Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tuesday Talk #30: Sweet Nothings and a Recipe

It's hard to believe two weeks ago we had several inches of snow on the ground!! Now we're enjoying sunshine and warm breezes and everything in bloom! It was wonderful to get prayer time on the porch this morning with a cup of tea while the birds chattered (probably because the squirrel was eating their food!).

My days are still hit or miss with how I feel physically, but I'm learning to adjust to that and it's probably good practice for when we'll have a newborn in the house and schedules are out the window. Slowing down in life has never been a bad thing for me, so I'm enjoying the lighter schedule and hopefully will see some spiritual growth as well.

Last week I sat down with a pile of cookbooks and browsed through them. While I'll always be a Pinterest fan, some days I get tired of scrolling through all my recipes on there and just want to flip through a good, old-fashioned cookbook! So I did! And I flagged all sorts of oldie but goodie recipes to make in the coming month. What's your favorite way to plan meals or find recipes?

And as a bonus for visiting me today, here's a healthy and easy salad recipe I've been enjoying for lunches lately. It's packed with protein and tasty, tangy crunch.

Simple Bean Salad

1 bell pepper (any color)
2 cans of garbanzo beans
1 package of grape tomatoes
1 cucumber
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
salt and pepper

Chop the veggies, rinse the beans, and mix all together in a bowl. Mix the oil and vinegar in a separate bowl then pour over veggies and beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill in fridge and allow those tasty flavors to marinate together! So simple and very modifiable. I like to add extra tomatoes and extra red wine vinegar. :)


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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Tuesday Talk #29: An Update

Good morning, ladies!

I'm finally emerging from what's been a crazy month! Medically, I've had some discouraging lab results again and even my providers are somewhat stumped with why my progesterone won't rise despite two increases in treatment. Please keep me and baby in your prayers, that my levels will rise and that baby will stay in there until full term! Every week, baby's chances of living outside the womb get better and better, but the thought of preterm labor scares me greatly. Our little one has been so showered with prayers and grace this pregnancy and we feel it! So grateful to all those on earth and in heaven praying for us! Because of the treatment, I have felt quite yucky. Nausea, fatigue, indigestion. Kind of a throwback to the first trimester. I've noticed improvement the past few days, so perhaps my body is getting used to the treatment! We'll see...it's truly in God's hands and I know He loves both me and baby and will take care of us!

With the whole Murphy's Law things, it makes perfect sense that the month I feel bad physically is the month we are way overbooked in our schedule! There have been several times this month my hubby and I looked at each other and said, "how are we going to get through this??" But God is so good and provided the strength and grace we needed to be faithful to our commitments, find rest in between them, and grow closer together because of going through the craziness together! (Although next month we are purposely keeping it very minimally scheduled.)

Our craziest week turned out to be one of the most blessing-filled. We had two nights of my workplace fundraiser banquet (where my husband was the emcee), and three days over an hour away as presenters for a marriage prep retreat for engaged couples (and had to drive home each day because of two other overlapping events!!). Despite some early mornings, some pregnancy carsickness (you've truly reached a new level in your marriage when your husband holds your hair back while you throw up on the side of a country road...which I can laugh about now...), we actually experienced so much grace through the week! The speaker at my work fundraiser was incredibly inspirational (Matt Hammitt from Sanctus Real), and we met some great new friends at the marriage prep weekend and were able to counsel a few of the engaged couples through some different issues they were having. When the whole week was done and we found we were still alive, we grabbed some pizza and the new Star Wars movie (so late to the game, I know) and had an impromptu date night in and reminisced how God had worked through the week in our lives and in others'.

We have a few more things this month, including a wedding this weekend, but our schedule is slowing down and the weather is warming up! It is absolutely gorgeous and I can't get enough of the blooming trees and flowers and sunshine and birds!

What are you up to lately? Give me some comment-love with your highs and lows of the month.


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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Monday, April 11, 2016

On the Bookshelf: Two Book Reviews


I'm a sucker for self-help books some days. There's something so positive about focusing on growth and change and learning ways to be the best version of yourself and become the woman God created you to be. I definitely believe God uses both spiritual practices and practical means to help mold us. Gretchen Rubin, while not particularly spiritual, has some great practical tips on living a happy, intentional life. I've read parts of her previous book, The Happiness Project, so when I saw her new book Better Than Before was available, I was excited. 

This book focuses on habits. How we form them, why they're useful, why we avoid them. Her writings are based on observation more than science, but this provides a friendly, casual tone to her books, making her a fun, relatable author to read. 

My favorite part of the book was learning about the different personalities when it comes to habits. Rubin organizes them into four types or tendencies-- the Obliger, the Upholder, the Questioner, and the Rebel. Knowing your tendency helps you realize better how you relate to habits and why it may be easier or harder to form them. I tend towards being an Upholder. I feel bound to both inner and outer expectations, so habits and rules are very helpful for me. (The Rebel, on the other hand, resents any type of expectation so it's harder for a Rebel to appreciate habits and routine). 

My least favorite part of the book was simply the length of it. While the information and ideas were fascinating, it was hard to justify reading a whole book on the topic and I ended up skimming a lot of the pages simply because I'd rather learn about the topic in little bites or articles than a large book. Perhaps if I were to read this book in a longer period of time (one chapter a month, etc.) I would feel differently, but reading it in a shorter period of time made some of the material seem redundant or less crucial. 

3.5 stars :)

[Thank you to Blogging for Books for a complimentary copy in exchange for a review. This review contains my honest and original thoughts.]


I'm getting addicted to children's books. They are just so darn adorable and it melts my heart to think of reading them to our little one soon!

Night, Night Daddy was a beautiful board book with a sweet story about a daddy and his child playing together throughout the day and then getting ready for bedtime. They reminisce about their day of flying kites, making pancakes, having a bubble fight, and building a fort. I love the way God is woven into this book so simply yet so poignantly. As the daddy and child look up at the sky, the daddy explain's God's power and how He created the moon and stars. At bedtime the dad tells the story of Daniel and the lion's den and then they pray together. So precious. 

I love the story, the quality, and the illustrations in this book. 5 stars :)

[Thank you to BookLook Bloggers for my complimentary copy. This review contains my honest and original thoughts.]

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Wisdom for Wednesdays

“In three different ways, woman can fulfill the mission of motherliness: in marriage, in the practice of a profession that values human development … and under the veil as the spouse of Christ.” 
~St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)
(Thanks to Women of Grace for this beautiful quote!!)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Tuesday, March 29, 2016