Us

Us
Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Psalm 127:1

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

15!!!!!!!!



I figured I would start writing this post a week ahead of your actual birthday because I wanted time to gather my thoughts and emotions over the fact that you have been in my life for 15 years when it really only feels like a breath of time. Most moms I know had 9 months to plan for their babies. They talked to them, watch them grow in their bellies and bonded with them the second their pregnancy test came back positive. I didn't have 9 months to plan but instead about 15 hours...fastest pregnancy E-V-E-R! Ha! We got the call on February 13th around 3pm that a baby girl had been born on February 10th and if we were still wanting to adopt, we could come meet you and pick you up the next day...Valentines Day!!

I had the privilege of  praying, waiting and hoping for a baby for many years and in those years I had plenty of time to ask God specifically for something that was really important to me. I didn't care if you were a boy or a girl or what color you were. I didn't care where you came from but instead I prayed for a child that would be full of the Lords Joy. A contagious joy that would come into this world and impact it for Gods kingdom and that is exactly who you are. You love the left out and desire what is good and true. You are just scrappy enough to handle your little sister and give the teasing back to your dad but inside you are passionate about music and life and people and also a hopeless romantic. You seek Gods word and want to see everyone you know fall in love with God. You have a spirit of adventure and you want to travel and see the world. I think if you have a say in it at all, you will probably dance, sing and play the piano wherever you go. I know whatever you do and wherever God leads you that people will be easily drawn to your giving heart and desire to love those who don't feel loved and included.

While I had a mere 15 hours notice that you were coming, another mom had 9 months to love you, sing to you and care for you until you were born and then after all that she still was able to do what she knew was best for you and place you in a two parent home. On your 15th birthday I am always so grateful for Kari and the unconditional love she has shown you. What a treat for everyone who has been able to be apart of your young 15 years watch you mature and grow into such a sweet, loving, fun teenager. You make me laugh daily and sometimes I don't even know what we are laughing at...probably because you are making fun of me in some way. I just continue to pray that you would always seek God and His word first even when the world is telling you otherwise...especially when the world is telling you otherwise!! I cannot wait to see how God is going to use you. You are a treat my sweet daughter. Me & Daddy are better people with you in our lives. Happy Birthday!
P.S. Stay away from boys until you're 30, they are evil! (except daddy) ;)

19 Years!!!

We celebrated our 19 year wedding anniversary yesterday February 8th. What a journey it has been. Never boring or dull that is for sure. We have gone through incredible heartbreak but also had unmeasurable blessings. Dan is my best friend who makes me belly laugh on a daily basis. If you ask him he would say the same thing although most days I am almost certain he is laughing at me. I told him the other day that the reason I love life so much is because it's like the most awesome adventure book and the best part is that come rain or shine, God is the author of our story. Our story has really low points and really exciting high points but you know in the end it's all going to be worth it. God is in the business of blessing His children and the only way we get those blessings in our marriage is if we take a stand and don't waver from the commitment we made to "for better or worse, in sickness and in health, until death do us part." We took the day off from "real life" yesterday and went to Glen Ivy and laid around in the hot springs all day. I told Dan that I hope I live to be a hundred so that I can keep him entertained for many years to come...he just let out a really long sigh...ha! Be blessed today friends!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Dogs and Kids and Rain Oh My!! (And orange almond muffins too!)

We had the most beautiful weather all last week so the dogs took full advantage of the afternoon sun on the patio. I watch my moms dog a couple days a week and that look on his face says it all..."Mom come get me!"
Ryanne is always creating something or making improvements to something she already owns. She bought this piggy bank and because it was "boring", she adder her own flare...
Cute.....and colorful just like Ryanne.
Then it was on to hammer and nails and wood to build a bench...
She only smashed a few fingers but it didn't seem to slow her down...
Then came the rain and wind that picked up our hammock and flung it across the yard. It had to look hilarious when me and Ryanne were out there in the winds trying to flip it back over and take it inside....
Macy has decided she's mad at us for moving her bed and so she steals stuff from the girls, chews it up and hides it in her bed.....the last victim was some bubble gum that belonged to Morgan...
She gets mad now when the girls check her bed to look for evidence of the latest crime...
It's exhausting being her ha!
Made these Orange-almond breakfast muffins to munch on next week. You can find the recipe at www.mywholefoodlife.com....she comes up with some amazing recipes that are healthy and easy to make. These are made with oat flour which is super easy to make. I just take my gluten free oats, put them in my food processor and pulse away until you get the flour consistency you want. These muffins are not so much sweet as you use coconut sugar and applesauce for the sweetness but they are still Yum! Here's hoping you all are having a great weekend and have a blessed week. 










Sunday, January 24, 2016

Meals and More....

