Tuesday, June 30, 2015


We had the best time at Goober's birthday dinner last night. He chose Johnny Carinos...which yet again  proves he is my son. Why? Well he knew that on Monday nights they have their 1/2 price family platters and he also knew he could call the shots on what we got there. ITS SUCH A GOOD DEAL!!! We had soup/salad/bread/italian nachos/ chicken parm with spaghetti and tiramisu for $26!!!! ANNNNDDDDD....we brought home a pound of leftover food I kid you not!!!!!  The dessert was free since it was Goobers birthday (another reason I know God handpicked him for us, we share this HUGE LOVE of Tiramisu) but feeding 5 people for under $30 and bringing home so much is such a killer deal!

I chose to have their bread, house salad and split the nachos with everyone instead of eating the chicken parm...it looked delicious but would have sent my calories soaring...and I still left completely stuffed!

Now onto the topic of conversation for the night. Adam and I have been praying through some big decisions for our family...whether or not to adopt again. If I am being honest I must admit that I was hoping their birthmother would have one more baby....thats being super selfish though since it also means she would give up one more baby. We want her to have a wonderful life and we want her to know the love of God....just in my mind taking more of my kiddos blood siblings seemed like the only way our family would grow. However, Baby Boy is 3.5 and we haven't heard from our adoption agency in over a year.

We are not 100% sure that another adoption is what the Lord wants for us but we are seeking Him to see if that is our next move and if so how, when, from where, etc. So we asked the kids "what do you think about us adding another child to the family". Here is a summary of that conversation.

Goober-"just not a white baby".
Mom/Dad-"why not white?"
Ribbit-"because it won't look like our family"
Mom/Dad-laughing "but we are white"
Goober-"yall are more peachy/red...we should get a black or chinese baby so it will look like us"
Mom/Dad-"what if mom got pregnant?"
Goober-"would yall love that baby more?"
Mom/Dad-"NO NO NO, are you kidding? We CHOSE YOU!! We FOUGHT FOR YOU!!!"
Goober-HUGE GRIN "oh I didn't know that"
Ribbit-"i just want a sister"....."a half white, half black sister"..."she can look like me".

Needless to say we went on to talk about how bringing in another kiddo would rock our world for a while and might throw us out of whack but that God calls us to love, whether its easy or not. We also said that they would have a HUGE RESPONSIBILITY to this new sibling, to treat them like family, BLOOD FAMILY...especially after Adam and I are dead and gone. They didn't understand the weight of that statement, and the won't for a while. But, Adam and I are more concerned that as they grow up they will want to know more of their biological past, who can blame them?...and if we introduced a child into our family who doesn't have those same ties they may feel very segregated from our family and after we die they may not feel like a part of our family.

For me, its the whole "what if" game....and I know in the end its not up to me to make my children's lives perfect. Its not up to me to try to figure out how everything will end up and how I can avoid disaster. Its just my responsibility to love my children, show them the love of God, point them to Christ, show them that God is our only hope in this ugly, scary, rotten, sinful world and pray that they will cling to Him and His truth.

I'll wrap up with sharing some more pictures from our vacay. We loved the fact that we got to spend so much time with family, but it also made leaving that much harder.

My sweet, loving, always FUN Aunt Robin came and stayed with us on the beach. She cooked dinner and breakfast for us and my kids gobbled it up. They said "its like a fancy restaurant"!! We loved having her and catching up!

About the same time my Uncle Paul and cousin Mason came to hang out too. We ate at the Grille with them, flew kites, swam and caught up on life. WE LOVE YOU BOTH!

Cuddling with Aunt Robin while the grown ups chatted.

Back on the beach being made into mermaids or as Baby Boy said "MerMans or MerBoys". They loved this!

This beautiful little girl is such a joy to my heart. She loves hard, plays hard and grieves hard...lots of tears when we leave family, friends or even when mommy leaves for workouts :(.

