Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sing it to the children!

Fearfully and wonderfully made, we are, and so are our children. Here are a few of our favorite songs on the topic. Yes, they are cheesy, and the videos are hilarious, but the words are beautiful: sing them to your children, let them soak deep down into their little hearts!

You knit me together

 I'm so wonderfully made

What a miracle

What are your favorite songs for kiddos?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sweat reflections

photo credit

Sweat runs down my forehead, and little boys run around my basement. I am exercising with heart, soul, and body.  I am angry, determined, resolved to win this battle with my flesh.

A little boy runs past me with a sword, and another boy screams. “Marcus, behave yourself!” I half yell, half pant.

“Oh, don’t worry, mom, I’m a good guy now."
“Oh, you are?” I smile through sweat.
“Yeah. I just changed myself into a good guy, and so now I’m a good guy."

I punch, kick, squat, and jump with the perky lady on my video. And his words echo in my ears, “I’m a good guy now.”

How cute, that he thinks it is so easy. How sweet and childlike, that he thinks sin is something you can just slough off, just drop like a dirty sock on the floor, walk away, and be free of it.

He doesn’t know the extent of the sickness yet, does he? He doesn’t know how deep the selfishness runs, like poison in our veins.  He doesn’t know how it clings, oh how it clings, dragging a soul down to earth by weight of the flesh and the heart.

And I work. And I sweat. 

And when the workout is over, even still, I have not changed myself into a good, self-controlled girl. Not a choice, not effort, not even vigorous effort, can make such a change.

And I find myself exhausted, humbled, and sitting quietly with open hands.
And again, I am comforted by the basics, by the Solidness of Christ, of God’s love for me, and of the certainty of the Holy Spirit’s work in me.

 (From the Small Catechism by Martin Luther)
The Third Article.
Of Sanctification.
I believe in the Holy Ghost; one holy Christian Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.

What does this mean?--Answer.
I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith; even as He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith; in which Christian Church He forgives daily and richly all sins to me and all believers, and at the last day will raise up me and all the dead, and will give to me and to all believers in Christ everlasting life. 

This is most certainly true.

Father, thank you for the certain hope we have in Christ. You are a God who seeks and saves the lost, who helps the weak, who forgives the sinners.  As we struggle on our way, broken people traveling through a broken place, we look to You- Call, Gather, Enlighten, and Sanctify us, Father.  Keep our heads up, and our eyes fixed  on You, as we look forward to our certain eternal rest in You.  Amen.

Are you trying, by healthy living or any other way, to make yourself into a good person before God?
We can't bear this burden, nor do we have to, thanks be to Jesus.

Monday, January 28, 2013

There must be one thing you can do right. [Monday's Challenge]

 I’ve been having this conversation with myself lately. I invite you to listen in.

Me: This healthy eating stuff is just too complicated.
There is no way to do it 100% right all the time. It’s just not possible.
I might as well just eat what I crave and stop worrying about it.

The other me: What do you crave?

Junk food.

Did you know that eating junk food is likely to make you crave more junk food?

Uh, yes, I know that very well. I’ve been living it.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Wonderful Wonky Tortillas (best made with shirtless little boys.)

Quesadillas are one of our favorite lunches.  So this week, I tried making tortillas at home with our fresh ground whole wheat flour.  They were wonky, but they were wonderful.

2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour (I used King Arthur’s white whole-wheat flour)
1/2 cup oil (she used avocado oil, I used olive oil)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water (heat in the microwave for 1 min)
(See the full recipe here- follow hers!)

Also needed (in my opinion)
Good music playing in the kitchen
Shirtless boy helpers
an iPad for backup

My notes 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I am not my Van. (On caring for the body)

Moby, our van

I get in the van, turn the key, and expect it to GO.

It should go. Vans should work. That’s what they are for, and I expect them to do that.

Now, sometimes my van breaks. And when it does, I am highly irritated and inconvenienced. So what do I do? Do I learn how it works so that I can figure out what is wrong with it and fix it?
No. I tell my husband. He fixes it.

Sometimes, he tries to explain to me what was wrong with it, and I try to listen, sort of, but my mind just hears a bunch of uninteresting words:

Monday, January 21, 2013

Our Theme, Writ Large

I need reminders, big ones.  I have such a tendency to barrel through the day, getting stuff done, and I forget to pray, or to focus on the important things until the end of the day.  And that's no way to live.

