Keeping things Interesting

So this past week I randomly decided to start switching up my normal workout routine. I felt like I wanted some more variety, and I was starting to crave a different type of workout than what I’ve been doing with 21 Day Fix Extreme. I have LOVED the workouts from 21 DFX but with so much weight use and being a bit slower-paced, I just started craving some fast, high energy cardio! I had done some TurboFire in the past with my sisters,  so I remembered enjoying those workouts, so I went with that through Beachbody OnDemand.

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Man oh man! It has been so good for me for a few reasons. First, these workouts are HIGH energy, HIGH impact, FAST moving cardio workouts. Lots of jumping, punching, kicking – the works. But it is so fun because there is a little bit of a dance element to it which I love. Anyway, I’ve been wanting to work more on my core and I felt like no matter how many crunches I do, I need to be burning the fat around my belly and to do that, I need more cardio!

The second way these workouts have been good for me is that I feel like I’m working totally different muscles and different parts of my body! I have been so sore in all new ways this week. Whereas with 21DFX I was getting to where I could do the whole workout, get a good sweat and good burn, but I wasn’t necessarily feeling it the next day. This week, I’ve been INSANELY sore! And it’s in places I wouldn’t necessarily expect. Mainly my shoulders! Who knew your shoulders got so much work in these types of workouts?!

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The third way it has been good for me is that it has pushed me and caused me to realize that I’ve still got a long way to go before I feel as “fit” as I’d like. I’ve had to modify a good bit in these workouts, and the day I tried the 60-minute one, I almost died, and I skipped about 10 minutes of it. My other workouts had just gotten, well, not easy, but so do-able that I wasn’t being pushed. Now, I am!

I also went to a workout class this week for the first time in YEARS! A complete gym membership just isn’t really in the cards for us right now but I’m taking one class a week at a local church and it is extremely affordable. Not to mention they have fabulous childcare. I’m taking the class almost as much for the childcare as I am for myself 😉 But anyway, I went into the class with a big head thinking “I’m in the best shape I’ve been in for years, I’m going to be the star of the class!” Wrong-o. It kicked my booty! But it’s because I was trying NEW things that were pushing me in new ways. I’m so thankful for that! Sure it felt a little embarrassing having to take breaks and creating a massive sweat puddle underneath me, but it felt good to be pushed and I’m excited to go back next week.

The moral of the story – don’t get stuck in your comfort zone! Continue pushing and challenging yourself! Find new ways to stretch yourself and go for it! It’s the only way to grow!

Wednesday Words #7

Ever since I made the decision to call my blog “Living in Light” I have been very aware of mentions of “light” in scripture. Every time I see a new verse that references our call to be the light, or that light overcomes dark – anything – I love it so much! It seems to continually affirm my desire for my life to be a light, whether its through this blog, my Facebook page, or hopefully mostly through my words and actions on a daily basis with those I come in contact with. I just love the idea of LIGHT! There is no fear in light, there are no secrets, it is full of color and warmth. There is JOY in the LIGHT!!!

Click here for your free printable of this verse! FloodedWithLight

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On the Menu

I had a lot of fun with our dinners from last week. Mainly because I was SO excited to try new things with my Spiralizer! I don’t think I’ve introduced my new kitchen toy here on the blog yet, but I got it as a gift for Mother’s Day and have been so excited to see what I can do with it! If you don’t know what a spiralizer is, basically it is a little machine that turns vegetables into noodles! Check out this little video – these were the veggies I used this past week!

So I spiralized zucchini, a rutabaga, and sweet potatoes! This is what they helped to create, along our dinners that did not include any spiralized veggies. I’ve included links and recipes for our favorites!

