Nearing The End.

It’s the end of the world as we know it…. It’s the end of the world as we know it…It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fiiiiiiiiine. (sing it with me ya’ll)

This song pops into my head as I think about how close I am to the end of my pregnancy. My world as I know it will end sooner rather than later. This is not a bad thing by any means…in fact, I feel fiiiiiiinnnne (more than fine).

It all happened so fast. I feel as if I just read the pregnancy test (err…4 tests) informing me that there was a little precious life growing in me. Time happens like that sometimes.

I love this little being with all my heart but that is not to say that there aren’t a mix of emotions as my world as I know it comes to an end and a new world begins.

This is the end of my marriage the way it has been for almost three years. I really enjoy my marriage like it is. I enjoy being able to focus my attention on what my husband needs and desires. I enjoy our spontaneous outings and late nights watching TV and sleeping in the next day. I enjoy my time with him and just him.

This is the end of me as I know it. Let’s just be real and say that the 9 months of pregnancy begin to prepare you for what life will look like when a little tiny precious human is more or less dictating what things you can and cannot do.

This is the end of my precious little one being inside my tummy. I think I may have already mentioned that I am going to miss being pregnant (I do cry about this). I CANNOT wait to hold my baby in my arms but I will miss all the little movements inside my tummy…and even the 20 trips to the bathroom that occur in one day.

All of these “ends” only mean great new beginnings in my world. My marriage will grow and be challenged in ways I couldn’t possibly ever imagine. I will become a different type of person, growing in the Lord in new and exciting ways so that I may become all He has created me to be. My precious baby will be in the outside world learning, exploring, and no doubt stealing the hearts of all the family and friends so anxiously awaiting his/her arrival.

Yes, R.E.M. was indeed correct, it’s the end of the world as we know it but notice that they didn’t say it was the end, just the end as we know it.

Can’t wait to know a new world and to see all life as in store for my wonderful crazy life.

-Kristina

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Pregnancy Post: why we chose not to find out the gender of our baby

Until very recently, within the last few weeks, no random stranger had said anything to me about being pregnant. As my belly is positively pregnant to the outside world now (you know, the point where people start saying “you are definitely pregnant” and you’re like “i’ve been definitely pregnant for quite some time now but okay”) I’ve been stopped by random people that tend to ask a couple routine questions.

1) When are you due? Which sometimes comes in the from of this sort of statement: “You look like you’re about ready to have that baby”

2) Are you having a boy or girl? Or my personal favorite: Do you know what you’re having? *Yes I do know what I’m having… I’m having a human*

These are typical questions but the second one is particularly interesting because depending on how you answer, and in our case it’s “we aren’t finding out”, there are two reactions:

1) Thats’s so cool.

2) You’re so crazy.

People fall into two categories: those who want to find out and those who don’t. I always thought I would fall into the latter. My mom didn’t find out with her last one and I thought she was crazy but now I realize she’s just even cooler than I thought.

Behold the list of why we chose not to find out. It really doesn’t make a difference whether you do or don’t.

There isn’t much to plan for. Probably the most rehearsed response to finding out your baby’s gender is all the planning that goes into having a baby.”I just couldn’t do that, I need to know so I can plan” they say. I would like to know what planning that is so I can get on board ASAP. From my perspective here’s what you need to plan for: sleeping (and sleep deprivation), eating, and pooping. These are pretty standard for boys and girls the last I checked. Now, there’s a lot of extra stuff you can plan for but you don’t need to. Plan on feeding your baby, loving on your baby, sleeping, and changing their diapers. Oh and a note about picking out a name. It’s really not rocket science here guys, just you know, pick a boy and a girl name.

Pink or blue is just not us. It’s not a bad thing if you want your girl to be in pink from head to toe the moment she’s born or if you want your boy in blue but it’s just not me or my husband. We like gender neutral colors better anyways. We are ensuring that for the first little moments of baby’s life it will not be bombarded with pink or blue. And thus ensuring future children will be able to use those same little outfits no matter what.