I love words.
Why not put them everywhere?

So, I enlisted some help...

Shirtless boys are great helpers.
Or something.

We painted.
And I ran upstairs for paper towels and my camera, and I said to my husband, 
"What was I thinking, trying to paint with kids this age?"

But then, I saw this, and I remembered. 

Remind yourself, and your little ones, that you are wonderfully made this week!

Make a poster, hang it by your sink, pack a note in your child's lunch!

If you do this, I'd love to see your pictures!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Make me healthy, a little. (A prayer.)

Click here for more

Soul and body are not separate issues. They are tangled together, in a wonderful, exhausting, beautiful, frustrating mystery.

I've been exploring this in my own head and heart, and because I can't help it, I've been exploring it in writing. Now, I'd like to explore these things  with you, here on the blog.

Don't worry, this blog will not turn into a health or food blog.  There are others who do that job wonderfully. I cannot see myself as any kind of expert in the realm of food, except eating it. 

But God is working on me, and my conscience is nagging at me, and I am uncomfortable.

So let us begin with a half-hearted prayer (because it's all I have!)

Father, it’s about time I have prayed this prayer. 
I've put it off for a long time. It’s stupid really, but I guess this weakness is one I have not wanted to admit.  Or, maybe I have wanted to overcome it on my own, or maybe I don't really wanted to overcome it at all.  Contrition, resolve, denial, failure, guilt, and more denial- these things I know full well. And I wonder if the cycle will ever end.  It's time to confess it all.

I confess my addictions to food and drink; my reliance on what I consume instead of you. I do this all the time. I am selfishly and stupidly trying to fill myself, comfort and encourage myself, with good edible things… to the point of my harm and my shame.

I cannot free myself from my sinful condition.
I cannot overcome this. I can’t even want to most of the time.
If this sin is going to die in me, You are going to have to fight it. You are going to have to hold my hand and walk with me and fight for me and in me and with me.

Ok… I’m ready.
Wait, no.  I’m not ready, not really.
But I have a tiny bit of want-to in me, and today I’m daring to say it- I want You to help me with this, Father.

Forgive me in the name of Jesus. Cleanse me from this unrighteousness, from idolatry and slavery.
Teach me to see your gifts rightly, to receive them with thanksgiving, but not to rely on them to fill what only You can.  Teach me self-control and gratitude.

Teach me to see my body as you do-- Your blessed creation, meant to be cared-for and enjoyed.

Into your hands I commend myself.


I wish that were the end of it: a simple prayer, a change of perspective like turning on a light bulb, and then, POW! easy victory. But it is a mere beginning of a journey.

Are you coming along?

Now, I'd like to hear from you:

What are you praying for?
Do you struggle with the want-to?
And, have you been drinking your water?

This week's challenge: Pray, daily, and honestly, about your health and your body, 
and ask God to help you see yourself as He sees you.

Remember, you can read the rest of the series here,
and join the facebook group for extra support!

Friday, January 18, 2013

A New Series: Weak and Lovely

I wanted to start this series right away in January, but life happened.

I also wanted to have all these issues solved before I started talking about them with you, but I am nowhere near that goal. And yet, here we go.   

Introducing a new series

Weak and Lovely: A journey of body and soul.
You see, I have a problem.

I’m told that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, but I really don’t believe that. You can tell by the way I treat my body.  My heart was made to rest in God, but I don’t really believe that either.  You can tell by the way I try to drown my sorrows with a bowl of potato soup.  God made me a woman, and He created femininity, and it is good.  And yet, I think I make fun of it more than I embrace it. 

I wish I was already victorious, and I could stand at the finish line with my self control like iron and my perspective as clear as God’s Word,  and from there I could cheer you on,  give you a game plan, and help you be strong like me.

But I’m still weak. I weigh more than I’d like to, and only half of me even cares.  I abuse the gifts God gives me.   My perspective is cloudy and my temptations are great.   And I make plans to change things, and then I cheat, or I realize the plans themselves were just as sinful as the laziness. 

On the wagon, or off the wagon, either way I know it down to my bones:
I’m still weak.

And yet (don’t miss this part!) Even so, even now, I am loved.
I am loved, and I am lovely.

In Christ, I already am. I am loved, I am lovely, and this changes everything.

I know this, but I want to know it more. I want to take this truth and let it steep into the difficult corners of my life, my temptations and my cravings, my questions and my identity.

