Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wellness Wednesday

Tip of the Week: Push and Release

Today is Day 86 of my 90 day goal in completing P90X. This little experience has required a lot of discipline as well as a fairly large dose of stubborn willpower.

I will not be posting before & after pictures on this blog as I think it would be slightly disturbing to see photos of your pastor's wife flexing in various positions. I'm sure you are very much relieved. You're welcome.

However, I would like to take a moment to just relish how good it feels to reach a goal. Hard choices that didn't always feel worth it in the moment feel very much worth it right now.

I've had several people ask me if I'm going to continue doing P90X now that I'm officially (almost) done. The answer is yes & no. I'm going to continue working out regularly and will be using a lot of the P90X DVDs to do that, but I'm dropping from 6 workouts a week that felt REQUIRED to 4-5 workouts a week that I'll be more flexible with.

The concept of "Push & Release" is that you can see a lot of progress in fitness (or, really, any area of life) if you will set a mini-goal and push really intensely for a defined season. Knowing that the goal/season has an end date makes it feel less overwhelming and suffocating. You know the break is coming.

Once you reach your goal, you can let up a bit. Not so much that you fall back to where you once were. Don't exchange nutrition and exercise for movies and twinkies. Just maintain where you currently are for a while instead of pushing so hard to achieve the next level. When you've rested a bit and had time for your motivation to rebuild, push again!

Progress is normally not a steady climb up and to the right. It typically more like stair steps.

So, do you want to lose 20 pounds? Set a goal to lose 10. Stay super focused. Count your calories every single day. Determine how many days a week you can work out and stick to it. Weigh yourself regularly. Have a friend that you report your progress to on a weekly basis. Then, once you've lost the first 10 pounds, breathe a little. Figure out what it would take to maintain that weight. What are the new lifestyle habits that you should continue verses the time bound habits that are only needed when you are trying to lose weight? Once you've maintained that weight for a while (at least a month), then you're ready to hit it again really hard.

Feeling like you're always pushing is exhausting and defeating. No one can maintain that pace, so eventually you're likely to give up. But pushing hard for a season can take you to a place that you've never been before. And once you've been there, it's slightly addictive and motivating all in itself.

Set a mini-goal. Make it time bound. Then, put your head down and get to work!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

It's Never Too Late to Celebrate!

School really snuck up on us so the launch of Caedmon's kindergarten year and the inauguration of the Wood Academy of Awesomeness turned out to be rather anti-climactic.

Several factors were involved in my negligence...

  1. All of the local schools started school a week after our charter school/homeschool started, which led me to believe that I had one week of summer left. 
  2. Caedmon had a tonsillectomy a week prior to school starting so he was still not 100% on the first day. 
  3. I taught at South Bay the day before school started.
  4. The Monday that school started, Andy woke up with a high fever and strep throat. So we headed to Urgent Care that morning instead of our school room. 
I was feeling like a pretty lame mom that I didn't do ANYTHING to celebrate the fact that my first born was officially starting "real" school. No back to school clothes or new pencils or even a special breakfast that morning. (We actually took our breakfast to Urgent Care and ate it in the lobby.) 

But, alas, it is never too late to celebrate! That's why 2 weeks after we launched homeschool, we made a memory with Caedmon. 

South Bay had been selling tickets to a San Jose Earthquakes soccer game as a fundraiser for our mission trip to Ethiopia. The game was this past Saturday night so we told Caedmon that we were going to take him to the game for his "starting school celebration". Caedmon didn't realize that we were already planning on attending the game, and it didn't matter because suddenly we made the night all about him! The added bonus was that Caedmon and Andy got to go out on the field pre-game to receive the check from the Earthquakes. He felt like big stuff! 

We also got him a new set of markers so he'd have a little gift to unwrap.

Sometimes life sneaks up on us and we miss occasions that really deserved to be celebrated. Maybe you were out of town for a friend's birthday. Maybe your husband got a great performance review or a promotion at work. Maybe your child learned how to ride a bike. A celebration doesn't have to be elaborate. It could be a quick trip to get some frozen yogurt one night after dinner or a candle in someone's blueberry muffin at breakfast. The point is, the event was acknowledged and the recipient felt special. 