To save ourselves from all the “advice”/”we wish it was a boy or girl” comments. I’ve heard that once you know if it’s a boy or girl the “advice” starts flowing in like a tsunami. Can’t tell you if it’s true or not but since that “advice” will be flowing my way for the rest of the kids life, I’ll just save myself from the annoyance of having to listen to it during my pregnancy. Isn’t it so sweet when people tell you once you find out that they were hoping for a girl but of course you’re having a boy? This should be on the list of things not to say to pregnant couples but people say it. We won’t have to deal with it during my pregnancy and if someone dare says a comment like that to us after the precious baby is out of my womb… I’ll punch them…hard.

It makes no difference to us/who really cares. It really doesn’t or shouldn’t make a difference to anyone but some people have their heart set on a boy or a girl. In not finding out we don’t have to deal with any disappointment that could come from not having what we hoped for or what people hoped for us. Also, who cares?

Side note: I don’t have a pregnancy instinct as to whether I’m having a boy or girl. Do people really have those? And, it’s such a strange question when people ask me what I’m hoping for or wanting. Like, how do you respond to that? And how do you respond to that after you find out it’s not what you hoped for. “Well, it’s not a girl like I wanted but…” *awkward*

What if the docs get it wrong? We’ve come a long way in technology and ultrasounds but it’s not bulletproof. As someone who does like to have a plan, I would be thrown for quite a loop if they got it wrong. It doesn’t happen too often but with my luck, if I did find out, it would happen to us.

It’s fun. It’s fun when people react to you not knowing. It’s fun to piss off the crazy planners that want to know. It’s fun to play guessing games/doctor. It’s fun. It’s fun to have your family on the edge of their seat once the baby is being born. It’s just fun. I can’t explain the kind of fun it is unless you’re someone who hasn’t or doesn’t plan to find out but it’s fun.

It’s probably the biggest surprise you’ll ever get. When I think about how surprised we’re going to be, I can hardly handle it. Sure, it’s a surprise either way but it’s an even bigger surprise when the baby is being birthed. If all goes as planned Jonah will be the one who gets to yell “It’s a ________”! Oh my word. Life throws you very few true genuine surprises, this is one of them. Embrace it.

We just didn’t want to. It’s obviously that you do or do not want to know. But for us, we had no crazy desire to know. We’re having baby showers like most people do. We don’t really care for gender reveal parties or photo shoots and since we aren’t on Facebook there aren’t many people to announce it to anyways. Our nursery is going to be grey-white with some fun accent like mint or teal or sea-foam green. We just didn’t need to know and at 26 weeks, it’s a super exciting journey so far.

For all of you who think we’re crazy for not finding out. Here’s a funny post about reasons NOT to keep the baby’s gender a surprise.

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

Kristina

Almond Milk! Better than store bought.

I’m coming out of the woodwork (I think thats the proper saying at this time) to bring you this AMAZING almond milk recipe.

BUT FIRST.

I’ve been MIA for many months now. I haven’t had a desire to write in a while. Last semester was exhausting, exciting, exhilarating and so many more adjectives that do not exclusively start with an ‘e’ but it left little room for me to post. In October the hubs and I found out we would be expecting our first little child and so these last past MIA months have been a joyful whirlwind of my first semesters of grad school and my first and most of my second trimester of pregnancy.

I have scaled WAY way back this semester to one class and hope to get back into more blogging here. I have so much to share about my journey with pregnancy including how my trimesters have been, why I hated salad for almost 6 weeks, why I chose a natural home birth, and so much more!

All of these posts will come your way soon but in the mean time this recipe got me so excited I just HAD to share it with all of you ASAP.

