15 April 2014

mindful moments

As we continue our celebration of fifteen years of marriage,we are  reflecting on the past and talking of the future. A common theme is the present. How will we move through the day with purpose & intention & love? 

In the years together, we recognize our best days are the days lived mindfully in the moment, recognizing the Spirits presence. When we live the days in this way, our rewards are far beyond our own thoughts or expectations, as they are not our own, but belong to God. 

Rainbow at Glacier Moreno, El Calafate, Argentina 

08 April 2014

end of the world

Dreams really do come true when asked for with prayer, offered by an open heart. Both, Jonathan and I, have dreams to see the world. Today we are another step closer. Unbelievably grateful. 
glacier sunrise 
Ushuaia, Argentina

04 April 2014

15 year old shirt.

A couple of months after I met Jonathan, I began working at an outdoors shop where we sold the Patagoina line. The few items I purchased while working there I still own. Mountain Hardware and Patagonia absolutely hold up to the quality they claim. 

100% organic cotton, worn around the edges, faded, with unintentional thumb holes, this shirt is the last item to be packed in my bag this morning. 

Much like my marriage, it is a testimony of claimed quality, thoughtful design and care.

Today I will set off on an adventure of a lifetime with the most quality human I know. He's my partner and lover, the one who brings be back when my head is in the clouds and watches with a smile while I soar. He's my friend and my pal and daddy to my children. He's my consistant and my steady. The quiet to my loud and the introvert to my extrovert. Jonathan is my balance.

Our marriage is organic, fertilized by grace and love and smiles and dancing. Doses of rolled eyes and belly laughs, held hands and firm words grow us. Circumstances; they stretch us and have nearly broken us. With great care and a redesign, we grew this marriage. Bound by the One who loves greater than us, this marriage moves ahead.

It is a marriage for which I have faught.
It is a marriage I have at times neglected and taken for granted.
It is a marriage where I have felt loved and cherished, honored and equal.
This marriage is nothing like I expected and mostly everything I have dreamed.
It is a marriage where I have felt beautiful and ugly.
In this marriage my weakness has grown to courage and my lack of confidence, birthed intentional strong steps.
This marriage, it is right. It is good. It is whole.

Patagonia, you are a natural choice for a celebration of the best decision I've ever made. Here's to another day of choosing Jonathan and having him choose me. 

29 March 2014

So much

Unannounced I find myself at home this afternoon alone. The bubble of left over Tom Kha on the cooktop and the occasional reposition of Dandy Doodle are the only sounds. 

It's quiet and I need quiet. I didn't know that is what I needed, until I was 35 minutes into it. 

The past week has exhausted me in all the good ways. 

Physically, I have had less sleep, which isn't necessarily good, but the reasons for less sleep have been positive. I have found my way back to my bike the past few weeks (Thanks GPP!). I've discovered I need the repetitive motion of the pedal or feet on a trail for clarity and connection with God. I'm doing my best to meet that need on my bike. When the sun rises a bit earlier, Dandy and I will find our way back to the trails. 

Mentally, I have been stretched to the point of frustration and tears. Unable to grasp what others see in me and why. I have decided their view needs to be my view and learning to see myself, as the one I have been created to be, is difficult. For the weekend, I am unable to retain another scientific process or new word. It is absolutely not a complaint. I'm nerdy and enjoy it, just full for the moment and need to process. 

Socially, I am discovering people are hard and entering into relationships is often difficult. Where does one draw the line? Have I cast my pearls where they should not have been cast? On one side I am learning the hard way, trust must be earned and on the other I am learning the opposite. When people enter into a relationship with honest hearts, connected by spirit to the One who is greater, trust is natural. There is an ability to move beyond surface to a place of honor and depth. A place where it feels right. Experiencing both at the same time, in different circles, has challenged me to see the good when my flesh wants to move in the direction of negative. It is allowing me to give thanks in situations where it is difficult. 

I relized last night and Thursday night and Monday morning I need more impromptu time with my friends. I need more laughter and time sitting on the porch. I need more random dance parties and clinks of wine glasses, celebrating the normal. This season may be busy, but not too busy.

