Tuesday, September 23, 2014

In honor of Falls first day...

:: RECIPE ::

This recipe is so easy! I used to be very intimidated by making squash soups, but I have found it doesn't have to be hard. This is one of my go to recipes. I've used it several times now. 

This time around I bought some homemade pumpkin bread from a local health store to go along with the soup... BEST decision ever! ;) 
 I toasted the bread with grape seed oil on it. 
The bread  was perfect for dipping in this soup. 

:: My recommendations/experience with this recipe:: 
  • You don't have to use butter for cooking the onions - I use coconut oil. 
  • I ended up cooking my squash about 15 mins longer than the recommended time.
  • HIGHLY recommend slowly adding in the broth as you blend, in order to achieve desired consistency. I've made the mistake and used the suggested amount and it made my soup more runny than I would have liked. 
  • This recipe calls for acorn squash too, but I've never personally used acorn squash with this recipe. To compensate - I select a LARGE butternut squash. 
  • Slowly add sugar in order to achieve desired taste. I usually end up using LESS than the recipe calls for, but Kevin would use MORE if it was his call. ;P Everyone's different. 
  • Recipe calls for cinnamon, and this time I didn't have any so I used Pumpkin spice and it worked well!
  • I garnish mine with avocado. 
  • It's also good garnished with a dollop on sour cream or plain yogurt added. 
  • OH! and don't forget to save your butternut squash seeds! You can bake them and eat them for a snack! 

Almost forgot to mention that I've been adding 5-6 drops of Lemon Essential Oil to my water. 
So good and refreshing! 
I've also been putting the Lemon oil on my feet. It's supposed to help/prevent dry feet. I'm a runner and my feet get so bet up from it, so I'm excited to see how this helps and it has so far. I can tell it's healing them! I took a "BEFORE" picture and after I've used it consistently for a few days I'll take a "PROGRESS" picture and I'll post about it. 

For now, here are some Lemon Oil tips that can be helpful if you do use Essential Oils ::


Thursday, September 11, 2014

from a house to a home

**I have this tendency to start a post and then forget to post it. I wrote this one a few weeks back and am just now getting to wrapping it up. **

As Kevin, Abram and I journey from our old home to our new one it's got me reminiscing on the past and how far God has brought me in faith and life. 
I thought I'd share a little bit of my past and you will see why my heart is stirring. I never want to become a person who is dependent upon "stuff" and material things. Although I am human and have a tendency to want nice things, I do however have this deep sense of gratitude when I do get new things (um, especially a house!) and here's a little bit of why...

It's not everyday you get to buy a house and make it a home. 
Most of my life I grew up in a trailer. For some that's just fine. I have nothing against trailer living, but in my experience it was one of the toughest/saddest times of my life. Not so much because of the trailer itself, but more so the family disfunction that was taking place during that time. 

As a young girl I dreamed of what it would be like to live in a HOUSE. 
A house that felt big where I could run and play. 
A house that felt clean and decorated well.
Most importantly a house that felt safe and secure. 

My past did not give such accommodations for a very long time. 
I remember as a young girl bouncing from place to place. For a very short time we lived in a tiny house that felt like an apartment with not so good memories there. Off and on we lived with my grandparents, and a lot of times with family friends. I remember all of those places well. 
No real place to call home. 

But somehow in the darkness of my past those places shaped me for a better future. 

When I was in about 2nd grade my grandfather bought 
us a trailer. Bless his heart. I am so grateful he did that. It allowed me to put down "some" roots. 
Although at times we were in and out of living there, depending on how things were going with my mom and dad's relationship and where my dad was mentally/physcially with his addictions.
We lived there through my 5th grade year. 

My childhood was coated in a lot trauma/disfunction to a level that generally does not sit well for a person's future being. But despite the odds, I found HOPE. God was there. He was always there. Always wooing me to himself even though I didn't know it at the time. I can honestly look back and see details of how He was there planting good seeds for my future. 