Celebrations make life more fun and milestones more meaningful. Who/what can you celebrate today? 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Matrimony...a church planting edition

Yesterday I was so thrilled to get to be there to celebrate the Grand Opening of a new church in Palo Alto called C3 Silicon Valley. Adam & Keira Smallcombe, who pastor the church, moved to California from Australia just 6 months ago! It was amazing to see the team that God has brought together in this short time to launch this church.

There were so many things that blew me away yesterday... the environment was warm and friendly, the worship time was powerful, the preaching was captivating. You could truly feel the Spirit of God working in that room! It was a home run as far as Grand Openings go. If you live anywhere near Palo Alto, you really need to check this church out!

But the thing that made the biggest impression on me was watching the way Keira interacted with Adam throughout the morning. Before and after the service, both Keira and Adam were mingling with the crowd, meeting people, and welcoming guests. They were rarely together, but they were both fully engaged.

Then, during the service they stood up together to welcome the crowd, talk about some of their core values as a church, and lead in a time of prayer. It was so obviously clear that they are a team. There was oneness of heart and vision. There was love and respect in their eyes as they looked at each other. There was a sense of shared excitement as this dream that God had put in their hearts was finally becoming a reality.

There is nothing more beautiful to me than a wife who loves, supports, and believes in her husband. Keira was an amazing example of this yesterday.

I heard a story about a time that Craig & Amy Groeschel were doing some marriage counseling with another couple. (I'm not sure I'm telling the story exactly right because I heard it second hand.) The wife was being derogatory and disrespectful to her husband which Amy & Craig tried to address as a key issue that needed to change. The woman said to Amy, "Well, sure, if I was married to someone like Pastor Craig it'd be easy for me to respect and encourage him." Amy wisely responded by saying, "Maybe Craig is the man he is today because of all the years I've spent encouraging and speaking hope into him."

Girls, God has given us the sacred calling and significant responsibility of encouraging, respecting, and supporting our husbands. The words we say, the looks we give, and the attitudes we have go deep inside their hearts. There is no greater gift a man could receive than a wife that is cheering him on, believing in him, and engaged in whatever his mission in life is. Conversely, there is nothing that is more burdensome than a wife that speaks death over his dreams, sits on the sidelines with her arms folded, or points out all his flaws.

I want my husband to be all that God created him to be partly because of me, not in spite of me. 

As the world looks on may they see in us wives that, like Keira, are standing with our men, believing in them, and working together toward the common vision God has put on our lives. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

That guy.

Sometimes I have moments when I look at Andy and a whole new wave of, "Man, I'm so glad I'm married to you," rushes over me.

I had a moment like that a couple weeks ago I was able to sit in on a training event that he did for some other church planters. I sat there with my journal open taking notes as fast as I could, just amazed at the wisdom God has given him. Andy is at his finest in settings like this. I never face a leadership decision that I don't run by Andy to get his perspective.

I had another one of those moments the other night when he was playing with our boys after dinner. Now that I have 2 Littles to engage with all day, I gladly sign up for kitchen clean-up duty while Andy plays with the kiddos. Dishes have never looked so good to me. :-)

There are nights that Andy, like any other person, comes home so exhausted and brain dead that he can hardly put two coherent thoughts together. We typically do "Family Movie Night" on those days.

But on this particular day he was so full of life that I was laughing hysterically at him while I washed dishes. The boys kept shooting him with their play rifle and every time they would shoot him, Andy would turn into a different character. Weeping man, snorting pig, hysterically laughing man, kung fu man, angry man... It was so funny. The other thing that he does with the boys that cracks me up is that he pretends that his Super Power is to shoot lasers/bullets from his nipples! Even typing that makes me laugh out loud.

Every married person out there has a spouse that is "at his/her best" in some particular setting. It looks different from one spouse to another and it is incredibly cruel and unfair to compare. What we should do, however, is look for opportunities to catch our spouse at their best...To step back and admire them as they thrive...To tell them how thankful we are for the strengths that God has given them...And to let them know that, somehow, it makes US feel more alive when we see them fully alive.

What is one thing about your spouse that makes you think, "Man, I'm so glad I'm married to you!"?