Last weeks meals that I posted about turned out so good. The zoodle dish was surprisingly so AMAZING! I of course had help because both girls like to try things in the kitchen and Ryanne especially likes to cook and test taste meals as we prep them. She likes to be the one to decide what spice we need so I've dubbed her my little tasting chef. She also is learning to cut everything up and it's fun to watch her figure it out.
I think this pepper has seen better days but ya know it tasted good all the same ha!
I love how just over a year ago God took me all the way down to Belize where I met Brittney and how He brought her back to the states so I could love on her and her family. I got to spend a little girl time with her and her four month old daughter...such a sweet time when they are little like this.
Having a preteen and a teenager is super sweet too, just different.


Here is my list of what I'm cooking this coming week incase you are needing some ideas. I only plan five meals a week because Tuesdays are date night and the girls aren't home and then one night we usually have a "clean out the fridge" left over night and we fight over our favorite left overs ha! Most of you know we eat dairy free and gluten free so if any of these recipes call for cheese we just leave it out or use a vegan cheese. Also, if it calls for flour we just sub out GF flour, use corn tortillas instead of flour, things like that. I always want to give credit where credit is due and since I am a complete foodie-recipe-blog stalker you will find the links below the recipes I am making. Enjoy!
Chicken Enchilada Bowels-www.thewholesomedish.com
Creamy sun-dried tomato chicken-www.mynatur
alfamily.com
Chicken quinoa and broccoli casserole-www.pinchofyum.com
Kung Pao Chicken-www.fitfoodiefinds.com
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Muffins-www.amyshealthybaking.com 




Monday, January 18, 2016

No New Years Resolution...

So here's the thing, I'm not really one to make a New Years resolution and I'm just gonna go ahead and say the real reason...if you know me it won't come as a HUGE surprise but what might surprise you is why I wonder on a daily basis why my youngest daughter is like this. I don't like being put in a box, doing whatever everyone else is doing or.....being told exactly what to do. There I said it. The fist step is admitting I have a problem. This is no joke, I have serious issues people. When I tried to do the "read through the bible" in a year I was fine until about day 5 and then I started freaking out like, "What else am I missing? Could I be reading something different?" The whole scripture that had to follow the date drove me nuts! Don't worry though, God is working on me ha!


So now that you know my issues (only scratching the surface trust me on this), I will say I DO like to look back over the year and think about how God can use me more, change my heart to love Him more, what I can do better as a wife, mother, friend, servant. And because I am daily fighting to be healthier as I live with RA I would say I consider my health and how I can improve my overall pain level with better eating and exercise. I already bike, swim at the college and walk but I really wanted to work on my flexibility and range of motion more so I don't lose any more range of motion. I figured I could manage going to one or two "structured" classes a week as long as I could hop on my mountain bike and be free whenever I wanted the rest of the week. There's just something about going down hill with the wind in your face and nobody talking to you, no phones, just the cool air in your face and having to focus on riding is great therapy for me. I joined a Pilates class where you use the Reformer table and also a Burn at the Barr ballet type class. So hard! So crazy, crazy hard but so good! I mean like have to soak in the tub, rub bio freeze all over my body and can't lift my arms above my head for a day kind of good...it'll get easier right? :)

I also wanted to be more purposeful about having my meals planned for the week and the recipes magnet to the front of the fridge by Monday morning so that I am doing more clean cooking/eating. Plus my kids are old enough and willing to jump in and start dinner when they know what the plan is for the night. They both enjoy cooking and our youngest especially has this crazy ability to know what spices are needed to improve something. Here is what we are cooking this week:

Day 1-Chicken lettuce wraps with avocado and rosemary roasted red potatoes as a side. www.dearcrissy.com


Day 2- Cilantro Lime Chicken with zoodles and avocado
www.dearcrissy.com

Day 3- Turkey Chili and Gluten free cornbread


Day 4-Roasted veggie and black bean tacos with quinoa as a side
www.cookingclassy.com


Day 5- Slow cooker chicken noodle soup
www.simplecleanfitness.com

So there it is, my non resolution to eat as good as possible, dive into Gods word each morning wherever He may lead and exercise with fun abandon. Oh and to have joy in all things because God tells me to...see, not totally hopeless ha!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Christmas and A New year....