Kids turn at making Mom and Dad into mermaids. A lady was watching us and ran over to take pictures saying "this is too sweet a memory to miss!"

We loved our week at the beach!!!!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Happy 11th Birthday Goober

Today is Goobers 11th birthday...even though I bought things with the #12 on them for his birthday party (mom of the year award), he is in fact only turning 11.

In his words he is now officially a pre-teen.

I am always sad when I sit down and think about how fast my children are growing up and how independent they are becoming. I have to do a lot of convincing now to get loonnng hugs or cuddles or kisses from Goober...I get it, I am not cool :).


He is becoming more and more attentive, more responsible and takes more time to process things before he wants to talk them through. He listens well in church and can normally pick out the "big idea" from each sermon. He questions things, tells the same jokes over and over and is easily distracted by just about any sport or at the sighting of another child his age.

He starts 5th grade next year, that means 7 new teachers, 2 new electives, school sports teams and the chance to actually get detention ;).

As much as I hate seeing him grow older I am so thankful that this year is over. I've talked about it a lot but 4th grade was just plain awful. We have dug deep to try to figure out what triggered the bad behavior/ attitude/ grades but in the end I think it was just one of those years where he was being a boy and we weren't used to him acting out. He had no idea how to handle any changes, anyone who didn't 100% like him, anyone who was annoyed by him or how to study for school. Having a family member move in with us, having both parents work at his school and realizing that he now had to share his Uncle Chris may have just put him over the edge. Regardless, the Lord taught us all a lot...through counseling, long tearful talks, long tearful raging moments, LOTS AND LOTS of discipline, groundings and very little TV ;).


Goober read my ABCs and wanted to do them himself. We changed them up a bit so in honor of Goober here are the ABCs of his 10, almost 11 year self.

A-Age- 10, will be 11 on Monday
B-Biggest Fear- getting smushed by an 18 wheeler
C-Current Time-12:52
D-Last drink you had, Dr. Pepper (we just finished a birthday party where all bets are off :)

E-Easiest person to talk to-Moshe (our next door neighbor)
F-Favorite Song-God's not dead
G-Grossest memory-Vomiting at school after you (mom) told me to burp so that my stomach would feel better

J-Jealous of?-Dads iphone 6
K-Killer at? Football
L-Longest drive?-To Alabama
M-Middle Name? (to protect him I will give you a hint, its one of the only 2 angels mentioned by name in the bible


N-# of siblings-2
O-One wish to be granted? To fly on a plane
P-Person you last spoke to on phone?-CC
Q-Question you are asked the most often? "Where did my Goober go?"...I say this when I come home from working out as most of the time the kids run and hide and I pretend that I am super sad as I walk around saying " Where did my Goober, Ribbit, Baby Boy go?
R-Reason to smile?-because I am blessed

S-Song you last sang-Well I was humming all morning but it wasn't a song
T-Time you woke up this morning-7:50
U-Unique about me? I was in foster care a bunch
V-Best Vacation-Disney World
W-Worst Habit-Humming (YUP, this child constantly hums, another reason he got in trouble at school :)

X-Xtra tidbits-I love Harry Potter movies
Y-Your favorite food and drink- Anything Hersheys and Cherry Coke
Z-Favorite Zoo Animal?-Gorilla





Friday, June 26, 2015

Eating for your blood type-Fitness Friday

I had a wonderful, super thought provoking conversation with a co-worker at inservice. She loves to exercise but over the past year has been diagnosed with an immune disease that runs in her family. It causes her joints to become inflamed and she just has a harder time moving in general. Her dad found this diet formulated by Dr. Peter D'Adamo that suggest food you should/shouldn't eat according to your blood type. My friends father began following this diet and had great success with it, even to the point where he was able to come off some of his meds. My friend recently started this diet and in 3 weeks had seen great results in her own issues with digestion and inflammation....even her boys who have a different type had better energy, digestion and focus when they ate according to these suggestions.

