Saturday, May 16, 2015

cue family beach photos

walking out of the condo we passed a man that said, "beach picture night, huh?"
so, yeah...

we had not planned to take family photos on this trip. 
rather, mom had not verbalized this to the family beforehand. 
but, we all know mom and should have expected it.
when my brother remarked that he didn't bring clothes appropriate for a picture because he didn't know we were going to take family pics,  GT said "that's like saying you didn't know the tide was going to come in"

so, we all threw on our most neutralish clothes and set the camera on timer
which we will probably do more of, because all of the kids looked at the camera!
something they do not do if a real-life person is behind the camera
go figure.

 


Saturday, May 9, 2015

game changers (moms)

mothers day

celebratory for some, dreadful for others
joyous for some, painful for others
beautiful for some, depressing for others

i've only known it to be good
and for that, i'm thankful

but, it doesn't keep me from thinking of those who dread or even hate this day.
at this point of my life-the having babies/young children phase of life-i relate mostly to moms of young children on this mothers day
i most often think of those who are unable to have children or who have lost children
and their desire to be the one receiving the attention and the gifts this coming sunday.
that ache is something i will not pretend to understand
i'll let you read this... it's beautiful 

the other night at my Heart to Home Heartfelt group we talked about our moms.
in our few hours together, we each spoke about our relationship with our mothers.
i was in the minority when i shared of the goodness and health of mine and my moms relationship.
most of the women came from a family that was broken or unhealthy.
when asked about their mothers, their first thought was of pain and hurt.
something i could not relate to.
as i listened to each woman recount her story, i was heartbroken for them.
i could see their pain. the grief of a lost relationship.

but that didn't last long. 
i listened as they talked about how they were choosing to do things differently with their own children and grandchildren.
they did not operate out of a place of resentfulness or hate, but one of forgiveness, grace, and redemption. 
they all chose to be at Heartfelt because they believed in family and were making a decision to be something different as a mother than what they were shown or told to be.

i am forever grateful to my mom and my grandmothers for not only telling me, but showing me what it means to be a woman of God. who loves her husband and leads her children.
and i understand the great responsibility that goes along with that. 


for those of you who have a broken or non-existent relationship with your mom or women in your life, and have chosen to break that cycle and to show your children how to love... you are awesome.

and you have challenged me-
no excuses
we are each accountable to our actions
and how we love one another and teach our children
not based on our past
not because of how we were raised- good, bad, or ugly


you are the only way that the cycles of pain and bad relationships are broken
you are the reason children can have a beautiful future
you are the haven that is home
you are the creator of a safe, secure and happy childhood for your children
you are the story of redemption and grace
not only for your life, but for you children, their spouses, their children and generations to come
for eternity

you are a game-changer

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

my body and what i put in it

let me start with this disclaimer. 
this is in no way a comprehensive summary of my relationship with my body and with food.
it is only a glimpse into my current relationship status with my body and with food.
(and i tell you about why i love Advocare and how you can too)

ok. fair?

when i met GT, i weighed....ha, ha, ha.
 you thought i'd tell you. that's cute.

anyway. 
when i met GT, i was above a healthy weight for my body.
i was living in Dallas. hitting up the chips and queso on the regular.
i was "healthy" and "big boned" as my brothers referred to me at one point.
and after working night shift for a year with pizza and and chocolate pudding as my "lunch" (1am)...my body was not in a great place.
i worked out and actually completed a half-marathon, but i was not putting healthy food into my body on any kind of consistent basis.

when we started dating, we did what couples did.
we went out to eat. 
and i would order whatever i wanted, while he always ordered the healthiest thing on the menu.
i.e. Chick-fil-a
Kate, "i'll take a #5, 8-count with a DDP"
GT, "i'll take a grilled chicken wrap, no dressing and a water"

he never talked about it, but would just go about his business
running 2 miles every morning and eating healthy.
i thought his routine was a bit mundane and his eating boring, but more power to him.
once i asked him about it, he explained why he made the choices that he did.
in short, he made a conscious decision that this would be his lifestyle.
he wanted to be healthy for life.
not just lose a bunch of weight and accomplish a short-term goal.
he felt better day-in and day-out when he exercised and made good food choices.

soon, i started ordering like he did and making healthier choices.
i dropped 13 pounds in a few months.
what?!?
just because i made healthier eating choices

let's press on to the present day....i could talk forever and ever about this.

i still consistently make the more unhealthy choice
GT always eats better than i do.
always.
and i'd say that he functions at a much higher level than i do because of that.

i want to be and eat healthy
i want my kids to eat healthy
what we eat has a direct impact on every function of our body.
so, why not eat what our bodies need?
i don't know. because m&m's are so dang good.

a few years ago, we started using Advocare products.
i liked them, GT liked them.
we still use them.
We have done the 24-day challenge...except i haven't ever done it with all of the supplements since i've been pregnant or nursing for 3 years.
but, we have always been happy with the results and it has spurred us on to better choices after we complete the challenge.

i am in no way, shape or form a proponent of using a specific type of supplement or product.
what i do promote is making the best choice for your body and adopting a healthy lifestyle.
and if that means using a program to help...then by all means...use it!
that's what we do.


and i will tell you about one product that i just started using and i LOVE it
love it so much
i like to drink a cup of coffee every afternoon
but, with the warmer weather approaching i don't always want a hot drink
so, i ordered this Coffeccino. i mixed it with ice and water. 
oh man...it was good.
and after a few hours i realized that i never got that hankering for an afternoon snack.
now, that's worth my money. ya heard?
i will be ordering more very soon.