For several weeks, I will be asking this question:

What does it mean to be weak and loved, to be weak and lovely?

This will not become a health food or fitness blog, but I may tell you about my new favorite foods. I will also give you a glimpse into our kitchen, through recipes, success stories, and horror stories.   I will share my reading and my thoughts about raising ‘tween girls, beauty, and body image.  You will hear about my frumpy tendencies, and my girly ‘tween, and how we learn from each other.  And Jesus.  Because I can’t talk about any of this stuff without sensing the connection of body and soul, health and spirit, life and grace.

This is an extremely broad topic, and I am by no means an expert. I welcome your questions, suggestions, and guest posts.

God, help me to see as you see: myself, my body, Your law, Your grace, and Your edible gifts to me.   Make me hunger and thirst for You, and teach me to live in the freedom of your gospel love.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

What does it mean to be weak and lovely?
I hope you will join me on this journey of body and soul!
Let’s renew our minds and improve our bodies together!

For extra support, join my facebook group Weak and Lovely (it is a closed group- only members can see what is posted there!)  We will talk goals and encourage each other there!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

This morning, love meant picking wet cat food out of my family’s underclothes.

What would I do if I had a child with special needs? I remember wondering this out loud to my mother-in-law. She just smiled, and said, “You’d love him.”

You would love him. She’s right, it really is that simple. God sends us children, and we love those children. 

We love the specific child He sends, whatever that love might look like.  Love is what we are called to do, for each of our children, in whatever form that takes.  And He helps us do this, even when it is hard.

“Your job is to love.”

I remember when love meant pregnancy aches and pains, the dread of childbirth, and the awkward mama waddle. I remember when love meant nursing and rocking and long days of watching a baby girl make sweet baby faces. I remember when love meant long days at the park, looking for caterpillars and pushing a stroller. I remember when love meant journaling seizures, research, and worry.

The love required of a mother changes form and shape with each child, through each season.

Sometimes love burns as it pours out; it hurts me, because it pours out on a little one who suffers.  It hurts to give that kind of love, and yet, how can we not when our children suffer?

Sometimes love is easy, and it pours out of us freely while we take in as much joy as we give.

This morning, love meant picking wet cat food out of my family’s underclothes.

The backstory:
I have a three-year old with behavior issues. I will share no more specific details, because I have none. I only know he is different, and his differences are pushing the limits of my creativity. I am reading, researching, and talking to other mothers. Right now, loving him means vigilance and observation, journaling and brainstorming.

It was a bad morning. My new strategies were not working, and everything was falling apart. (Insert long list of little chicken-peck problems, like hitting and throwing stuff and biting the cat's tail. Let's just say my patience was already thin.)

 He wanted to play with the dog in the basement, and I let him, so I could catch my breath and think.
That’s when he found the cat food.
He dumped in the washing machine, mid-cycle.
He added a scoop of dirty cat litter, for good measure.

[portions of this story have been censored]

He took an early nap.

A few minutes ago, I started shaking out the laundry, piece by piece.  The shirt, shaken in anger, flung wet cat food across the floor, making more mess for me. My hands smell like laundry soap and fish.  I know this will be funny someday, but right now, I am just done. I am done, and he is going to wake up from his nap any second now.

flickr photo
I am done, but I don’t get to be done.
My job is to love.
And my God, it is exhausting.  But you know that, don’t you, God?

My job is to love.
Even in tears, even when I am out of ideas, even when they won’t stop fighting and the Christmas tree is still up and my hands stink.

My job is to love.
Once again I find myself unable to do this job in front of me, on my face before God, asking for His help.

God, I have been undone by fighting, noise, and wet cat food. I am undone.  My heart is just not big enough. It’s not just the burdens of motherhood, it’s how poorly I am handling them right now. The annoyances and my own failures, Lord, they weigh heavy on my heart.

And yet here it is before me: my job. I must love them.  But I’m out of love, and patience, too. Give me some of yours, please. Be my strength in the after-nap hours.  Be my patience and my energy for snacks, and homework, and dinner. Be my gentleness at bath time. Be my kindness when they go to bed.

Uphold us all from now until bedtime, and then finally, let us rest in peace.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

(Update Thursday PM: He did.)

Your job is to love.
What does your love look like in your home, in this season?
(If you write a blog post on this topic, please leave it in the comments.)