Earlier this year when I shared my word for the year, courage, I do not believe I shared my prayer. My prayer has been something like this:
God, I'm ready. It's taken me quite a few years to arrive at this point. I know, I know, you have been so patient. So thanks for that. But really, I'm ready. I'm ready for what lies ahead. I know it's bigger than me. I know where I am to head and what I am to do, but I'm terrified. I am ready to be a world changer. I pray that over my kids at night, but I don't pray it for myself. So there you have it, God, I am ready to change the world I live in and ready to allow you to use me to bring people to their created capacity. Usine the Table as the physical object, I'm ready for whatever you have for me. 
PS I'm scared. 
PPS I'm scared and so you have to be quick to answer when I call. Deal? 

I'm not sure spiritually exhausted is the right word. Maybe mind-blown is a better phrase. Truly God is blowing my mind. I am grateful for a God who has answered tearful prayers and joyful praise within a moments notice. It is as if God is just seconds ahead of me, waiting to say -- 'becca, I've got this. You have nothing to worry about. I am in control, see _________________. Then he does His thing and again I'm brought to my knees. I told him this is what I needed right now, so my surprise should not be surprise, rather "Thanks, God. I knew I'd hear from you quickly."

This week I confessed this season is a season of busy. My balance has been thrown off a bit. In one year I have moved from volunteer momma and wife to working at GPP and Project Wellness, school at IIN and committing the next 18 -24 months to an apprenticeship. There are cooking classes and yoga classes and the opening of SixEight. 

So much new.
So much full.
So much right and good and fun and yummy.
So much breath and so much prayer.
All of these So muches, makes a heart in this woman which is so much grateful and a right side dimple, which has grown so much deeper. 

*the picture at the top is from the SE Asian cooking class John and I had yesterday. 

24 March 2014

Recipe Write Down

This is my friend John and we play well together. It has been incredible to watch God's hand on every detal of his friendship with my family. The timeline of God is always perfect. 

His company, Simple Real Food, and mine, SixEight, are partnering in some upcoming events and I'm crazy honored he's taken me under his wing. John knows more about nutrition and healing the body with food than any other I've met. He is willing to repeat 7 or maybe 77 times, "Nope, not Pro-ta-lace, Protease (Pro-tee-ace)" and understands my whiteboard way of thinking. His joy is conatgeous and 9 times out of 10 our conversations begin about nutrition, end in a discussion aobut a meal where grace abounds. 

I have my first SixEight cooking class on Friday. I knew what I wanted to fix, but the recipes...well they were in my head and in John's head...they needed to make it to paper. So, yesterday afternoon we joined forces in my kitchen. The result was delicious and nutritious. 

Because we both are similar in our way of thinking and making meals, I had a note on the fridge with the objectives for our time. Just before he headed out, he asked, "So did we acomplish all we were to accomplish?" I smiled, said Yes and my heart grew with excitement. It is a great feeling to know you are exactly where you are to be, doing exactly what you are called to do. 

20 March 2014

this week in pictures with some words

Chas had his President Project Wax Museum this week. He was Jimmy Carter and dressed up as a young Jimmy. I didn't know President carter grew up on a peanut farm and ran around barefoot most of the time. Did you?

After ages I'm back on Facebook. I am not sure what happened while I was away, but it's not as easy to navigate as it was years ago. I needed to have it for school and realized for Six Eight it is necessary. If you are kind enough to "like" the Six Eight page, I'd be grateful. I promise not to blast your newsfeed. 

I must be official, as I have a new name tag. Certainly an honor to have the opportunity to work with the kids at GPP. 

Color matters. The blue ones are eaten first. 

One of my most favorite family traditions comes at St. Patrick's day. For years Chas has been building a trap to catch Lucky. Each year he fails. Each year Lucky brings sugary cereal, which is gone in nearly 3 days (I guess what happens when they receive it but once a year) and other green treats. Each year he plans what he will do the following year. I pray he continues this tradition with his own children one day. Like, one day in 20 or 25 years. 

Wildly excited to share Six Eight has its first cooking class next week. With my friend, John, of Simple Real Foods, we will teach a group of ladies how to make a fantastic Southeast Asian meal. I can't wait. 
If you are in the area and are interested in hosting a class, let me know. We have Packing the Perfect Picnic in the works for May and Backyard BBQ Bash lining up for June. Grateful to watch God work when I step out of the way. 

Jonathan has been out of town all week and got to be momma of 4 boys for a few days. It was always my dream to have 4 boys. If only for a few days, it happened. 

