"I've found that when life's brush obscures my view with gloomy strokes that seem to mar the scene, God's hand appears and gives to sunless hue and dreary skies a more majestic sheen." Gustafson

24 July 2009

DAY 169 & 170

It was going on midnight last night when I started slowing down and then Comcast decided to disable phones & internet from 12AM-7AM this morning! I missed my post last night and wanted to take this time to go ahead and post for today, as well. Tonight I plan on being with my family as much as possible.

We had our team packing party at the church last night and it seems my suitcase (which I borrowed from the church) malfunctioned so someone graciously let me borrow another one. Chris, being the "pack daddy" layered and packed all 45 lbs of my "ish" so beautifully! I'm afraid to take it out...I know it'll never look the same once I start rummaging around in there.

Brit's 2nd swim lesson went really well yesterday! The teacher "forced" her underwater to swim and kick on her own and Brit wasn't a big fan. She cried three different times but sometimes that's the only way we'll learn. If we push off into unknown waters and learn to float on our own. I think I can relate to Brit. It's scary and no fun when you go deep. I feel the same way about leaving for Russia. It's unknown, scary and risky and I'll be in deep waters...probably in over my head at times but just as Brit has her teacher and the steps close for safety, I KNOW God has wrapped Himself around me as I push off into unknown waters. Clinging to Him like Brit would cling to her Elmo float!

Another post coming your way on August 3rd after I return.....

Abundance is...leaving little notes for my family to read while I'm away!

22 July 2009

DAY 167 & 168

Man, what a WONDERFUL evening with dear friends! The most amazing shish-ca-bobs (haven't a clue how you spell it!). Followed by ice cream and brownies and YES, I had some!! It was truly a blessing to have a night away from packing to just hang with an amazing family of five. Their 3 kids (ages 21, 19 & 15) loved on our kids and entertained them while I chatted with the adults. It was delightful! I just hate Chris didn't make it....he's still not home and it's 10:30PM. Long, rainy day at work for him.

I'm packing up my craft trunk and suitcase tonight for our packing party at the church tomorrow night. The countdown is ON!

After Friday, I won't get to blog until the 3rd! We only get a total of 10 minutes on the SAT phone while we're in Russia to call home and I won't be taking my cell so it's going to be hard enough not speaking with Chris and the kids for 9 days! Please pray for my heart to be at peace, I know I will miss them like crazy and I don't want that to take away from being in the moments with the people we're serving.

Abundance is...listening to Britain rattle off what she wants to be when she grows-up: teacher, doctor, dentist, guard ("who goes there? who goes there?"), and a fire truck girl!!!

20 July 2009

DAY 166

Friends-I think I've already checked out! Meaning, I don't have any motivation to work out this week. My days and nights are busy getting ready for my trip and I'd rather just hang with Chris.

Brit had her first swim lesson today and did great! Her instructor said her coordination is pretty good. She practiced some in the bath tub tonight and got more comfortable getting her ears in the water. Excited about tomorrow's lesson.

I was able to crank out a lot of crafts for Russia today so I feel a great sense of accomplishment today. One step at a time!!

Off to go hang with Chris for a bit before bed.

Abundance is...enjoying craft time with Brit...working side by side! :)

19 July 2009

DAY 165

Another GORGEOUS day/evening here in Middle TN! Ahhhh, I don't want it to EVER end! Zero humidity is truly AMAZING!

It's been a fun/busy day here at the casa. Brit helped me clean the whole top floor of the house, she's such a great helper! Then we made blueberry muffins, painted, did some laundry, rested on the couch, visited with Mimi & Papa and did some more crafts. Chris actually got home around 5PM which is unheard of these days so we grilled out and ate alfresco on the deck! After dinner, we loaded up and took a stroll through downtown Franklin (Britain pulled little man in the wagon the entire time!) and made a pit stop at Starbucks. Which was just what I needed to combat my migraine.

Abundance is...sweet moments with my little ones!

18 July 2009

DAY 163 & 164

Chris & I just came in from enjoying this AMAZING evening on the front porch! I want to sleep under the stars tonight! Would've been an excellent weekend for camping!

