Tuesday, March 29, 2011

This is for my guy...

I am getting ready to run the Chicago Rock and Roll Half Marathon and The Soldier 10 Mile, so i have been running up a storm. Early morning runs are the best. Its beautiful and quiet and i get some quiet time to myself. I love listening to music and getting in the zone. I feel so strong and powerful. My body feels strong again. I love running!

So this morning i was totally in the zone increasing my time when the song below started playing on my ipod. Depending on where i am in my run i will either leave slow songs on or skip over them. When i run i really get a chance to listen to the lyrics in the songs and i LOVED these lyrics. 
"I want a man to Stand Beside Me
Not in front of or behind me
Give me two arms that want to hold me, not own me
And I'll give all the love in my heart.Stand Beside Me
- Jo Dee Messina 

I thought to myself as i was running, I feel pretty lucky to have a Man who stands beside me. I love you Brad:) 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Taco Bowl Monday

I like to try new foods all the time. On Monday i made some delicious taco bowls. The colors were beautiful, the taste was excellent and the preparation was a synch. Even Olivia loved it. There really is something to be said about feeding your kids exactly what you eat yourself. It makes it so much easier for them to actually like healthy food. I wanted to include my recipe below, so all you other Mamas out there can make it for your little ones & Hubbies. I use all Organic veggies and foods, but obviously you can use whatever you like. 

Whole Gain Tortilla bowls (i found some very yummy ones at Whole Foods) 
2 Organic Chicken Breasts
1 Organic Filet Minion (my husband loved steak so i did both) 
1 Organic Tomato
1 Organic Green Pepper
1 Organic Red Pepper
1 Sweet Onion
1 Head of Organic Lettuce
2 Cups of refried beans 
1 Package of Organic Cheese
1 Container of Organic Sour Cream
1 Container of Guacamole (you can make your own, on Monday i bought some pre made from Whole                Foods)
2 Avocados 

Pre heat your oven to 350. Once you are done preparing your veggies & cooking your meat place the tortilla bowls in the oven for 2 minutes. Chop your tomato. Dice your green/red peppers and onions. Shred your lettuce. Heat up your refried beans on the stove on medium/low. I leave it on low and stir frequently. While the beans are on the stovetop start cooking your meat. I chopped up all my meat first, then i put 2 tbs of light Olive oil in a frying pan and cooked up the meat. Depending on how you like your meat it will take anywhere from 3-5 minutes. Once the meat is done stick the Tortilla bowl in the oven for two minutes. Once the bowls are done start adding the beans, shredded lettuce, meat, vegetables and cheese. I then stick it back in the oven for about 1 minute to melt the cheese a little bit. Then add sour cream, Guacamole and Salsa. Top it off with some beautiful avocado! It was so yummy! Happy Eating! 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

HOPE, Today we did church a little differently

This morning when we woke up, the girls still had there colds and Brad was sick, so we decided to stay in and not attend church. I fed the girls and we were all sitting around in our PJs and I jumped on my blog. One of my blog friends, Katie from Katie and Ben  had an update that said series on hope. I have a blog button on the side of my page that you can click through as well. I follow her blog daily as it talks about the miracles and struggles that her and her husband Ben are having, after a horrible car accident a year and a half ago. I love to read about all the miracles that they are seeing in front of their eyes. Go and check it out. Read the story it's, shocking, funny, unimaginable, uplifting, but most of all it's inspiring. 

When i clicked on her link this morning she was letting us all know she was going back to her old church Living Waters in WA and giving a sermon (playing again at 1:00 CST) on HOPE. She was telling her story of Ben and how her faith has carried her through the darkest of hours. I decided this is our church today! Brad and i put the girls down for a nap a little earlier then normal and we snuggled up on the couch and watched, live. It was inspiring. Katie is beautiful and speaks from the heart. She told her story, she talked about Bens  recovery and how one extra step a day was a miracle in itself. She talked about the pain of not hearing Ben talk for 1 whole year (i couldn't imagine). How she wasn't really able to be loved the way us women like to be loved by our men. She had to take care of him. Ben said to Katie one time she was the best wife ever. I agree, she is a shining light! 

