Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Whole30 Round 2: Weeks 3-4ish

Hey, we finished our Whole30 challenge (about a month ago)!  Our second two weeks went smoothly.  I was finally able to shed the tiredness and that sluggish feeling from the first two weeks.  Grant and I were still tired, but we both enjoyed solid energy levels and moods (This last refers to me I guess. Mr. Cyrus says his moods are always steady, although I personally found him more pleasant to be around during the month of our challenge.)  We both just generally felt better.  A week or two after we finished, he came to me and said, "I'd like to eat mostly Whole30 in the future."  I'll take that as a win.  No amazing fantastic news this time, just better health, so our goal at home is to eat as close to the Whole30 plan as we can, with a root beer or tortilla chip thrown in here and there for comfort.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

what we teach our kids about Independence Day

I try to think deeply about the actions I take and the beliefs I hold, and especially the ideas I pass on to my children - maybe even to the point of over-thinking sometimes.  (Mr. Cyrus says yes on that one.)  You may recall me grappling with what to do about Halloween last year.

Andy Castro via Creative Commons

But, as I mature, I'm figuring out how to hold to principles without crushing the fun out of everything.  Example: My first child had never even heard of Santa Claus, because I didn't want to be one of those parents who LIED to their children *tiny horrified gasp.*

Thursday, July 10, 2014

what if you chose to believe the best about yourself?

"Once I realized I was telling myself a bad story, I crafted a new one." 
Michael Hyatt, Change Your Story, Change Your Life Podcast.

I have gotten some amazing compliments over the past few years on my children and my mothering.  Some from friends and family, and sometimes from someone I've just met.

As good as it feels to get these compliments, there's always a part of me that thinks, Ha! You should have been here ten minutes ago when I was spewing venom at my little one for coloring on the wall.  Lots of grace and beauty there.  Psh.

Can you relate?  It's true that no matter how wonderfully my kids behave around others, no matter how gentle and forgivingly I mother in public, I remember that, while I loaded everyone in the car, I was borderline cruel to my children.  Ann Voskamp (aka: my favorite blogger to quote), writes about totally losing it with her kids over things that are just not that important.  Here's one example: she was trying to get somewhere, and she reminded her son to iron his shirt, but then she looked back and "he’s in the van looking like he’s rolled with a bunch of wombats to Timbuktu and back." Enough to send any mother over the edge.  Her comment: "I'm not proud that I can hiss."  Oh I can so relate.

No matter how many compliments we receive, we all know what we're really like when no one is around.  But what if we could take these compliments and simply say, this too is a part of who I am?  What if, instead of comparing your days and letting your worst invalidate your best, you held up your best days as shining examples of the self you are trying to become?  Not as lucky-must-have-been-a-fluke days, but as the days when you finally got it right.  The magical days when all the soul-searching, book reading, deep breathing, begging-pleading-praying for strength combined into that beautiful person you are working so hard to be.

I am a better friend and wife when I remind myself that I'm usually caring and supportive instead of a self-centered dimwit who sometimes puts her foot right in her mouth.  I parent better when I put aside my mistakes and remember that I am a creative and determined mother.  We operate from a place of strength and calm when we believe we are more than the sum of our mistakes.

I guess this is my PSA today: the best things about you are still true when the worst parts slip out, even when they take over for a while.  Choose to believe the best.

c.s. lewis by gay

Monday, July 7, 2014

repost: I process through words

I've been thinking of a post from my archives and decided to repost it today because it seems to sum up my current thoughts, although I'm now much more comfortable with the rambling nature of my blog.  It seems to work for me. *wry grin*

Funny that the post is from almost exactly the same time of year.  Maybe summer is just not my writing time?

I Process Through Words
July 17, 2013

I've been thinking a lot about blogging and writing lately (which I realize is ironic, because I've barely posted anything for a month).  I tried to write, but repeatedly gave myself a pass on posting this past month because I couldn't seem to produce anything with authentic positivity (yeah, it's totally a word).  Then I gave up for a while so I could feel what life was like when writing was not a priority.  I didn't like it much.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Whole30 Round 2: Weeks 1-2

Ok, technically, I did attempt a Whole30 sometime last year.  I can't even remember when, but my friend Heidi was doing one and I tried to jump on the bandwagon but I missed and fell in the dirt.  Round 2.1 then.

What is the Whole30?
Established by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig (of Whole9) in April 2009, the Whole30® is our original nutritional program designed to change your life in 30 days. Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.
Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. . . Strip them from your diet completely. Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health.

For more details on the Whole30 eating plan go here, or here.

I've been wanting Mr. Cyrus to try an elimination diet for ages.  He has random, seemingly unconnected, aches and pains that make me think he has some inflammation going on, but he's always refused to try healing himself with food. One perfectly normal day in May, he came into the kitchen and asked, "So how do I do this Whole30 thing you want me to do?" I whipped out my computer and started planning meals before he could say, "that's a lot of eggs."

Sunday, June 1, 2014



That's how these last two months and the next one coming are feeling - like they are streaming together with no spaces in between.  Whoosh.  And my babysitters are about to all leave on summer break!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sunday Morning Musings: how can we trust God?

There's a story whipping around the internet about a mother and father who recently lost their two sons in a tornado.  I shared on my Facebook page last week, but it bears sharing again here:

The Cheerleader

What blows me away about this story is not the faith of the mother, who is boldly holding fast to her trust in a loving, caring God.  That's big, amazing faith, to be sure, but the really challenging piece of the story is that the family had just moved to the house late last fall.  So you could say God prompted a family that loved Him to move into a new house, and then allowed a tornado to destroy that house.  Huh.  That's a tough bit to swallow - when we go through trials that seem to be orchestrated to produce sorrow.

Every since Stacey died last spring, my oldest daughter has occasionally asked why God lets hard things happen.  This week Ava brought the subject up again: "Mom, the thing I don't get is, God knows everything that's going to happen!  And still the bad things happen.  Why does He do that?  I mean, He doesn't have to stop all of them, just the really bad things, like Aunt Stacey dying."

Or like a mother burying her all children.  Oh my heart.  My eyes were full of tears this time as I struggled to answer my daughter, to help her understand why God would ever separate families this way.  I tell her I wonder too.  I sit down in front of her and say that there's no easy answer.  I pray silently and wait for words.

What I tell her is that, even thought I don't know why, I know Who.  I know who my God is, and I know the Father's love for me is beyond measure, and sometimes that has to be enough.  How often we say to our children, you don't understand this right now, so you have to trust that I'm doing what is right for you.  How often it seems God is saying this to me.

How can we trust God?  Only by knowing who He is and resting in that truth.  By looking back over the pages of our lives and seeing His hand in the light and through the dark.  Go read this family's story and remind yourself.  God is good. Always.


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