Pearl #05

September 17th, 2014

I’ve been in a funk about life lately and these inspired little messages always jump into my inbox at just the right time.

And sharing is caring. So here you go.

Create some healthy space for yourself. Sometimes you are just too close to the puzzle to see the big picture.  You need to take a few steps back to gain clarity on the situation.  The best way to do this is to simply take a short break – a breather – a vacation – and explore something else for a little while.  Why?  So you can return to where you started and see things with a new set of eyes.  And the people there may see you differently too.  Returning where you started is entirely different than never leaving.

Accept the truth and practice being grateful for what is. To let go is to be grateful for the experiences that made you laugh, made you cry, and helped you learn and grow.  It’s the acceptance of everything you have, everything you once had, and the possibilities that lie ahead.  It’s all about finding the strength to embrace life’s challenges and changes, to trust your intuition, to learn as you go, to realize that every experience has value, and to continue taking positive steps forward.

Forgive with all your heart, as often as necessary. Forgiveness is a constant attitude of choosing happiness over hurt – acceptance over resistance.  It’s about acknowledging that we’re all mistaken sometimes; sometimes even the best of us do foolish things – things that have severe consequences.  But it doesn’t mean we are evil and unforgiveable, or that we can’t be trusted ever afterward.  Know this.  Sit with it.  It might take time to forgive, because it takes strength to forgive.  Because when you forgive, you love with all your might.  And when you love like this, a heavenly, healing light shines upon you.  This forgiveness – true forgiveness – brings you to a place where you can sincerely say, “Thank you for that experience,” and mean it with all your heart.

Concentrate only on what can be changed. Realize that not everything in life is meant to be modified or perfectly understood.  Live, let go, learn what you can and don’t waste energy worrying about the things you can’t change.  Focus exclusively on what you can change.  And if you can’t change something that’s upsetting you, change the way you think about it.  Review your options and then re-frame what you don’t like into a starting point for achieving something different in your life.

Make the NOW the primary focus of your life. Now is the moment.  The past is just a memory.  The future is a mental projection.  You can choose to dwell back in the past for learning and joyous reflection.  You can choose to dwell in the future for visualization and practical planning.  However, any time your awareness floats away to the past or future frequently for negative purposes, you are suffocating your ability to thrive in the only moment you ever have… the NOW.  Past and future literally do not exist right now – feel the freedom in this truth.

Embrace your quirks, your mistakes, and the fact that life is a lesson. Life is a ride.  Things change, people change, but you will always be YOU; so stay true to yourself and never sacrifice who you are for anyone or anything.  You have to dare to be yourself, in this moment, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.  It’s about realizing that even on your weakest days you get a little bit stronger, if you’re willing to learn.  Which is why, sometimes the greatest thing to come out of all your trouble and hard work isn’t what you get, but what you become.

From Marc & Angel Hack Life: Practical Tips for Productive Living 

Samuel: Six Months

September 6th, 2014

I always dreaded Sam’s 6-month birthday. Here’s how it went in my head… “When Sam is 6-months, he will be halfway to a year, which is almost one year, and that is so old!”

Silly, I know. But I’ve cherished his baby days so much that I’ve found myself dreading watching him grow, which isn’t good either! So, I am constantly reminding myself it is okay for him to grow up, because there is still so much more to look forward to.

Here’s what he’s been up to:

He learned to sit up just before he turned 6-months

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He is very talkative and particularly expressive with his tone and his eyebrows (can’t you see?)

