road trippin

We set off yesterday for a road trip from Portland to Whitefish, Montana. Audrey hasn't been on a long road trip since she was 6-months-old in which case she did very well. 

However, I've learned just since our 5-hour trip yesterday that traveling with a 14-month old is a little harder. Many moms probably agree that at this age, the world revolves around baby. Things like no stopping when Audrey has FINALLY fallen asleep because she will wake up or teaching my family to ignore the screaming when she is trying to go to sleep in the car. 

Sleeping in a hotel room all together is also a new experience. Last night I actually considered putting the travel crib in the bathroom so that she could go to sleep. I settled for the hallway, but may opt for the bathroom idea tonight.  Tips?

We are off to the Silverwood theme park today. Audrey has not had enough sleep so wish me luck! 


SUV mom

Well, we finally did it. This past weekend we got a new car. What a grueling process, but in the end is a very happy momma. 

And God really helped in this situation. I had been pretty set on a small crossover size SUV. Hubs and I had it pretty narrowed down and we set out last Saturday to conquer a number of dealerships and hopefully bring something back home. 

After test driving a smaller crossover, I admitted to my husband that I did, indeed, want something a little bigger. Awhile ago hubs was wanting me to look at Ford Explorer's and I just refused. 

We then looked at a few larger SUV's and I was madly in love with the space. The groceries, the dogs, the kid(s) and all of my stuff can fit! Although I didn't make the mini-van move, I can kind of see where you mini-van moms are coming from. It is so darn spacious! I was sold. 

I tell you what, something about driving an SUV just makes you feel that more like a mom. I can't wait to have the soccer team or dance team back there. 

After dinner out a few nights ago, Chris was driving with Audrey and I for the first time in the SUV. He had a major moment: "Oh, I'm just an SUV Dad now!" Pretty soon kids will be yelling, "Are we there, yet?"

I love it.


be my guest

Hi friends, 

Wednesday is the beginning of a busy next few months. Never until I married my husband did I realize how important the months of September, October and November are: hunting & fishing season. 

Therefore, I am looking for guest bloggers for the next week. This is a lovely opportunity to share your content with a large number of readers. 

I am looking for original content and topics pertaining to family, marriage, parenting, faith, health or other subjects you feel would correlate with the matter of my blog. 

Please send your idea or article to myabcsoup@gmail.com

Thank you!



Endurance, not speed, leads to a healthy, trim body

Last month I covered what I believe — and have experienced — it takes to make a serious weight loss and healthy lifestyle change.

After having Audrey more than a year ago, not only have I managed to lose 60 pounds, but I also have finally found the secret to losing weight, sustaining that weight loss and being the healthiest I've ever been.

I found that before doing anything else, you have a serious spiritual battle to fight continuously. Allow faith to play the number-one role in your weight loss by looking to God for strength, discipline and patience.

For me, trusting that God would provide success was the hardest part. Once I put my weight, no pun intended, on this faith, I conquered the weaknesses that caused every past diet to fail.

Well, actually I still constantly fight my weaknesses in making the right food choices, keeping proper portion sizes and continuing to exercise. I am human and sometimes a big hamburger lures me in. But I will never go back to the way I used to think and act toward food.

I started my reshaping journey by accepting that a quick fix of starvation or packaged food that had me saying, “I can't wait to get back to normal food again!” was not going to help in long run. Instead, I opted for a lifestyle change with no “off” days, but also no days on which I feel deprived or hungry. I didn't want to go fast, I wanted to go far.

Having discipline and patience is much tougher than some crash diet, but you'll forever be changed by adopting those strengths, and it is faith that can provide them for you. After that, the physical parts of losing weight are a piece of cake. Really — I had a piece of cake yesterday.

Fueling for distance

Our minds play a huge role in what we do physically. Telling ourselves that we have to do a big workout so that we can eat chips later is the wrong attitude.

Food is for fuel. And boy, I love food, but I had to stop telling myself that in order to eat, I must work out. Instead, I have to eat so that I can have energy and lead a healthy life.

I try not to look at food as some prize, which has been my trick to smaller portion sizes.

Americans are so used to huge portion sizes that we break a sweat when we've been served some mini-meal at an expensive restaurant. We have this idea that we need to stuff ourselves into a food coma instead of stopping at satisfied.

Start with cutting your portions in half, placing the leftovers out of sight and then, if you are still hungry, go back for a little more. Take the time to listen to your body and see if you are satisfied without another bite.

In addition to portion control, wholesome food choices are key. I learned that I didn't have to cut out carbohydrates, sugar or dairy. I just had to practice eating in moderation such as a sprinkle of cheese, a bite of cake, a piece of bread.

Eating wholesome food doesn't mean you have to buy organic, never eat out or touch a slice of pizza. While my family stays away from fast food, we love to eat out. It just takes making a wise choice. Then ask the server to box half of the meal before bringing it out.

Last, but certainly not least, are water and exercise. Drink at least 64 ounces of water each day. I tote around a water bottle the size of our child so that I always have it to continually sip. By the end of the day, it's gone.

Exercise is what has really made me successful. Try and break a sweat every day. Find what you love to do and stick with it. I learned to take necessary breaks so I don't get burned out. If I start getting bored, I will switch it up.

Once you start making these changes, you will start seeing how fueled you are for the long run. I always feel so good after eating properly and exercising that I don't want a day off. When I started to see results, that success tasted better than any food.

My recipe for a new you: Start with faith, discipline and patience in adapting to lifestyle changes. Don't expect to wake up tomorrow making a million changes. Take it slow. When you fall, because you will, get back up and analyze what went wrong. Then, apply daily wise food choices, smaller portions and exercise.

A lifestyle change opposed to a diet is not easy work. However, what I've gotten in return — a stronger spiritual life, a healthier body, more confidence, tools for a lifetime, and the good example I am setting for our daughter — makes every drip of sweat and every additional bite not eaten completely worth it.

By the numbers ...

Red Robin Steak Fries =
434 calories, 18 g fat & 60 carbohydrates in about 1 cup, not including dipping sauce
Applebee's Spinach & Artichoke Dip =
1,500 calories, 2,440 g sodium & 123 g carbohydrates as served
Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad =
1,340 calories, 1,200 g sodium, 85 g carbohydrates
Quiznos Classic Italian Sub =
810 calories, 2,420 g sodium, 67 g carbohydrates regular size
Starbucks Carmel Frappuccino =
390 calories, 59 g sugar, 61 g carbohydrates

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