Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tuning Out and Tuning In

I, like millions of others, am a huge fan of social media.  It has made living in a foreign country and being so far away from what I know a little easier.  It has made raising my son half a world away from my family and little more doable.  I can update people in an instant and I can check in to see what's going on with everyone else.
It's fun to share in the joys of life with those far a near.  I've always been the kind of person who finds it easy to pick up friendships where they left off, no matter how much time or distance has kept us apart.  

(geesh even now I'm finding more pictures I failed to include in my little collage above.  We had a good amount of visitors last year.  Who could forget about Rob coming over too! )

Ok so where was I?  Right -- technology is awesome!  I can text my friends and family for free!

 I can see them live on my computer screen! 
 (Sorry Mom....there's that pic again coming back to haunt you!)  

And I know there are tons of other apps out there I'm not even using!

But with all of this tuning in to everyone else, and checking things way too many times in a day, sometimes it can feel a bit consuming...
I've been feeling it for a while, and somehow I seem to talk myself out of my thoughts I'm having and justify the things that I do.  We're all so good at that aren't we?  But I couldn't ignore it anymore.  It was time for a break.  So Jordan and I talked about it and we came to a conclusion.  We need a day where we just tune it out.  We've deemed Sundays electronic free.  No computers.  No emails looming over us.  No constantly ogling over Instagram.  Yes, our days will be Pin free.
It seemed weird at first.  What on earth were we going to do!?!?  But you know what, we survived our first Sunday just fine.  And it felt good.  And really it's kind of followed me into the week.  We've read aloud to each other.  We've had dance parties.  We've laughed and talked.  And just enjoyed being together.  I think this is going to be a really great thing!  

I just want to be present wherever I am.  I think that can still happen whilst taking an active role in being involved in social media, but for one day a week we're gonna do our best to forget about everyone else and just focus on our ministry, each other, and the goodness around us. 

What about you?  Are you willing to take a break once a week from all things technology and find more ways to be present where you are?  Does is sound impossible?  I promise it's not...and you might find you actually like it.    

Maybe the modern day version of Lennon's song should be:
Life is what happens to you while you're busy ogling Instagram. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Things keep coming and going, and my days seem to slip away before I even realize it.  It doesn't help that I usually crash by 8 pm, and try to force myself to stay awake at least until 9:30.  Jordan and I were just laughing at ourselves the other night about what old fuddy duddies we've become. But lets face it...we were never really party animals, but now it's just gotten absurd.  Someone seems to be draining all of the fun right out of us...
And we love him for it!  
Speaking of love...before it gets away from me...I'll just share about our Valentine's Day.  It's seems to be quite the controversial Holiday and some people even choose to boycott it.  I'm all for another day of finding ways to say I love you.  So we celebrated for not one, but two days!
I surprised Jordan with some homemade pizza on the 13th, because I knew he had a plan for the 14th.  
And if you know my know nothing says I love you better than pizza!  Unless it's pizza with heart shaped pepperonis!  I think it's a love language of his all to its own.  Here's more proof if you don't believe me.  This is evidence from that morning:
  One little conversation about pizza between Jordan and Matt Adrian...and you get this.  It's awesome!
Needless to say...with my pizza making skills, I'll have his heart forever!
The 14th is the one day of the year I can count on not having to be in the kitchen and dinner being made just for me!   
Our first Valentine's together, Jordan got my roommates to let him into our house while I was at work and he got busy making dinner and decorating our living room with candles and roses.  And then the next year it became tradition!  Living in our studio apartment with no dining room table, we had a picnic right in the living room.  I love that this is our thing.  It was always manicotti until we came here to Manila, we have yet to find the proper shells, so it's morphed into lasagna.  And even with my change in diet, Jordan has still done all of the research and shopping to make me the best Vegan Valentine's ever!  He knocked it out of the park this year.  So much so that his recipe for vegan ricotta is going in our family cookbook! 

600g firm tofu
1 TBS. minced garlic
2 TBS. olive oil
1/2 cup soymilk
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 TBS. lemon juice
2 TBS. freshly minced parsley
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
3/4 cup roughly chopped baby bella mushrooms

In a food processor combine all ingredients except for the mushrooms and blend until well combined.  Lastly throw in the baby bellas and pulse a few times until well incorporated.

Use this recipe anywhere ricotta is called for, lasagna, manicotti, pizza, the possibilities are endless. 
Ain't love grand!  And it's safe to say the quickest way to our hearts is through our stomachs.  We're quite the foodies.  
But seriously...I'm just so thankful for this man in my life and all God has done in our marriage to make us stronger and more committed to each other.    