(By the way, these photos were taken by Ashley Slater who recently moved to Michigan. So all of our Michigan family/friends, check her out. She is amazing!)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wellness Wednesday

Tip of the Week: Decide, Commit, Succeed

Those 3 words flash across the screen every time I play a P90X DVD. The principle is so good when it comes to fitness and overall wellness.

When I decided a few months ago to do another round of P90X, the decision had been a long time in the making. Andy & I did P90X one time before (a couple years ago) and so I knew the level of commitment it required. I didn't want to just kinda do it. If I said I was going to do it, I was diving in all the way.

I'm on Day 80 today and there have been SOOOO many days over the last few months that I wanted to skip my workout. But I knew I had made a commitment to myself to stick with this thing for the full 90 days. So, I was able to push myself through my unmotivation and have only missed 2 workouts (and one of those days I spent 8 hours cleaning my house which I think should count for something!). If, however, I had not made that commitment to endure for 90 days, I know that the number of workouts I would have gotten in would only be a shadow of that number.

My point is, if you decide that you want to "get fit" make a clear, measurable goal and commit to it. There are a zillion workout and "diet" programs out there. And if you really stick with the program the way they tell you to, you WILL see results. Most of us just hit a wall of unmotivation and give up way too early. When you've got a goal that you're shooting for, you are so much more likely to stay focused and hang in there.

But you have to decide. And then stick with it with all kinds of determination and stubbornness and ferocity. If you do that, no matter what nutrition plan or work out program you select, you will see huge results!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Significantly Insignificant

Sometimes we all wish our role in life felt more important. Like a highlight reel instead of all this behind-the-scenes footage. Like a 4th of July fireworks display at Giants Stadium instead of these measly little Sparklers from my driveway.

I once saw a T-shirt that said something like, "One day I hope my life is as cool as yours sounds on Facebook." Everyone else's life seems so much more exciting or more adventurous than our own.

It's easy for me to get sucked into this trap. The life of a stay-at-home mom is far from glamorous. (Can I get a witness?!) We are the monitors of hand-washing, the loaders and unloaders of dishwashers, the referees of playtime, and the instructors of paper airplane making. Our uniform typically consists of yoga pants, stained T-shirts, and pony-tailed hair. We may take a shower first thing in the morning or not get around to it until about 4 in the afternoon. We are experts at finding lost shoes, interpreting the meaning of a cry from 3 rooms away, and listening to 4 conversations at once.

When I take the mile-high view of the life of a stay-at-home mom, everything in me screams how incredibly significant that role is for the life of a child and the health of a family. But sometimes, when I'm in the thick of it, trips to the library and building forts don't seem nearly so life changing.

It's comical to Andy and me how vastly different our roles are. The other day he came home and said, "I have one of those headaches you get from sitting in meetings all day making tough decisions. You know what I mean?" I said, "Ummm, not really." Another time he said, "One thing I love about my job is that I have several really high capacity people who report to me." I replied, "I have 2 really low capacity people who report to me." He agreed.

My exhaustion at the end of the day is more on the emotional side than the mental. In fact, I can begin to feel like I'm "wasting" my gifts and not living up to my potential because I have a lot higher capacity than Lincoln Logs require. I start thinking that maybe God could use my life more if I was serving in the "forefront" at South Bay instead of on the "home front" for our family.

But this morning I was reading about John the Baptist. This guy had an incredible ministry! He baptized hundreds, maybe thousands, of people and was somewhat of a national celebrity in his day. However when Jesus came on the scene, all of John's followers started to flock to Jesus. This was really concerning for some of John's followers. But when they questioned John about it he said that it gave him such JOY to see his followers choosing to follow Jesus. John knew that his role in the Kingdom was to point people to Jesus. John said, "He [Jesus] must increase, but I must decrease." (John 3:30)

John was content and secure in playing the role he had been given in the Kingdom. Can you imagine the mess it would have made if John had tried to overstep the role assigned to him? What if he tried to self-promote to maintain his popularity and following? John played an incredibly significant part in God's plan, but the part had boundaries and it would have ruined things if he overstepped his boundaries.

He played his role well because of his willingness to appear insignificant.

