Eat. Your. Lettuce… and Kale.

January is rolling on by and we are already well into the New Year. Workout goals, clean eating. organic options, gluten-free and less carbs are on the minds and mouths of people everywhere. We have always included vegetables in our meals. This year, we stepped it up a notch and we are having more Kale… and brussel sprouts…  everyday. I know, we are livin’ on the edge. We’re so radical.

Kale has been a part of our lives for a while. It’s not a New Years fad.  We’ve had smoothies, We’ve had a kale Christmas tree, Adam has a kale tee-shirt. But hold your horses — we’re not ready to give up sugar… yet.

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We have one family rule for mealtime: Eat your vegetables  > > >  then you may have a cookie… an “organic” ‘Joe Joe’ from Trader Joes (the healthiest kind! 🙂 Our kids eat salad everyday, usually twice a day. They’re so used to it, they ask ‘where’s the salad?’ on the rare occasions we have a meal without salad.

Mealtime isn’t a torture scene of threatening and bribery. We still eat sugar, for heaven’s sake. Other than requiring our kids to eat their vegetables, they still act like buffoons at the dinner table most of the time…

/// case in point ///

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And our table time is also filled with songs about burping and farting and stories about butt holes. This is still our 5 year olds favorite word. I’m not sure this will ever change.

/// in case you need another example… ///

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They don’t act like fools with their food all the time. We also hear about their day at dinner time, sharing their ‘Highlights’ from the day… usually it goes something like this, “My highlight was the whole entire day — expect the parts where I got mad.”

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The kids always want to help cook. Our favorite show is Master Chef Junior, and they are gleaning much inspiration watching kids their ages tear it up in the kitchen. They love to be involved with mealtime. Sometimes I love their help 🙂 Sometimes it’s more work to have their ‘help’… Our 10 year old loves baking cupcakes, so we bake in order to balance out our kale smoothies.

So we eat our lettuce … and we’ve snuck in more kale and brussel sprouts in our daily salads. It takes work, but we’ve aligned our taste buds to react with affection toward kale. Kale tastes good (I promise!). Now the kids ask where is the kale when we don’t add it in.

Healthy eating has a stigma attached to it. It is hard to eat organic, no sugar, no carbs, etc… 100% of the time. But it starts with one choice. We stopped drinking soda several years ago. Now, if I have a sip of soda, it tastes disgusting. We don’t eat fast food. But no judgement for those who do! When we go out, we pack a lunch. It began with one choice – I stopped going thru drive thru’s and the kids never ask. In fact, they prompted the decision. They asked not to go thru Wendy’s anymore… Okay – Done. We started serving salad for lunch and dinner. We started with one choice, made one change at a time, and kept adding healthier eating options.

At the beginning of a New Year, it can seem overwhelming to set goals with the pressure we put on ourselves to start fresh and make changes. But – We can start with one choice. With food, with work outs and with our time spent with God. Start with one choice. Read one Bible verse — it takes 30 seconds. Then, be all crazy and read a few more.  The more time we choose to spend with Him, the more time we will crave with Him. We can taste and see the Lord is good!  There’s no pressure. He’s pursuing us, waiting of us to respond to Him… Like lettuce and Kale and brussel sprouts are waiting for us at the farmers market, in the grocery aisle… or in the garden.

So whatever choice – make one. Eat one more vegetable. Read one Bible verse. Pray one prayer. God is waiting… kale is waiting…

What are your New Year goals for 2015? Healthier eating? Daily Bible reading? Do share 🙂

Our story rages on… In Him, Leslie

New Years Eve

 New. Years. Eve.

so…what’s the big fuss about this day, anyway?
it’s like, December 31st. 
*surprise*. it comes every year.
staying up until midnight? 
i already do that like 337 days out of the year.
getting plastered and kissing someone?
welp. that can be done any day – although i don’t recommend it.
watching other people party at the ball dropping countdown in times square? 
boring.
we lived in NYC for four NYE’s and never attended that silly shindig.
listing your new years resolutions that you have every intention of keeping?
you will probably fail.
there can be a lot of pressure for people on the eve of ringing in a new year.
you must stay up late.
you must have lots of alcohol and kiss someone.
you must have your list of resolutions prepped and ready to attack on January 1st.
you must be tuned into the television watching the times square ball dropping party hopping slobber kissing commercial driven countdown…
otherwise…
you suck. 
for us… the eve of the new year is special for a few different reasons other than the ones traditionally celebrated.
it is a celebration of our past, present and future
all wrapped up into one crazy day.
***

Every New Years Eve, we celebrate our past ~ December 31st, 1996 we got engaged.
here’s our super cheesy engagement pictures.
be kind.



