Friday, July 30, 2010

what's that? you wanted beach pictures?

ok, maybe not
but i'm sharing them anyway :)

first, the beach story

so, thursday my friend meghan called
and said
"i'm in serious need of some girl time
and to get out of nashville
and see some place beautiful.
so...if i pay for hotel and gas
would you please go with me to florida for a day?"

(i didn't have to think about it for long.
i checked with anthony since i felt bad leaving him right after his grandma's funeral
and he said "are you kidding??
as much as you love the beach
you HAVE to go")

so sunday afternoon
when i got back from encounter
i quickly switched dirty clothes for clean
hung out with anthony for a few moments
and eagerly awaited my ride

laura and meghan arrived at 4:45
we packed up the car
grabbed a few snacks
i kissed my boyfriend goodbye
and we piled in

on the way, laura and i shared with meghan about encounter
meghan shared her latest news
we laughed and joked
there were even a few tears
revelations came to light for all three of us

it was one of those drives that only happens
with a couple of your best girlfriends

we had a gorgeous moon to look at once the sun went down

eventually laura fell asleep in the back
as did her darling baby
and meghan and i made small
and big
talk in the front seats

we also had a few
"find the blue dot" moments
(the blue dot being the dot on my iphone's gps)

and when we arrived in destin
meghan and i were excited to see our hotel
right next to a...
we literally pulled into the drive-thru lane
and laura popped up from the backseat saying
which made us laugh
a lot

(whataburgers are goooood, but i just got a picture of the drink)

since we got to the drive-thru at 12:29
we pretty much checked into the hotel
brushed our teeth
and collapsed into beds

we slept in a bit the next morning
i grabbed coffee, the girls got breakfast
then we started showering and getting ready
(well, meghan and i did)
and meghan at one point while we were sharing the mirror said
"you know why i'm doing all this, right?"
and i replied,
"of course! for pictures!"

at that point laura said
i was wondering why the makeup and hair straightening..."

anyway, we left the hotel at 11:03
(thank goodness we opted for the late check-out...)

meghan knew her way well
and soon we arrived in seaside

what a FUN little place!
meghan and i enjoyed our temporarily straight hair
there were beautiful walkways and shops
and the taco bar
iz and i found a way to occupy ourselves while we waited for food
(the blocks they gave us to wait with
and the camera)
(take a look at these fish tacos and tell me they weren't worth the wait!)
that's enough with the narration.
i'll let the rest of the pictures speak for themselves.
just enjoy :)
(no oil here!)
(izzy feeds mommy)

(meghan reads while izzy sleeps)
(it doesn't even look real, does it? all these were taken with my iphone....)
(laura took this awesome pic of izzy and me)

(i got a little sunburned...but you can't really tell here)

(pretty sky on the return trip)
we got in a little before midnight
laura and izzy crashed on my couch
and i collapsed into bed



fitness friday: organics

my approach to a lot of things is that the natural way is better
(although the jury is still out on childbirth. we'll see how i feel about that when i'm in labor one of these days!)

food is my main soapbox on the natural, non-processed way though.

don't get me wrong. i'll eat (organic, all-beef or turkey) hot dogs with the kids on occasion. sometimes to save time i'll eat processed food, although i DO try to make it natural or organic to at least feel better about the processing :)

but as far as my fruits and vegetables, dairy products and meats...
unless i'm eating out or at someone else's house
it's at least 90% organic
(allowing a 10% margin for those rare occasions that i can't find an organic product that i need for a recipe)

here's a couple of reasons why:

for me, i look at it with a spiritual context. if my body is a temple, do i really want to be shoveling crap in it all day long? do i want to put pesticides, preservatives, and other MAN-made chemicals in my body when on the flip side i could pay a few extra dollars to eat food the way God made it?

when i first started buying organic fruits, vegetables and milk, i balked a bit at the price tag. then i gave myself the "my body is a temple and this temple is going to try it for a few weeks and see what happens" talk. and a few amazing things happened.