Here is the science behind it. Dr. D"Adamo's website--Give yourself some time because this website is super interesting and very thorough!

Here is the basic summary for each blood type. You can also read on the site how these diets affect weight loss, exercise, disease, cancer risks, stress, sleep patterns, etc.

 So what did I do with this? Well I was already working on integrating more purple food into my diet to help raise my good cholesterol levels so I was snacking on eggplants, choosing red wine over white and found purple sweet potatoes at Sprouts :).

So, to try some of these ideas for my Type A blood I went from having salad with some sort of protein (mostly tuna, turkey and chicken) to having at least one salad a day that is completely vegan...using lots of different greens, veggies and edamame to get lots of protein! I also upped my tofu consumption from 1-2 servings a week to 3-4. I also started cooking a lot more fish and shrimp!!! I can say that I haven't noticed any significant changes but then again I didn't have anything that needed fixin ;). I do love that I am eating tons of greens daily. There has been only one day where I haven't had a salad in the last month but that morning I made a big ole KALE smoothie....it was nice and chunky. Slurped that thing down with a few winces here and there.

Any thoughts on this diet? Any success stories?   Totally interesting right?



I saw this on Facebook and thought it may be fun to do along with some more pictures from our beach vacation!

A- Age: 30, at least until July 17 :)
B- Biggest Fear: Not getting the most out of our summer :), My kids breaking anything/ falling off anything, anything involving injury to them :).
 C- Current Time: 3:37 PM
D- Drink you last had: Unsweetened Mango Tea from Panera, Water after my workout
E- Easiest Person To Talk to: my brother Chris, my friend Leianne, my mom, my hubby of course
F- Favorite Song: Holy Spirit by Francesca Battistelli, I love to hear the kids sing along to " God's not Dead" and " Soul on Fire"
G- Grossest Memory: Ear Cleanse at Urgent Care, All of Baby Boy's explosive diarrhea incidents
H- Homestate: Alabama, but born in Florida
I- In love with : I'm thinking I should answer Adam right? :)...but I am also currently loving dark chocolate covered raisins, any song by Darius Rucker, Tank tops, flip flops, my nutri bullet!
J- Jealous Of: Stay at home moms, Summer always make me whiny and I constantly declare my love for getting to be at home, on my own schedule, carting my kiddos around and playing
K- Killer at what? I make a pretty good Yogurt Parfait and Rice Krispy Treats according my kiddos. My husband likes my smoothies and most of my dinners.
L- Longest Relationship: 8 years of marriage with Adam coming up, around 9.5 years together total
M- Middle Name: Marie
N- Number of Children: 3, but I want more!!!!
O- One Wish: To take kids on long term mission trip to a truly needy area of the world
P- Person who you last called: My Nana to wish her a Happy 29th :) Birthday!!!
Q- Question you're always asked: Are they twins? What color is their daddy? How do you manage that curly hair?
R- Reason to smile: Knowing my hope is only in the Lord, Watching my kids eat Popsicles on the trampoline, cuddling with my husband, long walks on the beach with my mom, knowing my brother married the girl of his dreams, seeing my Dad pass on his love of motorcycles to my kiddos
S- Song you last sang: I kid you not " Hakuna Matata, what a wonderful phrase, Hakuna Matata, ain't no passing craze"...as we drove home from the park
T- Time you woke up: 5:45
U- Unique about you: My name, my disgust of Ketchup, my love of running stairs!
V- Vacation Destination: the Beach....not the lake, not the river, not the pool....THE BEACH
W- Worst Habit: picking my lip, right Daddy? He has been trying to get me to break this habit for years but alas I am too stubborn
X- Xtra t-bits about your family: We love tzatiki sauce, matzah, carrots, asparagus and cracking open peanuts at the ballpark. We tend to only utilize 5 feet of our home at any given time...its like we are playing sardines at all times. We sing our prayers, even in public :).
Y- Your favorite food: Dark chocolate, watermelon, matzah, tuna, oranges, cherries, any salad, kettlecorn
Z- Zodiac Sign...Cancer, but no clue what that means :).