Adam proposed to me on new years eve 1996. 
and this wasn’t a simple ‘get down on the knee and ask. sweating. hoping i’d say yes.’ proposal. 
this was an all day affair.
he made me breakfast and then took me on a scavenger hunt throughout the Oklahoma City area and left notes with clues and meaningful gifts at each location. 
he even ‘popped the question’ in the newspaper. but that wasn’t the real proposal… yet.
Adam is a romantic. 
he has always been extremely affectionate and thoughtful.
i am thankful to know how loved i am.

part of the scavenger hunt in front of the dorms at University of Oklahoma, the announcement Adam put in the paper on 12.31.96 and my wedding ring
our engagement announcement in the Edmond, OK newspaper-June 1997
personal fav 🙂 

  

so after our fun day and scavenger hunt ~ we went to Opening Night in Oklahoma City. 
it’s a big nye celebration on a similar scale of times square ball drop. 
well not really… 
but it is a lot of fun.
there are activities, festivities and performances happening throughout the evening.
i thought we were going to see the “Sound of Music”, but he surprised me *yet again* and took me to the Edgar Cruz concert happening a few venues over.
i was onto him when i saw our parents and siblings (previously trying to hide from me) show up at the concert.
so in front of 300-400 people, Edgar Cruz announced ‘there’s a young man in the audience i would like to invite down to the stage’. Adam took me with him and i was freaking out knowing this was ‘the moment’ he would really ask me to marry him.
i said yes. obviously.
after the proposal our families joined us on stage and next we were whisked off in a golf cart to the Fox Channel 25 news area covering the nye opening night action.
we were interviewed and there was a clip on t.v. highlighting our engagement. 
it was super fun and exciting.
similar to our lives now 🙂 …we are never bored.

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love birds + goof balls = us.


and there is something you should know about *my wedding ring*.
it didn’t come from a fancy jewelry store – it came from a pawn/antique shop.
it wasn’t expensive.
it was used – but it shines – and i love it!
my ring reminds me everyday of Adam’s great love for me.
when i see it shine and sparkle, i am reminded of our love increasing thru the years, not fading.
God’s love for us is the same ~ 

it never fades.

we were bought by Him, not at a fancy store, but he paid the highest price with his life and death on the cross. 
*we are used, but shine, for His glory*

Every New Years Eve, we celebrate our present ~ December 31st, 2009 Selah was born.
she just turned three years old!
there will be more to her story later…
in her own birth story blog.
*aaaand… i can sense the anticipation as you wait for this forthcoming blog*
Every New Years Eve, we celebrate our future ~ we dream of what will the next year will look like…
we list our goals and resolutions…
we talk about our dreams, hopes, passions…
we pray for continued wisdom, direction and humility…

i already know i’m gonna fail miserably at many of the new years resolutions i set…
i am perfectly comfortable with my gifts and talents of procrastination, running late and forgetfulness.

but in spite of ourselves, the plans we make and what happens in 2013…
this year we will continue to *surrender *trust and *obey the Lord.
as we do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God 
{Micah 6:8}.

***


i love that in any community, even a blog, we can learn from one another ~ 
What are your New Years Resolutions? 
please share.
and thanks for reading! 

New Year’s Failures

On New Year’s Eve, we asked our 3 wee Bab’s, “What are your New Year’s Resolutions?”  After several “What’s, Why’s and Who cares???”, they gave us some answers for the taking.

Soleil: “I want to learn how to be a Teacher.”
Parents: “You are already a teacher. You teach your brother and sister lots of things.”
Soleil: “No, I want to learn how to be a real Teacher – a School Teacher.”  She is so literal.  She’s so black and white.  There’s no fooling her.

Selah: “Two”
Parents: We thought, this is an appropriate answer – she just turned two years old and we’ve been saying, “You’re two! You’re two!” repeatedly the last few weeks.
Again, another literal answer from our second daughter. TWO. She will succeed at being TWO for her 2012 New Year’s Resolution.

But what about all of those New Year’s Resolutions we hope for ourselves, which are less attainable?
The resolutions which somewhere, someone’s statistics try to prove ‘That won’t last thru January’ – the ones which will most likely fail.  These are the resolutions which require more work. more prayer. more surrender. more hope.

Is failure our fate?

Should we just give it up and quit trying all together?

Our sweet son, Salem gave us his hopeful answers.
Salem: “I want to learn how to read, so I can read the Bible” – {insert parental gushing here} – and btw, No, we did not feed him that answer.  Yes, Salem can learn to read in the year 2012.  He will eventually be reading his Bible.  Literally.

His second resolution…”And I want to learn how to exercise, so I can do the treadmill!”
You see, I am not sure this is every little 5-year-old boys dream for 2012; but Salem spent a lot of time downstairs with me, playing with trains or Lego’s, as I logged 938 miles on the treadmill in 2011.  He probably figured, mom does this treadmill thing and makes it look so cool, so I want to learn how. Amidst all of his enthusiasm, Adam & I looked at each other and smiled.  He caught our glance and said…”but I’m to small to do the treadmill”.  Still, he can try… He can still hope.
I don’t think he’s going to give up his dream of using the treadmill so easily.

Adam & I have many New Year’s resolutions for 2012 ~ travel, save money to travel more, walk more closely with God, grow in our marriage and family,  fully live in and enjoy the present moment ~ even the difficult ones.
So, why?  Why do we give up our resolutions, hopes, goals, dreams for the New Year so easily?  Why do statistics somewhere that someone made up, exist to say “that won’t last thru January”?
I think we lose hope so easily.  We don’t want to be hurt or disappointed in life, so we give up hoping and dreaming all together.
2012 New Year’s Resolutions become 2012 New Year’s Failures. And we accept it.
But we don’t have to ~ we can choose to live out our resolutions. We can still hope, be disappointed, dream again, get hurt and hope again. Don’t lose hope.
Let’s prove ’em wrong… why not?  Let’s change the New Year’s failure stats. Let’s all start by using the treadmill, and at least try and make it thru to February.

Noted. By Les Babs