Friday, March 29, 2013

Life Around Here {InstaFriday}!

I look back at my blog and see that my blog has taken a bit of a back burner at this time in my life. It's ok though because that means that I've been focusing more on my family, specifically my girls who need me lots in these precious and oh-so-short younger years.

I try and update my Facebook from time to time, or even my Twitter. However, most of the time I am sharing those moments in my life I want to capture forever, on my Instagram account.

Here is a little sneak peak of these moments.

Loving my date nights with this guy!

Two of my favorite things: Coffee and TOMS 

My handsome nephew, Mylo is growing up! He always has a smile for Auntie Nessa!

Daddy snuggled his baby to sleep!

Time with my best friend is always wonderful to me!

Meridian with her cascading curls. 

That's it for now and also, I'm noticing I use the same Instagram action for a lot of my pictures! Anyone else do that?!? Feel free to so your own InstaFriday and come link up at Life Rearranged!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Becoming A Shaklee 180 Blogger

I've quite possibly never been more scared to post a blog post on my blog before than this one. But when it comes to weight loss, it is down right scary and extremely personal.

Last year, I followed a blogger who shared her weight loss journey with Shaklee. When she ended the 6 month program and posted about Shaklee looking for a new set of bloggers to apply for the Shaklee 180 program, I decided to go for it. I've been aware of Shaklee for years and knew that they are a company who promote more natural products. After checking to make sure they are gluten and dairy free, I decided to go ahead and apply. I fully expected not to be picked, so imagine my surprise in February when I got an email saying that I was one of the 90 bloggers (out of around 500 who applied) chosen to take this journey in the Shaklee 180 program. If you want to follow the journeys of the other bloggers, check them out here.

I feel blessed, excited, nervous, and scared, all rolled into one to do this journey. If you remember, weight loss has not exactly been successful for me since shortly after we adopted Xiomara. I'm very worried this will be the same. However, I'm also working on my mind at the same time while I work on my body. I'm trying very hard to accept that the number on the scale is just that: a number. It does not necessarily reflect my health, especially if I am exercising and eating a healthy diet.

Speaking of exercising, even though the Shaklee program focuses on what you eat, I am working hard on exercising. I don't take this program lightly. I want to be successful. I have been exercising 6 out of 7 days a week since November (missing only and few days here and there) and I will continue on throughout this whole program and beyond.

At this point, I am not comfortable sharing my starting stats, but I will share a before picture (it's not the best as it's dark, but it will do for now). Again, this is personal for me and so instead I ask that you all encourage me, cheer me on, share inspiring weight loss ideas, or even share with me your favorite health snack or exercise!

I look forward to sharing with you as you journey along with me these next 6 months of my life!

This is a sponsored post as part of the Shaklee Corporation blogger program. I have received free products, online support and incentives for participating. My opinions are my own.

People following the weight-loss portion of the Shaklee 180™ Program can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Maroon 5 In Concert {My Birthday and Christmas Gift}

Most people that know me well, know that I love music. I have ever since I was a little girl. The funny thing is that my style of music varies so much. I love pop, I love worship, I love country, I love classical. About the only music I cannot stand is heavy metal or rap.

Over the years I tend to go through trends in which I gravitate towards one style of music for a few months and then another. While I listen to other stuff during that time, I find that
a certain type of music gets me through a certain season of my life.

For many years now, one of my favorite groups ever has been Maroon 5. I think I fell in love with them on their Songs About Jane album as Sunday Morning and This Love (just note this music video is not the *cleanest*) were peaceful and relaxing to me. Almost more jazzy in sound.

The teenager in me comig out in full force as I wait for the concert to start! :)

Throughout the years I continued to listen to them, but I really fell in love with them when front man Adam Levine took a spot as a judge on the TV show, The Voice. Now I'll fully admit that I have a bit of a celebrity crush on him. Pretty much my one and only crush on a celebrity since I was 12 and in love with Jonathan Taylor Thomas. :) I find Adam funny, extremely talented (seriously he can play pretty much any instrument, and have you heard his vocal range?!?), and yes, even cute!

We didn't have super close seats, but I can't complain about these either!

This last fall, I told Chris that there are very few individuals or groups that I would want to see in concert, but Maroon 5 is definitely one of them. The fact that they almost exclusively write all their own music is rare in this industry and something I love about them. While Chris likes Maroon 5, he definitely doesn't love them like I do. He prefers country music, but when I told him this, he agreed to do so. I promised him it could be my Christmas gift and birthday gift rolled into one big gift. One week later, he had to stick to his promise as I found out Maroon 5 was coming close to us and I wanted to go.

He was SO awesome about taking me to this concert!

