• exercise,  food,  self-awareness,  women

    The butterfly that messed everything up

    A couple years ago I was feeling really sluggish and chalked it up to being a mom of a two year old- when I went in to get a sinus infection treated my doctor drew some blood. Turns out I wasn’t just a tired mom- I had hypothyroidism- an autoimmune condition that affects just about every other function in the body- energy level, digestion, libido, metabolism, everything. I went away to a cabin after I was treated with a radioactive iodine pill to let that sucker kill off the node on my thyroid that was causing all the problems. I slept for 14-hours straight. And now, a couple years it’s…

  • food,  inner world,  jesus,  spirituality,  Uncategorized

    wife points

    “you don’t get wife points for calling your husband a butt” our babysitter Nita guffawed after my derogitory derriere related remark directed at Dave while frantically racing around the kitchen trying to load the dishwasher with cereal bowls, put away the milk and get out the door to get some work done. A few weeks before that I had been at Nita’s dorm room to pick up the kids after she and her roommate Rachel had kindly watched them so Dave and I could see a play (the perks of working with college students!).  Rachel, Nita and I have ongoing conversations about gender roles in society, the church and marriage-…

  • cooking,  food,  inner world,  mom blogs

    things to do while waiting for a baby

    No such luck having baby fick #2 arrive on his due date like Reuben!  Yesterday was my due date & no sign of the little guy yet.  For the past two weeks there have been days where I have been in false labor, even going to the hospital once to be sent home, which was a major bummer.  So here is how I’ve been passing my time. Baking: Blueberry-raspberry pound cake for the 4th of July.  It was like fruity fireworks in a cake! I didn’t take a picture of mine but you get the idea of what it looked like from this other one. It was great to enjoy…

  • food,  jesus,  spirituality,  Uncategorized

    melts in your mouth, not in your hand.

    Though the chocolate may melt in my mouth, I still have blood on my hands. A few weeks ago I was supposed to give a talk at Oakland University on Everyday Justice drawing from themes from Julie Clawson’s book by the same name. As I did research, read her book and scoured online articles and websites I thought about themes on everyday justice that would connect most with students living in the affluent suburbs that border derelict Detroit; While cars and clothing might have been good choices for a school where students sport coach tennis shoes & drive Escalades but chocolate seemed like an easier thing to tackle in a 30 minute talk on…

  • food,  inner world,  jesus,  Uncategorized

    mailman alex

    MAILMAN ALEX!!! DO YOU HAVE MY HENRY TRAIN!!! Reuben belted out whenever he saw our friendly mailman Alex heading down our sidewalk wondering if his missing train had arrived in the mail. (thank you carole for sending it!)  This summer I noticed our mailman sitting in his mail truck munching on a sandwich reading sports illustrated on his lunch break. At times I was a little irritated that he’d park in front of his house, guilty that I was inside enjoying air conditioning while he was sitting in a hot mail truck, or wondered if anyone ever invited him in for a meal or glass of water. While I was…

  • exercise,  food,  grad school,  inner world

    plateaus

    What do you do when you find yourself plateauing in an area of life? I’m remembering the good ol’ days of my posts on healthy eating and exercise. I was uber-motivated to run and lift weights three times a week, make sure to get my serving of 5 fruits and veggies a day & really mindful of how I was caring for my body.  It’s not that I’ve fallen off the wagon completely- eating 5 fruits and veggies a day has become part of my life. But in the last three months of moving to OH, focusing on raising $20,000 finishing two papers for grad school and completing the reading…

  • cooking,  food

    the healthy snack attack

    Stereotypically men crave more salty snacks and women crave sweet snacks. Which serves to confirm my theory that I think more like a dude when it comes to eating habits (not to mention other areas of life).  Since trying to fight the february flab I’ve tried to be more conscious about eating fruits and veggies and adding strength training to doing yoga & walking. I am always amazed at how quickly the body begins to transform when you add lifting weights into the routine!  Happily, the muffin stuffin’ has decreased from code red to code orange in just two weeks of being more aware of what I was eating &…

