Thursday, November 28, 2013

being thankful.

today i am thankful for love and for good people.  for enthusiasm and for never trying to stop improving.  i'm thankful for my mother and her endless energy in life.  for music, both the upbeat and the quiet strings in the surroundings of my house. i'm thankful for my father and his ability to always say something nice, something positive, something that every daughter needs to hear.  i'm thankful for lists and all of the items on them whether they are checked off or not.  for nature, the four seasons that take me with them each time they change.  i'm thankful for sleeping next to somebody that i love and for the way he makes me laugh so hard i don't even make a noise.  i'm thankful for daydreaming and for photos of beautiful people and for mugs of coffee on chilly autumn mornings.  for all of the days that my dog spends following me into every room of my house and for the way that i talk to her as if she is my best friend.  and lastly, i'm thankful for Him, the man above me that listens and who teaches me how to listen in return.  for his never ending love, joy, and wisdom that makes my heart feel more complete than it did the day before.  for the times he tells me it's okay and also for the times he tells me to change.  and i'm thankful that he allows me to see myself happy, content, and at peace, in nothing but my sweatpants and sports bra, complimenting a freshly washed face and tied back hair, just being me.  a sharing smile and honest heart to those i've ever crossed in path.

Monday, November 25, 2013

according to my iphone.

it's freezing outside so i am cuddled up on the couch drinking tea and am completely distracted by all of the other beautiful blogs i follow.  therefore, i don't have much to say tonight, but here is a little bit of what's been going on around here according to my iphone.

i'm on a smoothie kick.  i know it's odd since it's so cold outside but i sip them out of a hand-me-down mug while i sit next to a fireplace with 3 layers of clothing on and it definitely makes up for it!  i love to drink my veggies.   

3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk. 
1/4 cup h2o.  
A LOT of kale.  
1/4 cup frozen blueberries.  
1 scoop organic whey protein powder (vanilla). 
small handful of raw cashews.  

gone in two minutes and am so satisfied. gah!  nick thinks i'm crazy so i hand him the bag of cashews and a gatorade and he's happy.

this little piece of joy pretty much consumes my life from 6 AM until 2 PM lately.  hellooo my name is beretta and i'm still not potty trained and i chew on the chair and i hate being alone and i love getting stuck in the bushes...

friday night we headed to a concert about two hours from our house.  it was nice to get away for the evening and see one of our favorite artists play.  the drive was beautiful and i love seeing colors during a month that is typically a bit dreary.  

 sunday was a trip to whole foods...

an afternoon with my favorite guy...

and an evening of good reads and some yoga...

i don't typically post pictures of myself doing yoga because lets face it, i am not all that great at it yet.  this pose, however, (bakasana, or crow pose) is one that is very special to me so just bare with the awkward face that i'm actually pretty proud of since it's usually a lot worse...

 the first time i ever tried this was in a hot yoga class at a studio filled with very VERY advanced yogis.  it didn't look too difficult so i gave it a try and hardly even gave the consequences a thought.  i face planted into the floor and hit my nose, my forehead, and kinked my neck all at the same time.  i was forever terrified of it, and yoga for that matter.

as i continued my yoga practice, i always skipped that pose when it was offered during class and went directly into child's pose to avoid any further injury and humiliation.  i would stare between at the ground between my knees praying that nobody would judge me for not participating.  i don't know why but for me, this is the most terrifying thing ever.  my arms shake and i feel so scared whenever it was talked about or put into the class.  

on my living room floor, with nick my side, i decided to work on it a little bit each day.  i mastered it about a week ago and it.felt.amazing.  i didn't run a marathon, i didn't win any awards, and i learned it in the middle of a messy house and puppy chaos.

as you begin your week, this is just a sweet little reminder that yoga is practice.  life is practice.  we all begin somewhere and often times it is at the exact place you currently are no matter what the circumstances are.  be patient with your bodies and your hearts and when you feel that tiny piece of courage work its way up to your always giving hands, count to three and just let yourself go.

happy happy monday!