How was your week? Did you celebrate the first day of Spring? Usually I give the boys new flips or shorts, but I didn't make it shopping this week. Instead, I dragged them all to Walmart to pick up milk, but before headed to the dairy case we stopped by the flips and shorts and they got to pick one. Three pair of matching shorts and 1 pair of sliders later, they had their HAPPY SPRING on! 
I am learning how to navigate through this season of growth and so much new. I had a freind share with me last week, they have been watching God work and stretch me and then they shared they were proud of me. When I revisited those words again alone, I cried. Good tears. Tears of affirmation. Tears of gratitude. 

Indeed, it is a season of that and more. In less than a year I began working outside the home in a field I'd never worked, then added another job six months later. I enrolled and have started nutrition school and opened a business, Six Eight. When I stepped into 2014 with the word courage, I had no idea where God would lead. Currently I am blown away, absolutely, blown away. And grateful. 

In the spirt of Spring, with new growth all around. May you be inspired, allowing new growth to sprout from within.

16 March 2014

1000lbs & a clown nose

Together friends cam accomplish much & be a part of raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for The American Diabetes Association. Yay NWA, grateful to call this community home. 

25 February 2014

wedding china

Yesterday I posted this picture on Instagram with these words: We use our wedding china everyday. People often ask what happens of one breaks. Well, it breaks. Better to be used for years, meal after meal, than stored in a box waiting for the perfect opportunity. Everyday, that's our perfect opportunity.

The first dish I broke was years ago. It was the large platter and it was Valentine's Day. Not just any Valentine's Day, but our first as a married couple. Using our china was only for special occasions. We kept it stacked nicely in a cabinet, using a set of pottery daily. This night, though was a china occasions. 

I'd set the stage, candles and flowers, little hearts cut out and sprinkled on the stairs, leading to the landing where we would have dinner (and maybe kiss a time or two). Because I'm so graceful in movements, I managed to drop one dish onto the platter, breaking it in two. 

I still remember the feelings inside. Angry and sad and embarrassed all tied up with a red bow. After my fumble and tears, when dinner was finished, the china was carefully washed and placed into the cabinet. I pulled it out with hesitation on the next special occasion. 

When we moved from our house in Indianapolis into a small apartment, much of our furniture and belongings were put into boxes, then a storage unit. There the china would sit for 3 years only to be moved again, sitting for another 3 years. Six years unused. 

Upon our most recent move, Jonathan asked why we even had it. It seemed silly. I agreed. Then I asked if he cared if I gave the pottery we'd used for years to a friend, using our wedding china everyday. He thought that was a great idea. I kept 4 pieces of the pottery, giving the remaining 12ish place settings. Both parties, happy. 

You know I am a believer in the Table and those who gather, I want to celebrate. Every time we gather, is the perfect opportunity to celebrate something. Wedding china or not, I hope you see the perfect opportunity in your day. 

I shed no tears when the dish, pictured above, broke. Rather, I was more happy it served its purpose, instead of being tucked away waiting. 

23 February 2014

copycat & the creation of the Six Eight Bar

Last week one of the ladies at GPP brought a high protein energy bar for me to try. It was delicious. I checked out the ingredients: Dates, Egg White Protein Powder, Almonds, Figs, Unsweetened Coconut, Cacao, Coconut Oil and immediately I wanted to try to make them myself.

So I did and you can too.
Adding raw organic maca powder
A taste here, a taste there. I was on my way.
How the mix looks before transferring to a bowl.
After bowl transfer, add in on top, before the hand smash.
Rolling it out.
I did it!

Six Eight Bar, inspired by RxBar and my friend Tara
In a food processor add:
2 C pitted dates
1 C raw almonds
Pulse to begin, then allow to run for a minute, turning off and checking to make sure they are beginning to blend, getting sticky
Turn on again, adding one fig at a time until blended
1 C figs (make sure to take the little stem off the top)
While it is still spinning
add a pinch of sea salt 
Once blended well, turn off, transferring mix to a bowl.
Using your hands and a happy heart add mix-ins.
I used chia, cacao, maca and unsweet coconut.
On a coconut oil greased piece of waxed paper, roll mixture into a rectangle-ish shape, about 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick. Then use a pizza cutter to form little bars of desired size. 

*What in the heck is Maca? Learn more ~ CLICK

22 February 2014


This month at GPPkids we are talking* about emotions. The conversations are about owning our emotions, not allowing others actions to shake us inside in a negative way. As the kids grow more comfortable with me and each other their hearts begin to open. It's an honor to be a part of their sharing. 

