Howdy duty neighbors!
How’s it hangin’?
I’m sorry that I’ve left y’all for a week, but I’ve been a bit occupied with the most wondrous, miraculous, beautiful thing that has ever happened in my life- I gave birth to a perfect bundle of seven pounds, eleven ounces of pure preciousness.
On Sunday, March 19th at 3:55 p.m., Lee Michael was brought into the world without complication, trauma, or much difficulty.
This past week, his first week in the world, has been exhilarating. A bit surreal, a bit, okay a lot, exhausting, but so joyous thanks to the Lord and those third trimester workouts.
While I’m going to have to take a maternity leave, or I’m calling it more of a maternity moment, from the blog for a few more days or possibly week (one day at a time with a newborn), I want y’all to know how appreciative I am of YOU! The endless prayers, advice, support, encouragement, gifts and love y’all have been sending me these past few months. You will never fully know what a difference it has made for me.
As soon as I can, I will come back with loads of recipes, workouts, and advice on how I survived pregnancy, labor and delivery, and my first few weeks of motherhood.
In the meantime, know that I am so thankful for each and every one of you all.
Thank you for the prayers before, during, and after my labor and delivery. Thanks to the goodness and faithfulness of God, this whole fourth trimester journey (yeah, I’d already argue it doesn’t end at delivery) has, so far, been gracious. Absolutely gracious.
Be well, make time for you and your health, stay movin’ (yes, I have already started walking through my neighborhood in small spurts), and find the joyous blessings God places before you each and every day.
Today I am thankful for tiny feet that remind me of bear cub paws, Fisher Price’s Rock’n’Play, and selfless grandparents that fly hundreds of miles to love on and serve my son and me.
Take a moment to reflect on 3 things you are grateful for right now. No matter how minute or momentous, we all can start our week with an attitude of gratitude.
See y'all soon!
As many of y’all have already texted, facebooked, and called with your concerns, I am, officially as of today, ‘late’ with the arrival of my son.
Yes, yesterday was the scheduled due date. It was written in my Kate Spade planner, in pen for crying out loud! And, despite my best efforts of plenty of step-ups and walking and a pedicure, my son is comfy and cozy inside my womb. As a friend joked with me at church, she explained he’s not going to want to come out based on how well I’m treating him inside me. Perhaps she has a point…
Nonetheless, as I’ve learned throughout this entire pregnancy process, things in life don’t always go according to our plan.
As someone who spends M-F, 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. with little people, I already know how they rarely think, act, and speak according to how I expect and anticipate, so why in the world should my son’s birth meet my plans?
I know it’s not Monday, but today we’re going to take a quick detour from our normal weekly schedule to reflect on and chat about how life doesn’t always go according to our plans, yet it ALWAYS goes according to His plan.
No Wal-Mart or grocery store posts today. We’re doing a spiritual nutrition post ON A WEDNESDAY!
See, I’m already pushing you to embrace this whole we-shouldn’t-always-stick-to-the-plan thing.
As of today, right this very moment, I could easily be one day away from my body bringing my son into the world…I could also still be two weeks away from his arrival.
Since this is my first pregnancy, the doc and I are a little unsure exactly how my body will handle labor. My water may not even break. I may not start contractions until a few hours before his delivery. My water may break at school in a few hours and my son may be born 30 hours later.
I have absolutely NO clue what these next few weeks have in store for us.
And as of a few months ago, that much unplanned, unknown time and experience ahead normally would spur me into a whirlwind of anxiety and sleeplessness and a compulsive need to overplan (so that last part is up for debate…some may call it over planning, I say I’m just thoroughly organized).
However, this waiting, this unspecified, TBD timeline that I’m currently living on is not so arduous despite my Type A tendencies.
Because I am confident in Christ’s plan for my son, myself, and my husband; He is in charge of how and when my family will grow. He knows if I will have time for an epidural, if I will need a C-section, if I will have complications, if my labor will be a breeze, if my son will be a fussy sleeper, if my son will nurse like a champ.
So why get bogged down in all of those what-ifs?
Instead, I receive every day that I’m still pregnant and awaiting with thanksgiving.
And while MOST of y’all are not awaiting the birth of your own child in the next 1-40 weeks (though if you are how perfectly beautiful and wonderful of an experience we’re in together!), we can and will all benefit from relishing the beauty and blessings God places before us TODAY.
THIS is the day He has made on our behalf, let’s treasure it in a joyous, grateful way!
A few years ago as I was starting to dig into my Paleo journey, I decided it was about time I put myself on a sugar detox. Like I shared with y’all last Monday, I was tired of being caught in the vicuous cycle of losing control around sweets, overdoing it, then spiraling down into shame and punishment.