3 of my family members are currently doing the challenge.
perhaps i'll share their results with you...if they care to share.
if you're local and want to do the challenge, i have one at my house waiting for you!

anyway...if you want to know more about what Advocare has to offer, click here
and if you want to order anything for yourself, click here
one more. my little coach, Shari, is awesome...here is a link to her facebook page... lots of great food plans and tips 

ok, i'm done. except probably not.
i'll probably share more as i travel along on this healthy lifestyle journey
happy Tuesday friends!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Easter things

We spent Easter weekend with the Taylor fam in Huntsville and had a grand ole time!
All of the kiddos were there (which doesn't happen that often) and we soaked up each second of being together. 

Sunday morning, we gave the boys little Easter baskets
Townes enjoyed his ball for roughly 2 minutes, until it rolled under something
and Judson would've been just fine with suckers. 
ah, well.

let's move on to more photos, shall we?
excuse me, grandpa? did your mother forget your belt? and your pants that actually fit?
sure i'll give you a cracker so you'll sit still for a picture
ready, cheerleader Judson?
this Gracie girl...she is the sweetest!!!!

choke-holds are for brothers

eh, we'll try again next year

now, Grammy's Easter baskets
that's how you do it...they were crowd pleasers.
i'm taking notes
the whole she-bang
goodness, i love these folks


---


the boys were part of 2 egg-hunts prior to actual Easter weekend
the first was at Camp Ch-Yo-Ca and was put on by our church
it was huge and there were at least 4 thousand kids.
the crew that put it together did an awesome job an we all loved it!
Judson was slightly overwhelmed and was way more interested in playing at camp than hunting eggs.

and selfies with Honey

and minutes of entertainment for Townes, courtesy of 100 dirty eggs

brothers for the win!

Mamaw Lou is the best!

our neighbors came with us and we loved being with them (as you can tell by Judson face)
seriously, we really did

of course, everything is better when Bob and 2-mama are there

---

Judson also had an Easter party at his "school"
there are maybe 12 kids total, so it is really laid-back and perfect, actually

all of the kids LOVE when i bring Townes

and Judson is like....
"what's the big deal?"

eggs were a little more interesting when he discovered the candy hidden inside
Jace is Judson BFF at school.
they are quite the pair

Townes was satisfied since he got more eggs to gnaw on

GT arrived a tad late to the party and Judson was ecstatic!
when he drove in the parking lot, you would've thought a celebrity had arrived
and i suppose he did!

even though the boys weren't too interested in all the hoop-la of egg hunting, they enjoyed being with their family and their friends (and the candy).
We want them to know that they are loved and that we love to share in these fun events.

just as they don't understand or care about easter egg hunts, they can not comprehend the beauty of the resurrection of Jesus.
but not for lack of hearing about it.
i'm so thankful they will be constantly surrounded by family and friends that love the Lord and that will help us teach them about the good news of Jesus Christ, his death and his resurrection.
i am positive there is nothing more beautiful than that.

Friday, April 17, 2015

when lizards attack

i hate snakes.
wait, i thought this was a post about lizards?!?
hold on...i'm getting there.
i know you're all on the edge of your seats

i hate snakes.
my fear is out of control and completely irrational. i know this.
but, it's there and i hate them.

now, lizards.
i don't mind them as much.
but they are just tiny snakes with legs
and are equally sneaky and quiet.
but, i don't run in fear of them. 

we have a new deck on the back of our house.
and lizards have made it their home.
when we play on the deck, i see at least 2 lizards.

i am trying to overcome my fear of all things quiet and slithery so that my children are not like me.
so, when we see a lizard..i'm all, "look at that cool lizard, Judson. Let's go catch it!"
(please run away, lizard!)
"aw man, Judson. that one got away" (hallelujah!)
i'm so tough.

so, yesterday. 
Judson wanted to go on the deck to play.
 Townes needed to go down for a nap.
 i left the back door open so that i could watch/listen for Judson.
after a few minutes, i go outside to check on JR.
turn to walk back inside, and yes... yes a lizard is inside my house, staring at me. 
i am trapped. on the deck.
looking in my home that has been overtaken by this lizard.

of course, i call GT. who was at work and can do nothing to help me, but he needed to know.
"GT, there is a giant reptile in our house!"
GT: "well, get it out" 
well, that would be great, except NO FREAKING WAY.
not happening.

needing to do something besides stare and quiver, i reach for Judson stick horse and start probing at the lizard.
he moves and i overreact slightly.
screaming, dancing, the whole obnoxious nine-yards.
enter Woodrow.

here's a little back story.
Woodrow likes to chase lizards.
he has been chasing this particular lizard (the one that is holding me hostage) for about a week.
we watch the hunt every afternoon.
it's quite entertaining

so, when this ever-elusive lizard is in our house and appears to be paralyzed by the fact...Woodrow zeroes in like a sniper.
he attacks it with ferocity.
it was intense.
i start screaming again.
Woodrow snatches it up in his mouth and i yell at him to get outside.
and he does, because he is awesome.

by this point both of the boys are laughing. like a deep belly laugh.
i'm still on the phone with GT, who is laughing as well.
i'm not laughing.

since that incident, Woodrow has caught and murdered 2 more lizards.
it's disgusting, but awesome.
for a 110 pound lab who was has cancer, that dude is incredibly stealthy and agile.
there are a million reasons why i hope he lives forever, but the number 1 reasons, as of today...
to kill all the lizards.