Thursday, June 30, 2016

Thankful

This week I was thankful for: 

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Day 1

  • A night free of plans.
  • Ina spending the day with our friends The Snyders visiting from Colorado.
  • Cora’s patience with Ina. They are generally pretty nice to each other, but sometimes Ina crosses the line and Cora mostly just takes it. 

Day 2

  • Free splash parks
  • TJ’s frozen pre-chopped and charred peppers and onions. They make fajitas a breeze. 
  • Etsy and the talented people who sell there.

Day 3

  • Sticker books.
  • Swimming pools.
  • Royals games.

Day 4

  • Zootopia. I love movies we all can enjoy.
  • Ina eating THREE chicken legs for dinner. I need to put these on a weekly meal rotation.
  • Watching the girls play in the rain on the front porch. This is what memories are made of.

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Day 5

  • Ina stopped crying at t-ball practice. It was looking bad there for a minute or two, but eventually she dried it up and “played" the rest of the 15 minutes of the “game."
  • Blueberry kombucha
  • Red tomatoes in our garden. (I can use a “s” because we have had two!)

Day 6

  • Rain. Clouds. Air that isn’t so hot its hard to breathe.
  • A Thai lunch.
  • Library books. The concept of a library is genius and I wish it applied to more areas of my life. (Clothes, cooking utensils, tools?)

Day 7

  • Inbox Zero on both my work and personal email accounts. 
  • A beautiful afternoon walk around my office
  • Podcasts. Serial is back in my life. I also listened to this incredibly interesting piece titled, Tell Me I’m Fat.

What are you thankful for? 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Currently June 2016

Currently reading: Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I am 100 pages in and although there are some colorful parts, the book is good and weirdly making me want to go on a backpack hike. Also, I am trying to end the night by reading, even if for just a few pages. 

Currently drinking: Coffee with almond milk, coconut oil, and collagen. I ordered some collagen powder on Amazon after seeing some bloggers use it in place of more traditional protein powders, of which I am not a fan because of their weird aftertaste. The collagen powder doesn’t have a taste at all and dissolves right into my morning cup of joe or smoothie. There is also a chance it could help my joins/hair/skin/nails, but mainly I am just in it for the tasteless protein boost. 

Currently listening to: Down to the River. This is Ina’s song and we listen to it no less than 10 times a day.

Currently anticipating: Our Hilton Head vacation at the end of August. I visited the island twice in high school and even my high school self knew it would be a great place to take my future family one day.

Currently laughing at: Speaking of my high school self - she hated all things running. More specifically, I hated running suicides/killers/lines at basketball practice. Fast forward 15 years and I am running them in my living room, as directed by Jillian Michaels. My high school self would be in shock. 

Currently watching: Gilmore Girls re-runs. I need to be back in the game when their new stuff comes out. 

Currently eating: Paleo Pumpkin Custard - so good for a quick breakfast and pairs perfectly with a black cup of coffee for beginning of the work day email checking.

Currently needing: my hair trimmed. Why do I always put this off until it is completely out of control?

Currently planning: Cora’s first birthday party. We are doing a flamingo theme. I equally want to go Pinterest crazy and not do anything. Things I know I am outsourcing:

  • location: splash park. So happy that my house/yard won’t have to be birthday party ready.
  • cake: not even going to attempt
  • invitations: thank you Etsy
Things I know I can handle:
  • food
  • It seems like there should be something else on this list?
Everything else is up in the air.

Currently loving: my summer capsule wardrobe. I know this is so trendy right now, but for good reason. If you are craving a change in your fashion life, you should totally go capsule.

Currently in shock that: Cora slept though the night last night! Sunday and Monday nights were HORRIBLE. However, this morning I woke up (and of course checked to make sure she was breathing), completed my workout AND am writing a blog post. Take that, sleep deprived motherhood. 

What’s currently going on in your life?

Have a good day!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

My Plan for the Week

Hey there! 

What a weekend it has been so far. 

Friday afternoon I shut my laptop and Dan and I immediately packed the girls in the car and headed to the splash park. 

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Cora loved it until she was cold. Ina had so much fun that she kept on accidentally running into people. After she had to apologize to the third kid that face planted due to her absentmindedness, Ina said (in her best Eeyore voice), “I sure have knocked a lot of people over today."