-- my energy level went up
-- my body just FELT better
-- food tasted better
-- and my grocery bill remained about the same as it had been
(because i began craving the GOOD food and stopped buying the processed and boxed food...and the price tag of those boxes and cans is actually higher in most cases than buying fresh and natural ingredients. oh, and trader joe's helped :)

for a long time i stuck with the fruits, veggies and milk
then i snuck cheese into the equation
and finally meat. meat was my hold-out because, really IS expensive to get organic meat.
(thank you again, trader joe. it's not THAT expensive there)

sometimes i don't have time to get to trader joe's and will buy conventional meat at the grocery. honestly, that probably stops after i write this post. there are organic options at publix and kroger...or i can suck it up and eat something that doesn't require meat for the meal i'm buying for!

do i say all this to change your mind?
but with all sincerity, i think we all have to make our own decisions about this stuff
i just want everyone to make an informed decision
mostly, i just want to help you think.

i know some feel it's not worth the extra money
some think it's just plain stupid or unnecessary
some are on the fence
and some buy into the organics idea but haven't really gotten started

i would encourage you to do what i did if you're considering it at ALL
set a goal (3 weeks, for example) and a specific food group (vegetables, fruits, or dairy are good places to start)
buy 75% organics in that category for 3 weeks

if you can't tell much of a difference in the way your body feels
make a decision based on that (likely to go back to conventional)
if you can't tell much of a difference in your wallet
make a decision based on that (likely to stick with it a little longer and perhaps introduce more organics into your regular shopping)
but if you CAN tell a huge difference
you probably have your answer one way or the other.

don't take my word for it though. check it out for yourself!

※ here's an interesting article on whether organics is "worth it". it's written from a non-biased perspective from what i can tell. (and i'm definitely biased!)

※ here's a good list to help you decide which fruits and vegetables should be bought in organic form, and which are probably not necessary to purchase organically
(you can download a printable version OR an iphone app from that link!)
(more in depth article and more user friendly article both about the dirty dozen)


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursday's Ten: things in the not-so happy category

i try to keep it positive around here, really i do.
but sometimes you just NEED to vent
so join me, won't you?

here's 10 things i'm less than thrilled about today:

1. that my car was the victim of a hit-and-run about 30 minutes after the graveside service on friday. no one in it, thankfully, but it's pretty banged up. i won't even get into the story.

2. that for 2 months in a row i've had to call my cable provider *after midnight* to get my service turned back on. i'm current with my payments...but i found out a few minutes ago that my email address was never transferred and so it looks like i haven't paid a thing. instead they set up a stupid bogus email account when my service was transferred and never bothered to tell me either the address or the password. um...
oh, and while they figure this out i have no access to my main email address. NOT.HAPPY

3. (relating to #1) that even though i didn't do anything wrong, i have to deal with the insurance and repair of my car...and pay a deductible. doesn't quite seem fair, does it?

4. that my health insurance basically sucks. i'm actually canceling it today and looking for an alternative healthcare plan a couple of months from now. that way, i'll be able to do my research and save the money that i have been spending on health insurance (which is a LOT) until i can find a plan that's either decent or more affordable--hopefully both!

5. that although i've meant to, i haven't yet made it to bed at a decent hour this week.

6. that i haven't yet unpacked like i meant to. things keep coming up and i feel like i need a good solid few days to concentrate on it. otherwise i get overwhelmed when i only have a few hours

7. that i don't yet have jobs lined up like i would prefer for the next 2.5 weeks where i'm between nanny positions. while i can definitely use a couple of days off, i need to keep income coming in!
(i say that knowing that i will be provided have already come in out of the blue. it's just that even though i'm living in this amazing time of provision, i also feel like it's my responsibility to stay busy and productive, ya know?)