We've spent time with good friends the last two evenings which has been such a blessing. It's been a busy weekend getting stuff ready for Russia, grocery shopping, cleaning, etc.

I did stop long enough to try a delicious new smoothie recipe. They are so healthy and yummy! Don't cringe when I say that the recipe calls for a handful of spinach! You can't taste it and it adds so many good nutrients along with strawberries, blueberries and a banana. I'll send the recipe to anyone who's interested.

No workouts the past few days and I had Mexican tonight (chips & queso included) so that about tells you how I've been eating!

Abundance is....a crisp, cool night on the porch with my sweet hubs.

16 July 2009

DAY 162

To "all" my readers who care...I'm struggling tonight friends. Struggling and have a myriad of thoughts rolling through my mind. I'm bouncing from thankfulness to anger to utter frustration to sadness to feeling like one blessed Mama. Let's just say fostering and working with the system is really, really difficult. I haven't had tears about this in a long time and the anger is in my throat.
Ok, I need to switch topics...quick!
I've felt really down and had NO desire to workout tonight. I spent about 10 minutes venting to Chris!
I do have a genuine abundance quote...
Abundance is....watching Brit and little man do Pilates together. Little man on the floor, legs up, resistance bands around his waste and Brit moving and grooving to Maury! They really did cheer me up just watching them! :)

15 July 2009

DAY 160 & 161

So I skipped out on my blog last night...mainly because it was super late when I went to bed AND because I didn't get my workout in yesterday. I'm just now finishing up some craft projects I'm working on for Russia so it's another late night and we have to be at the hospital at 6AM so little man can get tubes.
I did manage to pep talk my way to the treadmill tonight for 30 minutes. I had NO desire to workout but alas I pushed through.
Eating the past two days has been pretty good. Still working on adding more fruits and veggies everyday. Brit tried celery, almonds and strawberries (and liked them all!) the past few days. AND she ASKED for cucumbers at dinner last night and tonight. The best part is she ate them without dip! I offered it to her but she refused. So, so thankful she's developing a taste for yummy, healthy veggies & fruits early on.
Brit is spending the night at Mimi & Papa's since we have such an early appointment tomorrow so the house has been super quiet tonight. It felt weird, yet refreshing to have little man in bed by 8:30 and have the rest of the evening to get things done. Laundry, workout, crafts, etc.
Abundance is....observing Brit's excitement and awe as she gazed upon God's beautiful rainbow this afternoon.

13 July 2009

DAY 159

I'm excited to share that I DID in fact get up right when my alarm clock woke me up at 5:45AM! And I was out the door walking our hilly street (6 laps to be exact) for a little over 30 minutes. It was a "cool" morning, the rising sun was beautiful! After my walk, I came in and spent some time in the Word and in prayer until I heard little man's chatter. It was such a sweet time!

I don't normally post my meals by I ate really well today, mixing carbs and proteins with every meal and wanted to share.
Protein bar & banana plus an 8oz Mcafe Mocha from McDonald's (free)
Apple slices & peanut butter
Veg chili (I tried mixing a small can of tomato sauce, kidney beans, diced tomatoes and rotel and it turned out delicious), low fat cottage cheese, blueberries & carrots with sundried tomato hummus (I'm not a huge fan of cottage cheese but mixed in with the chili it was really good...a lot like sour cream in chili)
Trailmix (peanuts, almonds, raisins & a few M&Ms from Trader Joe's)
Homemade low fat chicken salad (grapes, almonds, carrots, dill, light mayo, lemon juice) with lettuce on a whole wheat english muffin, asian broccoli slaw, grapes & Ovaltine (it contains a lot of nutrients and is really tasty mixed in fat free milk)

All of my helpings were much smaller than normal. Usually I go back for seconds but was really satisfied after these filling foods).

It's been a really great day. The kids were good sports making a few deliveries to some friends and then we made some crafts together. Chris rolled in at 6:45PM! I was floored....it's been so nice having him home all night. The kids love hanging on their Daddy when he's around.

I just finished Bible Study with a dear friend and I'm wrapping up things so I can get in bed soon.