Wednesday after GPPkids finished, I rushed my boys to the car, trying to get Chas to the soccer pitch on time for practice. Bentonville, once a little town, has rapidly grown, although (my opinion) the street system has not. I hit every red light. I was in the slow lane, even when I managed to jump into the fast lane. The fast lane became the slow lane and another red light appeared. 

I was growing more and more flustered by the moment, almost angry by the time we arrived 5 minutes late to practice. Completely out of my control and I'd allowed my environment to do exactly what I'd talked to the GPPkids about 40 minutes prior -- We own or emotions, just like we own out fitness. They do not own us. 

My emotions on Wednesday evening were owning me. 

I took a few breaths, pulled away from the pitch and headed home to fix dinner. If I hurried, I'd have 30 minutes at home to get dinner fixed before I had to grab Chas from practice. The speed limit was 55, why was my speedometer reading 34? Then this
As I sat behind the reason for the 34 in the 55, stopped by a man in a day glow yellow vest, accented by reflective stripes, I nearly cried. Trying to be a good mom, working and getting my boys to where they needed to be on time, running home to make a meal to share when everyone was home, I flopped. What moments did I miss on the drive? What conversations did I not have, because I was spouting off about the last red light and the slow drivers surrounding me? I'll never know.

While stopped in traffic, my phone rang, it was Jonathan. He reassured me. Sharing it was ok if Chas was late. He said he'd get Elliott to youth group at church. He said he's pick up Chas and then Elliott, together they'd come home. He told me it was ok to go home, fix dinner and stay there. He had the running around covered. He said he loved me, without using those words at all. 

When we hung up, out lou, in my still stopped car, I prayed. I thanked God for the boys I had boys to take to soccer and a job I enjoyed. I thanked him that I had a body and heart which could become flustered, even when the reason being so silly. Especially, I thanked him for a man who understands me and cares for me in the midst of it all. For the fluster and stopped cars, red lights...I needed to be thankful and I had not been. A call, my breath and prayer brought me to thankful. 

And the next day at box talk, I confessed to the kids. 

*When the kids are finished with their workout and a some play, they gather on the jump boxes and we talk. We talk about how their week is going, check to see if the Daily Workout has been posted for the following day and Optimal Health as defined by GPP. 
A person is only as healthy as they are balanced in these areas: mentally, socially, fiscally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. 

13 February 2014

hearts & my first born

He has a special friend. We went shopping, he pulled out his "bill folder" and paid. Only it wasn't his bill folder, it was his billfold. He called it that when he was three. I tried not to cry. An honor for him to ask me to take him shopping and even more for him to ask me to help. With a little guidance, he found the perfect gift. 

In the picture above he was searching for the perfect words. She certainly is a lucky young lady. He thought, scratched out, rewrote for nearly an hour. Then he shared it with me. Again, an honor. Again, I tried not to cry. 

This year I'm not his Valentine. I'm trying to be ok with it. I'm not sure I'm ready, even if he is. 

11 February 2014

back in school!

Courage filled steps and moving forward in new directions has me back in the classroom. I'm enrolled with IIN, currently completing precourse work. By the fall I will be a pre-certified Health Coach, graduating 3 March 2015. Upon graduation the pre will be in the past and a new career will begin. 

In the next few months I'll be sharing about my practice, Six Eight, other exciting projects  and partnerships in the works. Join me in thanking God for his faithfulness and in advance for his guidance and help. He's given me the courage to jump into bigger than me work, knowing he is the equip-er. 

09 February 2014

Pulp Muffins {non-fiction}

With frequency the past few weeks, I have been making pineapple, carrot, ginger juice. I posted a picture on Instagram calling it liquid sunshine. The snow filled days have me dreaming of as many days strung together of sunshine, as recently have been of gray.

I've been using the pulp to make muffins and some mornings adding it to steel cut oats. It seems so wasteful to toss in the garbage. I didn't write down the recipe when I made muffins the first batch of muffins, but I did this morning. They are not overly sweet, my kids are not fans. If you prefer them sweet you could add some honey or sugar to the mix. Maybe try 1/3 c honey to the liquid or 1/3 sugar to the dry. Play with it and let me know how they turned out.

