Category Archives: Family

#PoweredWithBits Smoothie Recipe – Kid-tested, Mother Approved!

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This past weekend I decided to make a smoothie with RecoveryBits to help ward off another round of impending sickness. Baby Girl had a snotty nose and a cough, and The Hubster wasn’t feeling 100%. I was feeling good, and wanted to keep it that way.

Baby Girl isn’t quite yet 11 months old, and though she does have several teeth and eats pretty much EVERYTHING, I was nervous that she might choke on the algae bits, due to their size. So, I decided a smoothie would be the best way to get them in her and I ransacked the kitchen for some tasty ingredients. I came up with what you see above.

Happy Mama #PoweredWithBits Smoothie

30 RecoveryBits (or EnergyBits) algae bits
1/2 Avocado
1 Banana
1/2 cup Organic Carrot Juice
1/2 cup Almond Coconut Milk

Pulse in blender. ENJOY!

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Baby Girl enjoyed it!

I enjoyed it!

Hubster didn’t even taste it.

Can you guess what happened?

Baby Girl and I have been as healthy as horses all week. Poor Hubster has been down for the count, terribly sick all week.

Now, I’m not into Snake Oil and such, and I’m not saying taking the bits would’ve prevented him from getting sick. There are many factors that lead to illness. He comes into contact with many more people in a day than I, which puts him at greater exposure to pathogens and viruses. His job is more stressful than mine, which leads to a depressed immune system. Improvements in diet and exercise can help to overcome those stressors, though, and this is where I believe ENERGYbits and RECOVERYbits play a role.

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So, here we are at the end of the week and my #PoweredWithBits Smoothie of the Day is slightly modified. I had no bananas, so that didn’t make it into today’s recipe.  I did have organic cherry juice, and I love the tart kick that it adds! Baby Girl really loved this one, too. She gulped down a half of a sippy cup (without the lid… it’s too thick for the lid) at once!

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#PoweredWithBits Happy Baby Smoothie

30-40 RECOVERYbits (or ENERGYbits)
1 avocado
1 cup Organic Carrot Juice
1 cup Organic Cherry Juice
1 cup Almond Coconut Milk

Pulse in blender. Pour into Mason jar for an on-the-go treat! Pour some into a sippy cup for the baby and watch her SMILE!

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Want to give ENERGYbits a try? Checkout my giveaway for a chance to win an ENERGYbits sample, a PocketFuel sample, and a SpiBelt!

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The Budding Yogi

To practice yoga is to practice the art of letting go. Let go of expectations.  Embrace what is. Reach for what can be.

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Wild Thing, you make my heart sing!

Little did I know that when I embarked upon this yoga journey in January that it was to become another lifestyle change. It took many years for me to come to yoga because I had this preconceived notion that it was all about holding a pose. Little did I know that there are MANY types of yoga, and now I’ve come to realize that while I still know very little and have so much to learn, yoga is PLAY. It’s flowing, moving, breathing, accepting, embracing, living and loving. To practice yoga is to live in the moment. And there has been no greater teacher of this wisdom (and source of inspiration) than my own Great Bambino Yogi, Baby Girl.

This kid never ceases to astound me. I could brag for hours, but I’ll spare you. Let me just say this… she wakes up doing her own little yoga flow. Throughout the day, she can be found randomly dropping into a myriad of poses and sequences. When I roll out my mat, she drops into different variations of Downward Facing Dog underneath me. She loves inversions and playing on the stability ball. Just as often as she imitates me, I attempt to imitate her.

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Yoga playtime!

So…who is the budding yogi? I’m the beginner here. She’s an old sage. 😉

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Sometimes you just have to stop, drop & selfie!

The Great Cooking Disaster of 2014

“Ten minutes,” I said.

“Just ten minutes, and I’ll have delicious pasta for work tonight.”

I had ten minutes to kill while the bed sheets finished drying. In fifteen minutes, the bed would be made, my lunch packed and I’d be out the door, on my way to the Mother-in-Love’s to spend some time with Baby Girl before heading to work.

“Just ten minutes,” I said.

So, I got everything cooking. The sauce was heating, the linguine boiling, the timer set.