So at the beginning of March, we braved three snow storms in a matter of days and we made it an overnight date. I honestly had so much fun! Chris doesn't like to admit it, but he was smiling, dancing a bit, and singing along with the songs. The whole concert was so well done from the lights, the sound, to the music played, that I literally have become a Maroon 5 fan for life. I will definitely be trying to make my way to another concert in the future. Thanks Chris for letting me be a teenager for the night and taking me to see Maroon 5! Thank you Maroon 5 for the awesome, well done concert! Also, a big Happy Birthday to Adam Levine today! Yes I know his birthday! I told you I was a bit of a teenager! ;)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

{Almost} Wordless Wednesday: So Grown Up

I keep looking at this girl and being shocked at how grown up she looks! This is my "baby" who is closer to four than three. I can hardly stand it. She is growing up too fast!

Friday, March 8, 2013

What I'm Into Right Now

It's been way too long since I have done a "What I'm Into Right Now" blog post! I actually can't believe it has been this long as it is one of my favorite things to read on blogs. Enjoy reading, listening, praying, etc. Have a great weekend!

On the web:

Dear Mom on the iPhone, I Get it.

{A great response to this article. While I love both of them and can definitely see both sides, I really liked the heart and words behind this response.}

Consoling The Offender.

{Oh how I needed to read this! I've had a lot of offenders lately and instead of consoling, I've been scolding. I'm realizing that the offender is hurting and needs to be comforted, consoled, and loved.}

On my Kindle:

Grace-Based Parenting

{Yes the same one I had on here a year ago. I'm slowly making my way through it. Liking what I read, but also finding it a slow read.}

Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe

{This one I am starting this next week with a few girlfriends of mine. I am SO excited to read it as I've read great reviews and also the title alone makes me want to sigh with relief!}

On my Spotify:

When I Was Your Man by Bruno Mars

{Could Bruno's voice be any dreamier?!? Also, the lyrics make me want to cry.}

Just Give Me A Reason by P!nk

{A haunting, gorgeous song on love.}

Sad by Maroon 5

{The girls and I have enjoyed playing and singing this one together on the piano. It touches my heart.}

On TV:

Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman

{Yes, the super old show that I watched as a child. Pretty sure I may have to reserve a whole separate post on this.}

In theaters:

Les Misérables

{I never say this about any movie, but if you have not seen this, make sure you do at some point. The story of grace, love, and redemption is played out so clearly!}

In the Bible:

Psalm 68:19-20  "Blessed be the Lord-day after day He carries us along. He's our Savior, our God, oh yes! He's God-for-us, he's God-who-saves-us."~Message Translation

{I've been clinging to this promise a lot lately.}

What I'm Praying For:

Spring!! That seems shallow, but it's an honest answer. I need sun, I need outside, I need walks, I need to burn energy. More importantly, my girls need it too!

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Gift of Travel

The clock glowed in our dark room.


 But I lay wide awake. Unable to think past all that I had experienced and seen the week before.

I had just returned home from Washington D.C. and I felt that all too familiar pull I have every time I return from a vacation. One that grows deeper inside me every time I go somewhere new. One that I know now not to fight because that feeling will never go away.

I rolled over and nudged Chris, "Are you still awake," I asked him. "Hmm...sort of...what do you want," he asked me in a groggy voice. "I just wanted you to know that travel is a gift and that I want to make sure I keep traveling and that the girls get that opportunity too," I stated. "That's nice," he responded and was back to sleep before I could say anymore.

But I couldn't fall asleep. The reality hit me full force what an absolute gift travel is. To see various historical landmarks, to experience different races, varying political beliefs, varying religious beliefs, to see the beauty of a different country, or just the vast differences between one state and another. To have the ability to meet people who are different than you. Or just observe others in their life, their state, their country.

Yes it is a gift. One that I will forever cherish.

My desire is to give these girls the gift of travel.
Laying there in the dark I realized how much I want to give our girls what my parents gave me. That gift of travel. As a young child, my parents had very little extra money for travel. Yet they still made sure to travel around our state. Visiting various state parks, different towns, etc. As we got older we were able to visit places like Washington D.C, Florida, Arizona, Montana, Georgia, St. Martin, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, Hawaii, and numerous other places in between.

I so desperately wish for my girls to receive that same gift. There is so much to learn from observing others and just being still.

I'm not sure how it will look in our lives, or if it is even financially doable right now in our lives, but I know that I will give my girls this gift.

There is no greater gift in my mind than the gift of travel. The ability to see the life of another opens your mind, eyes, and heart to something new.

That is a gift!

Do you love to travel? Do you see it as a gift?