Sami's Shenanigans

Thursday, November 21, 2013

a lunch date and identical hearts.

we sat there, the two of us.  a girl that is so dear to my heart and will put joy in yours.  our feet dangled from the high top chairs as we sipped on organic coffee and flowed into a conversation as if we had seen each other yesterday when in reality it had been much much longer.  there is something about my time with her, however, that makes hard days seem easier and brings me to a place of comfort and reconnects me with a sense of safety i'm often left without.  

we are very similar you see.  when i'm with her i feel as if i'm talking to myself and as if it is myself talking to me.  our leggings matched our scarves and our smiles complimented the fact that both of our hair rested low on our heads, tied back with little effort, almost as if we crawled out of bed this morning.  it was a perfect lunch.

i received some news that is truly going to change my world.  she will be leaving in a couple short months to move on to the next chapter in her story.  thousands of miles will come between us and it was startling to know that seeing her smile on a monthly basis will no longer exist.  

this morning i woke with a lot of unknowns growing larger inside of me.  it was nothing out of the ordinary, just the usual stressors.  my jaw clenched and my eyes were sore and i sat there in silence trying to clear my head of any worries for my future.  that is, what i have found to be, the primary source of my anxiety.  not knowing what i'm supposed to do or where i'm supposed to be or how on earth i'm going to leave a positive impact on this life.  

hours passed and i drove to the busy cafe.  she was already seated and her head turned towards me as i walked through the door.  her embrace was warm.  she squeezed me hard and i could feel her smile touch mine as our bodies connected.  my morning was over and my world once again felt right.  over lunch i began thinking about her life and the fact that she is experiencing many unknowns herself.  the truth is, i'm scared to death for her to leave because i feel as if she is one of the only people who understands me and my true true self, but on the other side of that truth comes an even deeper knowledge of the fact that this is right for her.  she will be okay and she will grow and she will feel completely out of her element just as most of us often feel.  

all of a sudden i felt this umbrella of happiness surround me.  i looked at my life in the exact way that i look at our friendship.  we went from spending every single day together to being apart for a year and then being able to once again get together about once every month or so.  so much changes occur in both of our lives yet the minute we get together, our friendship is exactly the same.  what i'm trying to say is that, yes, there is a million things in your life that you will be unsure of, afraid of, and completely clueless as to where it will take you.  but if you find something that will forever be a constant, like my friendship with her, and connect it to your life and the stress that is occurring in this very moment, you will see that no matter how many changes keep coming, your heart will never shy away from what it already knows.  i still may not have a clue what i'm supposed to be, much like i have no idea how i'm going to be able to watch her get on that plane.  i do know, however, that i had not seen her in months and many things in our lives had changed yet we completely grew in our friendship, almost as if we understood each other even more.  this helped me understand that the things i'm stressing about and whatever it is i'm supposed to do with my life, no matter how much i fear it, i will not change who i already am but rather grow into a stronger and more confident self. 

and guess what?  six months might pass and our outfits, our smiles, our advice, and our embrace will still feel completely the same.

she truly keeps my heart consistent in this world of constant change.  if you can find one thing to ground yourself during a difficult time in your life it will make a morning of unknowns transform into an afternoon of really living.

thank you, my dearest friend, for keeping my words gentle and my eyes more open than ever to take in this beautiful and scary world.  

Monday, November 18, 2013

i hope this makes your monday.

gooood morning!  i don't have much to say this morning (etta decided to pee on the bed at 5 AM...again)  and i haven't been able to get back to sleep since.  in the mean time, i drank some coffee, did some reading, and found this.

if this isn't a day maker, i don't know what is.

enjoy your monday!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

a workout.

Happy Saturday from this little gal!

Before I head out for work this morning, I thought I would share a workout I did during the middle of the week.  I have literally done yoga and walked almost everyday and I'm loving it.  It felt good to get my heart rate up, however, and the workout flew by because I hadn't done the same thing on the days prior.  

I hope you are ready to sweat!

10 min treadmill warmup (walk to jog)
3 x 20 reps dumbell rows in squat position
3 x 20 reps squats
3 x 20 reps tricep dips on bench

8 min treadmill run (40 second sprint, 20 second stand on edge to recover)
3 x 18 reps bicep curls in lunge position (per leg)
3 x 18 reps lateral raise in lunge position (per leg)
8 min treadmill run (race pace)
with a barbell on your shoulders (i used 18 lbs), complete
40 walking lunges
20 wide set squats
20 narrow squats
10 calf raises
10 deep squat pulses

8 min treadmill cool down (walk)

And that my friends, is how you kick your morning in the butt!

We are catching up with some friends this afternoon at a trail about 15 minutes from our house and I can't wait to see them!  This girl is the absolute best!  We were inseparable in college and I mean this literally.  If I was somewhere without her, everyone would question where she was and vice versa.  I guess it helps when your roommate is pretty much your other half.  Meet Katie Sue, she's a beautiful heart.