Our fun night at the Hangout!!! We got there around 5 and stayed most of the night after dinner. The kids loved playing in the bubbles, even though their faces don't seem like it :)

Add caption

Playing in the big sand pit!!!
Adam won the frozen shirt contest!!! Mommy got her groove on with the kiddos on top of the sand pile!
Spending some time at souvenir city. We actually spent a lot of time as Baby Boy was constipated and allowed mommy to sit with him in this OH SO GROSS bathroom for 30 minutes. I was ready to shake that poop out!!!

Monday, June 22, 2015

One is silver and the other gold

Make new friends, but keep the old....one is silver and the other gold.

It's such a blessing to have old friends, as in from childhood, definitely not old as in age..girls we are not old :)!

 I love that anytime I am within 100 miles of my hometown I am getting bombarded by invites to come meet up, hang out, make play dates, go to dinner, get coffee or just hug a neck real quick. These friendships don't take any time to get right back where we left off. I love that we rush up, hug necks, and normally pick up on our last conversation or immediately begin to retell our FUNNY, EMBARRASSING, AWKWARD middle/high or college stories.

As if that wasn't PURE GOLD, now we all have kiddos that we get to watch play together, declare best friendships over (after 10 minutes), pull off of one another in a wrestling match (after 10 minutes) and compare to their mommas :).

While we were at the beach we invited over Allison and Sarah and their kids for a beach day. Unfortunately that was the one day that we had awful, stay inside all day weather which meant that we had 6 kids inside the condo. It would have been 8 but they both left their youngest with grandparents. As the ladies caught up on life and continuously yelled things like "don't hit your sister, stop running, don't aim the gun at peoples faces, stop jumping on the beds" our kids ran circles around the condo squealing in pure delight...and poor Adam was official referee.

At one point they were running laps around the condo through two sets of glass doors shooting guns and screaming like banshees. Well, one glass door got shut and poor Sophie ran smack into it as all the adults watched and quickly tried to cover our laughter. Adam yelled at her to let him know when she planned on doing that again so he could film it and get rich ;). Poor girl, but as her mom quickly reminded us of her own grill+hamburger+youthtrip+glass door fiasco it all made sense. Sophie quickly rebounded and was back to herself in 2 minutes flat.

It was also super adorable that Charlie and Baby Boy showed up in the same exact same Ninja Turtle swimsuit...which meant that they were instantly connected at the hip. Baby Boy never left his side and cuddled up to Charlie's momma when he did to watch a movie.

Eventually the rain stopped long enough for the kids to jump in the pool ....they were shivering and poor Caroline had blue lips but they didn't let that stop them from SWIMMING. We also got to walk down to the beach and collect some stellar shells.

It was a wonderful day spent watching our kids and talking to them about our times together as little girls. Its amazing how much food they went through too..I made a huge stack of blueberry pancakes and bacon and let me tell you that not one adult got to eat pancakes or bacon. We all got pretzels and edamame...boring adult food :).

I'm so thankful for the blessings of friends I have in both TX and AL.

Watching the storm roll in...sweet little things.

Super best buds already.

Finally swimming time!!
Putting down some grub out on the balcony!! Caroline has on Ribbit's dress as "dress up time" had just ended. They also found a tampon in my purse and asked how it worked :).

Cuddles with Charlie and his momma.

This picture reminds me of another picture of the three of us running on the beach during our spring break of our senior year. We had a blast with 5 other girls in a beach house that year. Who knew that 12 years later we would be on the same beach with 6 of our 8 kiddos enjoying life and still loving on and encouraging one another. LOVE YOU BOTH!!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Happy Fathers Day Adam

Shame on me, but when I married Adam I wasn't looking for someone who would be the absolute best daddy for my future children. Sure, I hoped that he would be but it wasn't something I was actively worried about ...I mean I hardly ever saw him around children while we were at college.