PS It is OK to laugh about the cat mess. I will join you… in a few more days.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My new favorite phrase

My 2 year old and I were eating our morning bread.

I asked, “Do you know where this bread came from?”

“You did it.”

“Well, mommy made the bread, yes, but Jesus grew the wheat for the bread.”

“Oh.  That was cool of Jesus.” He smiled.

Yes, son. Yes it was.

Wheat is pretty "cool of Jesus."

You know what else?
Your dimple.
That was cool of Jesus, too.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sick mama is so lame.

Pinned Image

Of all the modes and moods of mama, sick mama is my least favorite.

She’s no fun at all.

Her house is a mess and that makes her mad, but she is too tired to do anything about it.

She has no sense of humor.

She’s obviously weary, but she has no idea how to be both weary and loving at the same time.

The needs of her children demand of her what she cannot give without tremendous effort. She just wants to sleep, but little people won’t let her sleep, so she sits on the couch, in her robe, with her tea, and her scowl.

And how do the children react?

The Ignorant

To the littlest ones, sick mama looks just like fun mama. Their eyes are too immature to notice under-eye bags of vacant staring. They try to wrestle her. She remains passive. They push her too far, and the result is not pretty. They resolve to find trouble in another room.

The Compassionate (maybe too much)
Some children take this quite seriously, and when they discover a sick mama in their home, they immediately become sick with her. She has not the energy to argue, nor the will to untangle the knots of mental and physical suffering. Sick mama just sighs, and welcomes the other ‘sick’ ones onto her couches.

The care giver
“Mama if you are not going to church, can I stay home and take care of you?” she asked, and she meant exactly that. I told her no, but gave her ways to help before church. She did them all eagerly. When she left, the dishwasher was unloaded, the boys had their shoes on, and I had a gigantic cup of ice water.

Sick mama does do one thing well: she says thank you.

Thank you children, for taking care of me!

bear. hug.

I'll try not to be such a bear tomorrow.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Book Thief

I picked up a novel late last week.
What was I thinking? I should have taken the Christmas tree down, first.
But the tree is still up, and the novel is done.

The Book ThiefThe words will not let me go.

I had to finish it, I just had to. I knew I would never write again until it was done. I was not sure I would even sleep, but I did, somehow.

I even caught myself praying for my new friends, I mean, the characters of the book.  Then I reminded
myself they were not real, and backed out of God's throne room with a red face. (Don't you hate when that happens?)

And I picked up the book again.

I will never write a book this amazing, I thought, but I didn't waste any time in self-pity. The story was just too good.  I let it consume me, and I delighted in the art, in the words.

And still, the words will not let me go.

Read about this amazing book here.
Read the rest of my review on goodreads, if you like (spoiler alert)

Friday, January 11, 2013


A little ridiculousness for you today.

It made this tired mama smile, and my little boys, too.

Today I am thankful for farmers, and for people with a sense of humor :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Jumping in

Ten minute free-write (because I only have ten minutes today.)

My topic: Jumping in.

Tuesday and Wednesday I spoke at 2 local MOPS groups on the topic of Weak and Loved.

I've done it many times before, but public speaking still causes me quite a bit of anxiety.  I got up before the kids on both days (I almost never do this!) just so I could have time to think and pray before the kids were up.  My hope was that I would be less stressed, distracted, and snappy when they were up and we went through the getting-ready list.  I won't say this is the secret to perfection, but it did help.

When I get ready to speak, I think back to my days as a swimmer in high school.  The 200 IM was the most exhausting, rewarding, terrifying event I swam. As I get ready to speak, I feel the same nervous knot in the pit of my stomach. Approaching the microphone is like approaching the starting block. It happens in slow motion and is a bit surreal.

Then GO.
and there is no other choice, so you GO.
photo credit
And the rest is a blur. Much flailing and all-out effort, focus, and more flailing, and finally, it's over.

And it feels good to be done.  The high fives (or, in the case of MOPS, thank yous, and perhaps hugs, and stories shared) after the event are a nice bonus, but the real joy is in being done.

Before my talks each time I prayed God uphold me, let me be a blessing to those who listen, and help them embrace the freedom of being weak and loved.

I don't get tired of saying it, really.
I am a child of God: weak and loved.

I'm sinful, He is my righteousness.
I'm at the end of my strength, but He lives for me.
I'm a beggar, but He is the Giver.
I am weak, He loves.

