Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Journaling thru January...
We have had a restless couple of days! It all started with our little guy getting sick last week and from there our days just haven't found their energy again!! But we are staying strong and remembering to be thankful for the little things...
Quiet moments with Dad reading on the IPad...
(reading about sports of course!!!)
BIG cups of hot Herbalife tea in the morning... worth getting up early for!
(yes, still using Christmas mugs... love this one cause it's huge and the tree makes me think of a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree ;))

Early morning letters to a special pen-pal...

This big boy LOVES getting letters from his pal in St. Louis, he reminds me that we need to write back quickly and always rereads the letters he gets before writing back to make sure he doesn't miss a thing!! And on a day when he is grounded from TV before school, writing a letter brought just as big of a smile as watching Phineas and Ferb would have!!
Small, precious victories... we will count them every time!!!!

Always - Abbey

Friday, January 27, 2012

Journaling thru January...

Finding strength in this today:
"If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin"
- Ivan Turgenev

No time like the present to do the things that make you happy! There will never be perfection in time and life, no matter how hard we strive for it!! So, go do what you have been wanting to do, try what you have been wanting to try... be who you want to be! 

Always - Abbey

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Journaling thru January...
Yesterday we were home sick, just little man really but I hung out with him... He had fever and strep so we tried to make the best of it! 
And wouldn't you know, we made Valentine's day come early :))))))
It really was a sweet impromptu day filled with loud laughter, endless chatter, and lots of smiles! 
I couldn't have planned it better if I had tried!!
There were some 'hiccups' along the way..
Notice the dog trying to barrel her way in from the left corner!
But a day that starts with fever and ends with baking in pjs (with some spoon licking mixed in) is ALWAYS a good day in our book!!

Always - Abbey

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Journaling thru January...
Getting Healthy!

When I hear someone say that I think of so many things... Like, how are they getting healthy? Exercise? Food? Diet? Prayer? Meditation? Why are they getting healthy... my questions could go on and on?!?!
With that said, for about 3 months now I have been taking steps on my own road to 'get healthy'!! I am trying things I have never tried before, working out in different ways, eating things I never would eat or eating healthy things more, to be exact! I have always been an active person, but I just felt I needed a change, a spark to my routine... basically I wanted to see more, lasting results in my life overall!!!

Here's an example... 
Check out my lunch today:
Looks normal, on the healthy side...right? 
But if you look closer, you will see where I am making changes... Let me break it down for you :)
First the food: 
#1 I cooked at home!!!
No fast food... big change for me! Was eating out for lunch A LOT... I love to lunch with friends, but that brings extra/unnecessary calories and preservatives (even in the healthy options given at restaurants)!
#2 Egg whites...
I used these cool things to make the omelet scramble... never tried those before now!! Less than 50 calories for 3-6 tsp! Which by eyeing it looks like the same as what one 1 egg would make at 80 or more calories!! 
Hello calorie saver!
#3 Fresh veggies...
Spinach, red onions, mushroom, and tomatoes!! You can't beat all the vitamins, minerals, and protein they bring into a meal! I used less than a handful of each. (can you tell I am not a measuring or precise cooker??)

Next the Drink:
#1 Herbalife healthy meal protein shake... 
cookies and cream!! 
This is the BIGGEST change I have made to my nutrition and exercise regimen! I have been a protein shake drinker for years, they just work with my schedule and time crunch, during the mornings especially! But with past products I have used I would either get sick of the limited flavors, the taste was just not good to me or the price was just too high to keep up with! None of that is the case with this product.. it's totally yummy and natural tasting, 8 flavors to choose from, and a month supply is under $40!! I am all for saving 'moola' $$$$
#2 Calories in the Shake..
90 calories when mixed with water (as seen here) and 170 when mixed with soy, vanilla soy or skim milk!! Uhhh... hello low calorie option for meals, snacks and meal partnering!!! So many options!

This is just one example of change I am making to 'Get Healthy' and to brag just a bit... I am down 7 pounds, didn't gain weight over the holidays and all of my clothes are either fitting better or are too big!! 
Heck yeahhhhh!! 
I am so committed to this way of healthy living that I have even become a rep for Herbalife! This is a HUGE step for me and a big change that I am embracing in my own way, and at my own pace!! 
Which is what change should look like, right?? :)
If you would like more info on what I am doing, eating, reading, implementing... message me or email me! And check out my new Herbalife website for product and healthy/nutritional information:

Always - Abbey

Friday, January 20, 2012

Journaling thru January...