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He is pretty good at eating solids now and loves blueberries, strawberries, bananas, and carrots (if they are sweet enough)

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He loves bath time. He loved it as a newborn, hated it shortly after, and is back to loving it again. It is probably one of my favorite times with him. It was the sweetest thing when he learned to splash, and so much fun to watch his reaction to bubbles, being sprayed by his bath toys, etc

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He loves books. He loves looking at, and touching them. And of course he loves trying to eat them

He loves his toys, the rattling, the squeaking. He loves throwing them around. It is so adorable and hilarious

He laughs a lot, but it is so easy to make him laugh

He loves watching and touching our cats and dog

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His sleep has improved dramatically too. He used to fight sleep like nobody’s business, but now I can lay him down by himself with his sleepy sheep and some music and he falls asleep by himself. Hallelujah! It used to be such an ordeal to get him to sleep. But anytime we are out somewhere, he’s back to fighting sleep again. He’s all about the party haha

He is practicing crawling and gets better and better at it. He can move towards something he wants, but the motions aren’t easy for him yet

Since when did he become so mobile?! Totally a bittersweet.

Our Orcas Island Retreat

August 26th, 2014

I’m sitting outside on our patio writing as the sun goes down and the day is cooling off. It’s quiet. I love it. Sam is napping.

It’s a rarity these days, the alone time, the quiet time. And although I wouldn’t trade the craziness of my life now for the world, I absolutely miss the down time that actually felt like down time.

So, moments like these I cherish.

I literally sit down and force myself to drop everything. Every crazy thought, every seemingly important ‘to-do’ and soak it all in. I breathe deeply and fully experience the goodness of life, because in those moments, life couldn’t get better.

True story.

And if I don’t force myself to enjoy them, chances are, I’ll be a maniac for the next whirlwind of blowouts and puppy potty training mishaps, which just so happen to occur at the very same time, far too many times.

Can a girl get a break around here?

So we went whale watching in Orcas Island this past weekend, and that was dreamy. And we stayed overnight in a yurt, which was surprisingly romantic. I mean, how many people can say they have stayed in a yurt before?

Of course, the trip was too short as always, but wonderful nonetheless.

Oh, and I should probably ask, do you even know what a yurt is? Because I sure didn’t.

Allow me to explain. It’s a whole lot of awesomeness. But really, it’s a portable dwelling. A glorified tent, if you will. So we kind of went camping, without going camping.

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It was the cheapest place to stay, for under $100 on Orcas Island and booked extremely last minute. Nothing short of a miracle if you ask me.

There was no electricity, which I think is oddly romantic, a candle lit dinner of sandwiches, a fire in the fireplace built by my rusty boy scout, and a chatty baby laying happily on the bed as we enjoyed one another. I felt so happy. So happy my heart literally felt like it was bursting at the seams.

It definitely wasn’t the glamour of the yurt that had me happy. Glamour did not exist there! What made me happy was spending time with the two people I adore more than anything on this earth. And again, one of those moments where I had to force myself to soak the goodness of it all in.

As our long day ended, we laid in bed together with only the light of the fireplace, Sam fast asleep. I told Kase I didn’t want to go to bed because that meant our trip was over and I didn’t want the happiness to fade. But I realized, the happiness is always there, it just manifests itself in those quiet moments. All I have to do is allow myself to slow down enough to enjoy them.

Other photos from our trip:

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DIY Baby Food

August 26th, 2014

DIY Baby Food

carrots

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb vegetables (of your choice)
  • 3-4 cups chicken stock (and other seasonings of your choice)
  • 1-2 bananas
  • olive or coconut oil
  • breast milk or formula (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Bring 3-4 cups chicken stock to a boil
  2. Add vegetables and let simmer for about 20 minutes (or until soft)
  3. Drain vegetables, then add them to a blender
  4. Add 1-2 ripe bananas, depending on how sweet you want it
  5. Add a little splash of olive or coconut oil
  6. Add breast milk or formula (again, optional)
  7. Blend it up and you’ve got one week’s worth of baby food

You can even do something as simply as pureed fruit + breast milk

Sam started eating solids within the last month and it has been quite the experience. I love it. A lot actually. It is a bit more challenging than I thought it would be, but it is so much fun to watch his personality come out as he learns to eat.

