Saturday, March 29, 2008

Green Smoothie Love

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OK people, forgive the whole picture thing, I've never posted one before. In fact, one of my coworkers had to tell me how to get this far.

So today I had my first green smoothie. Any of you green smoothie-ites have noticed that there was more fruit than greens, and I'm working on it. Yes, that is a fresh and delicious pineapple in the background. And yes, that is a St. Patty's day straw I scrounged out of the mess drawer in the kitchen. It didn't work, said smoothie was way too thick to drink through a straw.

Anyhow, so if you want to try a green smoothie, here's the recipe I used:
*1 really large handful of baby spinach (I'm guessing 1.5 cups, it was up to the 2 cup line in my blender w/o being TOTALLY smooshed down)
*2 small ripe bananas (mine were frozen)
*1 c. frozen mixed fruit
*5-6 frozen strawberries
*1 T. flax seed
*1-2 c. water

I blended the spinach, flax and 1 c. water alone at first because I don't have an amazing Blendtec or VitaMix blender (although if I get into this, I'm sure a purchase will be
forthcoming), then added everything else. I promise to get to a more even fruit/greens ratio soon!

Thanks so much to Sara from Happy Foody for the challenge, even though I took it up, oh, after it ended...

Simple GIfts

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.

I wonder if Mrs. Rojano, my elementary school music teacher, would be proud that I still remember this. How many of us sang that song as kids? Maybe not a lot, but in the midwest, we know those Shaker songs a little better because, well, we had Shakers in our part of the country.

I read a couple of email devotionals, and yesterday I got one about how "every knee shall bow". Now, I'll admit that I haven't taken much *cough* time for my spiritual life in the last few months. I seem to always be too focused on pregnancy to work on my own spiritual growth, and I like to think that He works on me in different ways when I'm nourishing and growing a babe in there. Now that Look Alike is here, I need to get back to it. However, I still read the devotionals as a tiny way to learn God's heart.

As someone who has been called a Berean, I struggle with the difference between KNOWING and KNOWING ABOUT. I can read God's word until the proverbial cows come home, but unless I spend time with Him, I'm no better than Satan, who knows all about Him too. Time away with the Lord, that's what changes hearts. I've seen it, I've done it, it has changed me. And yet now I hide.

But it's funny how God pursues us, so deliriously in love with His creation, even the cracked, earth worn and weary creatures like me. He shows me over and over and over again that I am His and He desires me and our time together. And I miss the invitation more often than I accept it. Those are sweet moments, those stolen times with Him. It's like a first kiss all over again.

Yesterday's Upwords by Max Lucado had to do with how the lost in hell blashpheme all the more because there's no longing for God in a place He does not reside. Interesting, eh? I'd never thought about it. But this is what struck me: "Even the longing for God is a gift from God...".

He wants to be with me so much that he makes my heart ache for Him. It never ceases to amaze me how this amazing God who formed the Earth with only His words is so utterly vulnerable when it comes to togetherness. It's like He's saying, "I want to be with you, here, now. Do you want to be with me?" It strikes me as a "check yes or no" note, sent by a blushing boy to his crush. And now that I think about it, what could be better than to be crushed on by the great I Am?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday talk: Makeup mistakes

I've decided that Friday will be the day to fix makeup mistakes found 'round the world. OK, not so much, but as I was putting on my face to go to small group last night, I thought about some of the biggest problems I used to see. If you have any suggestions for problems you'd like help with, feel free to leave a comment.