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Sorry kid, you get that trait from me. I have been accidentally knocking people over since I could walk. I can say that it gets a little better as you age. 

After the splash park, we came home, quickly cooked some fajitas (I had marinated the chicken that morning), and crashed. 

Saturday Dan made breakfast and we donned our swimsuits again to swim at Dan’s grandma’s pool. 

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Some other family and friends were there and we had a great time. After naps (the girls and Dan) and grocery shopping (me), we packed up in our friend Sheila’s van to go to our first Royals game of the season. 

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The game itself wasn’t that fun to watch (I don’t think I have ever been to a winning game against Houston), but we still throughly enjoyed the night. 

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The past few days have been pretty on the go, which can make doing a detox or clean eating a challenge. However, having food prepped makes grabbing a healthy choice so much easier. I was thankful there were plenty of leftovers in the fridge from the week to keep me fed and prevent hangry Racheal from coming out. 

Today we are looking forward to some relaxing and staying put. 

Here is what we are up to this week:

Food: 

Fitness: The last week of Jillian Michael’s Body Revolution Phase 2. Workouts 7 and 8, Cardio 2, and likely a 3ish mile run. But today I rest. Yay!

What are you up to this week? Any fun summer recipes to share? 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Thankful

This week I was thankful for: 

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Day 1

  • Blueberry picking. (Cora has single handedly eaten almost all of our 3 pounds that we picked)
  • Country songs. I haven’t listened to country in a long time, but I switched up my Pandora. I forgot how effective country songs are at making you bawl your eyes out. 
  • Cora doesn’t have an ear infection. This is good, but why oh why is she screaming all night long. (This has since stopped and she slept through the night last night. Yay!)

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Day 2

  • ThredUp (<— affiliate link) Cleaning out my closets just got a whole lot easier and much more lucrative. 
  • Visiting my grandparents and seeing they are doing well at home. See my grandma stand in the kitchen, even if for a few seconds, was beautiful. 
  • Grace. 

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Day 3

  • One on one time with Ina at the pool.
  • Someone “giving” me a free Aldi cart. It always makes my day and restores my faith in humanity.
  • All of my part time job calls got cancelled, so I had an unexpected day off. 

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Day 4

  • Rib bones.
  • Dads. Uncles. Papas. Friends. 
  • Shade. 

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Day 5

  • Paleo coffee creamer. 
  • Plenty of water at baseball practice. Oh man, it was hot out for those kiddos. About 15 minutes in Ina gave up and started laying on the bench, whining, and asking when we could leave. 

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Day 6

  • Cora and her love for kale. I sautéed some kale for breakfast for myself, but once she saw me eating it she crawled over to me grunting and yelling until I gave her some and she pretty much ate my entire plate. 
  • Our laundry shoot. Sometimes I forget how convenient it is just to throw all the dirty clothes down a hole. 
  • House guests. A family from our small group at church that moved to Colorado is back in town visiting and staying with us. There is something about having more people sleeping under our roof that warms my heart. 

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Day 7

  • Completing a 3 mile run FIRST thing in the morning (even before coffee). 
  • Making the last minute decision to take dinner to Dan’s grandma’s house who has a pool. I have to admit that I wasn’t very happy about packing dinner, the girls, and all of our swim stuff in the car after work, but it ended up being NBD. 
  • Steak. Corn. Mmmmm…

(After we took a picture of Cora crawling around with her corn Ina wanted to pose with her’s as well.)

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Have a good Thursday!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

My Plan for the Week

Happy Father’s Day to all of you guys out there. I certainly have some fantastic men in my life and am incredibly grateful my daughters will grow up surrounded by a dad, grandpas, uncles, and good friends who adore them. 

This weekend has been great so far. Friday night we visited my grandparents who are back at home. I called my sister and mentioned we were going and she decided to meet us there. 

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Being a queen is always better with a cousin.

Saturday I worked out first thing in the morning (I am on a mission to re-start this habit) and then had two birthday parties to attend. First, our friend Rayna’s at the local pool.

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Dan stayed home with Cora, which gave Ina and I the perfect opportunity for a little play date. 