                       I have been wanting to post but when I say it was a crazy month in our family, it is really putting it lightly. I remember on Thanksgiving thinking to myself,"Self, we are going to totally chill this next month. We are going to enjoy the Christmas season and all it means to us. We are going to relax, not run around in the chaos, not be over busy or stressed and NOT worry about anything! Joy! Joy! Joy! We will NOT get sucked into the craziness of what Christmas has become." Then December 2nd rolled around and people lost their lives senselessly and it threw our first responder loved ones into the middle of chaos. It was a long couple of weeks of sleepless nights, anger and questions that really had no sufficient answer. Then Dan worked the shift when the president came to town and got to spend some time with the secret service. Stressful but interesting and a good experience all the same. We thought we were catching our breath when two days before Christmas with no warning we lost Dan's dad. It sucked the wind right out of our family and left us shaken and deeply sad. In the days since, Dan & I have started to regroup and reflect on the last few days and we were talking about how two days before Christmas could not have been more painful to lose his dad but on the blessing side of it; when you have young kids you have no choice but to push on and if nothing else celebrate their excitement in the season and find joy in just the blessing of another day to be together. So we went numbly to Christmas Eve service and clung to God and everything we know about his goodness. This is a recap from this month and all the sweet times God provided for us with our families and friends....

Morgan's friend turned 16 and they were treated to a fun murder mystery dinner....
Fun gifts mailed from Uncle Mike and Aunt Sarah....
Macy got her Christmas stuffed animal and was cuddled up on the couch immediately...
The girls think we can't take selfies because we aren't cool but Dans really long arms are actually perfect for group selfies....
We threatened to mail Ryanne to my brother...he said as long as we put snacks in there she would be fine ha! I love that Dan has on a Boise State sweatshirt because he wants to move there and Ryanne has on an SMU t shirt because her cousin plays soccer there....
This is Morgan and AJ; the more mellow of the cousins so they tend to gravitate to each other at get togethers....
I got to spend some time with my young nieces which is always good for the heart...
Dans mom with all her grandkids....
All the cousins lined up by height....
All the first cousins and their spouses who were crazy enough to marry into the family :)
I was thinking over 2016 and at first I think,"Please be a calm year God!" But then I remember that whatever life brings it's an adventure and that's what I love about life. The good, the bad and the ugly because all of those put together grows my character in the Lord and makes me who I am meant to be. It challenges me to be more compassionate, more at peace, to have pure joy in ALL circumstances that only comes from God, to be kinder and to have a more quiet spirit. To live large and fearless for Christ. To jump off that ledge into the water, climb that mountain for the better view, breath in deep the fresh cool air and thank God for the sunset that is never the same every night. To swim out farther and go deeper to see below the surface, to ride my bike on that dusty trail and thank God for the wind in my face and yup even the dirt in my teeth because I can. Because everyday I wake up and get to take another breath, I'm pretty darn determined to glorify the creator with that breath. To take nothing for granted, to fear nothing because Gods hand is in the details, to enjoy the creation and be in awe of the creator. Blessings!












Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Giving Thanks In Idaho....

We decided we wanted to do some exploring over Thanksgiving break and we loved Northern Idaho when we were there a few years ago so we decided why not check out Boise. We had heard great things about it and so we rented a little condo near downtown and off we went...

We fell in love with so many aspects of it that it is hard to nail down just one. We took a couple of hours one morning before the storm rolled in and toured the state capital. It was like 23 degrees outside so it was also a great excuse to get in out of the cold...

This building was beautiful and the marble work was breathtaking....our kids were afraid we were trying to "sneak" school in and make them learn while they were on break. Whaaattt? Me? "Nooo....just walk around the state capital and read all the historical markers and don't let any of it sink in, I promise you'll be just fine children."

Boise is Bronco college football nation so of course we had to visit the stadium..

Sadly they were in CA for a game so we missed seeing them play...

The best part of exploring was finding all the cute little areas with old fashioned candy shops and quant coffee shops....


One of the days brought about 2" of snow which was nice because we built a fire, had hot cocoa and just enjoyed the different weather than we are used to...

Dan & the girls did a 5k turkey trot on Thanksgiving morning and it was COLD! I think like 15 degrees. My doctor told me no because my leg is still healing, so me and my mom were the support crew...

Being a support crew member requires that you put a crazy turkey hat on and cheer on your loved ones. Yes I was proud and plus I think it makes me look taller. The atmosphere was so amazing. There were over 6,000 runners, walkers, people walking dogs or pushing strollers but then they asked us to face the flag while this guy played the national anthem on his violin....it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Then one person started quietly singing, and then another and then pretty soon all 6,000 of us were singing. I got very emotional and couldn't help but cry as I was moved to be thankful for our freedom.

My mom likes hot weather so she was freezing! She especially liked when I had the bright idea to take pictures near the river when it was like 12 degrees out ha!

We try as often as possible to take our girls and get away from the norm and into new places with different people and things to see and try...to just have that time with them that we can't get back and to be together as a family.

It was so beautiful this time of year. We are thinking of going back this summer so we can try some of the summer activities like mountain biking and kayaking, tubing etc.

 
On the way home we stopped in Provo Utah and woke up to more snow...I made sure to tag cars as we were leaving...the friendly kind of tagging of course.

Me and my mom are kindly making you aware that in this very moment it is 5 degrees!