I have one makeup crusade, and that is eyebrows. Ask anyone who knows me now and didn't four years ago (besides my husband and children), and they'll tell you they've never seen me without them properly filled in. Once on a retreat, I took them off to show my friends Jen and Karen what I look like without them, so they were privy to a sight that no one has seen from that day on. Heck, I wore makeup to the hospital to have the Look Alike, then put it right back on after washing my face the next morning. I'm hardcore, I guess. :)

So today's Mistake to Avoid is neglected brows. There's a reason I feel this way about brows, and it's slightly embarrassing. The week that I started at Lancome, I got a fresh hair cut and color. Remember, I was in the same store where a week before I'd been a Big (Headed) Manager who Everyone Respected (or Pretended to Respect). The people I worked with at the counter, whether they liked me or not, still didn't consider me to be "one of them", and who could blame them? So you can see why it would be a little intimidating for one of them to critique me, even though I knew nothing about makeup. I didn't even WEAR makeup before I started at the counter. So Nikia, kind soul that she is, said loudly in front of God and everyone, "Your hair looks good. Now what are you going to do about those eyebrows?".


My brows were perfectly shaped and waxed the day before. Who knew I was supposed to do something ELSE with them? I asked Nikia what I should be doing with them, and she sat me down in the chair, whipped out a brow pencil, and got to work. After several minutes of intense focus on her part, she handed me a mirror.

I was shocked. My eyes stood out. When they say brows frame your face, they mean it! I mean heck, check how good my brows look in my profile picture (and please ignore the rest of my face, especially the hormone-wracked complexion). I was a believer from that day on.

My tips for dealing with brows:
1. If you've never had them professionally shaped, go get a waxing or a threading or hit a makeup counter and have them show you the best shape for your face.

2. If you color your hair, make sure your brows match that color. Generally the rule is to go one shade darker than hair color for blondes, one shade lighter for everyone else. I like Lancome's Le Crayon Poudre

3. Invest in a good pair of tweezers, and make use of clear brow gel or mascara. My favorite is Anastasia Clear Brow Gel. A good mirror will also help you catch stragglers before they get too crazy.

4. Experiment! Draw the line a little longer than you're used to. Thicken up the line, try the arch in a slightly different place. You'd be surprised what a tiny change can make in the look of your whole face.

I think that's it for brows today, but I'd love to hear what changes you make to yours!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The secret

Did you ever feel like there was some great secret that everyone around you knew, but that you just missed? People WANT you to know it, some ASSUME you know it, but at the end of the day, you know that you don't know.

That's how I feel about the whole Jesus thing. It took me a long time (and an amazingly intellectual pastor, and lots of hours of conversation) to believe that Jesus is the Son of God. If I'm honest with myself, I still have doubts at times, and doubt is painful. The crossroads of my personality, at the intersection of Must Always Be Right and There May Be Something Better make for quite a few icky accidents. One day I fear this will take me away from God entirely.

I get the Father God thing. I know it's tough for lots of people, but since I never really had a father in my life, it's something I longed for. Curling up in Abba's lap? Not so hard for me. I confess that when I hear His voice, it's through my own filter, which is more harsh and demanding than grace-full at times. A friend of mine once said I'd know God's voice because it would be too gentle to believe. That makes me cry in its stark and utter truth.

Jesus I struggle with. Why? Is it because I can be so demanding and austere? Is it because I have a hard time accepting something free? I must be suspicious. Grace equals "unmerited favor", which I've never experienced from another person. It's totally foreign to me, I always had to "do" to be accepted, and it was usually for a short period of time. Then I'd have to "do" again. I don't know that I actually trust anyone. Sigh.

Yesterday my husband and I had a small argument. I thought about the argument we had before that one, and I realized, I'm VERY invested in not needing him. Not needing anyone, for that matter. And there's the rub. I grew up having to protect myself everywhere. There was no one to protect the little girl that I was, so I adapted. Now that I have a husband who loves me and who desires to protect me, I can't let him.