  • food

    friday fluff- the McOlympian

    I read this blog on NPR today & cracked up about McDonald’s being a sponsor of the Olympics.  I’ve thought about the irony of Mcdonald’s being a sponsor for the most prestigious athletic competitions in the world for awhile & how no athlete is going to fuel up on protien and carbs from a big mac & fries! That said, I generally try to not be cynical but this blog echoed my sentiments exactly. It seems like their sponsorship of the olympics is a way to manage their tarnished image from movies like supersize me. That said, since most of us will never compete in the olympics but still want to take…

  • baking,  exercise,  food

    fighting the february flab

    I thought my jeans were tight the other day because I had just washed them. Then I noticed some muffin’ stuffin when I looked in the mirror. So it wasn’t quite like the one in the picture, but it was enough for me to do a double take & realize that “dun-laps” (as in “my stomach dun lapped over my belt!) disease had caught up with me this month. It’s easy to freak out and think about cutting all the goodies completely- but when I’ve done this in the past it shoots me in the foot. So, I decided to: Losing a few pounds over the course of a month…

  • books,  cooking,  food,  grad school

    january good reads

    During my sabbatical I’ve been in uber-nerd mode reading like crazy. I am on a study sabbatical, so it’s what I am supposed to do & I’ve really been enjoying it. If you’re looking for something good to read during these long winter months here are some of the books I’ve enjoyed: Books for class: Sister Aimee: The Life of Aimee Semple McPherson While most biographers take a fairly negative view on this woman who paved the way for modern evangelism, Epstein treats her well without glossing over the negative areas in her life and ministry. It was fascinating and inspiring to read about this prominent female evangelist! It was…

  • exercise,  food,  inner world,  Uncategorized

    losing weight is easy- maintaining a healthy weight is hard!

    One year ago I set out to lose 10lbs. I set a reasonable goal of trying to do this in 10 weeks- 1 lb. a week. By the end of 8 weeks I had lost 10 and then, continuing the healthy habits I had been practicing, I lost another five! Over the next three months I lost another five simply by maintaining the habits I had begun initially to lose weight. Thankfully this hasn’t been a quick-fix plan to shed some junk in my trunk, but a lifestyle of honoring God, my health and the one body I’ve been given in this lifetime to enable me to work, play and…

  • cooking,  food

    an ode to oats

    Ever since I began to follow Carrots n’ Cake and the author Tina’s obsession love of oatmeal, I’ve jumped on the bandwagon.  Especially living in cold Michigan, a bowl of steamy oats in the morning is such a nice way to wake up. Though my mom has always been a good cook, the oatmeal she made for my brother and sister and I was atrocious, the worst you could think of; bland, grey, lumpy. Even with large amounts of brown sugar I could barely spoon a mouthful. Then I married my husband Dave who cooks oatmeal to just the right consistency. And then I read Tina’s blog about all the…

  • church,  food,  justice,  travel,  Uncategorized

    my worst nightmare

    three words: high.school.algebra. For the past year I’ve been tutoring a student named Latisha through our church’s tutoring program. The illiteracy and high school dropout rates in our neighborhood are disheartening to say the least, so rather than shaking my head and thinking about what bummer that is, I decided to tutor a student named Latisha. I was nervous about tutoring but I quickly bonded with Latisha & we had a great time increasing her vocabulary through playing scrabble, doing multiplication drills (with spiderman flash cards! score!).  Tutoring has reminded me that investing in people isn’t always about the results, though helping her succeed in school is a motivation.  The…

  • baking,  church,  food,  friendship,  grad school,  inner world

    sabbatical dreams

    It’s hard to believe that in eight days I’ll begin a year long sabbatical from my regular job with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship! After seven years IVCF grants up to a year for academic sabbaticals, an amazing gift! I’m actually in my ninth year of ministry and during this year, I plan to  finish my M.A. through Wheaton Grad school.  I was talking with my friend Gracee the other day about helpful things to consider before beginning a sabbatical- I’d love some advice from any other people that have done/are doing one! Since my degree is modular and my first class doesn’t start until March, I’ll actually have a decent amount…

  • baking,  cooking,  food

    festivities!