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(snapchat: rachealkendrick)

The second party was my niece’s 16th, during which I reached my daily photo fatigue. After the party I dropped Ina off and Papa Dan’s and Nina Stacy’s house so they could take her to a firefly exhibit at a local nature center.

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Judging by the pictures they sent, I think they had a good time.

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Being down one kid I took the only logical next step: I went grocery shopping.

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You might think this was sad for Cora’s one-on-one momma time, but she had a blast. She had a bag of cheese crackers to herself and strangers smiled at and complimented her and she got to ride in a grocery cart while I made fun sound effects. Good times. 

Here is my plan for the week: 

Food: I am starting another round of the DP detox for a month(ish). Basically a focus on clean food without dairy, sugar, or gluten.

  • Sunday: out to eat for Father’s Day
  • Monday: easy chicken and bean bake (I’m seriously not going to stop with this one. I throw it together 5 minute before we leave for Ina’s t-ball practice, set the oven to cook time and come home to dinner ready to serve.)
  • Tuesday: slow cooker pasta sauce with brown rice noodles and roasted brussels sprouts
  • Wednesday: grilled flank steak with chimichuri, smashed potatoes, and roasted cauliflower
  • Thursday: pistachio crusted salmon, herbed rice, and roasted broccoli
  • Friday: grilled buffalo chicken, roasted cauliflower, corn on the cob, and beets
  • Saturday: out to eat/leftovers

Fitness: Week 7 and 8 of JM Body Revolution. Wowza. These workouts are hard, but I can actually feel the muscles in my body getting stronger. I am pretty thankful for a rest day today.

I hope you have a blessed week!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Thankful

This week I was thankful for:

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Day 1

  • My in-laws are watching the girls for two nights, so after work I was able to shop and meander around CostCo without having a timeframe to get home by. #momlife
  • A full night’s sleep. 
  • A refrigerator full of fresh and delicious food. 

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Day 2

  • Gilmore Girls
  • Having a terrific date night with Dan to celebrate our 8th anniversary. We went to Justus Drugstore and tried lots of new food. (Bone marrow. cow tongue, pate, rabbit, duck, etc. It was so fun.)
  • Feeling like “me” again. I am afraid I won’t explain this right, because I don’t want it to sound like I don’t like being around my kids. I do absolutely love being around my kids and I miss them a lot when they are gone. However, having two nights away from them allows me to remember things about me, allows me to do things I want to do. The same thing happened when Ina was around a year old. 

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Day 3

  • Packing lists. Although they are more useful when you remember to use them.
  • The nice woman who worked at the hotel we randomly booked 3 hours before we arrived who explained the directions to her location twice to me and then twice to Dan. 
  • Jimmy Johns delivery. Even in the thick traffic of Branson, they were somehow freakishly fast.

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Day 4

  • The fact that my entire family was in swimsuits when Cora started vomiting. As it turns out, if you are going to have a child vomit, a swimsuit is the perfect choice of clothing because it makes for (multiple) easy clean-ups.
  • Rain check tickets at the water park- I guess we have to plan another trip. Darn.
  • Monopoly Deal. I have a new favorite game.

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Day 5

  • Our small group families. We just love them.
  • Go-karts. 
  • Kiddie pools. (Not to be confused with kitty pools. Ina was sorely disappointed to find there were no cats in the pool.)

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Day 6

  • Coffee on the patio watching the sunrise. 
  • Under Armour outlet. Mama has new workout clothes.
  • Podcasts for the drive home while everyone is sleeping.

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Day 7

  • My 5 year anniversary at work! Apparently there is a gift involved. I have narrowed my choice between a Kindle or portable DVD players for the car. I think the girls are going to win on this one. 
  • Danielle took the girls to the zoo yesterday and apparently Ina pet an orange snake. She was sure to tell everyone that she likes snakes now. 
  • Chinese delivery. Why is it so hard to come back and cook dinner after vacation? And exercise? And do laundry? And wake up on time? 

OK, I am done whining now. I hope you have a blessed day! 

What are you thankful for? 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Fervent Friday: Hurts

Forgiveness has never really been a struggle for me. 

 (image source)

I easily forgive and forget and don’t hold grudges. Some might argue too easily, like, I don’t actually work through the process of forgiveness and instead just forget and block myself from thinking about the bad, sad, or hurtful things. 

