Month: May 2014

If you write and no one reads it, did you really say anything at all?

I’ve been blogging for roughly six months now. I’ll admit that my first blog posts were in the form of email drafts. They were basically thoughts or memories that I wanted to jot down, but I didn’t exactly know what to do with them. Several months ago I attended a baby shower with a group of my high school best friends. One of them encouraged me to think about what I would do for a career if money, benefits, hours, and commute didn’t matter. If I could be anything I wanted to be, what would it be? This question has stuck with me since then. I feel silly even typing those words because shouldn’t I know that by now? Next week I’ll enter the last year of my twenties… and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up?!

Currently I work full-time at a job that I’ve gotten very good at. I wouldn’t say that I’m passionate about my work, but I get the job done accurately and on-time. I have friendly co-workers and I have learned a lot about interacting with people at all levels of the corporation. I have great benefits, work one mile from my kid’s school, am off by 4pm on most days, and rarely ever have to work weekends or holidays. If something comes up unexpectedly and I need to take time off, my managers have never made a fuss about it. All in all, I’ve got it pretty good. So why mess with a good thing?

Since I was little I have always enjoyed writing. Oftentimes I am much better at writing than I am at speaking. I am not the most outgoing person you’ll ever meet and I am completely uncomfortable being the center of attention. (I even suggested that Blake walk down the aisle at our wedding because I couldn’t handle the thought of 100 people looking right at ME!) It was this passion for writing that led me in college, while my advisors were breathing down my neck to declare a major, to decide to major in English. I focused on Professional and Technical Writing rather than Journalism or Literature because I have never seen myself as a reporter, journalist, or best-selling author. I’d much rather write just for fun. It helps that I can also write a professional-sounding email when put to task. But when my friend posed that question to me, my mind immediately went back to my love of writing and lack of crop since college.

It was after that baby shower that I started this blog. At first, I just copied those ramblings out of my email drafts and pasted them into a post. Then, when something came up, I’d write about it. I did this time and time again (23 times to be exact) before I ever even let anyone in on this secret. Sometimes it was an event or party that we attended and other times it was a thought that stuck with me all day until I wrote it down. A few times, it was a recipe that I loved and wanted to share. The problem was that I wasn’t sharing it with anyone. A few Saturdays ago, as I sat skimming through this little blog, I got up the courage to share it. I wrote out a little email, included my URL, and hit “Send” before I was able to change my mind. Granted, I only sent it to roughly six people, mostly all family, but there was something freeing about being able to open up in ways outside my comfort zone. I even heard back from a few people that they feel like they know me better since reading my thoughts. I didn’t ask if that was a good or bad thing, I just took it as good as pressed on.

I don’t foresee my dream career as a blogger – my life is not that interesting. But I have found this to be a great outlet to speak my mind and share the things in life that fill my heart. It’s also helped revive my love for writing that I thought was mostly long gone. So while I continue to search for what I want to be when I grow up, I’ll share my life and love along the way.

A Sweet Mother’s Day

For me, this has been the best Mother’s Day yet. Not because I got some great gifts or quiet time to myself – but because I was surrounded by the ones I love the most… My Family! Especially these two ladies – my mom and mom-in-law. Both of these women are incredibly special to me and I often don’t think I could make it through the week without either one of them. We always need our mommas! So thankful that I have two of the best around. 

IMG_0366
Blake couldn’t wait, so he and the kids surprised me with a couple of gifts on Friday night. I got new workout clothes, a new shower head, LED lightbulbs for the kitchen, and some handmade gifts the kids made at school.
IMG_0372
Now, before you cry for me, you’ve got to understand – I get some sort of appliance or home necessity for pretty much every holiday. Birthday = refrigerator, Christmas = dishwasher, Anniversary = washing machine gasket, etc. I don’t get upset because they are all things that we really do need and these things are expensive! It’s easier to swallow a big expensive when you consider it a gift rather than a necessity. At least that’s what I tell myself… moving on!
Saturday morning the kids and I went shopping with my mom and sister-in-law. Afterwards we came home and I got a workout in while Cameron got a nap. We had dinner reservations at 5:30 for the Funky Pelican with the whole fam!
It was a beautiful evening and we sat outside enjoying the waves rolling in while we caught up and laughed together. I love these people more than life itself!
IMG_0365
IMG_0362
IMG_0373
Sunday morning was a real treat. The kids both slept well past 8, and so did I! A rarity around here. When we finally rolled out of bed, Kailey couldn’t wait to give me the surprise she’d been hiding in her room all weekend. A seashell wreath she made at school! After church we swam in the pool while Blake grilled, and just enjoyed some sweet time together. (I won’t mention all of the laundry and chores that still have to get done, even on Mother’s Day).
IMG_0374
All in all it was an awesome weekend. Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms, grandmas, aunts, and friends (who all do a little mothering now and then). ❤
IMG_0361

 

Super-Packed Trail Mix

For the past week, I’ve been shredding it with Jillian. Every. Single. Day.

20140505-171555.jpg

Let me tell you, this workout is intense! The workouts are designed to be only 20 minutes long, which is perfect for a busy schedule, but they are 20-non-stop minutes. Jillian models her workout on high intensity interval training. From start to finish, there are no breaks and you end the workout dripping in sweat. My sister in law has been doing it with me, and we both agree that it’s the toughest workout DVD we’ve tried.

I haven’t noticed a whole lot of change in my body appearance, but I can feel myself getting stronger. I’m going to try to stay off the scale until the 30 days is over so that I don’t get discouraged.

Along with trying to work out on a regular basis, I’m learning about little ways to better fuel our bodies. I’ve been experimenting a little with some new-to-me superfoods: Goji berries and Mulberries. Both are quite sweet. The goji berries are a little tart and the mulberries taste a lot like raisins. Both are packed full of good-for-you stuff!

20140505-121402.jpg

Goji Berries – These little dried berries contain a healthy dollop of macronutrients. Carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats and soluble fiber. If that’s not enough, they also include 18 amino acids, free-radical fighting antioxidants, carotenoids, vitamins A, C and E, and more than 20 other vitamins and minerals.

Mulberries – These dried berries pack a protein punch! With 3 grams per ounce, this may become your best fruit friend! They are also a good source of iron, calcium, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. It also contains high levels of resveratrol – the powerful antioxidant found in red wine.

With packages filling my pantry, I decided this weekend to make my own trail mix. It’s an easy (and delicious!) way to get an added boost throughout the day. And when that 3pm craving strikes, hit the trail mix instead of the vending machine!

20140505-121326.jpg

I kept the ingredient list simple: Almonds, goji berries, mulberries, and dark chocolate. It would also be great to use half almonds, half cashews… but I didn’t have any cashews on hand. I made a big batch since Mother’s Day is this Sunday, but you may choose to cut the batch in half if you aren’t planning on sharing.

First, roast 2 cups of almonds in the oven for 15-20 minutes (or until you smell that nutty flavor!) – allow the nuts to cool completely.

20140505-121307.jpg

I chopped up 4 or 5 squares from this Giradelli Intense Dark Chocolate bar, and mixed it together with a cup of Goji berries and a cup of Mulberries. Once the nuts were cool, I added them to the bowl and stirred until combined.

20140505-121441.jpg

Seal them in an airtight container, and you’ve got a great snack for the next 7-10 days… if they last that long!

20140505-121416.jpg

What is your favorite healthy snack?