I have tried a myriad of homemade almond milk recipes in the past and none of them passed the “HUSBAND APPROVED” stamp (although some have come close) until now. On the 22nd of February the hands of fate came together to bring you the following:

Almond Milk: it’s so much better than store bought it will blow your brains out.

almondmilk

1 cup almonds (that have been previously soaked or sprouted)*

2 cups filtered water

3 pitted medjool dates (that have soaked in warm water until soft)*

generous pinch of salt (I used HIMALAYAN)

Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender (I use a NINJA). Once “blended” strain the milk through a nut milk bag or cheese cloth with a fine mesh strainer. And boom. You’re done. BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE. Don’t throw away the pulp (leftover almond) and make homemade almond meal too.

*It’s important to soak or sprout your almonds for a number of health reasons but especially for this recipe. I do not know what the outcome will be if you do not. Here’s a quick link for you on how to or simply google soaking almonds.

*Soaking your dates makes it way easier to remove the pit as well as blend and I think this is the key to what finally made this recipe great. I’ve tried in the past to use maple syrup, honey, vanilla extract, etc but dates are by far the better way to go.

This recipe suits my hubby perfectly but is on the sweeter side of life for me. Adjust to your preference.

To make the almond meal from your almond pulp: line a baking sheet with the pulp and dry that puppy out on the lowest setting in your oven or use a dehydrator if you have one (which I do not). Once it’s dry, stick in a food processor and process until meal-like consistency.

One last thing you may be wondering about is why the heck you make your own almond milk in the first place.

The answer is simple: homemade is better for your health (and better for your taste buds too).

The other answer is that if you check out the store bought almond milk you’ll notice something very interesting. What’s that interesting thing you say? The first ingredient of 20 million* is almond milk. “Kristina, duh the first ingredient is almond milk-it’s almond milk.” Yes, but it’s the first one of 20 million*!!!! If you have almond milk why not stop there? Because they want you to have more than just almond milk (how sweet of them), they want you to have almond milk plus tons of forms of sugars, thickeners, carrageen and more. For your health it’s better to have just almond milk.

*20 million is probably a little bit of an exaggeration, it’s probably closer to 20.

How would you feel about a step-by-step picture guide with this recipe? Maybe I will update with pictures next time around.

Enjoy the most amazing almond milk ever!

Kristina

My life in a nutshell….a very large nutshell.

Nutshells are supposed to be small right? Well, I make no promises that this blog will be small. It’s been a little over two months since I last blogged. I’m not proud of it. It’s life sometimes and you just have to role with the punches. My last post brought a ton of new visitors to the blog as well as some heated twitter discussions. I will need to update you with those little gems soon as well as some additional words on the truth behind the nasty fake canola oil found in so many foods these days. BUT, that discussion will have to wait while I update you on my life, why I’ve been gone for so long, why I’m back and where I’m headed.

A life recap of the last couple of months.

Memorial Day weekend one of my closest friends got married. I helped a ton with the running-around-like-a-chicken-with-its-head-cut-off type things. Honestly, I love doing those types of things and I especially love doing those type of things for my friends. The wedding was the beautiful, the bride was beautiful (the groom too), and everything was beautiful. And aside from crying my eyes out for a week before and after everything was great.

The older you get, and I’m not saying I’m old, the more your friendships evolve and people move away and get married and have kids and you have to fight and make conscience efforts to hold on to the friendships you want to hold on to. This is where I’ve been lately. What friendships do I want? What friendships do I care to hold on to? What do my friendships mean? It’s all very hard on me to tell you the truth.

Alright so in June I had a quince for my sweetest little or not so little cousin which was super fun. Miami is always fun to visit with all the delicious Cuban food, the music, the beautiful beaches, and best of all familia. Don’t ever ask me to live there though, ever, but I can visit and have beautiful beach days like the one below.

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Also, did I mention I got my dress for the quince for 40 bucks? You cannot beat that. I dare you to try. Oh and the World Cup started this weekend so my life got sucked into that real quick.

