Monday, July 29, 2013

what i meant to say

recently we ran into some friends that we haven't seen in a couple of years.
it was one of those moments that afterwards you think back on and you wish you could totally redo. 
i've been thinking about it, not obsessing over it, but just mulling it over, on how this exchange could have been different.  
you know how it is when you haven't seen someone in a while.
there is a lot that happens in two plus years.
how in the world do you sum it up in a 10 minute conversation?

here's how the exchange went:

friend: "so, what have you guys been up to?"
me: "oh you know, not a whole lot. mike works a few jobs & i stay home with eli."

there was a little more to it than that, but i'm gonna stop right here because i am just so ashamed by this!
 did you read my response?
what kind of pathetic answer is that?

redo, please???

here's a little tidbit about me:
i'm not always such a quick thinker.
my best friend and i used to joke about how i couldn't think on my feet.
it was better if i was sitting.  
or give me a few days and maybe i could generate a good comeback.

so, since i've had some time to think (and i've been doing it sitting down), i've thought of a few things that i might say instead. 

"so, what have you guys been up to?"

~experiencing the Lord's provision, His grace & mercy, His undying love and His wonderful goodness

~championing families in our church & teaching kids to treasure Jesus

~creating memories with our little family of 3

~watching in absolute wonder as our little boy grows right before our eyes

~overcoming obstacles 

~learning to let go of what others might think

~taking moments to just be still

yeah, i think that's a much better summary.

maybe they will read this and see that we really aren't boring, pathetic people?

what have you been up to?


Sunday, July 21, 2013

summer bucket list '13: the zoo

we can finally cross an item off of our bucket list this summer.
{sure, summer is almost half over, but technically we have until september 21, right?}

last week we hit up the national zoo in DC.
what a great trip!
we went with one of my best friends, her 2 kids, niece & nephew & a family friend of theirs.
she was a brave woman in my book to venture out in the city with 5 kids in the 90+ degree weather, taking the zoo by storm!

yeah, 90+degree weather, you read it right.
it was melt-your-face-off hot.
surprisingly, it wasn't that bad. 
between the shade, the indoor enclosures & misters, we survived & had a very enjoyable time.

i highly recommend checking out the zoo.
best part? it's free.
and in eli's opinion, definitely worth the "choo choo" ride to get there!

what's your favorite part of the zoo?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

what's for dinner?

since we started our journey to a healthier lifestyle, i have made a few changes in my diet. i am a lover of the carbs, but this was one of the first things that had to go.  

goodbye bread, goodbye bagels, goodbye cereal, goodbye pasta. 

 that's all well and good for some people, but in this house, pasta is a staple.  it is usually my go-to meal when i don't know what to make for dinner. (it's also one of the few things that my husband loves).  

but i stumbled across this recipe & friends, we are back in business.
hubby can still enjoy his pasta, with lots of added veggies, and i can maintain my carb-free meal plan.
(well, not carb-free, more like less carb....still gotta have a donut every once in awhile...on cheat days of course!)
it does require a few more dishes, however, it is worth it because it is really delicious!

{this would also be great if you are gluten free!}

i typically use grape tomatoes when making pasta dishes, but this was the only tomato i had on hand at the time.  i just love the combination of grape tomatoes and parmesan cheese!

since i'm preparing this portion of the dish for just me, i use one small zucchini.

and because mike is having pasta we throw in some peppers as well.
our favorites are red, yellow & orange.

then to top it off, i add spinach and of course, parm cheese because you know, everything is better with cheese.
(unless you are my husband...weirdo)

i have made this once with sausage and once without, but we are a turkey sausage family if we eat sausage.
it's fantastic either way.

so there you go. 
if you're looking for something new to try, looking to cut some carbs, or just a way to boost your veggie intake, find your friends with the abundance of zucchini and invite them over for dinner!


