Vote for Baby Lucy!

Many people have taken a look at Lucy’s great mane of hair and said, “You have got to enter her in a contest!”

I’ve looked at some contests online but they usually require an entry fee which I am not into.  But I finally found a baby photo contest that’s free – it’s the Cute Kid Photo Contest with my local paper, the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Sweet Lucy is one photo out of about 600, but with her cuteness, I think she has a chance!  Check it out here to vote.  Type “Lucy” or “Lucy Pellicane” in the search field.  Log in and vote.  The 10 kids with the most votes will advance to the judging round.

Baby Lucy and the whole family say THANKS so much!

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P90X – It’s almost over!

I’m happy to say the 90 days of P90X is almost over.  Not to say that it hasn’t been great.  The trainer Tony Horton has become our new friend.  My 3 year old daughter says, “I love that guy.  He’s sooo funny!”  Yes, it has certainly been nice to workout with someone who makes you laugh!

My husband has been a stellar P90X partner, and my kids haven’t been too bad either!  We have gotten to our goal weight and feel stronger than we did 90 days ago, so we are thrilled.  Now my body doesn’t look as ripped as those before and after shots of the P90X models, but I’m not going to ask for my money back.  🙂

My plan after P90X?  Create a new weekly routine of two days of exercise together with my hubby (probably p90X workouts) and then two days of exercise alone (spin bike, other DVDs, weight training).

I Found Quinoa!

Okay Trader Joe’s fans…I have discovered quinoa!  And if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s store, have no fear.  Your local market carries it too.

Maybe you’ve been eating quinoa forever, but I have just discovered it.  Usually we have brown rice if I need a rice-type side dish, but now I can use quinoa which is high in protein and fiber.  It’s really easy to make (boil water, add!) and I like the taste too.  I try to call them “fun balls” for the kids, but they don’t quite believe me yet.  We’re working on that.

Here’s what I made:  chicken, veggies, and quinoa.  It tasted yummy!

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads!

Our family had a great day beginning with church.  My husband talked to the youth group about taking risks for God, beginning with a story of caving in college and the faith it took to push off a rock he was clinging to in order to get to higher ground.  Does that sound familiar?  A lot of parenting is pushing off into the unknown isn’t it?

He did a great job speaking and then I got to substitute teach my daughter’s 3 year class which was a blast.  The kids were super cute.

This afternoon, we did burgers, salad, brownies and ice cream to celebrate dad’s day.  My kids painted ceramic cars as gifts (which they want to keep for themselves!).

Three cheers for dads!  Thank you to my sweetheart for making our home strong and fun!

Book Review: Out of the Spin Cycle

I love the title of Jen Hatmaker’s book, Out of the Spin Cycle:  Devotions to Lighten Your Mother Load. Do you ever feel like you live in perpetual laundry and you need something a little different in your day?  This devotional will give you a way to connect with God about motherhood each day with 40 daily readings.

You’ll enjoy the clever chapter titles like “Chick-Fil-A, Group Baths, and Other Survival Techniques” and Jen’s conversational tone.  She is the mom you would enjoy meeting (at Chick-Fil-A) to chat about the latest things her kids are doing and her humorous take on it.

Jen writes with wisdom and warmth.  I was able to do a Q & A with her, so I hope you will enjoy these insights and the book, Out of the Spin Cycle.

What is the link between a mother’s spiritual health and her parenting?

It’s probably more accurate to ask, “What is the link between a mother’s spiritual health and everything else in the whole world?” Good grief! The more of a mess I am as a carrier of the Holy Spirit, the more of a mess I am as a mom, wife, friend, and – let me just say it – driver. (I have a road rage issue. Thank you for understanding.) I put it like this in Out of the Spin Cycle:

Motherhood is like a pitcher with a hole in the bottom; a constant drain on our energy, patience, and tolerance. Every mother who is telling the truth would attest to that. Add another layer like a child with autism, single motherhood, a financial crisis, or a crumbling marriage and it’s a wonder we have anything left to give.

