and I threw together some last-minute costumes when we heard our friends were dressing up. (Cowgirl and Crocodile Hunter, in case you were wondering!! 😉 )


We’ve been trying to spend as much time as possible outside with Lydia before the weather gets too chilly! Pretty much every morning, she and I go out on the patio for a bit; she loves to watch the falling leaves, and I get some work done while we sit there together. When Rob gets home from work, he’ll often take her for a run at the park; being outside is her favorite! Yesterday I took her for a run at Creve Coeur Lake, and she stared at me almost the entire time with one finger in her mouth. Never fails to make me laugh, this one. 🙂
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She’s been waking up earlier and earlier these days, which makes me a tad bit terrified about what’s going to happen tonight with Daylight Savings!! I got spoiled because for the first couple months of her life she would sleep til 8:30 or 9am. We’re doing great now if she sleeps til 7! Thankfully her naps have gotten longer, though. They used to only last 30-40 minutes but recently we’ve had a pretty good streak of 1-2 hour naps going!!

Rob and I are loving this stage of life with Lydia. It’s amazing to watch her taking in everything around her. She’s so curious and fascinated by the simplest things. We love her to death and can’t believe how fast she is growing!!! I’ve never felt like time was flying by so quickly until I had a baby.

Can’t wait for the fun of the holiday season with our little cutie!! 😀

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Sovereign Over Us

(originally written July 30, 2016)

If you have a Facebook account, you’ve probably noticed from time to time that Facebook will remind you of memories from years past of what you posted on any given day. I don’t usually give them much notice, but this morning the memory Facebook popped up with was one that brought back many emotions along with it.

11694089_667929953306560_6350319234625176378_nA year ago today, I shared a picture of the whiteboard on our fridge. Rob had written lyrics on it from a song called “Sovereign Over Us” by Michael W Smith. I wrote in my post about how these lyrics were such an encouragement to me; a reminder that God is in control even when it doesn’t necessarily feel like it at times. I wrote about how this song had been playing on repeat in my car and home for the past week.

What I didn’t say in my post was that the reason this song meant so much to me was that we had been trying for several months to get pregnant, with no success. With each month that passed, I felt like more of a failure. I felt like something was wrong with me. I had already been nervous about my ability to get pregnant because of my history with anorexia, and it felt like each month that fear was becoming more of a reality, no matter how hard I tried to trust God and have faith.

Rob introduced me to this song somewhere around that time, and it quickly became my lifeline, my reminder that God was with me. I literally played it on repeat over and over again in my car during every tough day, and wrote the lyrics in my journal many times. I listened to it on my trail runs, and sung it, through tears sometimes, while I cooked dinner.

One weekend we went to a wedding where it seemed like every woman around me was pregnant. It felt as if everywhere I turned there was a reminder of the ache in my heart that had yet to be satisfied. I felt pretty defeated by the end of the night, despite my best efforts to keep a smile on my face. However, the next day at church, this same song came on the screen during our worship and I had tears of hope running down my cheekse as I sung the very familiar lines:

“There is strength within the sorrow
There is beauty in our tears
And You meet us in our mourning
With a love that casts out fear
You are working in our waiting
You’re sanctifying us
When beyond our understanding
You’re teaching us to trust”

Up until now, I’ve been afraid to talk or write about how much I struggled emotionally with this journey of trying to conceive, because I know there are so many couples out there who tried far longer than we did to get pregnant. There are so many who have had to wrestle with long-term infertility or are faced with the inability to ever have children.
My heart breaks for them. I can’t even come close to imagining or understanding how painful that heartache must be.
I feel embarrassed sometimes with how much I struggled through the months that it took us to conceive.
But I’m learning as time has gone by that although my story quickly pales in comparison to so many others who are dealing with far more painful circumstances, this is still my story, and I hope that perhaps by sharing it, it will be an encouragement to someone else in their journey too.

I like to think sometimes that I am in control of my life. I love making lists, planning out my day (and my month, if I’m being honest) being organized, and feeling confident of how “the plan” is going to go. Needless to say, I approached our efforts to conceive with my usual Type A mindset: if I do XYZ, I should be able to guarantee ____ outcome.

trust-godWhen one month after another passed by with no sign of a baby, I was forced to admit that I really wasn’t in control. This is one of the many lessons I was reminded of again and again during those months of doubt and fear. It felt as if the Lord was gently whispering, “Let go of your need for control. Stop exhausting yourself with this struggle. Surrender. I know what’s best for you and I have good things in store for you. Trust Me.”

It’s a lesson that I’m still learning to this day. I don’t think I’ll ever be done with it. It’s a continuous endeavor, and some days and weeks are better than others. I still struggle to let go of my desire for control. I still try (often) to hold the reigns to my life, but God gently reminds me again and again that I can trust and rest in Him.  Surrender is not a dramatic one-time event, but rather a journey of many little steps, just one foot in front of the other. And I’m trying to make those small, moment-by-moment choices to have faith in His sovereign plan. He has good things in store for me, and for you. You can trust Him, friend.

“Your plans are still to prosper
You have not forgotten us
You’re with us in the fire and the flood
You’re faithful forever
Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us”
–Sovereign Over Us by Michael W. Smith

Back to Blogging!!

I’m back!! After a VERY long hiatus from blogging, I’m excited to get back into this!! I’ve been wanting to start up my blog again for awhile now, primarily because a lot has been going on in my life and blogging is one of my favorite forms of journaling and remembering milestones and events.

Now that I’m a mostly-stay-at-home-mom who only works a few afternoons a week, I’m hoping I’ll actually have more time to devote to putting my thoughts on paper screen. Ideally, the little babe will take some nice long naps during which I can sit on my couch with coffee in hand and write, write, write! That’s the plan anyway. But if there’s one thing having a baby has taught me, it’s that I’m really not in control. 😉

Can’t believe how fast the time has flown; she is already 4 months old!! I’m planning to write up her “birth story” one of these days and share it here on the blog! But for now, here are some pictures of her teeny newborn cuteness!! 🙂

 

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