Moving on, I also had a birthday in June! Hooray! Which I celebrated like any normal 22 year old would at Disney World! It was so magical and fun. My hubby and I had never been to Disney just the two of us nor celebrated a birthday totally just me and him. And aside from some food poisoning the trip was perfect. Colombia beat the Ivory Coast, Mickey Ears were eaten, and too many laughs were shared. Such perfection. Don’t believe me? Look how happy we look 🙂

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Fourth of July week was family vacation week in Bryson City, NC. Such an adorable little city and such a beautiful place to visit. It just so happened that my family was camping sort of nearby where my husband’s family was cabining and so it worked out nicely for all of us to be able to see each other. I don’t have too much to say about the trip except that you could probably have made a movie about it and it would have been filled with lots of ups and downs and Murphy’s Laws. My hubby’s knee is still sore to the touch from when he hit the boulder tubing down Deep Creek in an effort to save his little sister from hitting a rock. Oh, two licenses are better than one especially after you lost the first one and had to pay 25 bucks for a new one. And our bank account got a little bit smaller after the ticket we had to pay for speeding. It’s all laughable now. I realize that sometimes God has a strange way of showing you that He’s got your back. Oh and if you’re ever in Bryson City you have to visit Cork & Bean. The absolute cutest restaurant ever.

The week after 4th of July was my last official week of nannying. I had felt like it was time to either a) focus my energy on grad school or b) find a job in my field. I also wanted a break between doing either. You grow so attached to the kids you nanny and their families and I love nannying for this exact reason but it also makes cutting ties a bit harder. But it’s okay, I try to stay on the radar for the families if they need my help again and who knows I could be back at nannying this time next year.

My cousin was also in town during the duration of all these moments, he came up from Miami with us after the quince, and we got to spend a lot of time together making sweet memories. He is like the coolest kid ever and his little brother, also the coolest kid ever, stayed with us for a week. It was sweet to have nothing to do but spend time with these kiddos.

Alright so there’s my life so far. Glad you care enough to read the whole thing. I’m now past 1000 characters which means this blog post may go down in history as the longest post ever.

Why have I been gone so long? Well the little bits and pieces of my life above may show you some reasons but it’s a little bit more than that. I’ve been out of my groove until the last couple weeks. I had no desire to post. I had no inspiration. Just couldn’t get back into my groove. I don’t know what it was. I barely worked out, like at all actually. I deactivated my Facebook account, one of the better decisions I’ve made. I obviously didn’t post anything. I didn’t want to cook much even though I enjoy cooking. I was just out of my element for a little bit there. Plus, I figured the handful of people reading this wouldn’t miss me much but the truth is I missed it. I missed it more than I thought I would and that’s why I’m back.

So where am I headed from here? Well, as of August 25th I’m officially an FSU student again…yay. It’s just for a year and I’ll have my Masters and I will never set foot inside a classroom ever again!!!! More importantly than that August 1st I start Whole30 with my bestest friend aka my sister (okay, not really sisters but we may as well be) and fellow blogger over at Red Polka Dot Mama. I’m so excited! Like I said earlier, I’ve been feeling very off lately and this has crept into my real wholesome food world a little so I’m hoping Whole30 can help me get my groove back. Click the link for more info but the gist of it is this: Whole REAL food for 30 days which does not include any sugar, grains, legumes, dairy, alcohol, and no treats we real foodies have created to get us through life. Yes, this means no fudge, no pancakes, no cookies, no paleo/vegan/raw/real food treats outside of a banana with some sprinkled cinnamon. I plan to do my best to keep you updated on how it goes for me. I think the things I’ll miss most are my green tea with honey, tortilla chips, popcorn, and quinoa. Oh and no weighing or measuring yourself either! Just so you know what I’m up against August includes my Abuelita’s birthday party and a wedding. But I am excited for the challenge and to see what new food awakenings happen because of it. I believe that health is a journey and there are always new things to try and learn…Whole30 is going to help me do just that.

Alright ladies and gents, that’s my nutshell. My rather large nutshell. I’m headed to visit said friend who got married down south for this whole week! I am beyond words excited! When I get back I can hopefully update you on some rather wonderful crazy things 🙂

Thanks for reading.