This strategy recently stopped working for me. Forgetting those hurtful things became impossible because they kept happening. And they kept hurting. Hurting bad.

How do I forgive then? Or if I do forgive, how do I trust it won’t happen yet again? 

These questions were constantly popping in my mind, randomly at work, in the middle of the night, on a run. I couldn’t quiet those questions until I read this chapter in Fervent. I discovered that it isn’t my job to answer those questions. It is my job to treat others the way Jesus does and did and that includes a huge dose of grace. Of support. Of compassion. Of forgiveness.

Wallowing in my hurt is exactly the opposite of productive and exactly what Satan wants me to do. Instead, I give those questions to God and let Him deal with it. After all, He is obviously more qualified than me on the topic. 

This process wasn’t easy and sometimes still isn’t easy or natural. However, I know that it must be done.

Here is an example of a prayer I wrote on the topic: 

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God: 

(P): Thank you for forgiving me. Thank you for Jesus and your grace and peace that passes understanding.

(R): Forgive me for not fully forgiving. For thanking that anger and bitterness are the best way to deal with a problem. Forgive me for letting Satan use this as a foothold in my life and my family’s lives. For letting it simmer until it boils over and I lose it.

(A): I don’t want to lose it. Let me forgive. I am giving this to you. I need you.

(Y): I know that if someones sins against me seven times a day and returns to me saying “I repent” I need to forgive.*

Teach me to be like Jesus. It is through him I pray.

Amen

*Luke 17:4

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Week 8: Pressure

Week 7: Purity

Week 6: Fear

Week 5: Past

Week 4: Family

Week 3: Identity

Week 2: Focus

Week 1: Passion

Fervent Friday Intro

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Thankful

Good morning!

This week I was thankful for: 

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Day 1:

  • Impromptu ice cream parties
  • My tribe
  • Being able to exercise at work. Although next time I need to remember a towel.

Day 2:

  • Packing lists. 
  • The Dollar Store and how easy it is to park, grab two kids out of the car, and purchase the wipes I forgot to pack plus a few “necessary” snacks.
  • The Disney Pandora station.

Day 3:

  • Sunscreen.
  • People nice enough to tow our boat to a gas pump and when the gas pump was out of gas go all the way back home to bring gas. 
  • Floatation devices.

Day 4:

  • FaceTime.
  • Cora stopped crying for the last 15 minutes of our drive home. 
  • Reuniting with Dan and having family cuddle sessions.

Day 5:

  • While eating dinner Ina told me, “Yum, mom, you did a really good job on this chicken.” She has now figured out the way to my heart.  
  • Cora is still happy to sit in a stroller that isn’t moving for 30 minutes or so. I know those days are numbered, so I am thankful for them while they last.
  • Catching up with high school friends and watching them as moms, even though I still think of them standing by their locker or wearing a basketball jersey.

Day 6:

  • Library books. I checked out The Happiness Project and Wild and am excited to read them.
  • Eight years of marriage! 
  • My phone screen is fixed! I can use it without risking my fingers being stabbed with glass. 

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Day 7:

  • Corn on the cob. Or as Ina calls it, “corn on ma-cob"
  • Bucket lists. 
  • Grace and mercy and love and forgiveness.

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Ina's First T-Ball Practice

A few months ago one of my friends sent me a link to toddler t-ball at a local park. Oh, we are totally in, I thought and called to sign Ina up. I didn’t think to consult Ina in the matter until after they charged my credit card. 

Looking back, I probably didn’t choose the best moment. We had just been at a carnival all day in Texas during which she ate, saw, did, and rode everything to her three year old heart’s desire. She hadn’t heard the word “no” until I told her she couldn’t eat candy for dinner in the car on the way home. I thought I would change the subject and her mood by saying, “Hey guess what Ina. I just signed you up to learn how to play toddler t-ball!"

What? No! Un-sign me up. Un-sign me up! Un-sign me up!

I told her no and thought I would wait it out. Days later I talked about it again. 

Un-sign me up!

I tried telling her she would be like Eric Hosmer.

Un-sign me up!

I bragged to her friend Gunner at daycare about how she was going to learn to play just like him.