So what I call independence really isn't. It's self-protection. At the end of the day, it's fear. If I believe God's Word, "perfect love casts out fear", so I'm just not letting Him do his work.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

OK, enough procrastinating. 100 things about heather

1. I can't believe I'm doing this.
2. I'm left-handed.
3. I'm married to the Music Man.
4. I have three amazing kids.
5. We're leaving the number of children we have in God's hands.
6. I'm mostly comfortable with that decision.
7. I'm allergic to mangoes
8. I love to bake. Love.
9. I'm trying to weed out all white flour and refined sugar in our diets.
10. I desperately want to be in love with Jesus, and am just not there yet.
11. You could call me a little Type A, but you'd be closer to the truth if you called me an anal retentive control freak.
12. I have two brothers and two sisters.
13. I was born and raised in Ohio.
14. I married the Music Man when I was 22 and he was 24.
15. I'd love to have any sort of artistic talent, but I'm utterly devoid.
16. I finally got my B.S. when I was 24.
17. I don't sing in public unless it's church (and then it's quiet).
18. I don't really like chocolate,
19. But I LOVE devil's food cake.
20. I don't drink caffeine, it gives me nasty headaches.
21. I had a drug-free birth with the Look Alike.
22. I was a vegetarian for 13 years.
23. I used to play the bassoon, perhaps badly.
24. I'm painfully shy in social situations.
25. I'm a "proud member of the religious LEFT".
26. I've got some weight to lose.
27. I bake all of our bread from scratch twice a week (or more).
28. I love a bargain.
29. But you'll never see me with something particularly "cheap".
30. My favorite book is Jane Eyre.
31. I still have friends from elementary school.
32. I used to do Mary Kay...
33. Because before that I was a makeup artist with Lancome...
34. And before that I was an area sales manager with a dept. store,
35. And before that I managed The Limited,
36. And before that I worked at Bath and Body Works,
37. And before that I worked at Dairy Queen.
38. Now I work at home full-time, along with raising my kids.
39. I find myself torn between stewardship and extravagance.
40. I believe that God still speaks, if we'd only listen.
41. I've only ever lived in Ohio, Georgia, and a 3 month stint in Illinois.
42. I have one tattoo.
43. I have two sets of earring holes, but never wear earrings.
44. My wedding rings all have cognac diamonds.
45. We married in GA but honeymooned in Las Vegas.
46. My best friend used to be my teacher.
47. I'm a horrible photographer
48. I really, really love to sleep.
49. I'm an INFJ, the rarest personality type.
50. On the DISC scale, I'm an "S", but people always think I'm a "D", which weirds me out.
51. I've never left the country.
52. We almost always vacation at Disney World.
53. I'm fairly dramatic.
54. I've been recovered from an eating disorder for almost ten years.
55. I have a friend who is a nun.
56. I don't know my father.
57. I'm the oldest child and the oldest grandchild.
58. I've never been to a funeral.
59. I own blue suede shoes.
60. If I leave typos in a message, I'm comfortable with you.
61. I don't like to be touched by people I don't know.
62. I LIKE brussels sprouts.
63. I've never turned up my nose at a vegetable.
64. I was a 4 year letter winner in softball
65. And was in marching band
66. but I survived high school by the skin of my teeth
67. I've had at least two documented "nervous breakdowns".
68. Now I think I'm ok. :)
69. I'm 5'2".
70. I wear a size 9.5 shoe (not a typo).
71. I don't think soup is a meal.
72. I eat cold cereal every single morning.
73. I think kids should rear-face in car seats until they reach 33 lbs or more.
74. We have three car seats across in a sedan.
75. I didn't start driving until I was almost 20.
76. I have to sleep with a pillow between my knees.
77. I'm terribly boring.
78. I hate making phone calls.
79. My house is a mess,
80. But I'm working on it.
81. I love researching cults.
82. I don't like jarred pasta sauce.
83. I have eight different sizes of clothing in my closet
84. Which means I desperately need to clean it out
85. I watch far too much television.
86. We don't have a DVR.
87. I only see my family once a year.
88. We live 5 miles away from my in-laws.
89. I own handbags that cost as much as my mortgage payment.
90. I'm not a big fan of pregnancy.
91. I'm just now reading The Chronicles of Narnia series.
92. I have three cats now, and we lost one in December.
93. I love my kids so much that I cry, just randomly.
94. I really dig Jodie Foster.
95. We're trying to eat mostly organic food,
96. But I don't ever plan to cloth diaper.
97. I don't believe in circumcision.
98. We don't vaccinate.
99. I guess all that makes me pretty crunch-tastic (except the disposable diapers).
100. Praise God, I can't believe I finished.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Guest blogging, check it out!