I love to write it, and this week I got to say it, too. And I don't think I'll ever get tired of it.

It was a wonderful experience to go out of my home and say this to a bunch of strangers. But now, I am home again, and this weak and loved child/mother must focus more on the mothering part of things.

And I want to jump in to that, too. I want to give it the flailing, focused effort that I gave at MOPS this morning, even though it's not public, and even though it's not going to help sell any books.

But here at home, there is more relief than I expected.  The pace is slower. It's not 45 minutes of all out effort. Instead, here, wrestling matches are followed by naps, and horrific diaper changes are followed by blessed moments of uninterrupted happy-play. And after mealtime-- the exhausting, patience-testing, full body effort of serving a family of eight a meal-- there is recovery time in the storybooks, or the bath, or the family movie.

The pace is slower.
God is good.

Here, God meets me and fills my hands with good things.
Here, He supplies mommy with patience of forgiveness or both.
Here, I am tended-to, even as I tend.

Speaking of which, that was longer than ten minutes, and nap time is over.

God uphold me, and help me love these babies better, even when they are awake.

A public speaking prayer

chicken dance
God help me to be scared enough that I am mindful of what I say and lean on You through it, 

but not so scared that I get a nervous tick, 
or fall over, 

or start doing the chicken dance when I forget what I was going to say next.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

To be Perfectly Honest: A book review

To Be Perfectly Honest: One Man's Year of Almost Living Truthfully Could Change Your Life. No Lie.To Be Perfectly Honest: One Man's Year of Almost Living Truthfully Could Change Your Life. No Lie. by Phil Callaway
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book made me smile, think, cry, pray, and laugh. And yes, all these things go together, and we can do each one in its season, because of the grace which we are given in Jesus. This book underlines and amplifies this truth.

"I am a Christian because of God's grace. I find it in no other faith system. The Christian gospel is rather simply. I love the way Tim Keller puts it: 'I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me.' The result is that I neither swagger nor snivel; I live with thanksgiving, overwhelmed and overjoyed by grace." p 161

And indeed he does live this life in grace, yet he lives it in the real world. Join Phil as he journeys through a year of honesty, as he wrestles with Pac-man addiction, witnesses to a after-rapture pet care salesman and a crook, faces financial struggles and family struggles, and loses his mother.

Phil Callaway's book was an enjoyable read. It was hilarious, thought-provoking and inspirational.

I highly recommend it. 

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Monday, January 7, 2013

A New Era

My 4th grade daughter got an iPod for Christmas from her grandma (with our approval.)

She was completely shocked, and of course, she loves it. We have the parental controls locked down tight, but she doesn't mind at all.  In fact, she used it to create a new game this weekend:

Modern Hide-N-Seek
Materials required to play: 2 devices with Face Time capability
To play:
Hider hides, then alerts seeker via Face Time that she is ready.
The video message may or may not give a clue as to her whereabouts.
It may also be a means for the hider to taunt the seeker while she remains unfound.
However, hiders should be aware that this is the most common cause of hiding spot revelation among today's youth. 

Though they vanished over Christmas break, we are re-instituting our technology rules around here this week. I'm also considering a separate iPod contract with my older daughter. 

Any suggestions as to what it should include, parents?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Journal love.

My 'tween daughter and I still enjoy our Mother-Daughter journal.  We pass it back and forth sporadically, and it has been a good way for us to keep the lines of communication open.

When I started one with her, I also started one with Aggie.
Aggie loves making pictures for people and expressing her love that way.  So that's pretty much what we do in this pre-'tween version of the journal.

And it's wonderful.
Here's a glimpse:

"I love that you always look after me,
always take care of me,
always love me.
Since you have taken good care of me , you deserve a gift.

Oh babe, I don't deserve it, but I welcome it with my whole heart!
You are grace to me, Aggie!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

How I used their love of things gross to teach them a healthy habit

Healthy habit for the month of January: Drink more water (read post #1 here.)

"Hey kids, water is extremely good for our bodies, and we need to drink more of it."

(Do your own reading to learn how much. I know there are conflicting reports, but in this house, any of the daily recommendations seem like a HUGE jump for us, even when you factor in the milk.)

Roughly 8 cups a day.
That's per child, not per FAMILY, kids.