 Have a great start to your weekend!  Drink some coffee, sing some songs, and love yourself a whole bunch!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

feeding my soul.

other than waking up to etta licking and attacking my face, this morning was pretty peaceful.  i'll definitely have a scar across my nose but hey, it's the smile that counts right?

lately i've been flooding myself with healthy living blogs, family, yoga, and tasty fall drinks...

i also made this recipe for my family for our monday night dinners.  we served it with soup toppers, corn bread, and wine.

Vegan Sweet Potato and Lentil Stew.
  1. - 1 cup lentils, rinsed
  2. - 4 cups vegetable stock
  3. - 1 cup water
  4. - 3 medium sweet potatoes, chopped
  5. - 1 can diced tomatoes
  6. - 1 cup chopped carrots (baby or regular)
  7. - 1 can white beans
  8. - 1 zucchini, sliced
  9. - 1/2 jalapenejo pepper, finely diced (optional)
  10. - 2T chili powder
  11. - 1t onion powder
  12. - 1t cayenne power
  13. - 1t garlic powder
  1. Place all ingredients into your crock pot and cook on high for about 4 hours or until sweet potatoes are soft enough to pierce with a fork.
i used today for a little reflection and a little job searching and a little exploring for the words that are so desperately trying to make there way into this post.  sometimes i'm not even sure where to start so i try to simplify it by starting at the beginning.  

i wake up each morning and my dream is to be able to touch the heart's of the many people in this chaotic world.  i want to reach them in a delicate and uplifting way and while i know this is extremely unlikely to do for the millions of souls on this earth, it continues to find itself into my prayers each morning.  sometimes i'm completely touched and feel as if i have the ability to do powerful things while others times i'm left with the feeling that i have nothing to give but empty hands.  what i always find,however, is that each day comes with struggles and joys and i am truly passionate about reaching out to people on both of these things.  reaching out to those who i am both extremely close to and to those who i haven't met yet and maybe never will.  i want my words to touch one thousand hearts and i just can't get it out of my head.  and because this dream of mine is rather large, the only way i can feed my soul is to imagine that if i continue to speak and sing and write positive, healthy, and uplifting thoughts, over time they may touch one heart.  then two.  then three. 

and so these words i write this morning, they are for you.  they are for those who are hurting.  for those who fear their future and maybe even tomorrow's test, interview, results, appointment, meeting, or very first step towards change.  for those who are struggling to find their calling, whose dream's have been bound so tight that their meaning continues to crumble deeper than their toes.  and for those who are in search of healing and have began to give up on what your mind is openly capable of.  my heart just has the desire to tell you something.

you're going to make it.

whatever it is you're facing, there is a promise for the ones who continue to hold on.  i want you to take a minute and breathe.  breathe in slowly for five seconds and let it out for six.  do it again. 

with your eyes closed create a picture of one extraordinary thing in your life.  hold on to that vision and without asking how, let yourself sink into stillness. just for now, lay down the weight you so patiently bear upon your shoulders and be boundless, free with energy and let it sink into your feet like weights so that it will never disappear.  today I want you to remember that yes, there is always hard times in life.  there is no comparison scale of my hard to your hard or your friend's hard to another's.  there is just hard.  I also want you to remember, however, that this universe is filled with peace and joy and love and light, the things that often escape our minds into the worry and movement of busy days.  find yourself back to who you were five seconds ago, breathing in and out, knowing that everything is exactly what it's supposed to be and that yes, you are going to make it.  

hold on to friendships.
hold on to your faith.
hold on to gratitude.
hold on to the smile that you received this morning.
hold on to acceptance.
hold on to who you were, who you are, and what you will become.
and above everything else, hold on to your dreams.  whether it's reaching one thousand hearts or making it through one day without any tears.  go for it.
you're going to make it.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

finding joy.

as rifle opener approached us, i was nervous at the fact that nick would be leaving for a few days.  the week seemed to move faster than usual and i could feel myself rushing, my energy crumbling.  three things occurred this week that played part in my weakened heart and as tears found there way to my eyes i remembered telling myself that it will all soon pass like it usually does.  i dug deep for patience and i dug even deeper for a type of love that i needed to give myself like i never have before.

i don't need to go into detail about the things that made me wish the week would end because i'm positive there are others out there who are going through the same thing.