Pulp Muffins {non-fiction}
GF, no added sugar
Heat oven to 350 bake for 25-30 minutes*
Wet Ingretients, mix:
2 cups pineapple & carrot juice pulp
2 eggs
1/4 cup almond milk
Dry Ingredients, mix in separate bowl:
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup tapioca flower
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup milled flax 
1/2 unsweet coconut flakes, I use large flakes
1/2 cup raisins 
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1 t guar gum 

Mix the dry and the wet, stirring until a thick batter forms. Grease muffin tins, if you use paper liners, the muffins will stick to the liners. (I'm a giant fan of TJ's coconut oil spray.) Completely fill each cup, the muffins do not rise much. Bake and enjoy warm with good company. Maybe even a glass of liquid sunshine.

*I bake with a convection oven. If you are baking with a traditional oven, the time may need to be adjusted. 

08 February 2014

affirmed kiddos

The power of our words and thoughts has been reoccuring in conversation, lectures, meetings, life in general the past 8-10 weeks. Working diligently on ridding my thoughts of negativity, I have listened carefully.

Last weekend I was in a conference room with 300ish people, 4 of whom I knew. Men in suits and women wearing heals, lanyards around necks and attache in hand. No Athleta or Lulu, Reebok or Nike. The only spandex in the room was neatly hidden under dresses or on legs in the form of stockings. Business conferences are a new thing for this gal. 

During the first 15 minutes of session 1 we received homework. Write your positive affirmation. OK. I can do that. I entered the task into my calendar, set a reminder for Monday afternoon and tuned inward for five minutes or so, then back to the stage and speakers. 

Early Monday morning, I was doing precourse work for the school I recently enrolled and was given the task of writing goals, my positive intention for the school year ahead and encouraged to draw a picture of how it looked.
A few hours later in the day, my phone would chime and I'd be remeinded of the homework given on Saturday. 

Ahead of my reminder, I began writing. I wrote and scratched out, cut and pasted, realligned my thoughts and prayed. I felt empowered. These things on paper were a visual, reminding me who I am. This woman, created by God for a purpose, is me. The experience was full of power and encouragement. It was an experience I wanted to share with my boys.

On snowday number 11, Wednesday, I gathered Elliott, Chas and C's pal LP around our table. I had a piece of paper and a pen at each seat. We talked about our thoughts and words. I talked to them of how those things inspire beliefs  and influence our actions. I shared with them the unique way God had created them and that creation, them, is full of purpose and meaning. Next I told them to get to writing. Write who you are. 

I am...a great soccer player. ...a smart student. ...a good friend. ...beautiful/handsome.
After 30 minutes or so their first drafts were finished and the snow was calling them outside. They each agreed that the exercise was school-like, it was a snow day and I should write their second draft because I would do it quicker. So I did. 

But before they were able to go play we stood in a circle and they read outloud to each other what they had written. Each of them had different qualities they know they posess, areas they want to gain strength. They were each filled with different qualities, but only one characteristic appeared on each paper: God. 

Each of them, using different words, wrote they are loved by God and love him. 
I encourage you to do this. Write on a piece of paper who you are, then read it outloud each morning and if your day is challenging, read it again, even twelve times. Make copies. Place them in your desk at work and in your handbag. In the compartment under the arm rest in your car, maybe even on your (at home) exercise equipment. And if you find it beneficial to your life, share it with another. Even your kids. 

05 February 2014

snow day special delivery

On our way East for Chirstmas we stopped to stay the night at the home of one of my best friends, Anna. While there she gave me a gift fillled with treats from the city I once called home, where part of my heart remains, Indianapolis. Coffee and a candle, a christmas decoration and soap were among the treats. Placed in the back of the gift bag was a copy of edible Indy. A local food publication with this recipe on the final page.

You should now prepare to screen shot the image below. Followed by these actions: check your pantry for ingredients, go to grocery if any are missing, set aside time to bake and make a list of who to share these delicious cinnamon rolls. I do not think you will be sorry. They smelled heavenly, my kids asked for another batch, but because they use flour -- I have no idea how they really tasted. Neighbors, friends and my boys said they are fantastic.

Ready, set, center, screenshot!

I let the stand mixer do most of the work, then finished up by  hand. 
I added nuts nuts to part of them. I bet adding butterscotch or cinnamon chips would be delicious too. 
I'm so happy for the little features of my oven, like bread proof setting where it circulates 100 degree air, cutting the 3 hour rising process to less than an hour. I'm a fan!
Baked perfection!
Note the top left corner of the picture. 