That along with a "handyman", and a man whose parents know the value of marriage though are things I advise my students to add to their husband list. Get that man around kids, parents, uncles, aunts, brothers, grandparents and see how he acts....put that man in front of a broken car, toilet, light and see if he can figure out how to fix it.

(as I am writing this he is building us new cabinets for our complete kitchen remodel!!)

With God constantly working through us and blessing us beyond our wildest imagination we have become parents to three beautiful, very different children. Fortunately for me, God also blessed Adam with the love, patience, wisdom and joy it takes to be a wonderful father. He brings silliness, godly guidance, appropriate discipline and a sense of "less is more" into our lives. He teaches us all to constantly be satisfied with what we have or to fix it or make it ourselves. He would rather me cook a meal then go out to eat anyday of the week. He takes his time to do things right, teaching as he goes along if anyone wants to know how to do it. He puts down his foot when mommy has given in way tooo many times or has just spent all day repeating herself or dealing with whining. He loves at the right times, spanks when its needed and never in anger and only raises his voice to get attention. He is respected in our home and reminds us all that our riches come from above. What a blessing he is to our family.

I asked all 3 kids the same questions about their daddy. Here are their very funny, very different answers.

1. How old is your Daddy?
Ribbit- 17, right?
Baby Boy- counting on his fingers as he licked the crumbs off of them, 1, 2, free, yeah free (3)

2. What kind of hair does he have?
Baby Boy-Bwack

3. What is your Daddy's favorite thing to do?
Goober-kiss mommy (its sooo true!!!)
Ribbit-napping (true again)
Baby Boy-work out

4. I love when my Daddy....
Goober-rolls his belly (man of many talents)
Ribbit-hugs and kisses me
Baby Boy-say that I love him

5. My Daddy always says...
Goober-"use your brain"
Ribbit-"don't eat too much sugar"
Baby Boy-"do not pee pee in your pants"

Before we were even a "couple"...Celebrating Adam's graduation from Auburn.
6. I like to go ________ with my Daddy.
Goober-to restaurants
Ribbit-to Red Lobster/ Johnny Carinos
Baby Boy-check out books

7. I like to go eat this with my Daddy.
Goober-Hamburgers at In N Out
Ribbit-Cheese biscuits
Baby Boy-Chick Fil A

8. My daddy's favorite food is________ and his favorite drink is _________.
Goober-Swedish Fish, Beer (jackpot)
Ribbit-coconuts, coffee
Baby Boy-McDonalds, juice

9. What is your Daddy's job?
Goober-fixes everything
Ribbit-working on the school
Baby Boy-work at Mr. Michaels (our neighbor and Adam's BFF)

10. If your Daddy could have any job in the world what would it be?
Goober-playing Auburn football (WINNER)
Ribbit-eating (she knows her daddy)
Baby Boy-working at home

11. He laughs the most when ...
Goober-Alabama loses (TUSCA LOSER)
Ribbit-when I say "the stars are in the sky, they bloom like a flower"..she was staring at the ceiling at this point..I think she was hallucinating from exhaustion (long day of park and pool prior to these questions)
Baby Boy-when he is joking

12. I know that he loves me when he...
Goober-says "you are the best kid ever"
Ribbit-kisses me
Baby Boy-when he kisses mommy

13. My absolute favorite thing about my Daddy is....
Goober-that he can fix anything
Ribbit-that he always gives me popcorn
Baby Boy-probabwy his dancing


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Fitness Friday-keeping my routine while traveling

I have to admit that the one thing I was worried about not packing for our 2 week road trip was my scale. I knew that I could find all sorts of ways to exercise. I knew that I would track my calories daily on Myfitnesspal on my phone. BUT, the scale is what lets me know if my technology and efforts are keeping me on track. After saying all that I have learned that nothing is as reliable though as my own eyes/wardrobe. The scale can be off by water weight, certain times of the month, high sodium diet, etc. The myfitnesspal can be off if I eat things that aren't part of the database (eating out a lot, casseroles, etc). My efforts on a hot beach sure do feel like a lot, even though I can do the same workout at home and sweat 1/2 as much ;)...but my eyes and my wardrobe normally don't lie :).