Mason Jar Salad using zucchini noodles (from the cookbook “Inspiralized”) Check out her website here: http://www.inspiralized.com

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Spiralized Rutabaga and Turkey Casserole with Broccoli “Bread Crumbs” also from the Inspiralized cookbook! Verdict – I liked it, Bryan didn’t so much. It made a ton so I ate all the leftovers and thoroughly enjoyed it! But we probably won’t be making it again any time soon. 🙂

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Blackened Tilapia with Sweet Potato Noodles and Green Beans This one was a winner! I used a store-bought blackening seasoning and baked the fish for 10-15 minutes at 425 degrees, first coating the fish with a light layer of olive oil and then applying the seasoning to both sides. The sweet potato noodles were tossed with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and baked at the same time and temperature for about 20-25 minutes. Then green beans are easy, just blanched and then sautéed!

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Crockpot Lime Chicken This is one of our favorite recipes because it is SO yummy, SO easy, and makes SO much! I found the original recipe here. I used the chicken to top a salad of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and shreds of a whole wheat tortilla! No dressing necessary – so good!

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Grilled Turkey Burgers Another favorite lately! These burgers are so stinking good – I found the recipe through Pinterest right here. I topped my burger with avocado slices and it was perfection! The carrot fries turned out yummy too – all you do is take a bag of shredded carrots, toss in a little olive oil and salt, spread onto a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 30 minutes!

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All in all it was a successful week of healthy eating! Now to meal plan for next week….. !

Joyful Mommy, Joyful Babies

I have seen firsthand in my life how my mood has a DIRECT relationship to the moods of my children (specifically the toddler, but really both). It is incredible to me how quickly they can pick up on how I am feeling. Whether it is in my tone of voice, my demeanor, how “present” I am – I don’t know for sure, but they pick up on it and they most definitely act according to my lead.

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Being a mommy is incredibly hard work. What can make it extra hard is feeling like I have 500 things on my to-do list and all I can seem to make time for is un-sticking play dough from a toy fire truck and wiping runny noses. Of course there are the household responsibilities – unload and re-load the dishwasher, do the laundry, straighten up, take out the overflowing diaper pail liners, prepare food for a picky toddler and a finger-food eating baby, oh and also provide entertainment, preferably educational and creative, for these children. But what about other responsibilities as well? I do part time work from home, so I squeeze that in wherever I can. Grocery shopping and errand running with a 2.5 year old and 8 month old? It should be considered a professional sport. There’s not enough time in the day!

Then you get to the part of the to-do list that barely ever gets scratched off. It’s the part of the list with the want to-do’s. These are the things that filled me up and bring me LIFE, and at the end of most days, those items go un-done.

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What I’ve been learning as I’ve been striving for a healthy, balanced life, is that while it can seem selfish for me to get to the want to-do list, those are sometimes the most important. Because if I’m not taking care of myself, if I’m not being filled, then before I know it I’m going to be out of steam. When I run out of steam, I am impatient. I have a temper. I am frustrated and irritated and bitter. These are NOT examples I want to be setting for my children! Because they KNOW. They can sense it when I’m “off.”

I don’t want my kids to think that I’m perfect. But I want them to see me love them out of my overflow. In order for that to happen, they need to see me taking care of myself, mind, body, and soul.

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I certainly don’t have this all figured out. Hopefully it will be a topic I come back to on the blog as I continue to sort through what this all means. I’ve been reading a great book called “Freefall to Fly” and it has been speaking to my heart so strongly and I feel like I am learning so much. The main question I’ve taken away from it is this (in my own words): Can moms love their families and children 100% and also care for themselves 100%? Can we as moms live out our passions and dreams, the ones outside of motherhood, while still being the kind of mother we crave to be?

I think the answer to both questions is “yes.” But I’m only just beginning to learn how to get there.

These photographs were taken by the extremely talented Meg Porter of www.megporterphotography.com!

Progress!!

4 Months

Well folks, it has officially been 4 months since I began this journey to better health and it is SO hard to believe how far I’ve come! While the number on the scale isn’t moving as much or as quickly anymore (which is a good thing I think!!) I am continually seeing ways that I am being changed and developed through this process.