One thing that really caught my attention was when Katie was talking about her time line. Her 1,5 and 10 year plans. What she wanted to be doing at this point, and it was not sitting in a hospital bed with her handsome husband relearning the things we all take for granted everyday. She was thrown into a life pit (Beth Moore helped her with a book she wrote about life pits) that she had to dig her way out of. Katie wanted to have kids at this point, be working as a nurse and living in a beautiful house in North Carolina. God had other plans. It's interesting how we all have our "own" plans and never take into consideration Gods plans for us. We get mad at him and have a sense of entitlement when he doesn't answer our prayers when we thing we deserve them. He untimely knows the end result. We need to have more faith that he knows the right time for everything. Katie talked about how it's all Gods plan and you can't change a thing he has on your timeline. Katie says she now has a basket and has thrown all her wants and aspiration into this basket and God can pick it out when the time is right and place it in her timeline. No one chooses to be in situations that are unbearable, sad, hard or life changing. God has a purpose for these events though. For Katie she has really been able to talk to God and hear his answers through prayer, people and Ben. 

Never take one minute for granted was part of her closing. All Katie and Ben were doing that night was going out to dinner and the next thing they know their life had changed forever. The pastor pointed out that her unending faith in Christ is what has helped her through this difficult situation. She already had the building blocks underway, she had a relationship with Christ and he has never abandoned her or Ben. He is guiding them to places they could never have imagined they would be (Katie said she couldn't believe she was public speaking in font of hundreds of people and talking about Christ, it was not her personality) and inspiring people they could have never imagined they would, all over the world. Thank you Katie and Ben for inspiring us and for sharing your story! Church was so refreshing this morning and we didn't even have to get out of our PJs:) 

"Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord for He is good! His faithful love endures forever. Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord? Who can ever praise Him enough? Ps 106:1,2

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring fun and lots of running!

Here in the midwest we are finally seeing some spring weather. Do you know what that means? We grabbed out coats as fast as we could and RAN out of the house! It was a beautiful day yesterday and we took full advantage of it. We walked to the park stayed for a hour, then walked home and played in the neighborhood. Olivia showed the boys how to tackle! That little girl had tons of energy built up from this last long winter. Nothing like the fresh air. They liked it so much they slept 13 hours last night, both of them! Hooray for wonderful weather! Of course i took some shots, check them out below!

Whit is just such a happy little baby!

Olivia loves the boys, should i be nervous???

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kids these day, or is it Parents these days....

I am sitting here trying to figure out my daughters summer schedule, wait schedule? She's 2. I promised myself i would never be that mom, and i refuse to be. I was looking into camp this year but all i could think about was the counselors and how there is no way i am leaving my two year old (along with 10 other two year olds) with a high school kid (i use to be that counselor, NO WAY). I'm totally sending my kids to camp when they get older, but come on 2??? What ever happened to parents playing with their kids and socilizing them? Why do we have to spend thousands of dollars on "activities" i mean do you actually think that what these "instructors"are doing is any different then what you can do yourself? i think it is more for us moms then the kids anyways. You could stick them in the playroom with paper and markers and they would have a blast. I have been caught up in this awful cycle of throwing my kids into multiple activities. It's like the more money you throw at it the better you feel or the smarter your kids will be or is really about making the day go by quicker? Doesn't make much sense to me.

I feel like i do it because i don't want them missing out on opportunities. I then slap myself in the face, and scream at myself THEY ARE ONLY 2! I am personally getting sick of people getting rich off of things i should be doing myself for my kids. Certain things like swimming lessons, seems appropriate at this age, since it's such an important skill to have if your children are around water. Mine happen to be around water all summer. We are in RI on the ocean for a few weeks every year and at the pool the rest of the time. Trust me i hate getting in that water on Saturday mornings and now we have two in swimming lessons, for me it's totally worth it.