Hey, I'm a guest blogger on Chic Critique today, so hop on over to read my review of Cover Girl CG Smoothers tinted moisturizer. Have a great day!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Food for thought

Lately I've been really impressed that my family needs to start eating better. Don't get me wrong, we eat better than 75% of America I'd venture to say, but there is LOTS of room for growth.

About a month ago I bought a Wonder Mill and 135 lbs of wheat berries (!), and have been making bread from my own freshly milled flour. This was no great stretch for me, since I've loved to bake for some time. In fact, I've got two loaves in the oven right now. Last week I made homemade rye and, aside from the bizarreness of the recipe, it was quite tasty.

Now I'm researching CSAs (if people would call me BACK, sigh) and going all organic dairy. We already have organic grains for our bread, so adding the dairy and produce will get us a good portion of the way there. Meat will have to wait a little while, but since we only eat meat about three days a week, it's not as big a concern as the things we eat daily.

But here's the rub. I HATE seafood (which I think we need to start eating) and I LOVE Girl Scout cookies. Weeding out all white flour and refined sugar has proved somewhat more difficult than I thought, thanks largely to breakfast cereal, which I eat at LEAST once a day. Anyone got any inspiration for me? Recipes are loved, as well!

And just as a little inspiration to myself, I've dropped almost 35 lbs. since the Look Alike was born three weeks ago. Woohoo! Now if I could just get back into my clothes...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

He is risen! (He is risen, indeed!)

We heard that refrain many times today at our church, and it makes me think. I mean, I'm a believer. So what does Easter mean to me?

It really kinda makes me crazy, this Easter thing. First, the name itself. What's a pagan fertility goddess, Eastre, got to do with our risen Lord? The bunnies? The eggs? Hers. And I know how Christians have turned them into "resurrection eggs", but to me that just feels like putting lipstick on a pig.

At the end of the day though, I don't know WHAT Easter means to me. My believing friends, they get all weepy about Easter. And I think I should, don't get me wrong. But I'm not really sure what the dramas we see and the pretty dresses have to do with the grit I imagine Christ endured. If we want to identify with Jesus, shouldn't we be wearing grave clothes, then casting them off? Shouldn't we be filthy and stinky from days in a tomb, shielding our eyes from the brightness of the sun? Shouldn't we cough rock dust and musty air from our aching lungs, nearly choking in the freshness outside the tomb?

There's got to be something I'm missing. I can't quite grasp it, I'm sure that it's there, but so elusive to me. Maybe someday...

Saturday, March 22, 2008


There's a delicious selfishness that manifests after you have a baby. Huh? Oh yes, really. You see, when your body has been held hostage for 9+ months, you find joy in things like sleeping on your belly again, taking the occasional Advil, even drinking the uber-rare caffeine-free Coke like the one I had last night.

While I know that all of these things would have affected the Look-Alike when she was in there, now that she's out, I don't feel so guilty. And along the same lines of that selfishness, you actually feel like you're OFFERING the babe something when you nurse her. It's something that you don't technically have to do, so you get to feel like some great benefactress. I'm sure that this was part of the grand design, and yet it hangs so perfectly in the selfish/selfless mommy balance that I'm astounded by it.

Call me selfish if you like, but today I might sleep on my belly AND have a Coke. So there.


Welcome to my new space. This blog is about me finding the me in the mom-ness, the daughter of the King-ness, the mad-ness of everyday life. I'll share life with my three little ones (with more to come, in all likelihood), the things that make me think, things I love, and even things I don't. Thanks for reading , I can't wait to take this journey with you!