8. that i haven't yet found all my clothes. that could be solved had i done #6

9. that i haven't been to a movie in awhile

10. that i have to remember my pesky inhaler when i think about exercising that doesn't involve wiifit

what about you? what are you shaking your head...or your fist...about this week?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


so this weekend was amazing
with the encounter retreat friday through sunday
and then a whirlwind trip to destin, florida
sunday through monday
(i'm happy to report that there is no sign of oil at seaside beach)

somewhere between tennessee and florida
the wheels that had been turning all weekend clicked
and since we had practiced "walking in the light"
(basically being completely honest about struggle/sin)
and had cast out all demonic influences
(including spirits of fear)
i had to share it with laura and meghan
and when i got home, anthony
and now i'm sharing it with you

for a few months i've been increasingly frustrated
that i keep losing 10 pounds (or so)
but gaining back 5
or losing 5 pounds
and gaining back 3
or losing a couple of pounds
and staying stuck at the new weight

because i am eating healthily(ish)
i have a fairly active lifestyle
and i'm young enough that it shouldn't be affecting my weight loss

and i've kind of had the feeling i'm sabotaging myself
with excuses not to exercise
with buying the occasional pringles can
and finishing it within 24 hours of purchase
with other very unhealthy choices
like crappy bedtimes, for example

but i've had no idea WHY the sabotage
(on another note: i've wondered how i let myself put ON this weight in the first place)

here's the "click"

number one
i know myself
i know i have been delivered from my eating disordered past
and i know that i know that i know
that i'm not going to slip into old patterns

because people who genuinely care about me
have made it a point to caution me about "my history"
they've instilled into me
(without meaning to)
a spirit of fear

so while *i know*
i'm not going to screw this one up
when someone says something
(or has in the past said something)
about the fear of me returning to old patterns
it makes me worry that i will

so therein, i lose 10 pounds
and think
"oh no!
what if i DO fall into old habits?"

or i lose 3 pounds
and say
"it could happen..."

well, yes
but the reality is
i'm free of that
so why the fear?

because i'm letting other's expectations of me
(or the ones i perceive they have)
define my expectations
and since i perceive they expect me to fall into patterns
i'm trying to "prove them wrong"

(ps, this is how the weight crept on
because i was afraid of appearing to be obsessed with diet and weight
so instead i ate like i didn't care
and stopped moving

i'm not afraid of that anymore
and i won't let anyone return that spirit of fear into me
it's not from God
and i refuse to accept it anymore.

number 2:
because at my root
i'm a people pleaser
i also don't want to make anyone worry
or be disappointed with me
so if i'm not afraid of failing
i'm afraid of worrying someone

i have to do this for me
and if others worry, so be it
if others make comments
i'll simply "walk in light" with them
so that they know
i know
what i'm doing

so spirit of fear:
be gone
you have no place here
you are not welcome

extra pounds:
you're toast


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Monday's Memory: the one with the motivation

i'll write more about this another day
but i kind of had a revelation about why i am "stuck" with weight loss
and it has little to do with me

see this girl from 4 years ago?
(july 4, 2006)
she will be appearing again here shortly.
and by shortly, i mean within a reasonable amount of time
but soon.


Friday, July 23, 2010

fitness friday

will return next week. i've spent a lot of time with anthony and his family this week, and i'm leaving for a retreat today literally right after the graveside service. i doubt i'll have internet access i'm putting it on hold.

however, my reasons for choosing organics more often than not will still be the forefront of the discussion!

i'll leave you with a little tidbit: i get this email daily and love it. i'm better at reading a week's worth at once or so but still.

it's the "eat this, not that" movement, and it's a daily email chock full of good and surprising info. some of it's common sense stuff...some is more surprising.

you can go to this link and sign up--don't let the "men's health" bit scare you off--it's gender-neutral!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

thursday's ten: i confess

true confession time! join me for your thursday's ten confessions if you like :)

i confess

- that i'm often spurred to write a blog post because of my boyfriend's disappointment that i haven't updated in awhile
- that i can be rather lazy when there is a computer, couch, or tv involved
- that i hate yogurt. ok, hate is a strong word. i despise yogurt.
- that i often find myself watching children's programming after the children have left the room
(or that i dvr it for myself)
- that i'm completely addicted to texting
- that i kinda think photoshop is cheating. although if i had it i'd totally cheat.
- that i'm really into america's got talent lately
- that i may never stick to a decent bedtime
- that as much as i love organics, sometimes mcdonalds calls my name
- that i can't remember the last time i had a pedicure...and one is badly needed!