We love gymnastics as well. Buffalo Grove Gymnastics has a wonderful program and they teach the kids how to follow directions and patience. I adore our teacher. So those two things are staying. We have a yearly pass to the local pool and the Kohl Children's Museum which we go to a lot. I never wanted to be the mom that had her kids in 17 different things. I think it's makes it difficult for kids to not have any creative unstructured time for themselves.

I just found another program for Olivia that is at our YMCA. It is two hours in the morning for 2 &3 Year olds once a week and it takes them from classroom to classroom teaching them, ABC & 123's, Cooking, Reading, and having lunch. It's so reasonable it you are a member. I am so excited for it. It will help get her ready for pre school this fall.

I remember as kids we had the biggest imaginations ever. We played outside until it got so dark out, then we would catch fireflies. It seems to me that kids now a days are attached to video games or there own iphones (i kind of threw up a little when i wrote that, it still makes me nauseous that kids have cell phones, not to mention the exact same one as me.) I see kids in restaurants playing on the phones instead of contributing to the conversation. I am totally getting off subject here, but geeze what is this world coming to?!?! They never have to use the creative sides of their brains anymore.

My kids don't have to be the smartest people in the class, but they will be the kindest and i hope they will be very well rounded people. I have to think that throwing them in an activity everyday isn't going to make them smarter, more athletic, more advanced or well adjusted. Being with them and teaching them by example on the other hand will.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Contact Sheets

I finally put some of my work on contact sheets, I have like 1,000,000,000 more to do:) Hey it's a start!

Olivia Shoot

Multi Shoot

Bagley Shoots

Nature Shoots

Gilmore Shoot

Business Cards

Porch Shoot

Multiple Shoots

Whitney Shoot

Valentines Shoot

Mikitka Shoot

Monday, March 14, 2011

Beautiful Baby Grace

One of my best friends from Junior High just had her first baby Girl, on March 7th! Wow is she beautiful!!! I can hardly contain myself. Finally another little girl:) I stopped by and snapped a few shots of her. She is so cute and little. I have an 8 month old and she seems like a toddler compared to her. Oh my gosh, i am just in love with her! I'm so proud of my beautiful friend, she did such an awesome job! Congrats Sarah & Ryan, baby Grace is Beautiful beyond words!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Have you ever thought about who you impact?

Have you ever thought about who you impact? I have never really thought about this question, ever. I mean i know i impact my baby girls, but i never thought about the way my presence may impacted other people. I'm not involved with myself enough to even entertain that thought. A few months ago i was really taken back by something a women in my bible study said to me. 

I use to HATE to be alone or do things on my own. I always wanted a friend with me or i wouldn't try new things. I decided after i gave birth to Olivia i was going to start going to this bible study at my church. I did it all by myself. I wanted to be the best mother, wife and friend i could be and i needed to do it on my own. I wanted to be more positive, i wanted to fill the void i was feeling in my life. I had everything, but still felt like something was missing. So i went to the  bible study, it ended up being Beth Moore's Breaking Free study. I watched her intently and did everything she said to do in that first video session, i completely opened my heart to God and became very vulnerable. I prayed my heart out and learn as much as i possibly could about the Lord. By the end of that study, my life had changed. It was like i was a new person, i was confident, my anxiety was gone (it was like it was totally lifted) i felt like i had all the right equipment to be a wonderful mommy, wife and friend. I felt calm and full of spirt. So to say i LOVE the way Beth Moore speaks is beyond. 

Since i loved her so much i decided i would go to see her LIVE. I was elated when i found out she was coming to a theatre near our house (it was like Christmas, thats how excited i was). I grabbed my beautiful mom and friend (see i can never do anything alone, just kidding. This was something i couldn't let either of them miss) and we headed to the theatre with a bunch of other ladies from our church. We got there and the place was PACKED with beautiful women, some with newborn babies from all over the Illinois and surrounding areas. (Beth will be in Minnesota next year and even if i have to go by myself, i'm going. Seriously though anyone want to go?) I was beautiful and you could feel all the energy. Oh and it was live through a teleprompter, so people from all over the world were watching it. 