Kristina

 

 

The Power of Prayer: 4/18/14

It’s official. When you write about certain things that would be deemed weird or gross like poop or a menstrual cup people realllly tune in to listen. It makes my heart happy for sure…but it’s also a good laugh that my two most read posts are about some sort of bodily function that is usually taboo to speak of. 

This post isn’t about anything of the sort, however.

When I first had an idea to write a blog I told my hubs that I felt like the Christian community was so broken and divided…and I really think it is. Some say church is awesome, others say it’s the devil in human form, some say drink some wine, some say don’t or you’ll surely die and while these may not be the most critical foundations of the Christian faith it does stand to make Christians as a whole look like we don’t have our crap together…at all. And thats fine because I think if there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s the power of prayer. In the same light though, I think we forget, I think we become complacent, I think we subconsciously decide we can take care of life on our own or that not everything requires prayer which is just plain wrong.

There is power and prayer. And part of what I want to do with my blog is unify us in that power praying over one another regardless of whether we agree on everything else. We need to pray for each other. We need to, for the sake of the love and grace and all that my Savior came to die for, we need to pray for each other. 

I’ve asked people to contact me with prayers if need be and it’s interesting that I get very little to no responses to these requests…as if we all couldn’t use some sort of encouragement in prayer. In any case, I will continue to share prayers I know are needed as well as what may be on my heart.

Join me in the power of prayer.

Dear Lord, 

We lift up these prayers to you today. We know that there is power in prayer and in You. Thank you for your love, your grace, your everything that you continue to provide over us each day. We thank you and love you for it.

Lord, today we pray for families that have been broken through manipulation and sin. We pray for those who are struggling to keep their marriages afloat and for those who are about to join in marriage. Send your guidance and wisdom to them. Help them know that your love conquers all tactics of harm from the Enemy. We pray for healing for those who are sick. Lord, for those who are having emergency surgeries or scheduled surgeries, guide the doctors, give the families peace, and may your will be done to the glory of Your name through this time. Lord, we lift up those affected by the earthquakes in Nicaragua. Keep those families safe. Turn their weariness into joy in Your name, send peace over them. We pray for the relationships in our lives. That they would glorify you. That you would help us to have grace and love towards our relationships and one another. That deep seeded resentment and anger would take no place in those relationships. Lord, help me as I prepare to study for a test for grad school…help me to be diligent in my learning and to excel at the test. Help me as I go into this chapter of life and may your will be done.

We praise you for all the wonderful crazy things you have blessed us with. For all You do, always and forever in our lives. Help us to be grateful in our lives with all you have graced us with.

We pray all these things in Your precious name, Amen.

Thanks for tuning in guys. And remember, if you need prayer, feel free to contact me.

Kristina 

How do you poop?

Have you guys ever read the book Everybody Poops? It’s all about the natural process of pooping. It’s a kid’s book and it’s hilarious. It’s funny because it talks about all these different creatures that poop and how we all poop and it’s okay to poop. Side bar: Does that word make you uncomfortable? I’m sorry. You may wanna go read the book if it does, so you are a little more aquatinted with the word. Poop. Okay, moving on…. the book doesn’t touch on the deeper levels of your poop (yes, the deeper levels) and so that’s what I’m here for…sort of.

This is such a strange post.

Your poop says a lot about your overall health and it’s super important to keep your poop in check and to check your poop.

First off, what is poop? It’s all the crap (pun super intended) your body doesn’t need. After your food has been digested, poop is what is leftover and what the body can’t really do much with. Pause. Let’s read that again, after your food has been digested…so if you’re constipated and haven’t been able to poop much or regularly or easily this would tell us….. your food is not being digested very well. Right? Do you follow my logic here? It’s really quite simple. No doctors and scientists required to tell you that you should be able to digest your food easily so you can poop easily.

Second off, what is your poop telling you? Does it smell of death…cause we all know poop doesn’t smell good but it shouldn’t smell like death..this could be a sign of serious health issues. What color is it? Sometimes red poop can happen after eating beets but sometimes this can be blood and this is again, could be a sign of serious health issues. What does it look like? Lumpy? Pencil thin? You’re poop isn’t doing too hot if this is the case.