I decided a while back I would make Sam’s food for a few reasons. Here’s why:

  • Although baby food is relatively inexpensive, you can make your own for a fraction of the cost
  • I know exactly what he is eating, you know, none of those ‘fillers’ in commercial baby food
  • I can tailor his food to the foods and spices we eat as a family, allowing him a wider range of flavors like basil, garlic, ginger, etc.
  • I know that what he is eating is fresh and healthy
  • And it’s satisfying for me

Does this mean I don’t allow him to eat store bought baby food? Heck no. Because I totally think those can be tasty and nutritious. Additionally, not everybody has the time or desire to make their baby’s food. No big deal. But just in case you wanted to try it, there you have it.

It’s really not as time consuming as most people might think. It cooks while I am on the move, then all I have to do is blend it. Easy peasy.

Mom Brain

August 22nd, 2014

A post of all the rando thoughts I can’t get out of my head, because having a baby keeps me from sorting it out. Enjoy.

I am obsessed with booties of all kinds… like badly. I. Love. Shoes. And I’d like to say “you can never have too many” but since money doesn’t grow on trees… I really think you can. Boo.

I keep losing everything these days. Mostly my mind.

I’ve recently decided I want to drop off the face of the earth and destroy my phone so that I don’t have to be around anyone or anything. Except my family. My little family. I need some good alone time with them. I’m feeling like I’m on empty.

But this weekend we are going whale watching, so I am thrilled about that. Too bad weekend trips mean lots of laundry, and I already have a huge pile. I’m trying to decide if I want to do that before or after we get back.

I’ve realized I haven’t forgiven people that I thought I had. Forgiveness takes a long time. It kind of sucks. But I came across a quote that inspired me to be better, “Pray for the love that makes weaknesses and mistakes seem small.”

I’m constantly wanting to paint our furniture or redecorate our home. And have more space to do it. All. The. Time. It’s ridiculous. A hobby that sometimes makes me unsatisfied with what I already have.

Or maybe we should just move because that would be good enough change. But then I remember I hate packing and unpacking and all that tedious stuff that goes with moving.

When I feel like I get the hang of things, like being a SAHM, I start to doubt myself. For example, today I was contacted by a nurse recruiter and received information about a fulfilling job, with benefits, etc. I definitely felt that desire to go back to work and do something where I knew I could do a good job. A great job. Whereas with Sam, I constantly wonder if he feels loved, if he is happy, if I am doing good enough, blah blah blah. A job is so much easier to quantify my efforts of a job well done. I guess it just feels good to have some sort of validation for the things I put my life into. Can’t the happy feelings just stay forever? Oh, life. Why are you so difficult sometimes?

So, I went to the Goodwill tonight, just down the street from us, for some retail therapy and got a beautiful tufted chair for $10, a gorgeous real wood (not that particle board crap) hutch for $40, and a side table for $7. My lucky day. It was 50% off all furniture. We probably got as lucky as we did because we live in Bellevue, and other people’s junk is truly my treasure! Winning!

My plan is to revive those babies with some paint or something, then I can either keep them for myself or sell them. Again, a hobby of mine. The only problem is, I can’t seem to keep Sam happy when I set him down or walk out of his sight these past couple of days… so here’s to hoping I can even start these projects! I mean I couldn’t even wash the dog tonight without Sam screaming about having to share me.

Speaking of deals, I’ve been frequenting Craigslist for no good reason and found a hiking backpack for our babe. Yahoo! Over 50% off! It’s a beauty and Sam is in love with it too.

Oh, and I have the worst sweet tooth of my life since breastfeeding. Kill me.

A day in the life. I need a new brain.

This Is My Life Now

August 13th, 2014

photoHi friends, it’s been a while.

Summer time has been super busy, but wonderful nonetheless. It seems there is always something going on, and if there isn’t, all I want to do is a whole lot of nothing just to recoup from all the craziness.

A few times I have picked up my computer to write a blog post, but didn’t have it in me to do even that. Naturally this means I have about a million things I would love to share, but I’ll stick to the thing I’ve pondered over most these past few months.

This morning it rained for the first time in I can’t even remember how long. I loved it. So much.