This truth is so applicable for our lives! Each of us have a role to play in the Kingdom of God. And for a lot of us our current role feels like we're using a fraction of our capacity. But we have to remember that God is the Giver of capacity as well as the Assigner of roles. And He doesn't make mistakes. Our failure to play our part well, with a willing spirit and joyful heart, has a domino effect that can cripple an entire organization.

For example, if I decided that I wanted a much more "significant" Kingdom role than my current position as a stay-at-home mom, it would drastically effect the climate of our home. Things would not run as smoothly. Laundry would be everywhere. Healthy home cooked meals would be few and far between. My kids would be shuffled from one source of childcare to another. I'd be bringing a lot of external stress home with me. All of this would have a huge impact on Andy and it would in-turn affect his ability to lead South Bay well.

But when I embrace my role (without grumbling or whining or straining for some type of promotion) everything just works better. Our lives have rhythm. Our family feels healthy.

While my role can, at times, feel insignificant, it is my willingness to embrace that insignificance that allows me to have such a significant impact.

You have a role to play. Sometimes you may be thrust into the lime light and have this exhilarating sensation of "I was born for this!" But, probably, the majority of the time your part will feel more like a stage-hand. And the significance of your contribution cannot be overstated. Your willingness to serve well with all your heart brings MUCH glory and delight to God!

Another perk of my role is that I get to hang out with these guys all day...
And what in the world could be insignificant about that?!?!

Monday, August 20, 2012

"Gotcha Day" Celebration

We celebrated Sammy's 2nd annual "Gotcha Day" this past Saturday. "Gotcha Day" is the day that Sammy officially came into our custody and became a member of the Wood Family. What a moment that was!

Every year on this day we will celebrate the gift of Samuel Wondimu Wood and remember how blessed we are that God brought us together.

This year we celebrated by going to Walia Ethiopian Restaurant with the Santos family. It made the evening so much more special to have such dear friends (who are also lovers of adoption) with whom to celebrate it.


The Ethiopians who were at the restaurant (some working and some dining) were fascinated 
by Sammy and our adoption story. One man was so touched by it that, as a gesture of 
kindness, he bought our table a bottle of authentic Ethiopian honey wine.  

They might as well be siblings. These kiddos love each other so much and have been 
together pretty much since day one.  

In honor of our trip to Tutti Frutti to get frozen yogurt, we had an impromptu dance party to 
the tune of "Rutti tutti fresh and fruity, watch (Sammy) shake his booty." Does anyone else 
make their kids dance for food on occasion? I get such a kick out of it!

The yogurt received high approval ratings. 

Silly Sammy. The much loved, much celebrated, much accepted child.

All day long Andy kept asking Sammy, "Who are we celebrating tonight?" To which Sammy would respond with all kinds of enthusiasm, "ME!!!" Earlier today I heard Sammy say to no one in particular, "Who loves Sammy? Mommy & Daddy love Sammy! YAY!" The journey of adoption is, among other things, the miraculous interweaving of hearts and lives in the beautiful making of a family. Thank you, Jesus, for the precious gift of Sammy.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sunday Morning: behind the scenes

If you attend South Bay Church, you probably know that I taught this past Sunday. We continued our "Heroes" message series and I taught on the life of Esther. What you most likely do NOT know is that, also on Sunday I:

  1. Had a moment of panic when I thought I had extremely bad body odor
  2. Cut my hair in my bathroom before church, and
  3. Got lost in the curtains and couldn't find my way off stage
On Sunday morning I was downstairs in our small office practicing my message while Andy was making breakfast. (Talk about role reversal!!!) Suddenly I started smelling onions. That's a really bad smell when you are in a small room with the door closed by yourself. It momentarily did not occur to me that Andy was sautéing some onions for an omelet, so I started smelling my armpits to see if it was me! I knew I was a little nervous, but I didn't think I was that sweaty! I was oh so relived when I realized that I was smelling breakfast and not my own body odor!