I briefly left the kitchen to change my clothes. And I returned to this…

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Mt Vesuvius has been capped!

The sauce had been transformed into Mount Vesuvius,  erupting violently,  shooting great fireworks into the sky.

Except there was no sky. Only the ceiling. And the cabinets. And the microwave. And the counters. The stove. The floor.

Sauce was EVERYWHERE.

EVERYWHERE.

And there went playtime with Baby Girl. Up in smoke. Or rather, up in sauce.

I wanted to cry. I cleaned instead. :/

Midnight Mommy Tip #11

When Itty bitty is fussy, squirmy and fighting sleep… play Amos Lee. Seriously.  Go download all of his songs, have it ready, hit shuffle and enjoy the magical effect!

Don’t believe me? Here’s the before:

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…and here’s the after:

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Yeh, it’s THAT good.

Midnight Mommy Tip #10

Forget what the professionals say… If the only way she’s going to sleep is flopped out on your pillow on top of your head, LET HER. Trust me, that’s the only way ANYONE is going to get any sleep!

MOM TALK: A Few God-given Promises

I received another gem in my email and just had to share…

Mom Talk

So, I took this online quiz which informed me that I should only have one child because I’m “just not cut out for this motherhood thing.” Apparently, the makers of this quiz were unimpressed with my “go to meal” of boxed macaroni and cheese and my inability to hold someone’s hair back while they vomit. They would probably be horrified to know that I am expecting my fifth child!

What I found amusing is that the makers of the quiz pretty much touched on all of the areas in which we moms tend to compare ourselves to each other. You know how it goes. You see some kid at church with the cutest outfit. You ask the mom where she bought it only to discover that it was handmade. Meanwhile, you don’t even own a needle and thread. Or, maybe, you’ve never made a meal that was Pinterest worthy and no one has ever asked for the recipe for your end of the week Leftovers Casserole.

Motherhood was never meant to be a competition sport. We are all on the same team. We have different strengths and weaknesses. We have all been equipped for good works – just equipped differently. We are to do everything to the glory of God utilizing the gifts that we have each been given.

So, don’t be intimidated by that crafty mom who makes unbelievable treats for her child’s classroom party. Applaud her for her efforts because I promise she struggles in another area. On the flip side, don’t judge the mom who always signs up to bring the paper goods because she probably rocks at kissing boo boos and telling bedtime stories.

I’m going to leave you with just a few promises that you can claim, as a mother, regardless of your sewing or culinary skills.

1. You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14.)
2. You are thoroughly equipped (2 Timothy 3:17.)
3. You have God-given gifts (1 Corinthians 7:7.)

We need to learn to appreciate each other’s gifts without devaluing our own gifts. What you do, fellow mom, is amazing. The day in and day out of it all takes commitment and hard work and it is not for the faint of heart. I’m proud of what you do – whether it’s homemade treats or store bought cookies. Whether it’s chicken noodle soup from scratch or Ramen noodles from a pack. There is no condemnation for those up to their necks in motherhood.

So, serve that boxed Mac and cheese with pride. Hold your head high when you deliver those paper goods to your child’s classroom. I know that’s what I’m going to do.

Carry on, moms. We are all in this together.

Meet the author:

Stacy Edwards (@sjedwards) is a trucker’s daughter and a pastor’s wife. She is married to Michael Edwards, the Evangelism and Recreation Pastor at Living Hope. She is a freelance writer and a homeschooling mom to four little girls. Stacy blogs at Servant’s Life where she uses her words to point others to the hope and encouragement found in Christ. If you need her, she’s probably hiding in the bathroom.

Do you know a mom who needs encouragement? Why don’t you pass this on to her?

Midnight Mommy Tip #9

Ever have one of those nights when the baby wakes you up for a feeding and you’re so foggy tired, thinking “I don’t know how long I can keep going like this,” only to discover its not the middle of the night, it’s only 9 pm? Yeh, I got nothing. No tips here. Just pray to God that it doesn’t happen two days in a row… Or more!

Fantastic Friday: 10 Things I Love About Tuesday

Those who know me well know that I hate the over-commercialization of holidays. On this day that was set aside for the celebration of love, our society has made it more about “stuff” and less about the things that truly matter. It really and truly annoys the fire out of me.