Before Beth came on they had a rocking band Travis Cottrell, everyone had there hands in the air. I will be honest when i say that i use to think that was SO weird and would never imagine myself doing something like that. It's strange, i figured out the reason people do that is because you can actually FEEL the Lord as your singing these amazing songs and the arms just go up:) It's crazy and it feels so good! Anyways i loved the whole day. 

When we go back to our next bible study one of the women in out group came up to me and told me that she had taken her daughter, who wasn't as excited as i was to be there. She told me that her daughter (who is 5 years younger then me) saw me and thought, well maybe this is something i should pay attention to and enjoy. If Katie likes it maybe its a good thing. She told me that i have a lot of impact on the people around me and then thanked me. I was shocked and speechless. I was doing something i loved to do and she thanked me. The Lord was using me in ways i couldn't even imagine. I didn't even have to do anything. AMAZING

It was then that i thought about everything i was doing and how it could impact the people around me i knew and ones i didn't. It made me aware that everything i was doing was going to be watched, whether it was by my girls (who copy everything i do, from folding my hand while praying to eating  or people i have never met. Clearly i'm no where near perfect, but impacting people i have no idea i am impacting is kind of cool, it's more of a reason to be a better person. It shocking how God uses your presence, isn't it?

Have you ever thought about who you may impact? 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ash Wednesday & Lent

Ash Wednesday is coming up on the 9th. For those of you that maybe don't celebrate Ash Wednesday it is according to Wikipedia:

Lent in the Christian tradition, is the period of the liturgical year leading up to Easter. Lent is a time of sacrifice for Jesus. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer — through prayerpenitencealmsgiving and self-denial — for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events linked to the Passion of Christ and culminates in Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I decided to give up drinking any kind of alcohol, Alcohol and Cookies. Since giving up alcohol isnt really that big of deal for me and i know it wont be that hard, i added cookies, because those are very hard for me:) I think when you decide to give something up you should also bring something in. So i am going to drink a lot more water and eat more fruits and vegetables. I have never really participated in Lent before this year. I felt like this was a great year to start. I am excited to challenge myself. Are you giving up anything for Lent? 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Paul's Dinner & Dance

See that adorable little boy above??? Thats Paul Thomas Seiwert. He passed away on 3/21/08, from cancer. His dream was to help other children afflicted with cancer, never losing hope for healing. Last weekend was the 3rd annual Paul's Dinner & Dance at the Park Ridge Country club. It was beautiful, it was sad and it was reality. This year was the first year that they had a silent auction. It was amazing! They did a fantastic job and raised a lot of money. 

The evenings proceeds benefit Paul's Special Friends at Advocate Lutheran General Children's Hospital. We never were lucky enough to meet Paul. One of B's best friends from high school is Pauls cousin and God Father. We have gone every year for the last three years and every year it has gotten bigger and bigger. WOW those children fighting are so lucky to have Paul up there looking after them. 

Dr David Sheftel (Chair, Department of Pediatrics, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital) was the Keynote Speaker. He said something that really grabbed my attention he said that we were creating greatness our of adversity. I think we do that every time something bad happens and we continue to move forward. Celebrating Paul's life while raising money for his friends with cancer is creating greatness. From what i can tell that is exactly what Paul would have wanted.  He ended his speech with,

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own.
And you know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go.” Dr. Seuss

We had such a wonderful time celebrating Paul's life, while dancing, bidding on the silent auction and spending time with some very special friends. God Bless You Paul:) 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Lets build other Women up Not break them down....

My Girls (loving each other) 
Someone has to tell me the deal with women bringing other women down? I don't even know if women realize they are doing it sometimes. We need to always be picking each other up and encouraging each other.