As a mom, I loved being the one person our boys would turn to for help. 
As babies, there is nothing more precious than the outreach of their arms asking for a hug, the stretch of their hand needing help to reach something or wanting to hold your hand, the look on their face when you are there teaching them to do a puzzle, shoot a basket, or ride a bike.
I'll admit that thru my tired and stressed days as a mommy, I have wanted and prayed for them to become more independent... I think every parent does! But still, as I look at our big guy doing his home work all by himself...
And our little man just helping himself to a snack...
I can't help but miss the days of little outreached hands and excited eyes asking for help!!! I am prouder than proud of our boys and the big kids they are growing into... but to me they will ALWAYS need my help and I will be there to give it!!!
(whether they like it or not, ha!!)

Always - Abbey

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Journaling thru January...

"Everything is possible for him who believes."
Mark 9:13

Part of believing, truly believing is trusting and knowing that God has already got you covered! When you pray, you shouldn't have to pray or beg for something because if you trust that God has your plan in his hands, you should just say a pray of thanks that his will will be done!!! 
I am just now embracing this way of prayer and it feels so good!!! 
Found this on Pinterest and I couldn't sum it up any better....
Always - Abbey

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Journaling thru January...
Sunday photo recap...

I finally found something to spark my entry way... there is too much wall space, and as much as I love the wooden piece above my redone dresser... it just wasn't doing it for me!!
 Thanks to my hubby (and a little supervision from DeHaya)...
 I now love my foyer a WHOLE lot more!!!!!
I bought this redone door from my talented friend Beth who is selling her sweetly redone 'finds' to raise money to help with their upcoming adoption... I loved it the minute I saw it!!! Thanks Beth :))

Next up... How to organize this mess in my kitchen??
 Add hooks under the counter.....
 Yeah!!! Much more accessible!
Again... thanks to the hubs!

And lastly... a little outdoor clean up and play time!

 Can I pleeeease go in the street.....???

Now we are inside relaxing and doing what my boys do best... watching sports!

Happy Sunday!
Always - Abbey

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Journaling thru January...
I reread a past entry in my journal the other day and I keep thinking about it, so I wanted to share it! 
It was about a devotional that talked about "mountain top experiences" that you carry with you, mental snapshots of love or any emotion really, that made an impact on you!
It's funny to me that this entry has stuck with me, because I am the first to admit (along with my hubby) that I am not the strongest person at remembering facts, directions or any sort of historical information for that matter... but when it comes to those that I love or moments that have made an impact on me, my memory is long... very long!!
Here are some of my mountain top snapshots...

-My Dad waking me up every morning when I was in high school. He would make me breakfast and leave it on the bathroom sink while I was in the shower... and almost always left a note with it, saying I love you or have a good day!
-Watching MTV with my brother, and drawing life size drawings of Madonna and Boy George on our living room walls before our parents put up wood paneling!
-Jacob showing me the 'I love you sign' as he walks away from me to go into school, or as he is laying his head down to go to sleep at night.
-How Shane always hugs or holds me from behind and kisses the small of my neck or back.
-Sitting with my Sarah at the top of my grandparents steps in Chicago making up stories about a large oil painting that hung above their front door.
-Matthew always saying 'I love you' so matter of fact, and at the most random times... like while pooping or as he is putting his shoes on.
-Smelling my mom's meatballs cooking and her always letting me eat one fresh out of the oven on a fork.. no plate needed!

I could go on forever... but for now I will share those and keep the rest of my mental pictures for my enjoyment!!! They're the best form of love reminders I could ever ask for!!!

Always - Abbey

Monday, January 9, 2012

Journaling thru January...
Motivating Music Monday!
Music is my lifeline sometimes... I can hear a song and be taken back, inspired, ramped up or just plain happy!! I love sharing fun, favorite songs with my kids and hearing them remember lines to songs that mean something to them!! Even if it is 'You gotta fight for your right to party' by Beastie Boys!!!
Here are some of my favorite lines...

