Monday, July 21, 2014

wonderful wonder all around

i have a couple blog posts in the works right now
that were supposed to be up last week,
buuuuut, they're not quite ready so for now they remain in my drafts pile

instead of leaving you empty handed though, 
i thought i'd share a quote i heard over the weekend
as soon as i heard it, i thought of this exact picture i took on our way home from camping
(more camping pics coming soon, by the way)
and this morning i put the two together and came up with this:

"be aware of wonder"

there are so many wonderful and awe-inspiring things in our every day lives
so much to be thankful for
little evidences of grace all around us
we just need to make ourselves aware of it all

i often catch myself taking  for granted my life / kids / family / all the good things that i enjoy every day
then remind myself to notice them, savor them

so today i'm encouraging you to do the same:
take a look around, 
make yourself aware of the little things that make life wonderful
(and hey, if there are big things too, all the better!)

can't think of anything?  here are some examples to get you started:

- sunshine
- loved one's smiles
- nature
- berries
- children laughing
- the salty ocean breeze
- a good friend
- love
- sacrifice
- redemption
- dark chocolate
- coffee
- big life events (weddings / births / graduations / etc)

now it's your turn
what wonderful thing(s) do you want to take the time to become more aware of (and thankful for) today?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

my current favorite green smoothie

i buy a big tub of organic baby spinach every week
partly to force me to eat my greens (true story!),
but also partly because spinach is super versatile:
i can throw it in a salad,
stuff it into an omelette, 
wilt it with some spices for a super easy side dish,
...or, one of my favorite it's-3pm-and-i-still-haven't-had-lunch "meals," 
blend it into a green smoothie!

i've posted a couple green smoothie (or "green monster") recipes here before
(here and here), 
but this is the one i've been going back to over and over lately
and even though i have it so often, i still find the flavor really interesting
plus it's dairy-free / sugar free (date sweetened) / perfectly paleo
and it's got a boost of hemp protein in it!

yes, it's that good
the kids even love it*
you're welcome.
*(bear in mind, these same kids chose a thai broccoli salad and a kale superfood salad for lunch the other day...i've been told those aren't your typical two year old choices!)

at any rate, here's the recipe
try it for yourself - let me know what you think!

ingredients:
2-4 ounces coconut milk
(i use trader joe's light coconut milk because it's free of additives)
 1 heaping tbsp vanilla flavored organic hemp protein powder
(i sometimes just sub raw shelled hemp seeds)
1-2 medjool dates
1 cup (packed) organic baby spinach
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups ice

instructions:
- place ingredients in a blender or mini food prep
- blend until well combined
- drink up
(it turns out pretty thick so i often start with a spoon then switch to a straw)
like i mentioned earlier, i often have this as a late lunch to get me to dinner without filling up too much
it works great as a light breakfast, a snack any time of day or even an add-on to a meal!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Annual Camping Trip, Part 1

at the very end of my last post, i mentioned that we'd gone camping the weekend before
what i didn't mention was just how stunning the drive up was
seriously, i have lived in BC for almost 16 years now (yeesh, that makes me sound old!)
and i have yet to get over how gorgeous this place is
seriously folks, if you live around here, get yourself outside sometime, 
you don't know what you're missing!

even if you don't live around here, i'm sure there's something the great outdoors in your area has to offer
after all, it's not called the great outdoors for nothing

so go discover it!
take pictures, if that's your thing
or just take it all in
make memories
get exercise
breath in the fresh air
gasp at how beautiful it all is - i definitely do!
p.s. stay tuned - more photos to come from the actual camping part of our trip + scenery from the way home

Friday, July 4, 2014

a smorgasbord of celebration

hi, friends!

today is a good day to celebrate
"why?" you ask?
well, for starters, it's friday, which is always a good reason to break out into a happy dance

but today is even more celebration worthy than your average friday
because it's also the Fourth of July, so without further ado:
                                                                                                                 
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY
                                                                                                                 
and although i hate the movie (sorry to all you Will Smith fans / that crazy husband of mine) 
i am proud to be American and very thankful for those who have fought to earn and keep our freedom

and as if all that isn't enough reason to celebrate, it's also my sweet little nephew's the three week birthday
he was born at 28 weeks and is a teeny tiny little person
i took this picture of him the day after he was born, he's since grown a bit and is doing well, 
but as with any preemie, any and all prayers are appreciated!

finally, here are some pictures i took en route to our camping trip last weekend
because smiling faces are a good way to end a celebratory blog post
(and yes, my child is wearing a jacket on her legs instead of her arms in some of these...life with two year olds!)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

there might be a little dust on the blog...

...but don't let that fool you, we're just living liiiiife
k, that was kinda cheesy, but it's no secret that i'm a big cheeseball
and now i've got a song stuck in your head (haha - gotcha!)
that is, assuming you're up to snuff on your old country
...and if you're not, go watch this, then come back and thank me for the good laugh you just enjoyed

anyway, all that to say, it's been a while and there's lots to catch up on
we've spent the last month or so enjoying the perfect blend of keeping busy + summering
one big thing we celebrated was my baby brother's high school grad
here's to my brother, his classmates and the class of 2014
we (your families) are so proud of you 
and wish you the best as you march on into your next season of life!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

under the weather + under the boardwalk

well, as you can guess from the title of this post
(or at least from part of it)
we've been under the weather this week,
battling a pretty nasty stomach bug
it started with Daniel on saturday
then by monday i fell victim to it
and today, the girlies seem like they're fighting something 
(hoping it's not the same thing we had, cause that was bad - we'd appreciate any prayers on that front!)

in the midst of all this sickie-chaos / whine-fest / mama-just-wants-her-coffee madness this morning, 
i looked up and thought to myself, 
"how is this week not over yet?!  i don't even think i can make it through today"
then i picked up my 50 promises stack and flipped to the next verse
as i reached out, i half heartedly thought to myself, 
"wouldn't it be ironic if the next verse was just what i needed to read?"
and of course, what do you think happened?
"do not be afraid; for i am with you.  
do not be dismayed; for i am your god.
i will strengthen you, i will help you, i will uphold you 
with the right hand of my righteousness."

my Jesus never fails
i'm so grateful for His help, the reminder of which i needed so badly this morning

and let's be honest, the morning didn't miraculously get better
the kids are still whining,
my head is still pounding,
my coffee is still barely sipped
BUT
i'm leaning on Him for strength to apologize to my kids when i'm short with them
or better yet, before i hit breaking point i am able to stop and say a little prayer
to ask for His help, His strength, His patience, His love, His kindness

***

on a {mostly} unrelated note,
sitting in bed while i was sick
gave me time to finish sorting through my phone pictures from our most recent day at the beach
this batch is mostly from under the boardwalk
there's just something magical about a space that's not always accessible
and just look at the crazy designs from the water's reflection on the wood planks...so cool!
i love it when the tide's out...and i love sharing these beautiful things with my munchkins (and you!)

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