Sunday, August 17, 2014

God & the Justin Timberlake Concert, plus Answer Me This!

OK you guys.

Last week Joel and I were given tickets to the Justin Timberlake concert, and can I tell you? It was amazing. 

I am not a "huge" JT fan, but who doesn't have his top hits on your workout mix memorized, right?  So we took the tickets, dressed ourselves up and headed out to the West Side.  (cue W hand gesture)

Ok well I don't mean to be weird and all, but I was seriously moved by the concert.  A step weirder, it was like, I felt GOD at the Justin Timberlake concert.  I said to Joel as we left the arena, "I am just so inspired as a human being right now."  He did just an amazing show (and with almost zero sleaze btw) and I couldn't quite wrap my head around it until now.

You see, it made me think of a book I read in college called "The World's First Love" by the Venerable Fulton Sheen.  Stay with me here.  In it, Sheen talks about the fact that everything and everyone in the universe has a blueprint designed by an outline of our highest being within ourselves, which God planned for us as our highest potential.  Another analogy would be like a score of music - a perfect representation of a song on paper, even though how it is played is usually slightly different. 

Each flower, tree, etc. are the perfect fulfillment of their blueprints, and are exactly as God intended, however human beings, because we have free will and are not perfect, do not quite fulfill our blueprints or "highest potential" until Heaven.  (He goes on to say that Mary was actually the fulfillment of her blueprint while on Earth, unlike any other human being, which is why she was chosen to be the mother of Jesus.)

Anyway, I couldn't help but be struck by God's idea of Justin Timberlake at his show, in that moment, in his element, because it was like we were getting a tiny glimpse of something close to his Highest Talent Potential...the Talent side of his Blueprint that God himself designed.  That God Himself Thought Of And Designed And Intended.  And it was amazing to witness.

It also reminded me how important it is to surround ourselves with things that inspire us to be better people, and get closer to our "blueprints" that God has designed in each of us.  I think most of us, including myself, have no idea what we are capable of in terms of greatness.  It is a frightening, humbling, and exhilarating thing to consider.


WOW! That got deep.
On to some fun Q&A's with Kendra!

1. What is your favorite room in the house?

Oh what a tough question!! I love my house, but of course like many of us, there is a looooong list of things that needs updating.
With that said, I will talk about 2.5 rooms.
Room #1: I love our kitchen/living room.  It is very open-concepty and was one of the main reasons we bought the house. The kitchen is pretty spacious and has most everything I need, and the living room has a great built-in bookshelf, a huge picture window that looks into our backyard and french doors that take you outside.  I love that I can sit on the couch and talk to Joel while he's cooking a late night dinner for himself, or easily watch Mia play in the living room while I prepare lunch.  We definitely plan on remodeling the kitchen down the road, but it's fine for now.

Your welcome for not cleaning up.

Favorite Room # 2. I'm also a big fan of the wallpaper and decorations of Mia's room.  Also because it's the room I probably put the most work into so far...

2. Do you subscribe to any magazines or other periodicals?

My niece does a fundraiser for her school each year through a magazine subscription service, and I am more than happy to have an excuse to subscribe to Real Simple Magazine.  I love it, even though I only look at about every-other one that comes to my door.  

3. How do you feel about the sign of peace in Mass? Enriching? Awkward? Overdone? Just right? Some combination of the above?

I think the sign of peace is a super important part of Mass and I was shocked to find it they were considering doing away with it!  Crazies!  Among some other symbolism, I always thought it was where you also "forgive" those in your life as well (and through giving peace to those around you, it references everyone in your life) even the little things that annoy you or something small you might be holding onto, since we're supposed to have those cleared from our heart when we receive the Eucharist.  I'm not sure if that's 100% liturgically accurate but I've always found it a good exercise to examine my heart each week at this time.  

4. What is your least favorite sound?

The screeching sound our guest bedroom "sliding" closet doors make.  One of the wheels is missing, so it makes a blood curdling sound.

5. What was your favorite TV show (or shows) growing up?

I remember watching a lot of Saved By The Bell growing up.  My mom wasn't thrilled with the show but she always slept in on Saturday mornings so I watched it anyway.

I also loved Hey Dude and Are You Afraid of The Dark? on Nickelodeon.  Wow that is bringing me back!

6. What is your favorite TV show now?

Hm..that's a tough one.  I love the The Today Show minus the stupid Orange Room nonsense.  And I can never get enough of The Office, and I love Downtown Abbey.  I get a good laugh out of The Bachelor/ette when I'm not upset about what it says about our society..and I like Modern Family though I haven't seen it in a while.

I'm trying really hard to watch less and less TV...we'll see how that goes with the new shows lineup this fall.

Ok wow now I'm really done.
Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

5 Favorite Summertime Snacks For Toddlers

You guys, this week it has gotten up to 114.  Degrees.  This is how we have spent the summer so far:

Playing with outside toys..inside.  Much like this time as well. 
Swinging on the back porch (surprisingly she begs me to do this, multiple times a day).
Hosing down.
Sending her and her dad over to the neighbors' pool  Our neighbors --> the best.

Inevitably we are in serious need of some cold treats around here, so I thought I'd share with you some of my favorites lately!

1. Homemade Popsicles 
(see first picture)

I bought this popsicle maker at my local Fry's grocery store for $3.99.  It has definitely paid for itself in its very greatness. Mia loves the pops especially after we spend 5 minutes outside in the shaded heat of the desert. And they are the perfect little size for her.

One of her favorite combos: Blueberries, strawberries, banana, peaches, and milk.

2. Smoothies

Ok this is very similar to the popsicles...but they deserve to be on the list too. I love sneaking nutrient-rich veggies like spinach into Mia's smoothies because the more nutrients a veggie has, the less likely Mia is to want to eat them (as a general rule).  :)

I make sure to put plenty of sweet fruit in there - especially never skipping the banana - when the spinach goes in there.  She gulps it down.

Here are some of my favorite combos (which can also be used as pops too!)

Green Strawberry-Banana:
Strawberries / Banana / Milk / Cinnamon / Spinach / Ice

Protein Mixed-Berry:
Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Banana, Plain Greek 2% Yogurt

Blueberries, Strawberries, Banana, Peanut Butter, Milk

Chocolate Avocado:
Extra ripe banana, milk, cocoa powder, avocado, ice

3.  Frozen Blueberries {Straight Up}

Ok so this isn't quite a "complete" snack, but I was introduced to letting Mia eat frozen blueberries lately and I love it so much - especially in the summer!  It means I can buy a huge bag of already frozen, or a huge container of fresh if they're on sale, and pull out a handful for a great cold treat.

My teeth are super sensitive to cold so I never considered it, but Mia loves them.  Which means I love them.

4.  Ants On a Log {toddler version}

Apparently I have a little ant-eater on my hands

Since Mia only has seven front teeth, celery isn't quite the easiest to eat except to just chew on.  Therefore, I sub the celery for banana and voila.

And bonus tip if you don't know already: bananas break easily into thirds the long way.   Bing. Bang. Boom.

5. Frozen Yogurt-Filled Raspberries

Thanks to Pinterest, this one is also a new favorite. If this doesn't scream "I'm still on my first child and have time for things like filling individual raspberries with tiny dollops of yogurt"  I don't know what does.  Nevertheless...they are great, bite-size treats.

Ok friends, if you have any other suggestions I'd love to hear them in the comments!  Stay cool out there and have a great week!

And check out other great Faves at Mama Knows!