please join in!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

recipe of the week: deli knockoff wrap

i met a friend at a dr's appointment the other day
and stopped to grab a bit on the way
at this little deli that i had all but forgotten about
but i love

and i read the description of one of the wraps and said
(i mean, the description included ranch dressing AND guacamole. um, yeah)
so i ate it
and wanted MORE

so i simply went home and created my own :)

my ingredients:

1 spinach wrap (i used mission because that's what was available.)
3 - 4 slices organic turkey (depending on thickness)
2 slices organic provolone cheese
3 - 4 organic cherry tomatoes, sliced
a handful of sprouts (i used trader joe's organic pea shoots)
my own ranch dressing, made with olive oil mayo, organic skim milk and hidden valley seasoning
my guacamole made with 1 avocado, a handful of cherry tomatoes, and a clove of garlic...unfortunately i didn't have a jalapeno this time around!

my layering:

place spinach wrap on plate
spread guacamole on the wrap
place turkey slices on top of the guac
spread a thin layer of ranch on the turkey
place cheese on top of the ranch
put sprouts and tomato slices on top of the cheese
roll/fold/coerce, slice in half and enjoy!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

on a life well - lived

she was older when i met her
and her memory wasn't what it had once been
and so she often had to be re-introduced to me
or just reminded of who i was

but every time she saw me
she took my hand and squeezed it
or gave me a hug and kiss
and told me she thought i was beautiful
or sweet
or some other really nice thing :)

you could tell that she was a nurturer
she cherished moments with her husband
though she no longer was able to live with him at their house
and she doted on her grandchildren
the love she had for them was obvious

the dogs of the family preferred her lap over any other
anytime she was around
and she seemed to enjoy just sitting and watching the flurry of activity
because that flurry was made up of the ones dearest to her

when the idea of me moving into her house
to keep an eye on things
was proposed to her, she said
"i think it's a GREAT idea"
and that's all the confirmation her husband needed

she suffered with multiple health issues for several years
although every time i saw her
she was smiling and enjoying the company of people she loved

her latest bout came last week
and she prayed saturday night that she would go home
she woke on sunday, disappointed
because she was ready
but on sunday they brought her husband to see her
and they spent some precious moments together
and a few hours later
her prayer was answered

anthony's grandma
was a wonderful woman
and i've learned in the past few days
just how wonderful

but MY favorite memory
(besides those sweet hugs and hand squeezes)
will always be
that on father's day this year
she out-ate the entire family
putting down more baby back ribs
than either her son or her grandson
(and THAT is an accomplishment!)


Saturday, July 17, 2010


friday afternoon
i came downstairs from putting P (3 year old) down for his nap
and K (6) had a big smile on her face
and with sparkling eyes she said

"i've hidden treasures for you to find all over!
and they all have your initials on them
and you'll have to look under things
and in things
and around things
and they're all in the living room
and i'll help!"

and all over the living room
were small pieces of construction paper
that she had labored over

drawing hearts
and pictures of her and i together
and the ones that made my heart melt
that said "I♥U" and "I♥L"

and she did help--if i was near one she would say
"oh, don't forget to look in the drawer"
"there might be one on the train table"
i kind of giggled to myself
because most of her hiding places were oh-so-obvious.

and when i had found all 8 slips of paper
she said "now YOU do one for ME!"
so i obliged
even though there were emails to be sent, and toys to be picked up
i wanted to return the favor
of such a loving and special game

when we were finished and a friend had come to pick her up for an afternoon of play
i continued on with my work
and then it hit me

WHAT a picture of God i received today!

because all through my life
He's hidden treasures
and i have to look under
and around
and inside
and all around my path
but He helps me find them

some of them are small, unexpected blessings
like a phone call from an out of town friend
saying she's coming through town
or seeing someone's facebook status
and it's a scripture or a song lyric that i've been meditating to
and some of them make my heart melt
like holding a newborn
or hearing "i love you"
or being so consumed in His presence
that nothing else matters

and the funny thing is
i'm pretty sure that sometimes i can hear Him say
"lora...look over here"
because the hiding places which are oh-so-obvious
i'm missing somehow

and when it's all done
(though it will never be done)
i want to return the favor
such an amazing, loving God
how can i hide little treasures for Him to find?

this life
is a treasure hunt
with amazing and divine surprises
hidden everywhere
and sometimes
it takes a child to remind us.


