All posts tagged: Featured

Thankfulness and Hummus

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” -Mother Teresa The sun has finally come out in Colorado and graced us with a summer day! Would you like to know the evidence I have besides the strawberry shade to my legs? Well, let me tell you… One day last week, I was peacefully doing my hair in front of the mirror. The sun was pouring through my open bedroom door, flickering slightly as the pine trees swayed in the breeze, like tall mothers rocking their newborns, breaking the light into patterns on my tile. It was a rare moment, where everything in the world seemed to pause. Suddenly, I jumped. My body jumped, my heart jumped and, even, my cells seemed to jump, as a nearby gunshot reverberated just outside my bedroom door. I gasped, not expecting such a different atmosphere within 1 second flat. What was it? Well, in walked my beloved husband, carrying a cocked shotgun, looking more like a craggy, moss covered southerner, who has been …

Marvelous Marriage & Mango Smoothy

“…the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you.” Every Thursday night, I frantically throw together an easy dinner for the kids, so Daniel and I can have some time alone. Soooooo, last week we were on our date, making “eyes” at each other over bison and salad, because, people, trust me on this, it is SO worth it to keep flirting in your marriage! I want to be hot for each other at 90, trying to kiss with our dentures popping out and saying to each other, “Is that you, Sweetheart, or the fur coat hanging by the door?” Besides, a big cut of red meat to a man is like an Italian love song playing violinist, long stem red roses and a giant, glittering rock in a box is to a woman. Nothing, I mean nothing, says romance to a man like a beer and huge cut of steak. LOL. Anyway, I finished up my dinner and ordered a desert, not realizing just how large the desert was at …

Silence and Spaghetti

“Let us be silent, that we may hear the whisper of God.” – Emerson Two weeks ago, our family piled up in our Suburban for a little pre-season camping, looking an awful lot like the Beverly Hillbillies, with blankets, tin cups, enough S’mores’ supplies for the nation of Chad and with sausages strung along the roof rack. Ok, I am teasing on the last one 🙂 If you’ve been into the mountains, isn’t the silence up there hard to describe? Even our quiet moments down here don’t compare. And, it doesn’t just silence the exterior noise but my thoughts start to slow way down, as I take in the popping of the fire, as it breaks down twigs and the white sides of aspen logs, and the evergreen needles snapping under the hooves of visiting deer. Learning to be quiet is a skill and in my 9 person family, which is as peaceful as bead craft day at a junior high girls’ summer camp, a prized commodity! Often when the whole house sleeps, I lay …

Making Healthy Choices and 20 Healthy Snack Ideas

Although I was a Criminology major and, long ago, managed a team who went into buildings in the middle of the night and crawled through ceilings, installing secret, pin size cameras, I don’t usually spy on people, I promise! I should confess that I am utterly techno-ignorant and had a brilliant team; I was a lot like an overzealous 15 year old whose parents give him a brand new Porsche Boxter the day after he gets his learners permit (I was a young leader with gifted help). The above pictures were taken right at the end of my time as a Detective Manager. Can you see the beautiful little girl that changed my mind about being a career woman? 🙂 Anyway, I am quite literally in a coffee shop at this moment, listening to two women beside me loudly talking about a fitness drink that will help them rebound multiple times a week from hangovers. I heard the word “isotope” and other trendy health terms thrown around, like jelly beans at Easter. This is not …

Aspens, Growth and an Intense Ab Workout!

“Whose woods these are I think I know… The only other sound’s the sweep, of easy wind…The woods are lovely, dark and deep.”  – Frost When we moved into our home 10 years ago, there was one young Aspen tree behind the kitchen window that had recently been planted by the previous owners. I loved the way the leaves flipped back and forth, like broad green coins in the wind. Every year, I eagerly look out to assess its growth. Ten years on, that tree hasn’t grown an inch. Not one single inch! And, it hasn’t sent out a single shoot. It is completely solitary and small. It has aged however. There’s something sad about a tree that ages and yet remains small. It looks worn out, just as a child hunched over unmoving on a park bench would look. Here’s why it hasn’t grown or reproduced… Well, first of all, Aspens need full sun and this one sits shaded in a woodland of pines, like towering, overbearing giants. But, more than that, Aspens need other …