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Four Month Rundown

This last month might have been my favorite yet.  Glancing back through pictures I was reminded of all of the little things this guy discovered and learned to do.
He loves to laugh and play with Dad and as you can see I love it too (hence the cheesy heart frame)!  They are just so cute together.
  Hopefully he gets his smarts from his Daddy.
He also discovered his hands and his ability to reach for things and get ahold of them.  I think it's just the funniest little thing to look over and see tiny little hands reaching up out of his bassinet.  But most of the time his hands can be found here...
I have witnessed him get his whole fist in his mouth before.  It's quite a sight.  It also means lots of slobber.  He's still cute though, so I don't really mind.  What's worse is when he latches on to your neck. We call him the leech.  We're trying to break this habit.  It's not pleasant.  And I think if it happened to someone else...they really wouldn't like it.
He's also big enough to stand and play on his own in his exersaucer.  He favorite part about it, is that it sits in front of a wall of mirrors that he can sit and watch himself in.
At the beginning of the month he had learned to roll over onto his belly from his back.  At first he wasn't sure if he was really glad he had made this discovery and would cry until you would help him back over.  But right at the end of the month he learned the fun that is rolling.  And he gets mad when things get in his way.  I'm going to have to blanket the whole living room!
He's also exercising his vocal chords and learning he can make all kinds of noises at various levels.  We have some good conversations he and I in the early mornings while Dad is still sleeping.  So I guess he gets that from me...waking up talking!
He's quite the little thinker, and often he's just quiet...taking it all in.  I wonder all of the time what's going on in that little brain of his.
All I know is...I wouldn't trade this Mom thing for the world.  No matter how hard the day, I'm choosing joy and taking in each and every moment with this little bundle of joy I get to call my son!
I just can't wait to see all that happens in month five!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Doing a Little Housekeeping

While I know it's late to be talking about New Year's resolutions, I'm still stuck on that fresh start that comes with another year turning over in the calendar.  It's energizing.  It makes me pause and think about life and what I want to change and aspire to.  What works and what doesn't. etc. etc...
I feel like this past month has been a bombardment of realizations, challenges, and inspiration.  Maybe that's because while everyone else was writing about it and moving on...I was still contemplating.  So I'm thankful for the continual month of influence.

I'm the kind of person who never has just one thing I want to work on, but at least a million.  I feel like once I start thinking, everything just flows into the next thing.  It's all connected.  All affected.  It's the whole many parts one body thing!  Anyway, my blog fits into that realm as well.  Hopefully this year it will run as a platform for sharing all of those things that are a work in progress in my life.  After-all, there are many facets to this one body.  Several things that make up me and I want to be active in pursuing all of them.  Finding a balance and not getting lost in my sweats taking care of a baby.  Though being Desmond's Mom is probably one of the best things I've experienced in my life.
I can't handle all of the cuteness!  I just love him to pieces.

So here are just a few of the things that have always been here or there on the blog, but hopefully will have a more frequent presence.

First off--My Spiritual life.
What God is doing in me personally, as He is continually teaching me new things.  And the ways in which He is using us (my family) in ministry (currently here in the Philippines).
You've never seen such beautiful kids, or met such kind and happy people until you've been to the Philippines!

My Son and Husband (My Family)
They are my biggest ministry--being a wife and mom.  It's no easy task but worth every minute of it.  God has used Jordan in so many ways to challenge me, encourage me and make me a better woman.  I couldn't imagine life without him.  He is one of the most humble, kind, and gentle spirits you will ever meet!  And Desmond...well he's the best thing.  Our pride and joy.  And just in his four months of life here on this earth I have learned so much more about love and offering it unconditionally than I did in all of my 29 years previous.
My Art
I'm forcing myself to be more creative this year.  Yes there are ways I've continued in pursuing creativity, but this year is all about making more art.  I've taken a little over a year off, so it's time to get back to it!!  Though I'm not off to a good start...I'm still pondering just what to do.

I'm really excited about this one, because one of my goals this year is to compile all of our family favorites and get them made into a cookbook!  I was so excited when I read about this online.  I knew there were plenty of places to make photobooks, but never did I think about a cookbook!  I've already got so many recipes up my sleeve (thank you Pinterest).
This one is a little tough for me.  I haven't been an avid runner since the Fall of 2011.  I miss it, and it's been tough to find my rhythm here.  Nor has there been any bike rides.  They were two of my favorite things and it almost seems like a blur that I used to be decent at either one of them.  BUT, I'm working past my opposition somewhat and still finding plenty of ways to incorporate exercise.  It just means a lot of DVDs right now.
That might be about it for now.  But who long as my mind is wandering there's bound to be something else added to the mix.  Though I think that about sums me up.  So here we go 2013--let's do this!

But first sleep...