After breakfast I was brushing my teeth (to get rid of the onion smell, of course) when I noticed that my bangs looked too long. It is a huge pet-peeve of Andy's when my hair is covering my face while I'm on stage. This presented a big problem because my bangs weren't long enough to tuck behind my ear and I have very little skill when it comes to creative hair styling. So, I took a deep breath, got out some scissors, and tried to emulate what I had watched when the hairstylist cut my hair a couple months ago. I was, again, oh so relived that no one said to me on Sunday, "Oh, I see you're trying something new with your bangs!"

During the 2nd service as I turned to walk off stage, I suddenly found myself lost in a sea of black curtains. It felt like a horrible joke as I searched in vain for the doorway. I'm not sure if it could be seen from the audience, but it seriously felt like 10 extra seconds that I stood there trying to find the break in the curtain that I could slide behind. Awwww-kward!

So, that's a behind-the-scenes glimpse of my life of Sunday. Just keepin' it real, Folks!

By the way, if you would like to listen to the message click here.  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wellness Wednesday

Tip of the Week: If you can resist it, you probably should.

All of us have foods that are bad for us that we crave and foods that are bad for us that we could live without. For example, I believe that if the opportunity presented itself, I could eat Tuxedo Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory every single night. I also love homemade chocolate chip cookies and virtually any other homemade dessert. However, store bought desserts I can resist. Also, I'm not a huge fan of birthday cake, potato chips, or plain vanilla ice cream.

So, for me, I've decided that I'd rather not waste calories eating things that I could (pretty) easily live without. Sure, I'm still tempted to grab a piece of cake when I go to a kid's birthday party. But then I think, "I'd rather save those calories to indulge in something I really love." Because the reality is, I will probably still indulge in whatever it is I really love regardless of whether or not I chowed down on birthday cake earlier in the week. It's not like I'd make myself sacrifice the cheesecake just because I had a Spiderman cupcake, so it's like I just saved myself 300 meaningless calories to invest in the real deal later!

Probably all I'm doing is tricking my brain into being willing to delay gratification. But, hey, whatever works, right?!?!

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Wood Academy of Awesomeness Launched Today! (kind of)

According to the schedule that our charter school gave us, our homeschooling was supposed to begin today. It really snuck up on me because I had in my mind that we would start school on the 20th (one week from today) when Santa Clara starts back. So when I opened my email 9 days ago to find the reminder email that we're supposed to start today, I had a small moment of panic. Last week I was in high gear trying to get everything ready to start today.

But, as life would have it, Andy woke up this morning with 102 fever and a raw throat. This provided the opportunity for us to take our first Field Trip of the school year to visit Urgent Care where Andy was diagnosed with Strep Throat. :-( So, much to his dismay, Andy is in bed instead of on his staff retreat as was the original plan. Poor guy...strep throat is the pits.

Caedmon is also sportin' a pretty sore throat from his tonsillectomy last week. So he requested that we not do anything that required him to "talk too much". I'm not sure if that was just his creative way of getting out of reading lessons today or if the pain is legitimate, but I guess I'll let him milk it for a few more days.

We did manage to get some other school-related activities done this morning and we had a fun time doing it. The boys are always motivated by something new and fresh (aren't we all?), so I've got that going for me right now. And after a week of laying around watching movies, I think we were ALL ready for a little more structure and productivity.

And we're off! Let the awesomeness begin...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Snapshots of our week

Thanks so much to all of you who have prayed for Caedmon this week as he recovers from his tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy (not sure that's really a word). He is doing better than I anticipated. He's still taking it pretty slow and not eating a whole lot yet, but he's getting more playful each day. The pain seems to be worst in the mornings as the medicine has worn off over night.

Here's a few snapshots of the kind of week we've had...

Taking it real easy... 

Popsicles, juice, and ice cream time 

Lots of laundry 

Superman joined the party one evening. Not sure if anyone from Old Fort follows my blog, 
but Andy is sporting his t-shirt from "The Kiss" retreat which was about 12 years ago. 

 Caedmon's creativity started to return last night and he made a large "ship" with all of his blankets. 
His dad and brother were the honorary crew members along with his stuffed animals. The 
shark and dolphin (obviously) had to stay in the water and were not invited on the ship. 