The Freedom of Being Childlike and Thai Lettuce Wraps

When my faith gets tired You spin me round and round And remind me of that song The one You wrote for me And we dance -Bethel Music Apparently, Zac Efron is the cutest guy around nowadays. Who knew?!? Lol. Oh, how The Tinies crack me up. Who are The Tinies, you ask? Yes, they deserve their own article, capitalization and title! They are my three little ones – Caetlin, Hannah and Joseph. People have frequently reminded me that they aren’t tiny anymore – stop that! 🙂 So, I was happily driving along this week when, out of the blue, The Tinies started in about Zac Efron. One daughter said and I quote, “Zac Efron is soooooo cute that I can’t stand it. I am jealous of the girl who was in High School Musical with him because she got to kiss him!” My face at that moment was just like that stunned, blank and open eyed emoji. I stammered, “But, you’re 9!” The prompt reply from another daughter, who is the great family informant …

How to Eat a Whole Dinosaur and the First 3 Weeks of my 3 Month Ab Challenge

“Who will bring me to the strong city? Give us help from trouble, For the help of man is useless. Through God we will do valiantly.” Psalms 60 Every week, I try to write just a little about what I’m working on heart-wise, as well as with my fitness. You see those awesome people above? They are the best thing I get to be a part of every day on this earth. This week, however, I am feeling utterly overwhelmed with the needs of each of those 7 kids and their different and unique stages of life and academics. Our schedule is about as peaceful as a snowman in July. Nod to Frozen. Give me a break, people, I rarely have time for grownup movies! Lol. A good chick flick with friends, chocolate and jammies sounds like a slice of heaven right now. Let me give you a tiny one minute example of my kids and their ages. As I picked up kids, ages 7-17, yesterday and was navigating busy roads with construction going on, my …

Easter Eggs and Dairy Air, All About Glutes

“I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground” – Hillsong I was talking with a friend recently and we realized we both look at egg dying with all the fear and trepidation of Bambi accidentally released into the Mountain Lion cage at the zoo when funding is down.  It’s one of those traditions that is just flat out a mess and, with teenage boys who make everything a joke, you can imagine what it was like in our house this year! Let’s put it this way, how many random things can you do with a boiled egg and 6 colors to make your brothers guffaw harder? Yeah, they tried them all! One of my sons has taken to saying in a goofy voice, “I am so sorry, Loretta.” Obnoxious and hilarious, both. In fact, as I type this blog post, my sons are belting out a dramatic version of the smooth as butter, “pickup” song “Take Your Time” by Sam Hunt. I’m totally fine with a boisterous dance party in my living room, …

The Great Gift of Life and Homemade Spelt Bread

“This is my one and only life … And it’s a great and terrible and short and endless thing.” – from the movie, P.S. I Love You Have I ever mentioned that I have old order Mennonite in my background? I know! Shocking to believe that this modern girl, who loves a very particular, persnickety latte that takes a seasoned auctioneer to recount, central heating, cute hair and who is drawn to all things glittery, just like the intoxicating effect of Catnip on our feline friends, would ever have come from that heritage! Two years ago, at the ripe young age of 42, I had my first pedicure, first professional nails done and first Mimosa. It was a year of lessons in all things girly, I guess. Let me tell you something, this Mama of four 100% burly boys, 3 of them in their teenage years, needs to enjoy those estrogen laced activities as much I can. Today alone, by way of example, I was sent to my early grave by the boys rigging a door …

My Health Story and Mexican Bibb Lettuce Wraps 

My journey towards a healthier physical lifestyle started 9 years ago. Before that, I made reasonably healthy choices but had a very American diet. One evening, my husband, Daniel, and I were on a date, completely unaware of what the evening would hold. We drove through Starbucks and, as we pulled away, my eyes crossed and I couldn’t straighten them for half a minute. That doesn’t sound like long but, believe me, when your body won’t function right, your life seems to move in “SLOW MO,” like a bad video editing job from the 80’s classic, The Bionic Man. Daniel rushed me to the ER where they conducted a CAT scan. They had no explanation. This continued and other symptoms ranging from the feeling I was blacking out to being so cold I couldn’t tolerate it. That season of life was about as fun as wrestling with a stingy toilet paper dispenser in a public restroom. I mean, who mounts those puppies so low you can’t pull any down and out without it breaking off …