Un-sign me up!

Because I am dramatic, I pictured myself dragging her to the fields kicking and screaming, but then I had one last hope. I had to order her a baseball glove and saw that Amazon had a pink option. 

Hey Ina, I ordered you a baseball glove. And its pink.

Un-sign…wait…a PINK glove? Let me see.

I should have known from the beginning it was all about the accessories.

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Oh, and the snacks.

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I am starting to think that Ina might be a little afraid to try something if she isn’t going to be immediately good at it. She told me she was scared she wasn’t going to be good at t-ball and I gently explained to her that it wasn’t about being good. It was about learning something new. 

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I know that part of parenting is knowing when to push your child to do something she doesn’t want to do and knowing when to let her not start or quit and obviously we are just in the beginging stages of all of that. I have memories of conversations with my own parents about knowing when to quit, and it is an important lesson to learn.

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I am happy we kept with this one, because Ina had an absolute blast last night. She was in the best mood at the dinner table, talking about batting and throwing and running and talking to her friends. 

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I am chalking this one up as a parenting win.

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Have a good day! <3

Monday, June 6, 2016

Lake Weekend + This Week's Plan

Hey there! Good Monday morning! 

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The girls and I returned home last night after a fun weekend at the lake with some family.

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We had a blast and enjoyed relaxing and boating. 

The day we were leaving Ina demanded that she make a list of what we were going to do at the lake. She said we couldn’t leave until she made one. I finally convinced her to wait until we got there, thinking she would be distracted by the water or boat or general fun around her. However, she was not deterred. 

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She literally got out of the water where she was swimming and smiling and laughing, asked for a pen and paper, and got to work. What have I done to this child?

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On the list: boat, swim, tube, eat, and relax with a rogue x. 

Other good weekend memories:

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- Me failing to pack a baby life jacket for Cora, but her mostly tolerating her child-size turtle shell.

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- My uncle and brother-in-law jumping off a cliff

- Tubing with Ina

- Seeing two bald eagles

- Running out of gas on the boat. No worries, we had some very nice people help us out.

- Cora screaming like she was being tortured for over half the drive home. Not good, but definitely memorable.

After a weekend of relaxing I am recharged and ready to tackle this week. Here’s the plan:

Food:

Fitness: Jillian Michaels Body Revolution Week 6: I am going to repeat last week’s workouts because I skipped two of them to have fun. 

Have a great week! 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Fervent Friday: Pressure

Hey there and Happy Friday! Any big plans for the weekend? The girls and I are headed to the lake after work tonight, but before then how about some serious life stuff?

I started reading Fervent because I felt like there was some type of disconnect between me and God. Like a wall. Sure, I felt and feel connected to Him, but not fully connected. Like something was off. Like I was doing something that was preventing me from really hearing Him, from really talking to Him, from really worshipping Him. I was hoping that reading a book dedicated to prayer strategy would help me to hash that out. By Chapter 7 I was loving the book, but still feeling a desire to get closer without knowing exactly how to do it.

Enter Chapter 8: Your Pressures. 

Jackpot.

I put a ton of pressure on myself. I am just wired that way, as I am sure a lot of other women are. I expect to get a full day’s worth of stuff out of a day so that I can get a full life’s worth of stuff out of my life. 

Shirer points out that this pressure is very similar to slavery and that Satan is behind that. I really couldn’t argue with this, as I often feel like I don’t have a choice but to do what I have written on my to-do list. Something else she points out that I had never considered was that if we don’t rest, we don’t worship God appropriately. Specifically, 

“God’s purpose in giving you Sabbath spaces amid your full, productive life is to help you be uninhibited in your devotion, service, and worship of Yaweh. Margin keeps you from marginalizing God."

Good point. Point taken. But understanding this and putting into action are two very different things. Everything I do seems incredibly important in my life. Everything is so precious. What could I give up?

I have tried to put more margin in my life and have had some success, but obviously there is more room. Shirer gives a list of ways to asses your life.

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After reading this list, I thought of meals and how much time and thought I spend on meal planning, grocery list making, shopping, food prepping, and making dinner. This, I thought, was a way I could put more margin in my life!

