Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Fish Out of Water!

It's that time of year again. THE AMAZING RACE! Always a dream for Nate & I. This year it's a litte bittersweet for two reasons: First, the manic travel and bizarre tasks are a little more like our daily life than in past years when it was pure escapism. Second, I'm realizing just how hard it's going to be to get 'in shape' like I'd like to be for the show. This past year has been a difficult struggle with fibromyalgia & exercise. At the same time it's made me even more motivated & I've borrowed some inspiration from Zev an Amazing Race player with Asperger's Syndrome who's already making an awesome impact on the world.

Back in the pool this week. Third swim since panic attack. First real workout. Learning to stretch my back out helps. The water is the one thing that can truly help with the pain. Tonight I'm going to sleep VERY well. Got a great tip from a swim coach friend for a personalized workout. According to their time trial I'm definitely a beginner. Oh well it's good to have goals.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Taste of Chad

I've been told every great African recipe starts the same, onions! Last night, with my mother's prodding I had a chance to share a family favorite that Minga taught me several years ago. Serving this dish as the main meal for our church dinner felt a little risky. Instead I was truly touched by how well it went over. I think Nate was a little disappointed we didn't have any to take home.

It constantly amazes me how food can be such a powerful bridge between worlds. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do:

African Spinach & Peanut Stew

3 large onions

2 tbs olive oil

2 lbs ground beef

2 cans diced tomatoes

2 packets frozen spinach thawed and drained (if you choose to use fresh simply sauté it down with onions at the beginning.)

2 tbs garlic minced

Curry powder (curry powder is really a mix of seasonings like coriander, turmeric, pepper, ginger, etc any of these can be used to taste)

Season salt

2 cups creamy peanut butter.

In warm oil add garlic and onions and sauté until transparent. Add ground beef and brown. Add crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper, and curry to meat mixture. After browning meat, onions, and seasoning add thawed spinach to sauté mix. After spinach is mixed in add diced tomatoes, and finally peanut butter. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes and serve over rice.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Congratulations Mom!

Mom joined the ranks of Dad & Lil' Bro as Certified SCUBA'S (what's the plural?)
Thanks for the inspiration mom!!!

P.S. Thank you all for your prayers & support. I'm feeling MUCH better.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Painful Reminder: Thursday Tirade

Forgive me guys but I have to say it! I HATE my body. I'm not talking about the universal female pain of how I look in my jeans. This is a much more personal betrayal going on between my body and my mind. (Of course, the minute I start bragging about a workout my body starts rebelling. Right?)

Living below my massage therapist has come in handy once again. Mid-night, emergency massage, got me through what could be described as the mother of all panic attacks. It's been a lingering symptom of the fibromyalgia . Either way I think I aggravated something in my slightly aggressive swim routine. (I did a time trial and then about 300 meters free and backstroke-not that aggressive for most people-that's the tough part!) Being an athlete once upon a time-- I have to admit it's still my dream. One that sometimes gets the better of me.

The past few days I've limped back to yoga and hot baths trying to get the knot around my chest to loosen so I can take a deep breath. I'll admit I'm not quite sure if my body has betrayed me or if I betrayed my body? Isn't this the very reason I'm working out? To counter the the painful affects of fibro? Regardless, it smacked me back into reality with a vengeance!

Sigh, anyway. It's true what they say: I'm to young to feel this old!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fibro Freedom

Right now Sophia & I are crazy about charts! Sophia's(and mommy & daddy) working on sleeping all by herself in her big girl bed. She's earned a pair of roller skates & a little mermaid doll. (10 stickers) It's revealed to Nate & I a very driven little girl. She loves having a plan and working toward a goal! Were trying to capitalize on this virtue and coming up with other things for her to work-on.

Living with fibromyalgia I've come to realize that I can either hurt just because, or I can hurt because I've got a good workout. Plus, it really helps my energy and clearness of thought.
So mommy has her own chart. It doesn't have stickers on it but I do get a little thrill out of crossing off that workout EVERYDAY (well that's the goal at least) Currently Sassy's been one of my swim coaches! She has added pink swim goggles to her great little pink number. Flippers, goggles, pink swim suit. She's my little inspiration.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sole Rebellion: Workout Woes

“What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful than the garment with which it is clothed?” Michelangelo

I must have a very empty soul as empty as my favorite shoes! This summer I picked up a gorgeous pair of four inch wedges by Sofft. They're fabulous, so comfy I've been wearing them all the time! They're a little dramatic but that's right up my alley. Of course there's a catch. . .whenever I'd go for a walk in my tennis shoes I'd develop the WORST shin splints. Running was slightly better but I was dying.

Thankfully, my massage therapist figured out my center of gravity was off. Everything was on my heels. She recommended switching to flats for a while. I know how absolutely vain this sounds but suddenly ALL my pants are too long.