I laid in bed with nowhere to be and listened to the rain fall (one of my most favorite sounds on this earth) as I cuddled with my baby. Surely, this must be a piece of what heaven feels like.

I woke up semi-rested, awake before Sam was awake, snuggling nose to nose and thought, “Man, I love my life.”

It may sound braggy, but I mean it in the most sincere way, especially after being thrown into this roller coaster of a ride called motherhood.

A few months ago, I had a mini freak out about life.

I’m a planner. I think I’ve mentioned this a lot by now. I plan everything. And up until this point in my life, I had things ‘somewhat’ planned out.

When I was in middle school, the most important things were name brand clothes, learning how to put on make up, and how to keep my friends from changing every single week (if not every day). Come high school, it was figuring myself out and who my friends really were. It was first kisses, getting into the same class as my friends and finishing homework before class started. At the end of high school it was time to get a little more serious about my ACT score and college applications. Then college started, and I remember feeling I had my whole life ahead of me.

I was concerned with dating, but much more concerned with my education. In fact, people would always comment on me being overly studious which always annoyed me, but I knew what I wanted to do, and I knew what it took to get there.

I wanted to be a nurse, so I took the necessary prerequisites. Then I had to apply to programs, and once I figured out where I got in, the next step was figuring out how to survive, because nursing school took everything I had. I literally gave my blood, sweat and tears to an incredibly rigorous program.

Life continued on as I worked through my education. After my first semester in the nursing program I got married, and in my last semester I was pregnant. And so here I am, at that point in my life where everything was once a hypothetical. The mystery of what I’m going to be when I grow up, who I would marry, when I would start having a family… those are my every days, and I don’t even think twice about them anymore.

I wake up to my husband every day, and at night when we’re laying next to our baby, I sometimes catch myself staring at Sam and thinking, “How in the world did he get here? This can’t be real.”

But it is.

This is my life now.

I had goals to go to college, to be a nurse, to get married, to start a family… and the next thing I know, I’m there. I’ve checked off almost everything on that ‘important decisions’ list. And now, I stay at home with that perfect little baby, but find myself with ants in my pants some days, because I want to go back to being a nurse with high hopes to change the world. But then I remember that now is my time to be with Sam.

My goals are different now. And as mundane as it may be, changing countless diapers, feeding Sam a million times a day, and making up songs and doing weird dances to distract and keep him happy, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be, because before he came, I couldn’t wait for him to get here. And now that he is here, I’m going to enjoy all of him with no apologies to my ‘career’ or any other endeavor.

I read a blog (click on the link) that was circulating on Facebook, and it opened my eyes even more to the simple beauties of motherhood. That even though the biggest things I worry about some days are getting Sam on a schedule or examining his diapers, it is still enough, because I kept him safe, fed and rested. I played with him, and made him laugh.

I mean Brad Pitt gets it!

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Another blog (link here), shared with me by a friend, had really spoke to my heart about how these are some of the best years of my life. Here was my favorite part:

“… for those of you fidgeting at home today with a restless baby at the breast, for those who have been interrupted by a toddler 20 times while you read this, I can promise you one thing. You will never regret the sacrifices you make for them now.

It may not be possible to fully appreciate the beauty of this time while you are in the midst of it. But one day, sooner than you can imagine, you will be standing on the other side of this chapter, trying to remember how their skin smelt, how their body felt sitting on your hip, head on your shoulder – and you will be filled with gladness for every moment, good and bad, that you experienced with them.”

After reading that article, I held Sam a little closer, smelled his skin and gave him an overload of kisses while he kicked me in the face.

Kasen and I had a conversation a few months ago about life, and he said something that will stick with me forever. He said, “We don’t have everything, but we have it all.” Oh my profound. What an eye opener for me to more fully recognize our blessings. As I have mentioned in previous posts, we are not able to get whatever we want, whenever we want, but in time, we are always able to do the things we want to do, and to have the things we desire. After all, the most appreciated things are the ones that require our sacrifice.