My go to cream cheese icing recipe --
Using a hand mixer, beat togehter:
3-5 oz whipped cream cheese
3-5 tablespoons of soft butter
splash of vanilla
When well mixed, 1/2 cup by 1/2 cup add
1 1/2 - 2 cups of powdered sugar 
Snow day delivery to neighbors. PJ's still on and warm rolls in hand. 

*Please excuse all the typos lately. I do not have a working computer and use an iPad. The blogger app does not have many features, like spell and grammar check. For this awesome speller, it can be quite a problem. Especially sorry mom. 

04 February 2014

Another step forward

Today I crated an intention & goal project. This is the front & on the back are my goals -- courageous goals -- for 2014. 

Are you a goal setter? How do you keep track? 

29 January 2014

AS yourself

Earlier this week, I asked Jonathan if we could have a meeting. I needed to talk to him about an opportunity I have, his role, our commitment and let him know where my heart was pointed. Because the past few months have been transformative in my life and schedules are busy, I need to create time for us to talk. I needed to share. I wanted to share and he wanted to listen. So instead of watching the president speak, we sat at the table.

I was given a diagnosis a few years from my, at the time, therapist. 

I sat in the chair and he explained the diagnosis. Next he shared his treatment plan. He said it was very simple, then he explained. My plan for you to become unstuck is this: Shit or get off the pot. 

First of all, he said a curse word. This kind of language was not new to me, but from the mouth of a therapist, it was. Clearly he was different from those recommended by churches I've attended. Second of all, it couldn't be that simple. Third of all, who was this guy? Really, shit or get off the pot. Really? I needed instructions, steps, homework...or did I? The wrinkle between my eyes grew deeper with my perplexed expression.  OK, I hesitently answered. 

What I mean, 'becca is this, you must move forward with purpose and intention. You need to make decisions. I will continue to see you for a few months, but I will not be your therapist for years. I believe in healing and moving forward, not standing still. None of this week after week, the same thing. You pay me money, I listen, give a little advice, and take your money. The cycle continues. I want you unstuck and in order to do that you must work. 

Having seen a number of other therapists in my past, his words, his work, his ideas were odd. Others, happy to take my money. Happy to see my improve a bit, still stuck in a spiral of self doubt and defeat. This man, he was different. 

He wanted me well. The real question was this, Did I?

My weekly visits in his office only lasted a few months. Each time I worked hard to move forward. I moved quickly. He believed I was unstuck from the place where I was when I entered his office. Our time was complete. 

The pace I left his office with, eventually slowed. The patterns which took me to his office began to reimerge. Thoughts of self dobut and anxiousness were more frequent. Again, a pro at beating up myself so hard, I could see it in my eyes when I looked in the mirror. These behaviors were the behaviors he'd, and others, taught me to recognize. They had entered at a pace too slow for immediate recognition. It took time.

Stuck was slowly becoming part of my world and I was not going to let it own me again. I was ready for love. I had to fight hard and work and pray and trust. I knew what was necessary and for nearly a year I have been trying to talk myself into a space of courage, specifically having the courage to love.

Donald Miller (@donaldmiller)
For many people, the hard thing about “loving your neighbor as yourself” isn’t loving their neighbor, it’s loving themselves.

I have struggled with the verse, concept, way of living, for years. That is no secret. And I absolutely struggle with loving myself. I goes against the summer camp and youth group way of living I was taught year after year, Sunday after Sunday. I felt unworthy and underserving of even the last bite of a chocolate bar if others were around. It would be selfish to eat it and not give it to another, even if they'd just finished a bar of their own. Do you really think that's waht Jesus had in mind?  

God calls us to love him and love others and love ourself.  So, I am and it feels right and good. The steps of courage and intention I am taking are not steps of selfishness or greed. They are steps in the direction of becoming the woman God created. They are steps in the direction of using the gifts I've been given and following the God placed desires of my heart. 

These steps have led me down paths where I have no business walking, but know and trust that God will equip me, as I am unable to preform the tasks at hand alone. This is where I want to be. This is where I need to be. This is where I will blossom and grow. This place where I find my current self, this place is the place where loving God, others and myself collide.  This place gave me the courage to ask Jonathan for a time to sit at our table and meet. 

IIt felt funny to ask for a meeting with my husband, but I am thankful I did. It turned out to be one of the most importatnt conversations I've shared with him. Raw, pretty raw, not ugly raw. Purpose and love and intention filled. And yes, courageous. 

It's February and Super Bowl Sunday. We have a fire burning, Rotel on the cooktop and wings to season and bake. Snow is falling and Chas is clearning the drive. And I feel loved. By God and others and myself. 