Anyways, the summer leading up to 6th grade my mom moved us in with her boyfriend whom would soon be my stepdad (and then not my stepdad).  
I felt like we had somewhat arrived. A new home! A HOUSE. A real house with a backyard, a garage, a front porch and best of all my own room! I even remember getting to pick out my bedroom carpet! It was an ugly forest green and I loved it! I had this weird obsession with green at the time. ;)

One would think that living in a house would be all you need. 
I learned over the years that the dream of living in an actual house that was "ours"
didn't necessarily mean it would feel like home and bring me all the safety and comfort I had hoped for. 
When I think of the word "home" - I think of safety. The place you long for when you need to escape the everyday world. The place you feel most secure to be yourself. The place you reunite with family and the reminder that they are your biggest fan. A place with beautiful walls and a secure roof that somehow creates this cozy-comfy-I-want-to-just-stay-in-bed-all-day-and-enjoy-watching-tv-and-never-leave kinda feeling. 

To some degree this house did that for me, but the majority of the time it didn't. 
Slowly this dream place went from being a home to just a house. 
Strife, divorce, insecurity, etc. lurked in every corner. The walls of my dream home had slowly became a source of pain and claustrophobia. I wanted out. I needed out. I left that house when I was 17 before my senior year of high school began.  

Without going into all the details, years after I left, that house ended up getting foreclosed on. It was hard for my mom, my siblings (who are all much younger than me) and I to say goodbye to it, but it was needed. 
It was time to tare those pages out of our families book and begin writing a new chapter. 
And thats what we did. It has NOT been an easy road for my family, but we're getting there. 
We have each other and God's better plans for our lives. 

I say all of this just to share that a house isn't everything. 
The people who make the house a home are everything. 
The God who dwells in your heart is everything. 
I know that ALL TOO WELL. 

God in His mercy, in His grace, in His love has been SO good to me. 
He has redeemed my past in ways that I could never have dreamed possible without Him. 
He has restored my life in such a way that I am able to make a house a home. 
I don't know what the future holds. I'm not guaranteed anything and our new home could be swept away in an instant, but what I do know is that I am blessed today, because I have a hope that travels with me wherever I go.  
No matter the place I am, home or not, God is there. 

It just so happens that I get to live out that little girls dreams through my very own family. 
Whether we have beautiful walls or ugly forest green carpet, I pray pray pray we make this house a home. A home that believes in love, miracles, truth, life, giving, abundance, joy, adventure, communication, and so much more.  

This song "Nothing is Wasted" by Jason Gray sums it all up so well. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

a growing boy

{ 1 year update }

WEIGHT :: 22lb - 75-90%

LENGTH :: 29 1/4 - 50%


CRAWLING :: 7 Months

WALKING :: 10 Months

FIRST TOOTH :: 9 months 

TEETH :: 4 on top 1 on bottom

FIRST WORDS :: Baba, Dada

CURRENT WORDS :: Ba (ball), Nana (baba), Mom, Mama, Dada


FAVORITE FOOD :: Chicken, Pizza, Plain yogurt 

DISLIKES :: Bananas, most fruit. Doesn't like much

SLEEP :: Sleeping through (most) nights - at about 11 months in own crib/room

Abram turned 1! It's been a whirlwind of blessings to watch him grow. He loves people. Nobody's a stranger to him. He gets very social being around people. He loves rough and tumble. He has a sweet, soft, quiet spirit about him though. 

He's often told his eyes are amazing and that his hair is lovely. People say he has mama's eyes and daddy's complexion/expressions. I think he looks a lot more like my side of the family than Kevin's. He has curls in the back which mama and daddy never had. 

Loves playing outside and chasing/kicking balls all around the house. He's not a big solid food eater. He doesn't like much flavor. It's got to be pretty plain. I have yet to find a fruit that he likes. 

He's such a joy and always smiling (as long as he's not tired or hungry). 

:: Picture overload from the past year ::