I’ve heard that there is no peace without contentment. So I’m choosing to be content, because although nothing is perfect, life really ain’t that bad.

 

Samuel: Five Months

August 13th, 2014

Things get more and more fun around here. Sam is interacting and moving around so much more, but not getting into stuff quite yet, so it’s been exciting and fun! Not a day goes by that we don’t smile and laugh. I kind of love it.

As you can see, he is getting so huge, everybody (including strangers) comments on his rolls, especially his delicious thighs. I just want to eat him up.

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Sam got to spend more time with his nana, papa, aunts and uncles for the past 2.5 weeks and went on his third hike, this time with daddy carrying him

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It was his first time cruising out on grandpa’s boat

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First Seafair weekend on the logboom

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He’s also been reaching for our food for a little while, so we just barely got him to try solids. Currently not a carrot lover, but I’ll be darned if I have a ‘picky eater.’ It is tedious taking time to teach babies how to eat solids! Who knew? I sure didn’t

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I’ve never had more sleep since early in my pregnancy. He’s finally learning to stop fighting sleep, and it feels awesome

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He loves music like mom and dad. We kind of blast it to calm him down in the car sometimes

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He’s teaching himself to sit up

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First time to Pike Place Market

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Second time riding The Seattle Great Wheel

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And his second movie, this time it was ‘The Guardians of The Galaxy.’ Dad’s choice

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He has had more time with his cousins, and I love watching him interact with them

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He rolls over both ways now

His bottom teeth are definitely making their way up. I can see the bottom left one just under the gums

He is easy to make smile and laugh

He is SUPER ticklish

And he LOVES when daddy comes home

Oh, life is sweet

Samuel: Four Months

August 13th, 2014

Well I am VERY behind, but wanted to update and share about our sweetheart nonetheless

Sam is still amazing as ever

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He loves laughing. Mom makes him laugh the most

He found his toes and loves sucking them

He loves smiling at and talking to himself in the mirror

He learned to roll one way

His eating has spaced out to about every 3 hours, which is kind of a wonderful break for me

He had his first plane ride to LA and did fabulous. I, on the other hand was a nervous mess. I’m still not good with letting the babe fuss in public

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He loves grabbing our faces, which is probably one of my favorite things

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He still loves standing

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First mini roadtrip from LA to San Diego

First 4th of July

First time to Sea World (for all of us)

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First beach day, which did not go so well after a surprise wave splashed us so hard

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He saw his first movie, ‘Maleficent’ which was so cute

He hates bath time now (remember when he loved it as a newborn?)

He’s been on two hikes, Rattlesnake Ledge and Snow Lake

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And he has a new puppy friend named Oso (bear in Spanish)

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Things are stayin’ sweet around here

My Miracle Brush

June 4th, 2014

I’ve recently had a lot of compliments on how healthy and shiny my hair looks, and I can’t help but think my favorite brush has a lot to do with it. So here I am sharing. You’re welcome.

81JkgHq8i3L._SL1500_But seriously though, here is a short, random post on this favorite hairbrush of mine. A miracle brush, really. A version of the Mason Pearson All Boar Brush, but far cheaper and I would imagine just as effective. In fact, all reviews said this brush performed just as well as the expensive version.

Here’s the idea:

Ouchless. It doesn’t hurt to brush through my long, tangled hair. This means no breakage.

No static. Zero. Some reviews said they had static, but I’ve had this brush for 6-months now, and have yet to get static hair.

Healthier hair. The boar bristles absorb my hair’s natural oils and distributes them all the way to the ends, giving me healthier, shinier, longer hair.

It honestly doesn’t get much better. At least for me.

Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

June 4th, 2014

Oh. My. Gosh.

A delicious, clean eating treat. A current obsession. A “must-try”… so please do.

Vanilla Chia Seeding Pudding

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Ingredients:

  • 1 5.5oz can coconut milk
  • 3 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp organic grade b maple syrup

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a glass mason jar
  2. Stir well to combine.
  3. Cover with a lid and place in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours.

From Simply Real Health