Me? I have been working away to prepare all of my materials for homeschool. We received 
Caedmon's curriculum in the mail yesterday and I've been printing, cutting, and laminating a 
bunch of preschool materials for Sammy. Here we go, folks! Ready or not, we're diving in!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wellness Wednesday

Tip of the Week: Plan what you eat.

There are lots of benefits to planning ahead of time what you will eat.

First, planning takes the stress out of deciding in the moment what to cook/eat. I never have to wonder at the last minute what I'm going to cook for dinner or prepare for breakfast and lunch. I just glance at the meal plan attached to my fridge.

Second, some people get really good at planning and it helps them save money because they can repeat certain ingredients. I, honestly, could never claim to be a frugal grocery shopper. But I have heard that planning is key to saving money. Somehow.

Third, planning ahead helps you make wise choices in food selection when you're "starving" or grumpy or just really in the mood for some chocolate. Andy often will even decide on what he'll order at a restaurant before he goes out to eat. That way he can jump online to look at the particular restaurant's nutrition information and make a good choice before he's sitting in the restaurant with all the tempting sights and smells surrounding him.

I realize that meal planning takes some time, but it is well worth the effort. Putting a little thought into it on the front end can really propel your desire to eat healthy.

Here's a sample meal plan for our family from this week. Most weeks are similar for breakfast/ lunch/ snacks. I change it up a bit, but I stick to a rhythm that works for us. This week we're having more smoothies than normal because it's one thing that Caedmon can enjoy after his surgery. Another note, a lot of evenings Andy & I will have another snack after dinner because we eat pretty early. We make popcorn, have a piece of fruit, or enjoy a frozen smoothie popsicle that I made earlier.

Breakfast- oatmeal with berries
Lunch- Egg salad, triscuits, apple, cheese
Snack- Yogurt
Dinner- Whole wheat pasta with marinara sauce and meatballs, salad
Breakfast- Fruit smoothie, whole wheat toast w/ peanut butter
Lunch- leftover barbecue sandwich
Snack- apple & popcorn
Dinner- Stirfry vegetables with pork and quinoa
Breakfast- Omelet, fruit
Lunch- Apple sandwiches with peanut butter and raisins, yogurt
Snack- cheese & crackers
Dinner- Vegetarian fajitas
Breakfast- oatmeal with berries
Lunch- smoothies, popcorn, celery with peanut butter and raisins
Snack- almonds or walnuts with raisins
Dinner- DATE NIGHT!!!!!
Breakfast- Whole wheat banana pancakes
Lunch- humus, carrots, cheese, apples, triscuits
Snack- banana with peanut butter
Dinner- quesadillas with leftover fajita veggies
Breakfast- smoothie, whole wheat toast w/ jam
Lunch- zucchini muffins w/ cream cheese, fruit
Snack- fresh veggies with hummus
Dinner- Parmesan crusted chicken, quinoa, green beans
Breakfast- Eggs, bacon, yogurt, fruit, whole wheat toast
Lunch- at church
Snack- yogurt
Dinner- ham & cheese quiche, fruit

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Whose Job Is It Anyway?

Do you ever find yourself getting overwhelmed as you try to fix someone else's problems? I have experienced this a lot in my own life, especially in regards to my husband.

You see, I love to know all about what he's doing at work... challenges he's facing, decisions he's making, projects he's working on. It makes me feel apart, like we're a team working toward the same cause. I'm 100% bought in to the vision of South Bay Church and I am one HUGE Andy Wood fan. So I love to listen and provide feedback and support where I can.

But every once in a while I notice myself getting stressed over what he's stressed about. I start trying to think of ways that I can be the solution to one of his problems. My shoulders get knotted up and my mind is always racing. My heart's motivation is to help and to support, but what's really happened is we've just added one more stressed out person to the equation. It's not helpful to anyone.

That's when I have to remember that God has called Andy to be the point leader of South Bay Church. Not me. I lead with him in many ways. But Andy is the man of God who has been called, anointed, and equipped for that position. God has given Andy the strength, wisdom, and grace he needs to lead well, to make hard decisions, and to navigate tricky waters. God has made Andy's shoulders broad enough and strong enough to carry the load that's been given to him. My shoulders, on the other hand, are not equipped for the same load.