Monday, July 8, 2013

scenes from the fourth.

the fourth of july has always been one of my favorite times of year, mainly because i love fireworks.  this year we decided to throw a last minute party of sorts, inviting a bunch of random friends together to have a good time.  we had lots of food & drinks, a cornhole tournament & sat in the front yard for the fireworks. i think it worked!

here are scenes from our fourth.

hope you enjoyed your weekend.
{can you believe summer is almost halfway over??}

Monday, July 1, 2013


 sure, i've known about it for months, but of course, here it is july 1, and i'm just now getting around to switching over to bloglovin'. 
in true shannon fashion, naturally. 
so, if you haven't done so already, my faithful followers, you can find me if you just click on this link right here:

 and because who wants a blog post with just silly information like, 
"hey, go follow me in a new place"??

some pictures to catch you up on life lately and some thoughts on how God shows himself in the details of every day life.

we finally got our pool opened.
we were really holding our breath on this one because that pool has some type of curse on it or something. 
we gave up last year after it collapsed twice & i just prayed that this year would be the year that we wouldn't have issues so that eli would be able to enjoy it. 
God cares even about small details like being able to be refreshed after a hard workout & seeing a smile like the one above light up our little boy's face.

another project that has been looming over our heads for several months now.
these bookshelves.
friends, today they are finished!
i put the last coat of paint on this morning & they are now ready to be styled.
which honestly, it's kind of an intimidating task to me.
there's a lot of shelves & i really want them to look cool.
i might need some help in this department.....
i'll keep you posted!

i wanted to share another blessing that has happened recently that shows how God shows up in the details. 
if you remember, mike & i have been on a journey to a healthier lifestyle which includes participating in crossfit 3 times a week.
{it's been AWESOME, by the way!}
recently mike aggravated an old injury which was impeding on his ability to do crossfit.
so, our coach called up a chiropractor who used to work out there to see if he would be able to see mike.
not only did he say yes, but he's been seeing him every day after working out for the past 2 weeks FOR FREE!
{we don't have health insurance right now, so HUGE BLESSING!}

 we are about to enter into month 3 of our journey & just within the last probably month or so, i've really tried to change some of my eating habits.
i am a sugar fiend.
there, i've said it.
i absolutely cannot keep sweets in the house, or i will devour them.
and this is one of the major changes that i have made.
i have cut out sweets, save for one cheat day throughout the week.
even on my cheat days, i've done pretty good & haven't gone buckwild with the desserts.
but saturday i was craving a donut &, i can't believe i'm going to say this, but (insert shamed face here), i totally ate two of them!
oh my gosh, they were so good!
{and i definitely took the opportunity to do the extra credit workout today at the box!}

 mostly, though, i really do try to keep things healthy!
see, grilled chicken!
{and if you have a trader joe's near you, you definitely should try this soyaki out! yum!}

 what i'd most like to say about life lately is that i am truly amazed by how much this little boy is growing & changing day by day.
the other day i made a list of all the words he is saying & it was somewhere near 75.
how is it even possible that almost 2 years ago i was heading into the hospital wondering what life was going to be like as the mom of this little boy?

we have been beyond blessed with this little one & with how God has ordained our time in this season of life.
 just the other day mike & i were thinking about how decisions we've made to trust God when it just didn't make much sense have led us to where we are now.

not long before he took the job with the paper, he was actually offered another job with another paper.
most people suggested he take this because it was a job offer & at the time, after over a hundred  applications, it would be stupid not to.
but deep down, i just didn't have a peace about it.
i felt like he wouldn't be happy in this position & i felt like, if we held out for just a little longer, God was going to lead him to the perfect job.
{you can read more here.}
because of this job, he gets to spend his days with us.
we get to spend family time doing things during the week when places are not crowded like they are on the weekends.
 we like this. a lot.
 he & i have been able to embark on a life changing adventure doing cross fit, together.
this is huge to us because we are each other's biggest fans which makes toughing it out during a grueling workout so much more enjoyable!

and maybe they seem like such inconsequential things, but to us, they speak volumes of the way our Lord loves us & takes care of us.
it reminds us to not take these things for granted.
they are gentle reminders of His hand at work in our lives, weaving the pattern of His plan & His purpose for our lives.