Our only hope to speak with kindness, to lead with patience, to not threaten our children with homicide is to ensure our spiritual reserves are not bone dry. Moms are the middle of the flow chart; the arrows of exertion flow constantly out from us, but when no arrows of strength, grace, and peace are flowing in, the whole mechanism is in danger.

Goodness in = goodness out.

No goodness in = no goodness out.

This is the simplest truth, recognized by Jesus and every other parenting expert, but one most moms fail to take seriously. We’re too busy for the Word. We’re too tired to pray. We have too much going on for a small group. Under the banner of selflessness, we neglect our own spiritual health and sabotage the very service we wanted to render.

When God’s Word is flowing through my life, my baby can spill his fourth drink of the day, and I can say, “It’s just a drink.” When I’m dry, I could literally lie on the soggy floor and bawl over it. When Jesus has spoken peace into my life, I’m able to discipline consistently when my toddler pitches her third tantrum of the morning. If my pitcher is empty, I might lock myself in the bathroom and scream at the top of my lungs.

Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.

I mean, obviously, none of us struggle with empty spiritual reserves or Mommy Meltdowns or an anemic relationship with the Word. But our friends do. Let’s pray for them.

Why do mothers need to make it an effort to keep up their friendships?

Because you’ll die without girlfriends.

I’m.

Dead.

Serious.

I’m not sure I’ve ever had a season of life where I needed other women more than young motherhood. Lord have mercy! Mamas, get very close to your computer screen and listen to me right this second: FRIENDSHIP IS NOT OPTIONAL RIGHT NOW. I don’t care what you have to do, but you get around your girls. If you don’t have any girls, go find you some. (Hint: just look for other crazy-eyed, sleep-deprived, manic looking women with toddlers and babies hanging off their limbs asking for juice and screaming in the middle of Target.)

Thank you Jen for sharing with us!

Enjoy more of Jen’s book by reading Out of the Spin Cycle: Devotions to Lighten Your Mother Load. Thank you Baker Publishing group for a review copy of this great devotional for moms!

Could I Be Oprah’s New Talk Show Host?

I have dreamt of being a talk show host every since high school.  I know…that’s kind of like a guy saying he’s dreamt of playing in the World Cup.  It’s a “out there” kind of dream, but isn’t it fun to imagine?

So I’m happy to say I’ve submitted a video audition for Oprah’s contest to find the next talk show host on her network.  You can view it here and vote if you like my idea of “Finding Hope.”  It would be a traditional talk show where both ordinary people and celebrities would share about their hardest times and how they got through them.  Thanks for checking it out and voting for dreamers like me!  All you have to do is click “vote” – it’s that easy.  You can also do it again and again!

Thank you!

Shin Splints, Insanity, Colds, and Other Hazards

Well, my exercise routine has taken a detour.

I switched out a day of P90X cardio to do the Insanity workout.  I think the Insanity workout is GREAT.  It’s extremely challenging for cardio and will work you like nobody’s business for 45 minutes or so.  But it’s pretty hard on your shins, lots of running and impact.  I was doing it inside on my hard floor and my husband said, “You should really do that outside on the grass.”

Of course I said, “I’m fine.”

Well, he was right.  Now I have shin splints and my legs hurt!  So much for the leg workouts.  Plus I’ve had a cold so the whole exercise thing has been put on hold a few days.

Does this sound familiar?  When sickness, Insanity, shin splints, and other hazards get in your way, try to make it up with diet.  Eat healthy.  Workout your arms when you’re legs hurt.  When you feel sick, just stretch (like in bed with your eyes closed!).

Finally, here are 2 things I’ve learned about rehabilitating shin splints:

  • Stretch by placing your heels on the floor and lifting your toes skyward.  Pump up and down several times, holding at the top for 5 seconds several times.  When you feel the front of your legs burning, pump 10 more times.
  • Wear orthotics in your shoes.  I bought some Walk Fit ones and when I wear them, my shins don’t bother me at all.