Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.
Mother Teresa

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Five Favorite Inspirational Pins

I am feeling a bit uninspired... and there's no better way to inspire than find words that challenge me.  So here are a few favorites:

 I am going to a wedding this weekend.... it's one with tons of old high school friends.  I am feeling frumpy and obsessing about looking good  (need prayer?... hmm..)  Anyway, this quote captures how I want to live my life.  Forget if my friends weigh less than they did in high school and look so perfectly kept.  I am my own flower.


Yes.  Yes.  and more Yes.  I love my littles so much... God help me be the mom I want to be!


This goes with parenting and wife-ing in my opinion.  Letting go of the things that busy my life without purpose is a goal of mine.  If I am not a better wife, mother, or Christian, why am I do _____?


I love the wisdom of Blessed Mother Teresa.  That's all! :)


Seriously this just makes me smile.  This is the humor that my girls enjoy right now.  And I am loving this age.  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Five Fave/Hints.. making good eaters

 Developing good eating habits with little people

It seems like I share these tips on a somewhat regular basis with friends and acquaintances so I thought I'd share them here.  (If I believed in jinxes I might not--- since Jack is too young to prove my eating hints work.)

I believe in moderation... what you'll read below seems extreme but my children do get treats and we do deviate from this plan but this is the foundation that I believe has made them into little people that love broccoli and ask for carrots for snack

1.  Stop the snacks!  We do not have snacks in cars or strollers or in between meals.  We have three meals and a snack after nap.  That's it.  My girls are hungry and meal time and  I believe that makes for a good eater.  I see moms and dads use snacks as coaxes to get children to behave.  I don't want to use food in that way for my children.  I have my own food issues... (too much and too frequent!).... so I am aware of instilling better habits in my children.

2.  Eliminate all the processed foods.  I know I'd rather have a Ritz cracker and piece of cheese than broccoli... why wouldn't my girls??  We just don't have those easy foods readily available so they aren't an option.   Healthy foods in the house make for easier meals.

3.  Serve meals in courses.  This is especially important when little ones are under three.  If I set a plate down with a serving of spaghetti, asparagus, salad, and bread, then guess what?? The bread goes first followed by the spaghetti.  The green stuff will likely never be eaten. However, if they get food in courses, the salad and asparagus are gobbled down because they are HUNGRY and they want to eat.  We then follow with protein and carbs.

4. Have meals together and make it clear that a meal is a meal is a meal.  There aren't short-ordered cooks in my house.  This week I made a ground turkey and rice dish that may not have been that visually appealing.  Both girls chose not to eat it... Guess what?? That's okay.  They ate their veggies.  They knew that was dinner.  They never complained about being hungry... and they were fine with just a little dinner.

5.  Now that I have a three year old, I am learning that talking about food is powerful.  She knows what food is her "grow food" and which food is her "sometimes food".  For example, we had an ice cream treat on Saturday.  She put the words to it and said she loves "sometimes food" but she needs to eat more "grow food" to get tall!  Little people need to understand they are fueling their bodies to go on to do great things!

PS-  I struggle with my weight.  In fact, I need and want to lose some weight right now.  Following these same rules is helping me!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Five places to visit

We are having beautiful weather... which is typical for Southern California this time of year.  (really any time of year!?!)  So I can't blame it on the weather... not sure what to blame it on... but I have a real itch to travel.

Perhaps it's just  being a mom.  Before kids, we spent extra money and time on travelling.  Near and far... we just liked to see new things.  That's one thing I truly miss as a mom... the ability to get up and go.. and the extra money to do so.

So for today's Fab Five, I am five of my favorite

1.  The Grand Canyon.  It's vastness is awe-inspiring.  There's nothing quite like it. I have been fortunate to visit the Grand Canyon several times and it never gets old to me.  It brings perspective to me and inspires me.  It is peaceful yet challenging.  My dad hiked to the bottom a few years ago.  J and I plan to do so at some point... Alas I need a knee replacement first.

2.  Washington DC.   I had a educational opportunity to spend a week in DC each quarter for a few years in the early 2000s. I'd been to DC before but this gave me an opportunity to really get to know the area.  There's so much I love about DC... everything from natural beauty and monuments to the hustle and bustle of life to taking a trip to the Basilica.  J had never been so the year before children I took him and we had a fantastic trip.  Among my favorite things to do in DC are visit the Newseum ( I could spend hours looking at old newspapers), visiting the Blessed John Paul the Second Shrine, and visiting the Supreme Court (so cool!)
I also love the Eleanor Roosevelt tribute at the FDR memorial.  So much to see and do in DC.  Oh, and John loves the Folger Shakespeare Library.... so much to see and do there too!

3.  Back to nature... Last year we spent a week in Southern Utah.  I fell in love with the area.  So beautiful.  Great hiking.  Not many crowds.  Lovely lovely lovely!!  Go if you have a chance.  Bryce and Zion are amazing.  Different but amazing.  

4.  Ireland.  Oh Ireland.    I do think Ireland will be the first place my little ones get a passport stamp.  It's such a beautiful country and "easy" vacation.  Short drives.  Quaint shopping.  Lovely hikes.  Easy village dinners and brews.  Lambs and more lambs!!  We've talked about going back... probably in three or four years with the children.  I can see them running through pastures with lambs :) 

The picture is of a cross in a cemetery in Mount Mellick where John has great aunts and uncles buried.  His great grandparents immigrated. The parish in Mt Mellick was so welcoming... it was Good Friday and they opened their doors and shared baptismal and death records.  It was amazing to see so many generations of his maternal family tied to this one church.

5.  And finally, Kenya!!  I wish everyone could visit Africa.  We visited Kenya and Tanzania.  Kenya felt safer IMO so Kenya is our favorite destination of all time.  We plan on returning for our ten year anniversary in a few years.  We won't take children on this trip but hope to take them in their teen age years.  (Clearly Africa is always dependent on politics and safety as we plan trips.)

What I love about Africa is that is that perspective I love... similar to the Grand Canyon... it gives you a sense of your smallness yet also your greatness. It was a very spiritual place for me to visit.  Seeing God's world untouched is breathtaking.  Removing all the hassles of life and watching the rhythm of nature is something that stays with you always.  If you consider one of our guides had no idea where Los Angeles is, who Mickey Mouse is, or what a bear is... says it all.  If ever you have the chance... go!!

Happy travels!!

PS-  I just realized why my travel bug is rearing it's head--- four out of five of these trips were taken over Easter Break.  We celebrated Easter and attended Mass in DC, Ireland, AZ, and UT...  this year we'll be in Prescott.