Abundance is...listening to Brit's sweet song about God and her blessing that lasted about 2 minutes!

12 July 2009

DAY 158

The weekend is ending, *sigh* and I'm actually gonna get in bed EARLY tonight. Anytime before 11PM is early for me. My goal is to get up at 5:45A to get my workout in early and have some time in the Word. I didn't get my walk in tonight so I'm hopeful for tomorrow! I did manage to clean-up the kitchen, dry mop the hardwoods (we were being attacked by giant dust bunnies!) and dust. Accomplishment, YES! :)
Today has been packed with grocery shopping and errands this morning, lunch and hang time with one of my closest friends this afternoon and then time with Daddy tonight. He's still fighting a head cold and just crashes at night. His day was long and HOT so I know that didn't help any.
I stocked up on lots of fruits, veggies and healthy snacks at Trader Joe's so I'm ready for the week! I've got two weeks 'til Russia and need to get my butt in gear. Lots of prepping to do....physically, mentally and spiritually!
Abundance is...watching my two little ones hug and love on each other.

11 July 2009

DAY 157

I don't think I've seen 5:45AM in a long time until this morning! It was glorious and overcast...perfect for our neighborhood yard sale. I was able to get rid of some stuff and make a little moo-la for Russia!
Brit helped me shop some more for my trip this afternoon. Today she decided to take some of her own money to Michael's and "blow it" on crafts. We had a mini-breakdown in the process but for the most part she's a big helper.
The message at church tonight was based on Psalm 26 about standing on level ground. Our teaching pastor asked the question, "What does God think of me?" My natural, sinful thoughts always look to the world first to see what others think of me. I must embrace what's true about me...embrace reality. That's what God sees. He sees the choices I've made (good and bad) that are my reality. David's heart (in this Psalm) was not divided. He was standing on level ground.
The food choices I've made today have not been the best. This is SUCH a struggle for me! The reality is I will ALWAYS be faced with food temptations until the day I die. I did, however, manage to get myself on the treadmill tonight for 35 minutes followed by 100 beautiful crunches!
Please keep Chris in your prayers. He's got a bad head cold that has wiped him out this weekend and he has to be at work early tomorrow. He's got such a strenuous job with long hours so I'm praying for God to renew his strength and heal his body.
Abundance is....hearing Britain talk about Heaven. Mommy, "will my stuffed animals be there? Will I have my clothes?" :)

10 July 2009

DAY 156

Whew! I'm whooped....and I've still got a little more yard sale prep to do before calling it a day. Then up with the chickens!
Today has been oh so fun! My sweet friend Crystal planned a Fancy Nancy party for our little ladies so we got all dressed up (including the Mamas), strolled around downtown Franklin, ate a delicious lunch at a fun little spot, took lots of pictures and ended with Ben & Jerry's ice cream (I didn't buy one for myself but yes, I did help Brit with her Mint Chocolate Chip delight!). I posted pics on my Facebook page.
No workout out but I've been going non-stop since I got off work at 12:30PM this afternoon. We ate dinner at McAlister's and I had their healthy Mediterrean pizza again...it's vegetarian and very filling (lots of veggies). At one point, little man dropped some food on the floor and started yelling, "Scout, Scout!". We sweetly told him Scout was at home sleeping and not there to lick up his din din!
Abundance is...date day with my sweet little lady!

09 July 2009

DAY 155

Alas, another day without a workout. Thankfully, I ate really healthy today and had great success getting the kids to eat more fruits and veggies than normal. I packed them in at dinner. Brit and I had fun making some low fat apple muffins (another way to "sneak" in fruit). She did really well grating the apples and mixing the ingredients. They turned out ok although a little bland. The kids seemed to like them.
Brit went "down" around 9PM but was still chatting at 9:45PM so Chris asked me to keep her up until he rolled in (another late night). So, it's 10:15 and when am I supposed to get a workout in? I think I need to consider rising in the early morn...that seems the most realistic at this point. It's just so hard getting up before 6AM! Pre-kids, I used to BE at the YMCA BY 5AM!! Crazy!
Our neighborhood is having a yard sale Saturday (that I've helped to coordinate) so I'll be up a little longer continuing to price items and get things ready.
Abundance is...the joys of baking with my little lady!