I decided to put this into action. I planned to only make easy meals the following week. I looked up and pinned recipes that were quick or used premade ingredients. I googled how to make meals out of food from Trader Joe’s, was disappointed in what I found, and made a mental note to write a blog post about ways to create quick meals from TJ ingredients. 

I promise I see the irony in this now, but I didn’t then.

I went to Trader Joe’s without a list! I just threw things in my cart that I thought would go together. I was so proud of myself and the “margin” I had created in my life until I got to checkout line. The always chatty Trader Joe’s cashier asked how I was doing and then casually asked, “Shopping without a list today?

Me: Yah, I usually shop with a list, but I am trying to give myself a break

Cashier: I understand. I just like to have a list because I like know what I need for what I want to make that week.

Me: I usually do too, but I decided to wing it this week.

Cashier: I get it. I just really like to cook.

Me: Me too. I really do. I just wanted to spend more time with my kids and less time in the kitchen.

Cashier: I usually try to involve my kids in cooking.

Me: Me too. I promise, I really love to cook and meal plan and give my kids healthy food. I am just trying to not do that this week.

Cashier: Interesting. How is it going?

I don’t even remember what I answered, just the feeling inside that I had not done this right. Hmph.

Obviously I don’t have this margin/pressure/rest balance thing figured out yet. So I will pray.Here is an example of a prayer I had about pressure.

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(P): God, thank you for all the opportunities you have blessed me with. Thank you for all the loving guidance you give me. Show me it is all through you and show me how to use these gifts.

(R): Forgive me for giving into pressure. I have worked on this and although I have gotten better, I know I still have a lot of room to improve. 

(A): Show me the areas that aren’t doing your work. Show me where I am wasting my time and energy. Show me how to rest without giving me anxiety. Give me margin. Teach me to let it go. I want to produce big, juice, and flavorful peaches for you.

(Y): I know that you are not impressed by the strength of a horse and you don’t value the power of a man. You value those who fear you. Those who put their hope in your faithful love.*

It is through Jesus, who I am so, so thankful for. 

Amen.

-------------------------

*Psalms 147: 10-11

Week 7: Purity

Week 6: Fear

Week 5: Past

Week 4: Family

Week 3: Identity

Week 2: Focus

Week 1: Passion

Fervent Friday Intro

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Thankful

Good morning lovelies! 

This week I was thankful for: 

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Day 1

  • Arriving home just before a huge storm came through.
  • Even though my phone is completely shattered (grrrr…I dropped it while trying to carry a sleeping Ina and all of my stuff), it is still usable. 
  • When Ina cries, which happens about once a day, Cora starts yelling/grunting with the biggest smile on her face. It is almost like Cora thinks that Ina is trying to communicate with her. So, Ina crying is the highlight of Cora’s day, which, as you can imagine, doesn’t sit so well with Ina. I have learned the best way to deal with all of that is to sit back and watch it play out.

Day 2

  • My mom watching the girls while I worked from home.
  • Jesus and his love for me. And you.
  • Finding Nemo. I love laughing out loud with Ina at the same joke.

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Day 3

  • Farmer’s Market sights and sounds and smells. This is my happy place.
  • Fake Star Wars tattoos. 
  • Our family survived the maiden voyage on our boat. All six minutes of it. Barely. That is all I will say about that.

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Day 4

  • Our church and their amazing talent at leading worship. During a song Dan leaned over to me and whispered, “I would pay to experience this."
  • This book. It is like she speaks directly to my soul.
  • Dan doing everything for dinner - including the grocery shopping. 

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Day 5

  • Two minutes of drinking my coffee in silence with a beautiful view after sleeping in until 7. (HUGE for me.)
  • Big family get togethers.
  • One cup of gelato shared by many. 

 

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Day 6

  • Dinner together as a family. At the table. Everyone eating and sitting (mostly) still. 
  • The structure of a weekday. Although I love weekends, I also enjoy the structure of the workweek grind.
  • Ina’s swim lessons finally paying off. She can swim with her head down across the pool for almost 10 seconds consistently. 

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Day 7

  • Friends at work. 
  • Summer wild flowers. 
  • Making the last minute decision to take a family trip to the pool instead of cook dinner and/or work out. We had a blast and the girls slept like rocks. 

What are you thankful for?

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