When i was in the hospital having Whitney a nurse came in, not my nurse, just a nurse that wanted to see what all the commotion was about in my room. See i had Whitney naturally (not just without medication, but also without IV's, i had very intermittent fetal heart monitoring, i was in the shower, stimulating my nipples, on the birthing ball and in tons of pain) and i guess this is not something that happens very often anymore. So she came in and i was doing great and was at 9.5cm. I was actually feeling great and managing the pain amazingly. She then tells me, wow your doing so well, don't worry you are about the freak out, or at least your body will". TIMEOUT, if you know me, you know that someone telling me i'm about to FREAKOUT is not good for my brain! I was 100% in the moment doing everything my pre natal yoga teacher taught me, and boom! She drops this bomb! What the heck! My Doula/Nurse/Best Friend (Appreciate Each Day  check her out she is amazing!!!!) immediately looks at me and says, LOOK AT ME KATIE, Katie look at me now (she already knew where my head was going) DO NOT LISTEN TO HER. Immediately after that my body "freaked out" and the pain went from manageable to unbearable.

I figured that she had no idea what she had just done (i found out later, she had 5 children naturally), but she broke my spirit and my entire mental rhythm. Now i know there are people out there that cut us women down just because they can or just because they are unhappy in there own lives. You have the bossy mom at the park who comments on how you are raising your children, or the town gossip who spreads nasty words like wildfire, or the mom that can't stop bragging about how amazing her children are, or that one friend who can never be happy for you (wait is she really a friend). The list goes on and on.

Life is hard and women have it pretty rough. We are the ones that have to hold it all together. Wouldn't it be nice to know the other women in this world are there for you all the time. Not questioning what you doing, just standing next to you and loving you. Clearly jealousy and insecurity plays a huge role in why this even happens. What would happen if women started helping others instead of hurting them. Maybe there would be a lot less insecure and jealous women out there.

I belong to a small group that have women from there late 20's to late 70's. It's amazing! To hear all the stories of all these women who have done it all before me. I feel so lifted in the group and so far ahead of where i should be. It's like they are leading the way for the next generation. Everything from marriage, to raising children, to God, to health, to where this crazy world is currently sitting and what was happening way back when. I get so much more then most of them can even imagine. There gift of being there and talking to all of us, is priceless. I feel like i am in a far more advanced place because of them. There is not jealousy or insecurities in this group. It is simply women from multi generational backgrounds getting together to lift each other up. Simply amazing.

I find myself now a days surrounding myself with people who feel the same way and want the same things i want. It feels so great, i just wish more women were on board. I wish we could all just cut out the petty stuff. This world is mean and nasty enough, don't you think us women should be sticking up for one and other instead of bringing each other down?!?!? Well i guess it could start with me, who else is down for this challenge???

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Date Night....

Last week B and I decided to have a nice quite night at home. It was so nice and relaxing. We decided to have a wine and cheese night (thank you Oscar and Kelly for the WONDERFUL idea!). I ran over to the yummy Trader Joes and grabed three very yummy cheeses and a deliciouse Red Blend. Yum. We watched the Bulls game and talked all night.

I think it is so important to have date nights. It breaks everyday life up. It brings you back to the core of your relationship and gives you time to breath, together:) I hold these nights so close to my heart. We actually get another weekend alone, this upcoming weekend and we are so excited. Thanks mom & dad! We are going to spend all Saturday and Sunday in the city (Chicago). I can't wait to sleep and do whatever we want!

We would love to jump on a plane and go somewhere warm and exotic, but thats not going to happen right now, so Chicago is the 2nd best. It is such a fun city and there is a ton to do. We never really get to be a tourist in our own city, so we take a weekend every year to do it! On the list of some things to do, get Garets Popcorn, stroll Michigan Ave and i'm taking a bunch of photographs for my web site. Very excited. Oh and we got a 4 star hotel on Price Line for $45, can you believe that?!?!? Hyatt Chicago. I am excited for a weekend to ourselves to say the least:) YEAH TO MOMMY & DADDY NIGHTS!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...