We focused on the following:

Benefits of drinking water

Healthy heart
Healthy skin
Healthy joints
Healthy blood flow
Eliminates toxins
Helps the body fight infection
Mental clarity
Boosts energy
Helps the body absorb nutrients and oxygen

(I didn't mention weight loss. No need to focus here with the children, though this is a benefit that I would welcome.)

Signs of dehydration

Low energy
Poor concentration

I printed out water-related coloring pages for them, and I added the details as they colored.
Now, we have a wall full of drinking inspiration:

The gross advantage

Of course, the boys loved talking about constipation.  So, I thought I'd take advantage of their youthful love of all things gross, and go a step further.

"How do we know if we are getting enough water?  Any guesses kids? Your body gives you an easy clue!"
(blank stares)
"It's something you can check many times a day... when you go to the bathroom! Any guesses?"
(curious heads shaking, smirks, wide eyes)

"Pay attention to the color of your urine."

(What? Really? Ba hahaha!)
They could hardly believe their mother was talking about such things at the table.
And not only did I talk about it. I drew them a picture.

"Mommy, are you sure the smiley face isn't supposed to be on the OTHER side?" said a disappointed child, post-evacuation.
"Yes, honey, I'm sure. Your body is telling you that you need more water."

They are sighing a little bit about this new habit, but I continue to remind them that it could be worse. We could be eliminating sugar, or eating 3 veggies a day.

(Insert mom's evil laugh here, and then imagine six children submissively drinking their water.)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

This is possible: One habit a month.

My sister-in-law and I share an interest in whole foods, and healthy living, and sneaking vegetables into certain foods.

We also share an interest in sugar, and how crazy it is that we can't seem to eat just a little without turning into monsters.

Why is it so hard to take care of a body?

We commiserated this, and about food related mommy-guilt.

I sit down to lunch with children, me with my nice plate of salmon and brown rice, or my salad, and the children, with their macaroni and cheese and hot dogs. Why? Because healthy stuff is expensive, and they probably won't like it, and I don't feel like picking the battle (until I have won it in my own head, first.)

I have heard myself saying, "No, you may not be done with breakfast until you finish your Fruit Loops!" and then, I saw the circles of artificially colored, chemically filled sugar staring back and me, and the situation seemed so ridiculous. Why make them finish that? I sigh. "Nevermind. Go play."

Is it just me?

It's hard to take care of a body, and VERY hard to take care of little bodies at the same time.

Maybe this will be the year we finally go all out. 

We'll abstain from sugar for a whole month, and we will discover that we like the taste of naturally-sweetened food. I'll figure out how to afford organic food for eight people, and I'll buy our own chickens and cow, and start making home made laundry soap, and plant a huge garden, and I'll clean everything with vinegar, and we will all drink delicious kale smoothies by the side of the pool. 

more likely.

I don't actually say this out loud, but I have been operating under an assumption when it comes to living healthy: 

If you can't do it right, don't even bother.

It can paralyze a person. 
It can make a person give up.

And eat whatever she wants, whenever she wants, as much as she wants, and workout never, or only if she feels like it.  And this is nice, for awhile..for a long while, especially if you share your calories with another child for 9 consecutive years.  

But it's catching up with me.

And I'm asking the question, in public even, because I am more than half serious this time:

Could I, by changing one habit a month, 
help myself and my family become healthier in 2013?

Well, that's how I got my house in order. Thanks to flylady, her baby steps, one habit a month, and constant reminders to ditch the all-or- nothing, crash-and-burn mindset.

I want a better relationship with food. I want to learn more about healthy living, so that I can think about it less, and just live. I want to take advantage of the abundance of this place, and learn to use it for my own good, and the good of my family.

If I make myself write about healthy living, I will make myself think about it, and learn about it.
If I learn about it, and teach my children what I learn, maybe things will stick.

So I'm making myself write.  And think. And I'm inviting you to read.  And I'm hoping we will end up smarter and healthier, but I don't want any of us to turn into the girl at the party who brings her own special food and makes everyone feel guilty while they eat their nachos, got it?

I am starting with the easiest habit I could think of.

Drink more water.

This is my reminder:
Water before coffee.

Learn with me! How much?
What if I don't want to?
Click here to learn.

Do you have food-related mommy guilt?
Why do you think it is so hard to take care of our bodies?

Will you take this baby step with me?
Come back Thursday to see how I introduced this idea to my children.
(mild gag warning)

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