When I start trying to shoulder the responsibilities that God has place on someone else, the load feels awkward and burdensome and unbearable. It's not my job. I'm taking on something that God didn't give me the grace to do.

God has equipped my shoulders for a different job and life works much better (for everyone!) when I focus on carrying the load He's given to me.

At the end of my life, I will not be held accountable for how well I did Andy's job. God gave Andy a load and He gave me one too. Part of that job for me includes loving, supporting and encouraging my husband. So I need to listen, care deeply, provide thoughtful feedback, and trust. I will be held accountable for how I cheered him on, provided a "safe place" for him, and told him how much I believed in him. My shoulders were equipped to carry that kind of load.

I can't take on his responsibilities; but I can do mine well. And me doing my job well helps him do his job well.

Has your well meaning empathy for someone else's situation turned into you shouldering a load you were never intended to shoulder? Remember, God has given them the grace and strength they need to carry the load He's given to them. He has not given that same grace and strength to you. So love them well, but don't try to meet needs for them that only Jesus can meet. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Movies, Ice Cream, & Tonsils

This morning my lil buddy, Caedmon, had his tonsils and adenoids removed...and thus commenced a week of "Movies & Ice Cream". Thankfully, a couple friends got us well stocked with movies the boys have never seen.

I snuck in some of my childhood favorites! 

The waiting room at 7:30 AM. Thank goodness for iPads & iPhones! 

A little brotherly movie time as he gets prepped.  

This is our anesthesiologist. He was pretty funny asking Caedmon, "So, do you smoke?" 
"Do you drink?" 
Whew! Sure am glad he answered all those questions correctly!

And those, ladies and gentlemen, are the two overgrown chicken nuggets that got us into this situation! Sorry if that grosses you out. I know, it's way TMI but I was a little shocked when I saw them. I said to the doctor, "Those look really big to me. Is that normal?" She said, "No. Those are huge. You did the right thing." Can you imagine having those in the back of a 5 1/2 year old's throat?! No wonder he snored like a lumber jack!

Coming out of anesthesia was not a pretty sight. Although all of the nurses assured me that it was quite normal, I had never seen Caedmon act like that and it was a little disturbing. Screaming, flailing around, totally disoriented... it was not cool. He finally settled down (a little) and watched a few more minutes of a movie until they released us. 

We're back home now where we intend to camp for the next week or so. My parents sent him an Angry Birds game to entertain him during his recovery. So far he's had two bowls of ice cream, applesauce, and some yogurt. We've already watched The Jungle Book and he's sleeping right now (thanks to the codeine). 

Here's to lots of snuggles, hibernating at home, and movies every day. Minus the pain, that sounds like a pretty fun week!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wellness Wednesday

Tip of the Week: Don't drink your calories.

This tip is comin' at ya straight from Bob Harper's book "The Skinny Rules".

Soft Drinks, Juices, Gatorade (and the like), Starbucks favorites, and Alcohol all contain a lot of calories. Depending on the amount you consume, it's not hard to drink the equivalent of an entire meal by mindlessly sipping away.

I'm pretty much avoiding soft drinks and Gatorade altogether (due to my rule of "if you can't pronounce the ingredients you probably should eat it") But natural juices, the occasional treat from Starbucks, and a glass of wine every once in a while isn't going to kill ya. You just have to be aware of the calories that it adds to your diet and make up for it somewhere else.

In the words of Tony Horton, "Drink your water, People!"

The one little trick that helps me drink more water, as simple as it may sound, is having a water bottle that I like. I'm not nearly as likely to pour myself a glass of water and sip on it throughout the day as I am to guzzle through several bottles of water. I don't know why that is, but I know it's true for me. I don't like the water bottles that you have to unscrew the lid. I just like the lids that pops on and off. Here's my current water bottle:

Pretty fancy, huh? It has nothing to do with the brand and everything to do with the cap. This bottle has lasted me for about a month so far. I just refill it and keep on drinking. Whenever I lose it or it gets destroyed, I just buy another one. I typically drink at least 3 of these per day.

If you are used to drinking a lot of calories, you could probably drop a couple pounds really easily by switching to drinking water instead. Once you get hooked on water, you'll start to crave it just like you used to crave soft drinks! At least that's true for me...