So with all of that said. I stepped on the scale the morning after we got home from our 2 weeks and it hadn't budged one ounce. THIS IS HUGE. I gained a solid 4 to 5 lbs after our 4 day Disney cruise 2 years ago!! I gained 3 to 4 lbs on our Disney vacation last year right before I started my health journey. My HUBBY gained a solid 5 lbs on this trip...but then again he is trying to gain muscle and he ate and drank like a beast..poor guy doesn't get all summer to vacation and he took full advantage of it.

I went into these 2 weeks knowing that I would keep my healthy eating up but only 80% of the time. I was going to enjoy my brothers rehearsal dinner and his wedding but I was not going to leave either one super bloated and I was going to stop eating when I was full. I also knew that I would probably drink more alcohol than normal but that I would stop at one per day. Total I had two meals that I would normally never eat and guess what they both were?...FRIED OYSTERS with a side of hushpuppies and coleslaw..GOOD OLE BEACH FOOD...all of my other seafood I ordered steamed or broiled!!!!  I probably had 5 glasses of red wine over the two weeks, but I don't think I finished one of them and then I tried a buschwhacker out of pure curiosity...ICK.

I worked out everyday as well, anyway I could, except our last day of traveling. We literally slept in our clothes that we drove up to Nannie and Papas in, not wanting to unpack yet again. Then we drove the rest of the day and got home at midnight. I will give myself a pass for that day :).

If I could offer any tips for sticking to a routine while traveling it is this.


I knew that I would have access to a gym on certain days but just in case I took my yoga mat and handweights and ended up using them 3 days on our condo balcony...I could have lifted all day with that beach view!!!. I also took my own snacks and cereals knowing that some days I may not have any healthy options. When I had access to my parents gym, I USED IT!!! I even got to use a row machine for two days as they just added them to the gym. When I had access to the hotel fitness room, I USED IT...sure all they had was a treadmill but I ran that thing to death and did bodyweight moves beside it to get in a good circuit! When I had the beach I RAN/WALKED and lifted weights on it. When I had a long stretch of road I RAN IT (something I never do here since the traffic is wicked). And the day I had kids who wanted to go to the splash pad we went there and while they rode with my dad there and back in his car...I RAN TO IT AND BACK to my parents house while Goober skateboarded beside me.

I saw 2 or  3 of these guys on my beach run. Let me tell you, a 3 mile run is SOOO much different than a 3 mile road run..DANG, that was rough!!..BUT BEAUTIFUL

Early morning run on the main road to the beach, hardly any traffic but tons of runners. See those clouds? Yup, I GOT DUMPED ON!!!

This is from my hour long beach walk...I walked almost 3 miles, which sounds slow but not in sand, I was booking it...and the next day my hips were super sore and my feet were swollen (the fried oysters might also be to blame)

Rowing. I would row hard for 5 minutes, then do a circuit of 3 weighted exercises. Total I would get in about 25 minutes of rowing and about 20 minutes of free weights. I checked my HR after each 5 min rowing section and it was always soaring...170/180.

My last workout with my brother as a single dude. This was the morning of his rehearsal dinner. You can see I had on my gloves so that I could do another rowing/free weight circuit. Chris and my hubby lifted and chatted the whole time. I love those two!

Another beach run on a beautiful morning. It was fun to outrun the waves and see all of the other runners who like to get out super early!

This is from another beach walk where I swear I saw a water spout starting. Adam has the same picture from our condo balcony!