25 January 2014

wine glass selfie

24 January 2014
La Crema Pinot Noir 2012

A year of dinners ~ January

At the end of 2013 I shared an idea Jonathan and I had : a year of dinners. A year where we shared our table with people we had not before. I had my ideas. A big dinner monthly. Like, every third Friday we fixed a giant meal and invited whomever to join. Jonathan had his ideas. Small, intimate, changing dates to meet schedules. 

I believe it was New Year's Day & we were talking about our start of the year fast. We were discussing the add ins and take aways, how we would incorporate our boys and what we would pray specifically during the 6 weeks. Then we paused. Our conversation shifted to A Year of Dinners. We shared ideas and then Jonathan said this:
     "'bec, what if we prayed about who we should invite. Let God lead us."

He's brilliant! I was more focused on the gathering. The meals I'd fix. The shift of furniture to fit all the bodies around the table. Jonathan, more focused on the people and the meaning of the table.

We are a family who believes in the table. We believe it is a sacred place. A place of joy and relief. A place of healing and restoration. It is the heart of our home. Smiles, laughter, tears, conflict, resolution...we need time around it.

Near the end of the conversation that morning, coffee mugs empty and plates ready to be washed, we laid hands on our table and prayed. We prayed for the table and who would fill the seats around it this year. We asked for guidance in who to ask to join us. We were thankful for the opportunity to host others and share life with them. 

Last night we had our first dinner. Joined by our neighbors, we learned they were both from this area and miss Colorado. We munched on nuts and homemade vegan, gluten free crackers and fig butter. We broke, well crumbled bread onto our plates. (Homemade GF bread is often crumbly.) I made a new recipe, vegan sweet potato & lentil soup and drizzled a balsamic reduction over mixed greens. My kitchen pal, Francis, pulled a few espresso shots and we opened a 90% chocolate bar as the meal came to a close. Chas had sausage and mid meal I reheated leftover mac-n-cheese for one of our little guests.

It is about balance.
Some vegan, some organic, some locally sourced, some nimrodfast2014 approved & a bit processed. Something for everyone around the table.

A goal I have for this year is to live more balanced, naturally it should begin with the heart of the home, the table. Thank you Higgins family for being part of the heartbeat of this home. It was an honor to have you as our first year of dinners.

18 January 2014

& then

& then your friend shows up to drink bubbly and hands you a bag. 
& inside that bag is a dainty pretty. 
I almost cried. So thoughtful. Thankful for the gift, absolutely. More thankful for the hours I got to spend with the gift giver. Afternoon spent in the best way. Thanks K & A. You make my heart happy. Again soon. 

pancake smile & measuring cup frown

The picture below is a quick snap of what was going on when I walked into this morning. I get to live life with 3 of the best humans & 1 of the greatest, mostly human dogs. Super thankful! 

After exhausting all pre-made options, like cereal & yogurt & dinner leftovers, they decided upon pancakes. From scratch, they informed me. They were making pancakes from scratch. Elliott said, momma I found the recipe on the internet, but I can't flip them. They are ugly. They laughed some more.  

They must have tasted great, as over half the stack quickly disappeared. Elliott, the only eater. We are into week 3 of out start of the year fast & the pancakes had dairy & gluten -- sorry, Jonathan not this round. 

Our fast is going well. Always extra, extra work for me in the kitchen. Corn is in everything! It was the food on our no list specifically because it is very difficult. Gluten, dairy & sugar were chosen for health benefits received when we omit these from our diet and the no spending...that's where the frown comes into play this morning. 

I have had this measuring cup for over 15 years. It works. Except, the numbers are wearing off. That can be a problem if I need to have a measurement, not estimate. 

This is a new, pretty measuring cup I got from Williams Sonoma. It has a spout. It fits perfectly under the juicer spout. Her lines crisp and sharp and not scratched or fading. She is dainty and thin and has a lid, even feels good when you pour. 

After the pancakes were finished, it was my turn. Coffee, Bake bread, make fresh pineapples carrot juice. Yay, I get to use my new measuring cup! 

She is thin.
She is dainty.
She can't handle a tap from the round part of the juicer, used to press the fruit and veggies into the shoot. 
Frown. Pout. Lesson? I don't want to talk about it. 

Beginning of week three. No spending. Thankful, kind of, that I didn't donate the other. Her first and last pour, was this pretty juice.