So, as strange as this may sound coming from a woman, I refuse (and have refused for many years) to participate in the celebration of Valentine’s Day.

Does this mean I don’t celebrate love? On the contrary. Mr. Incredible and I have our own (long-standing tradition) way of celebrating… with Tuesdays. What’s so great about Tuesdays? Well…

10. Valentine’s Day only comes once a year, but Tuesdays come every week!

9. In our house, Tuesday could come on ANY day, even a Friday…

8. There can even be more than one Tuesday in a week!

7. You don’t need to be reminded to get a Tuesday gift – Tuesdays are spontaneous and random.

6. When I get a Tuesday, I know it truly came from the heart.

5. A Tuesday can be a little, everyday thing. (Like k-cups when I’m running low, or a bag of jolly ranchers for Mr. Incredible – his fave Sunday morning candy.) It says, “hey, I’m paying attention.” THAT speaks volumes.

4. No one expects a Tuesday – no pressure increases the joy and excitement of giving and receiving.

3. There are no advertisements constantly bombarding me to “BUY A TUESDAY!”

2. Tuesdays are our own little special way of celebrating love – unique and quirky… just like us.

1. God gave us the greatest Tuesday of all when our daughter was born… on a Tuesday.

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Are you put off by commercialization as much as I am? Do you have any quirky traditions of your own?

MOM TALK: Overwhelmed & Ill-equipped

I get these wonderful little gems in my inbox every week called “Mom Talk” and sometimes they really are very timely for what’s going on in my life. I won’t bore you with the details of my life, but suffice it to say major life changes, be they related to work, family, or personal struggles, can easily become overwhelming. When changes in the three come together at one time, it can become a perfect storm. Finding peace in the eye of the storm is essential to maintaining harmony. How do you find that peace? By crying out to the very Author of Peace… Jesus.

So, without further ado, I share with you…

Mom Talk:

Do you ever feel overwhelmed with the stage of life you are in right now? Maybe, one day, it feels like you have everything under control. Then, little by little, the ground begins to give way beneath you. Then, before you know it, you are in over your head. You begin making mistakes at work. All of a sudden, you can’t pull yourself together enough to even make a grocery list. You feel like you are drowning.

From the end of the earth I will cry to You,

When my heart is overwhelmed;

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. – Psalm 61:2

There is something you need to remember. Satan is the author of lies. Everything about him is evil and deceptive and his intention is to steal every bit of joy from your life. He will do his very best to convince you that you are ill-equipped for the life you currently have. He wants you to believe that God has randomly dropped you into the role of working mom or single mom or homeschooling mom and then not equipped you to do it well. Listen closely. It is not your abilities that Satan wants you to doubt. He is attacking your faith in the One who has placed you where you are right now. Satan wants you to begin to doubt the goodness and provision of God.

Satan will try to convince you that God simply did not equip you well enough for this season of life. And, if you buy into that lie, anxiety and fear will begin to grow.

Are you feeling overwhelmed right now? Ill-equipped?

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Are you scared? Anxious? Worried you may mess it all up? Go to His Word. Everything you need to equip yourself is within those pages. All Scripture is God breathed, so that you can be equipped for every good work. And, not just equipped, but thoroughly equipped.

If you are staying in the Word, you are thoroughly equipped for every task you encounter. You are thoroughly equipped to be a godly mother, a supportive and loving spouse, a productive employee, and the servant that you are called to be.

There will be those days when you feel the waters rising and you begin to feel overwhelmed. But, long before Satan has a chance to pull you under, follow David’s lead in Psalm 61 and cry out to the One who is never overwhelmed by your circumstances.

Meet the author:

Stacy Edwards (@sjedwards) is a trucker’s daughter and a pastor’s wife. She is married to Michael Edwards, the Evangelism and Recreation Pastor at Living Hope. She is a freelance writer and a homeschooling mom to four little girls. Stacy blogs at Servant’s Life where she uses her words to point others to the hope and encouragement found in Christ. If you need her, she’s probably hiding in the bathroom.

Do you know a mom who needs encouragement? Why don’t you pass this on to her?