Friday, July 16, 2010

a divine email

so a few weeks ago i was at the worship service i attend on monday nights
and they mentioned this retreat called "encounter weekend" that i had heard a lot of great things about
and it happened to be on a weekend that not only was i free
but i had also tried to plan several getaways for that weekend only to find out the people i would have been visiting weren't going to be in town for that weekend only.
so when i saw the dates flash up on the screen i thought "hmmm"

so i went online and looked it up
started to fill out the registration materials
but i never hit "submit"

i kind of went along and forgot about it
back of my mind, but not really a conscious thought
and even tried to figure out if it would be a good weekend for A and i to go up and see the indiana folk

and then this week i got an email
giving me the schedule for the weekend
and saying
"oh, if you haven't paid yet just bring your $ to the retreat center"

and i thought
surely a mistake
so i started to draft a reply saying
"i think you sent this by mistake, i never registered"
but i never sent it

(i did raise my eyebrows
that the retreat site is way familiar to me
as it's the campgrounds for the denomination i grew up in
and i've been there countless times through the years)

and then last night
my friend laura says
"hey, are you going on encounter? they asked me if i knew anyone that i could room with."

at that point i laughed
and said
"well, it hasn't been in my plan
but SOMEONE sure is planning it"

so long story short
(or, erm, long)
i'm going to a retreat next weekend
and i have no idea what to expect

but SOMETHING is going to happen
of that i am certain.

(i redrafted that email
and sent it off just now)


Friday Fitness

i'm starting a new feature here at le blog...because i want to help people be more educated about food and fitness. most of the things i'll be sharing are things that i didn't realize a year, two years, or 5 years ago. which means that even when i was skinny mini...the healthy version...i was still putting processed crap and foods very low in nutritional value into my body.

lately i've been making some changes.

and yes, while i'm no angel (pizza/wings for dinner with my small group last night and possible pub food tonight...) i believe that being AWARE of what you're putting into your body is important. so i'm aware that last night and perhaps tonight i'm filling my body with processed, greasy, possibly fried foods. that makes my lunch choices important, and means i'm limiting crap for snacks. there are plenty of fruits and vegetables in my fridge, so i have no excuse to reach for chips (which thankfully, i don't have in the house at the moment!)

i maintain that education is key. if you don't don't care. if you know and you still don't care that's your prerogative...and if you know and care then maybe you'll find this little series helpful.

i'll just be passing on information that i learn. a simple google (or blackle) search will probably turn up similar information for you, but perhaps i'll save you a step or two. :)

here are 3 quick things for today since i spent all that time explaining why i'm doing this :)

1 - one of my blogging buddies posted this article on dangerous potato chips...and you're doing yourself a huge favor if you read it. seriously scary stuff!
(plus she's awesome and you should read her blog if you don't already *anyway*)

2 - an article that one of my friends shared on facebook a couple of months ago that has stuck with me. unfortunately, i haven't found a solution for canned tomatoes yet...but i'm looking into methods of canning them. there are not many available in glass jars, so i think the easiest and cheapest alternative will be to produce my own. ok, maybe not *easiest* :D

3 - two articles, one written in 2008 and one in 2009 about wiifit. pointing out the obvious--that if you don't use it it doesn't work, but if you do you actually may see some results.

for me personally, the wiifit game has been a way to gradually ease me back into exercise after my asthma attack earlier this summer...and a way for me to accurately track weight loss. and the bonus is that when i'm using it consistently (i average about 3x a week, although some weeks are more or less depending) i actually see results.

my opinion? wiifit is mainly about getting you off the couch and active. and it's fun. and if you lose a couple of pounds in the process it's pretty awesome :)

so there you go :) next week i'll share my reasoning behind my more organic than not lifestyle changes and you can all call me a crunchy freak ;-)