One of the BIGGEST differences in myself and in my lifestyle is the way I grocery shop! I was at the store the other day and I was almost laughing out loud as I walked through the store because I was OVERWHELMED with realizing how differently I shop now! I used to have a cart full of “center aisle food,” as in all the boxed and bagged processed stuff you find in the middle of the grocery store. The chips, sodas, sauces, cereals, snacks, cookies, frozen dinners…. you get the picture. It is hard to believe that I am the same person now, with a cart so full of all things FRESH! I spend very little time in the center aisles these days and it feels so good EVERY time I get to the checkout line and start loading up the counter with all of my fresh fruits and veggies. I remember in January when I was “healthy” grocery shopping for the first time – I felt like such a phony. I felt like the check out guy or girl could probably see straight through me. They had to know that I  wasn’t actually healthy, I was just trying it out as a new years resolution that would fizzle out as quickly as it began. Now, I no longer feel that way. This has become the norm.

I’ve also seen such a huge difference in my confidence. The fact that I’ve continued to blog and share about my journey, but that I’ve also extended that onto my Facebook page and as a coach to try to reach more people – I never would have done that a year ago. But the way I feel just motivates me to share what I’m learning with others in the hopes that I can help someone else achieve something similar. I just see myself so differently now. It is easier to feel confident because I am proud of myself and the hard work I’ve put in over the past few months. I have not given up and so each day is a new victory, and each new victory gives me more joy and satisfaction in who I am.

I am so thankful for the ways that God is using this experience to mold me into the person I was created to be!

8 Months & Mother’s Day

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Our baby girl is a whopping 8 months old!

She hit some major milestones this month – the main one being CRAWLING! She finally figured it out about 3 days before she turned 8 months, though she had been practicing and working on it allllllll month. For awhile she was just scooting backwards (and would get herself into all kinds of trouble, accidentally sliding under furniture!) Then she was getting up on all fours and rocking forward and back. Then she started lifting her hands but would then collapse on her belly. Then, finally, she figured it out and has been unstoppable since!

She is still such a laid back little girl, but she definitely also doesn’t like to be left out. I think as the second child she knows that James gets to do more than she does, and it is her mission to participate in whatever he is doing! Now that she’s crawling, that’s getting a little easier. I hear a lot of “No Neely, that’s my toy!” coming from James as Neely tries to take whatever he has!

She’s eating finger foods and her favorite food seems to be bananas! She also loves sweet potatoes, but if there is a banana on her tray, it’s the first to go into the mouth! She’s getting pretty good at feeding herself, and it may have to do with getting more teeth! She has her 2 bottom front teeth and 1 of her top teeth. Not the front one, but the one right next to it! James’ teeth came in the same way. So funny! The one on the other side on top is going to pop through any day now! We’ve enjoyed lots of picnics outside in the beautiful weather this month!

Another exciting event of this past month was Neely’s baptism, which happened to fall on Mother’s Day. It was such a special day to have family gather with us to celebrate this beautiful baby girl! I am thankful to have a family that is committed, along with Bryan and me, to teach Neely about the love of Jesus!! We are thrilled for her and for James to grow up in a wonderful church that loves them well!

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Wednesday Words #6

Ok so I know my free printables are always usually scripture but I saw this quote in the book I’m reading and I just L-O-V-E-D it! I feel like it spoke straight to my heart right now!

Isn’t it so true that we are at our best when we feel truly ALIVE! For me, living my life to the full means uncovering the gifts and passions the Lord has given me and USING them for His glory! I feel like I have truly found that this year as I have stepped into this coaching role and begun striving to live my healthiest life. To share my story with others and help inspire them to make healthy changes in their lives has been absolutely amazing for me and I truly feel like never before like I am beginning to live the life God intended for me. Such an incredible feeling!

Click here for the free printable: ComeAliveQuote

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