One week in flats and the legs are feeling better. My massage therapist is SO good ;) I'm never going to give up the heels, but everything in moderation. Right? Perhaps the foot is more noble, but it always looks better in great shoe!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Tuesday's Tips: Inspiration

Some days inspiration feels like a trickle of water, or it's a fleeting glance.  This weekend--it came in truckloads.  From my mother of all places!  She's been telling me about her cousin( her mother's brother's son.)  Scott Schuman.  The fashion world discovered Scott through that happy accident--the blog. Now it seems he's not just reporting on fashion he's changing the game.  His beautiful & poignant blog has become the place to be seen. 
The books invaded my mid-west book seller and I'm so proud to flaunt my family connetion. It's an art book for the whole family. It's approachable and exotic.  Binge people watching with personal stories offered by the tender hearted photog with a great eye for fashion and human nature.  

Another blog gone big! A beautiful (and clean) story of real people searching for inspiration.  A great date movie (especially if you're married!)

A good rental if you want a thinking movie. Feels like a combo between All the President's Men & The Manchurian Candidate with Russel Crowe thrown in for good measure. (It's clean and interesting--but I found myself missing Russel Crowe in the Master & Commander outfit!)

Agatha Christie tries her hand at the global espionage thriller!  And it's audio so far so good!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

A Chord of Three

They say distance makes the heart grow fonder.  .  . no doubt.  Distance has been an interesting teacher in many other regards as well.  Specifically, when it comes to what God is teaching us minute by minute, hour by hour. This year Nate & I have experienced so many parallel emotions and reactions despite the distance or the difference in our daily duties. 

These moments are so powerful for me because they reinforce my belief that marriage is more than just two people.  It's a divine living covenant with God, my husband and me, even when miles separate us. 

Over and over Nate & I have seen God unite our hearts and emotions in inexplainable ways that have made me thankful for the distance.  These moments remind me that I'm never alone even when the nights get long.   It also reminds me just how important marriage is to God to witness time after time when the only thing Nate & I have in common is God and most days that's all we need.  They remind me that I've married a wonderful man who's heart is tuned to God's heart no matter how stressful his days get. It inspires me to prayer for him and for myself. I pray that my heart would be as sensitive as his.

 9 Two are better than one, 
       because they have a good return for their work:

 10 If one falls down, 
       his friend can help him up. 
       But pity the man who falls 
       and has no one to help him up!

 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. 
       But how can one keep warm alone?

 12 Though one may be overpowered, 
       two can defend themselves. 
       A cord of three strands is not quickly broken Ecc 4:9-12

Tuesday's Tips: Mommies Little Helper's

Here's the short list of things I LOVE this week:The Bible Experience:  The perfect compliment to a busy mom's workout. Check out the link for free upload from Zondervan. My personal preference--iTunes sells them individually like a song. They are preformed with great background music, and the actors are unbelievable. I love the Psalms and even get a new take on my Bible study when I listen to the passages during a walk or run. 

I got hooked on these at the library. Narrated by Barbara Rosenblat the combo of writer and reader are like great music. They're clean, up-beat historical fiction that are easy to have on while little ears are listening. In fact, I actually caught myself saying "I say Nate" and "blast!" It keeps my brain engaged while I do mindless tasks and they're a good mystery to boot.  Now that I can download them from iTunes I'm becoming an addict-- at least my house is clean!

Crystal Light On the Go Energy: Wild Strawberry   Yesterday I went to stock up and every last one of them was sold out at Target!!! Guess my secret's out--would love it in more flavors.  It does contain 60mg of caffeine but it's so refreshing! 

A recent survey found a majority of women report experiencing discomfort caused by hard or ill-fitting hair accessories, ranging from snags to headaches. In April Newell Rubbermaid’s launched Goody OuchlessFlex, a new line of comfort-flex hair fashions. A specially-formulated, ultra-flexible plastic that can still hold its shape and wearers’ hairstyles. OuchlessFlex offers a 100-percent comfort guarantee: consumers who don’t find these accessories comfortable can get a full refund or a comparable replacement accessory.  

I haven't loved a hair thing this much since the hair scrunchie fad. (Admit it you wore them!) I can't wear it on my wrist like a scrunchie but I always have one on me and I can wear my hair in more ways with it than a scrunchie!  

I didn't think I really loved it that much until I lost it in the deep end of the pool last night. I spent 10 minutes diving down to the deepest parts to get it.  It had done a half hours workout with me and only came out after I'd taken my hair down and did a lap with Sophia. I thought it was connected to my swim suit. (Yes Sophia is swimming laps these days--she's amazing)

Baby Oil Gel: Not just for baby any more. I love this for shaving my legs!  I get out of the shower and don't need even need to put on lotion! Anything that saves time is worth sharing. They make it in with coco butter, lavender, you name it!  

Had to share! Let me know if you have any faves of your own!


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