I was always a ‘I deserve a dessert a day’ kind of person. And in some ways, I still am though it looks A LOT different now than it did four years ago.
If there was birthday cake around, so was I.
If there were chocolates in the candy bowl, I needed to have one.
If someone was giving out samples of granola bars in the grocery store, I needed to try them.
If my husband wanted to get ice cream, I had to eat some ice cream, too.
If sugar was around me, I couldn’t help but oblige it and indulge in it, even if I knew I didn’t really want it or felt a little too full to truly savor it.
After hearing one of my favorite Paleo podcasts, Balanced Bites, discuss how toxic sugar can be to our systems and how it can wreak havoc on our metabolisms and immune system and so many other aspects of our life, I decided to give their sugar detox a try.
To be honest, it was kinda tough.
No artificial sweeteners or stevia, no honey, no maple, nothing processed that had sugar or natural sugar in it, no alcohol, and no overly sugary fruits (peace out ripe bananas, pineapple, oranges). After each week, you could slowly include a little more natural sugar into your diet.
While it was not the most pleasant three weeks of my life (because of course life goes on and I was still going out with friends in Dallas and around birthday celebrators at work and exposed to daily treats and temptations), it sure did open my eyes to how much I let sugar control me.
And by cutting out sugar for those few weeks, it set me up on a path in which I now can easily resist the weekly donuts and birthday cupcakes and other treats that roll through the teacher’s lounge that would cause nightmares to diabetics.
Because I made the painful choice to rid my body of those daily sweets that weren’t doing me any benefit, I bettered my physical and emotional health in the long run; my immunity, skin, digestion, sleep and overall sugar cravings seemed to balance out a little more.
I realized putting too much garbage into the system only results in garbage coming out of me.
And y’all, I’m here today to emphasize that this rule doesn’t just apply to our physical bodies; we’re going to have a little spiritual detox today. It may not be fun or pleasant at times, but we will be better in the long-run for doing so.
Plus, no cayenne pepper, lemon juice, or maple syrup concoctions are required!
You told yourself you were just going to have one bite of the leftover birthday cake and you end up eating half of it.
You only wanted one bite of the cookie dough ice cream and suddenly the entire container is empty.
You were only going to munch on a few Doritos and now your hand has reached the bottom of the bag.
You wanted one spoonful of Nutella and now, well, I think we get the picture.
After one of these episodes, the guilt, the shame, the embarrassment is almost too much to take; for me, I had several years of my life where I felt like my relationship with food was one ridden with guilt and shame, constantly facing my own self-deprecation and ridicule after overdoing it once again on something not so healthy.
And for me, when there was guilt and lack of control, I felt a need for punishment- three hours in the gym (how did I have time for that?!), no more sugar for the rest of the week, 200 calories for dinner.
Throughout college and my early twenties, or really until I really dug in to eating clean and going primarily Paleo circa 2014, this cycle of losing control-shame-punishment was just apart of my life. And it’s not a joyous way of going about life either.
Maybe you put yourself through a similar cycle with something else. But today I want to remind you that this punishment is not necessary. The guilt is not necessary. After all, no matter how badly you think you have messed up, be it with food or at work or with a relationship, the punishment has already been paid on your behalf, our behalf.
We have a God that has already forgiven us, so it’s time we start forgiving ourselves.
My friends, in case you have forgotten or tried to block it from your awareness like some of us do, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.
Yes, the day of overpriced greeting cards, waxy chocolates in heart-shaped boxes, overcrowded restaurants, and artificially red-dyed foods is nearly here.
While it is designed to be a day to honor and celebrate those we admire and love and cherish and couldn’t imagine our lives without, it can also be one of those days that makes us want to roll our eyes pretending we don’t care at all that those around us are being showered with extravagant flower arrangements, balloon bouquets, and all things sparkly.
I think we’ve all been there and done that; where we pretend that someone else’s very public and extensive Valentine gift is ridiculous and over the top while we really secretly envy such an embarrassingly excessive display of romance.
At the end of the day, no matter what the day is, we all crave someone doing something to show they are over-the-moon, head over heels, crazy in love with us.
And y’all, we all have that already.
We have a God that is unconditionally, inequitably in love with us. We just have to open our eyes to His love language He displays all around us.
Healthy Happy Texan
I'm a Foodie, Fitness Instructor, and Follower of Christ. Add a passion for teaching others, dark chocolate, bacon, and dogs -- and that's me in a box.
Come on, let's live a little!