    Tomorrow night Dave and I are hosting a formal dinner for our care group from church and have a very yummy menu planned! I posted a few weeks ago about this & did a flashback of the dress options I have for tomorrow night. Which one did I choose? You’ll just have to check out my post after the party to find out! I’m looking forward to seeing everyone all dolled up in their evening-wear finest! Here is the yummy (and healthy) menu for tomorrow night: baby spinach salad with craisins and goat cheese warm crescent rolls stuffed acorn squash with white beans, chard and chicken chocolate gingerbread assorted appetizers and…

  • church,  cooking,  food,  marriage

    how to embarrass your husband

    For anyone who knows my husband Dave, you know that it not easy to embarrass him. Crazy story about Dave? He’ll tell you five more about himself. An embarrassing photo? Well, we have those all categorized in photo albums. An awkward situation? Dave can create those with finesse and style to the mortification of anyone in the room. When I told him what I was writing about tonight, he rolled his eyes and started laughing with embarrassment. So what did I do? I got up in front of 400 people this morning at church and professed my love for him. For the past three weeks, our church has been doing…

  • cooking,  food,  Uncategorized

    dinner insurance

    Ever since my mother-in-law encouraged me to think of November-February as the “cozy months” it’s helped me to think about all the things I enjoy about winter. After our CSA ended I was lamenting the end of fresh lettuce, herbs and all the other weekly goodies we recieved. However, after freezing everything we gleaned recently I am excited about ways to work in 5 fruits/veggies a day through SOUP! Check out our haul. We pretty much froze all of this stuff to throw into soups later this winter. Tonight I made one of my favorite healthy/cheap/quick soups that I saw on The Biggest Loser a year ago- Tiny Turkey Meatball…

  • cooking,  food,  justice,  Uncategorized

    gleaning

    This past Saturday, Dave and I scored a trunk-full of free vegetables from the farm we subscribed to! Though our subscription is finished for the year, we took part in an ancient practice called “gleaning” basically harvesting the leftovers from the fields. As we traipsed through the thick black soil scouting for cabbage, swiss chard and carrots we enjoyed the beautiful sunny day with reuben & his buddy ashy. As I filled my giant blue plastic Ikea shopping bag with leaves of deep green curly kale, and waxy purple cabbage I thought about the rules given to the Israelites in Leviticus to provide for the poor in their culture. Leviticus…

  • baking,  food,  Uncategorized

    homemade halloween

    Here is a visual summary of my weekend of homemade goodness. I baked three pies.  Two were my grandmother’s favorite- coconut cream and lemon meringue. Grandma has good taste in pies. The other was for my friend Brad’s ordination party. Way to go Brad! I made some artwork to decorate our newly painted bedroom. We have $0 for a decorating budget so I got creative and expressed my growing fixation with peacocks by making these: I was very pleased with how these turned out & how they look against the new lemongrass color of our walls. Now I just need to find/make some drapes! It only took us 7 years…

  • food,  inner world,  Uncategorized

    i want your body

    As I’ve been blogging about healthy eating habits I’ve had this nagging worry- “maybe I’ll fall off the apple cart and buy a one way ticket on the cheeseburger express….just who do I think I am anyways to write about how you should eat? I’m a campus minister for crying out loud! Why do I care about what you’re eating? Why do I feel the need to share about my eating habits?” One of the reasons I’ve felt compelled to write about eating and food is that so much of our lives revolve around the choices we make about what to put into our bodies.  One of my friends recently joked…

  • food,  inner world,  prayer,  Uncategorized

    bless this food

    When my brother in law was a child, he was running across the dining room and smacked his giant blond noggin squarely on the dining room table. His parents while they comforted their toddler said “why don’t you pray that God would help your head feel better?” So Joe prayed the only prayer he knew as he placed his little hands on his head; “God bless this food!” to the great amusement of his parents. This is a “twofer” blog- one about both food and prayer. Partly because I’m in the middle of meetings and don’t have time to write two separate posts, but also because as I always write…

  • food,  recipes,  Uncategorized

    pick your five and lose five pounds

    You’re proactive when it comes to your calendar, scheduling times to spend with friends, projects you’ll do at work and the vacation you’ll enjoy- why wouldn’t you do the same thing with the food you eat every day? Before I started to strive for five I would dread cooking and would respond to the grumbling in my stomach by grabbing whatever was easiest and most convenient- usually a granola bar or some type of carb.  Occasionally this would be an apple or banana but more often than not it was something other than fruit.  The problem with this (for me) was that I was just mindlessly trying to fuel my body…