after all, i'm just one heart.  we all have stories to tell and passions to share and we were created to do just that.  i don't want to sit here with crushed confidence just because something didn't work out the way i wanted to when there are a million other things that can bring me joy.  a 30 second voice mail completely crushed what i thought was becoming my dream.  i felt weak, i felt alone, and i felt like god was giving up on me.  it made me think about hard times where i had no idea who i was or what i wanted.  one voice mail.  30 seconds in length.  my heart was broken.

i decided to toss the negative talk and to start digging for the little bit of fire that rests in my chest.  all of the doubts were turning me into something i'm not and once i actually thought about it, that voice mail had nothing to do with my hopes and dreams what so ever but the fact that i had been turned down made me feel unworthy and made my confidence hide.  guess what?  life goes on and symptoms subside and if we can find it in our hearts to just keep going, one little sentence will show you that there is still a chance to take that first step forward and sometimes, that's all we need.

whatever it is you've deemed your biggest weakness may very well be your greatest strength.

i will no longer pretend to be something i'm not.  i cannot fear the things that are out of my control.  i will not be disappointed by failures or struggles or having a heart that's more sensitive than most.  i'm choosing to believe that my weaknesses will open opportunity for me and until then, the only thing i can do is continue to use the little fire inside of me to brighten a strangers day, to warm a heart, and to work towards building strength in the girl i am now, in this very moment.

i'll be thankful for my family.

i will adore my time outdoors.

i will encourage veggies.

i'll find beauty in an empty house with no one to talk to.

i'll be filled with warmth from the smallest joys.

and i'll smile at myself for pushing through a difficult week and loving the little moments that make me want to be better and to never ever quit.

change your thoughts today and you will change your entire world.   

linking up with:

Sami's Shenanigans

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

let's be real.

Friday night we picked up these little peaches.  
Meet Boone and Etta, the new loves in my life.

Other than Nick, I honestly can say I don't think I've ever loved something quite so much. Yesterday, however was my first day alone with them and it.was.tough.  There were times where I regretted taking both of them.  Even one of them for that matter.  I just kept telling myself I'm not sure if I was capable of doing it...

I had to step back.  I ran them both up and down the street, threw them their ducks, and tried to forget about all of the hard stuff that had happened.  They jumped into my arms and licked my face and eventually both fell asleep next to me on the couch while I continued my job search.  I learned that without bad situations, there is absolutely no way to enjoy the good.  All of my perfectionist traits have been tested because yes...they're messy, they're noisy, and they're messyyy.  Let's be real, life isn't about a spotless house and two puppies being as good as humans.  It's not worth picking up their toys after every time they play, cleaning up the water dish after every time they spill, or straightening the rug each time they try to rip it to shreds.  My house is no longer perfect and my days are no longer revolved around myself, and Nick and I are no longer just a married couple.  We have a little big mac who never lets go of his tennis ball and gets stuck coming down the stairs and looks at you in pure panic and nudges his boxy head against yours before every nap.  And we have Etta, the little pill who thinks it's necessary to pee every 10 minutes, bite the recliner chair no matter how many times we say no, and tackles her brother every time he's sleeping or takes her duck.  I needed yesterday to realize that life isn't picture perfect.  It's not always about you and each day is never ever the same.  I'm trying so hard to completely let go of the small stuff and the things that are out of my control.  I never grew up with pets before so this is a brand new experience for me.  While I'm definitely not a perfect dog mama yet, I sat there with both of them last night while my husband and I drank a bottle of wine.  And this little family so far, is my dream come true.

Last but not least, a recipe.

These coconut energy bites are better than dessert.

1 cup dried oats
1/3 cup coconut flakes
1 cup of peanut butter
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup raw honey
1/4 cup flax seeds

stir ingredients into a large bowl and roll into balls.
place them on a cookie sheet and let them cool for about two hours.
(or you can eat them right away, i did both)


I also paired them with this.

And now I'm going to do some of this before work.

Remember the hard times have a purpose.  Like the seasons, they come and go.  Some are beautiful, bright with colors and warm sunshine.  And some not so much, rainy days and cold cold mornings.  But they make us work and they make us frustrated as hell but they consistently make us enjoy little parts of them year after year.  Continue to do the very best that you can and enjoy little parts of the hard days because just as I promise myself, I promise you that God has an immense amount of good coming your way.  Be blessed today.