When Life Hands You Lemons…

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When life hands you lemons… forget about making lemonade. Make lemon meringue pie! Tangy, sweet, deliciousness – THAT is how I choose to live my life!

Work Report:
I’m adjusting quickly and easily to the night shift, thanks to a fantastic support team – my family. Mr. Incredible had a rough start to the week, in order to allow me to load up on sleep before the start of my shift Monday, but he was able to catch up on some sleep thanks to the rest of the fam. His parents and sister live nearby and are INCREDIBLY helpful. Hmmmm… maybe from now on I should refer to them collectively as The Incredibles? Yes, I think so. 😉

So, the big concerns I had before this week started were sleep, eats, and running. How has that all worked out so far?

    1. Sleep: less than what I was getting, but it’s in the 7 – 8 hour range, so that’s actually good. I’ve experienced zero drowsiness while driving home, and been able to fall asleep within 15 minutes of arriving, so that is excellent.

    2. Eats: this has been a bit of a challenge. I’ve not eaten much at all at home this week. Twice, I ate within two hours of waking, and the other two times I only downed a protein drink after running. At work, it’s a different story. I arrive with time to eat my super-duper oatmeal and then I eat every 2-3 hours during the 10.5 hours shift. I’ll have to experiment some to get myself back on my feed at home.

    3. Running: this one turned out easier than I expected. I rearranged my training schedule this week from M/W speed, F/S easy runs to T/Th speed, S long/easy. The only thing I really had to contend with was the guilt I felt at taking time for myself during that first run. After talking to Mr. Incredible and reminding myself that I’m actually getting MORE time with her during her waking hours EVEN WHEN I RUN, I was able to shake that off.

And that leads to the greatest night shift pro – more quality time with family. We’re only four days in, but so far it’s been great!

And now… on to more lemons: today’s run.

First it was a GPS fail. Half mile in, my phone reports to me that I’ve run a mile in five minutes. Well, honey, I’m no Kara Goucher, so I know something’s screwy. I restart my RunKeeper app and try again. Less than a minute in, I’ve apparently run a forty second mile. My HORSE can’t even run that fast!

So, I decide to forget tracking the run and simply proceed on perceived effort. With the battery not being sucked up by my app, I would take pics of all of the snow, ice and frozen ponds.

I turn the camera on and… camera fail. It’s more like storage fail. Not enough space on my phone for more pics because I have over 1,200 photos and videos still waiting for a backup.

Well, then, put the phone up and work on that mind-body connection for my perceived effort run!

Overall, it was a 6.3 mile run to a particular stop sign and back – 1 mile warmup, 4.3 miles hard, 1 mile cool down.

My warmup mile was probably faster than it was scheduled to be, at least I know I had hit the half mile mark in 5 minutes. I was supposed to be warming up at an 11min/mile pace. It was cold, though – lower 20’s without the windchill – so I really just wanted to get warm. Plus, it IS easier to run faster in the cold.

Once I put the phone away, I basically kept myself at the edge of an asthma attack, huffing and puffing and blowing like a winded barrel horse exiting the arena at the Calgary Stampede. For four miles.

There was a lot of inner dialogue going on:

Run hard to that fencepost and then you can take a breather.

Charge up that hill! Lift those knees!

Ok, now just keep the pace on the downhill and keep going.

You can rest at the bottom, but you gotta push it up the next hill!

You can make it to that mailbox. YES, you can!

Skip and dodge the ice like a kid playing hopscotch… Play, have FUN!

Yes, you’re lungs are burning, but do you want to regret not putting extra effort into it, or do you want to collapse in a pool of satisfaction at the end?

Even after pushing hard, I wasn’t really satisfied, though. I’m slower than I used to be. MUCH slower than where I want to be. But that is what drives me – the desire to go further, faster, and be stronger.

Afterwards, baby girl was napping, so I wrapped it up with some stretching, Sun Salutations, plank, side plank and two sessions of 7 minutes with Sima. Yoga is a new endeavor, and I swear, trying to keep up with Sima was about to kill me. Maybe I should be ashamed to admit that about only 14 minutes of yoga, but hey, it is what it is. And you gotta start somewhere, right?

Do you practice yoga? Did you run today? How did it go? How is work treating you this week?