'Change the voices in your head, make them like you instead' - Pink

'Look, if you had one shot or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted, in one moment... Would you capture it or just let it slip? - Eminem

'Every step you climb another mountain, every breath it's harder to believe... you make it thru the pain, weather the hurricane, to get to that one thing..' - Kris Allen

'I know there will be days that bring me pain, but if that's what it takes to praise you, bring the rain.' 
- Mercy Me

'If it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile' 
'You never need to carry more than you can hold' 
- Rascal Flatts

'May the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows' - Jay-Z

'When I see your face, there's not a thing I would change... cause your amazing just the way you are' 
- Bruno Mars

'You'll never know, if you never try to forgive your past and simply be mine' - Adele

And lastly... just cause it makes me laugh, and if you think about it.. I could be good advice:

'Never trust a big butt and a smile...' - Bell Biv DeVoe

Got any good ones??? Don't be shy, share!!!

Always - Abbey

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Journaling thru January...
Today I made my bed, all be it was at 3:25pm... but I made my bed!!!! Here is a small glimpse into my world... I love a made bed!! Don't ask me why but there is a weird sense of accomplishment that I feel when my bed is made, I know it is weird and dorky but it's my accomplishment.. not yours ;)) ha!! And don't get me started on how awesome I feel when our bed is made AND so are the boy's beds!!! 
Holy Happy Day!! 
Let me get to my point... no matter what makes you happy, do it... even if it is done late in the day or at the last possible minute! 
<insert Nike model and spokesperson voice>
I have learned thru trial and error that you shouldn't put off doing something that makes you happy just because the timing isn't perfect, the day isn't right, your weight isn't where it should be, your job status isn't at it's best, or you feel like it's too little too late! 
No matter if it's making your bed every day like me... or working out, eating healthy, extending yourself at work... whatever it is that makes you happy, you should be doing those things NOW because later may not come and the happiness you get from accomplishing all the things swimming in your head surely out weighs the feeling of not trying at all!
So there you have it... the deep thought that hit me at 3:25pm when I made my bed for the first time today! Laugh or giggle if you must, but is your bed made???

Always - Abbey

Monday, January 2, 2012

Journaling Thru January...
I had an unexpected chance to look thru my journal entries from last year on New Year's Eve... 
and let me tell you I am so thankful that I took the time to reread them, not only because it was a beautiful day outside and I soaked up some much needed Vitamin D while reading but because it also really opened my eyes to some great insight on my year's joys, sorrows, accomplishments and where I fell short... like mysteriously dropping off my entires at around May!! I also got a good couple giggles at my drama, lack of penmanship and of course the memories, those always bring sweet smiles!

So with that said, I am going to try something.. I am going to blog some of my journal entires this first month of a fresh new year!! What better way to kick off 2012 than by sharing goals, hopes, and devotional thoughts and hold myself a little more accountable by passing on those daily (hopefully) moments!!! I plan to add a little of everything.. fitness, healthy recipes, spiritual and motivational entires, in the hope that I can keep myself motivated throughout the month and into the year and also on the off chance I get a reader or two ;)) maybe you can gain some helpful inspiration too!!!

Yesterday I ended the day by reading a devotional that lead with the verse 
John 3:16... 
For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but will have eternal life.
Then it proceeded to ask and probe on how we go about knowing, understanding, and receiving the vastness of God!? I thought that was a perfect thing to read and think about this time of year, especially since this time of year is when everyone vows to do better, be more, or try harder! I love seeing people try to better themselves, I try to do it every day and quite honestly get frustrated when I don't feel like I am moving in the right direction! But I found comfort in this last statement that was paired with the above verse... 
As humans, we can't study, search out or discover the Holy Spirit on our own terms or our own time. Only God can show you that vastness, in his time and on his terms. This is because most things learned go from your head to your heart, but when God shows you the Holy Spirit in it's vastness it goes from your heart to your head.
All things have to start with your heart... and that's just what I am going to try to improve upon this new year, leading with my heart and not my head! Taking time to see God's vastness in his terms, not mine!!

Happy New Year... From my Heart
To Yours!

Always - Abbey