08 July 2009

DAY 154

I'm weary and struggling with another one of my headaches. Thankfully it's not a migraine, I'm just super tired. Today was the first day in a long time that I kept a journal of everything I ate. I've really been convicted lately about eating healthier for health reasons, not even just losing/maintaining weight. Especially incorporating more fruits and veggies into our family diet.
Tonight was our last Russia team meeting before we head out at the end of the month. I can't believe how close we're getting! I've got so much to do to prepare.
Sadly, no workout today. Hoping to hit the treadmill tomorrow night.
Abundance is....coming home tonight and being greeted at the top of the stairs by all three of my VIPS! :)

07 July 2009

DAY 152 & 153

I'm back! I had nothing of interest to post yesterday and again, I didn't get my workout in so I skipped blogging last night.
BUT, I just got off the treadmill after an intense 30 minute walk using different inclines. I have to say those 30 minutes flew by! I haven't sweated this much in a long time! I need a good kick in the butt these days. My motivation and discipline is stalling out. My friend, Ally has lost over 20 lbs in the last 4 months and is a GREAT inspiration! I feel so blessed to have some great cheerleaders in my life spurring me on.
We got the official letter today saying we've been approved as Foster Parents! Praise the Lord!
Abundance is...the joy of hearing little man say new words! Precious...

05 July 2009

DAY 151

I'm sad to say I'm not in the best mood and don't feel like posting. I haven't eaten the best today and I didn't workout. Kinda in a blah mood because of it. I really need a jump start tomorrow!!
The day was fun with the kids...lots of grocery shopping and then craft shopping for my Russia trip. The kids did amazingly well despite the fact I lugged them around from store to store. :) Watching a little "Juno" with Chris now.
Abundance is...coloring with Britain!

04 July 2009

Day 149 & 150

Our wonderfully AMAZING mini-vacay to Chattanooga is over. Thankfully, it felt like we were gone for a few days! I feel so refreshed...it was so good for my soul! The kids did incredible and we had a blast! I didn't get my workout in yesterday or today but we walked all evening last night and some of today. We packed a lot in! The downtown Marriott where we stayed was fabulous; we swam in the outdoor pool yesterday and the indoor pool this morning. We ate a LATE dinner at Mellow Mushroom last night and then walked on the walking bridge over the river and caught the fireworks (the kids rode in our wagon!). It was 11PM before we got to bed so it was quite amazing that none of us woke up until 10AM this morning! We hung out at Coolidge Park today and let the kids ride the Merry Go Round and play in the water fountains. We ate at the Good Dog (a yummy hot dog joint) for lunch and I got a delicious salad. Then we walked around the Chattanooga Choo Choo shops and trains before we headed back home. I did get ice cream with the family and mint chocolate chip never tasted so good!
Abundance is...the blessing of a family getaway.

02 July 2009

DAY 147 & 148

I'm back! Sorry I was a slacker last night. I didn't have much to post (no workout last night) and honestly just didn't have it in me. Today has been much better!

I got in a 35 minute walk on the treadmill and feel much better for it. I turned off the voice that was telling me to eat tonight at 11PM! Victory moment! We had dinner at McAlister's and I had an amazing Mediterrean pizza with feta, black olives, peppers and mozzarella. It was on a whole wheat flour tortilla so it was extra lite and crunchy. We had a sweet time with the kids tonight at the park. Chris surprised me with the news that we're taking off tomorrow morning to Chattanooga for an overnight. He was able to Priceline the Marriott in the downtown area for a great deal. I LOVE mini-getaways and I'm pumped to "get out of dodge" for 24 hours!

Abundance is...a good laugh! Britain tonight, "Daddy, we got the Barbie Diarrhea movie at the library today! Chris and I laughing and perplexed! I said, "Oh, you mean the Barbie Diaries right?" Oh, that's it! HILARIOUS!

I'll post again on Saturday night. Happy 4th everyone!