Check out this handy chart to keep an eye on your poop:

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You’re aiming for Type 4. Type 4 is the lottery ticket of poop. But types 3-5 will do but really shoot for the stars here and go for 4. You don’t really need the chart. Your body knows when it’s okay and when it isn’t…really truly. We’ve all had those instances where we just know you’re gonna have to hit the bathroom hard and when it’s just normal.

Lastly, you just read the above paragraphs and you realize your poop is in some serious trouble. What are you to do? So glad you asked, let me share just a couple ways to improve your pooping potential.

I probably sound like a broken record here but switch to a real whole foods diet. Yes, if you’ve read my blog before you’ve heard this a million times but until you are eating a real foods diet I’m going to keep on saying it. These foods include all the wonderful things mother nature or God as I call him blessed you with. Not that yucky stuff manufacturers made in their factors. They typically don’t have nutrition labels or fancy boxes with cartoon characters on them. They are real foods without a laundry list of ingredients. Need an example? Avocado. What are the ingredients in a real food (organic) avocado? Avocado. So simple. So straight forward. Side bar: chose organic NON-GMO food as much as humanly possible.

But, some whole foods don’t sit well with certain people or their digestive systems so cut out your allergies and irritants. Yep, if wheat makes your poop all funky the answer is simple, cut it out of your diet. If diary makes your stomach hurt, don’t eat or drink diary.

Build up your healthy bacteria, stay active, and hydrated. You need these things for a healthy body and healthy poop. Drink water, a lot of it and if you can filter it so it doesn’t have all the nasty chemicals in it. Build up your probiotics by eating yummy delicious fermented foods. Stay active by putting down the phone, computer, everything, to just be with nature.

My last tip answers the question in the title of this blog. How do I poop? I poop in a toilet but I do so with style using my squatty potty (SQPTY). Yes, I use a thing called a squatty potty. It looks like this:

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Pretty stylish eh? No, not really but it is one of the best purchases I have ever made. And what in the world does it do exactly? It puts you in an optimal pooping position so that your poop can easily flow from your body. Sounds weird but you have no idea what a world of difference it will make. Check out more info here.

Check out more info about pooping and all it’s glory here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

If you made it to the end of this post, I am so proud, and thank you for sticking it out with me. I know the road has been tough but don’t worry, everybody poops and now you know how to poop just a little bit better.

Kristina

10 weeks. 10 pounds. Week one update.

I’m sure all of you are dying, yes dying, to know how I kept up with week one of my 10 week weight loss challenge. But even if you aren’t I’m gonna blog about it anyways. In case you missed it I started this challenge last week, April 7th. Here is the original post in case you missed it. 

Let’s see how I did, shall we.

Goal: 3×30 minute runs a week which is equivalent to 90 minutes of running a week. Outcome: kinda all over the place because I ran 4 days of the week but not for 30 minutes. I ran a total of 64 minutes last week. 26 minutes short of goal.

Goal: 2×30 minute other exercise per week or 60 minutes of other exercise. Outcome: danced my butt off, true story ask my hubby, 2×30 minutes so the full 60 minutes.

Goal: 3x some toning exercise. Outcome: I chose to do some of the movements and warmups from my dance classes I took last summer and I did them 3x that week. 

Goal: stretch every day, 7/7. Outcome: 6/7 days I stretched. Didn’t have any particular routine, did some yoga, did some dance movements, did some basic stretching and these probably lasted 10-15 minutes.

Goal: 5x per week green smoothie breakfast replacement. Outcome: 4/5 days and the other day I didn’t eat breakfast.

Goal: 5x per week green juice. Outcome: 4/5 days.

Goal: limit restaurant food to either a) salad or b) not eating my entire meal/sharing. Outcome: shared my meal.

Goal: juice fast every other week for one day. Outcome: will be done the week of week 2.

Goal: wheat grass shot once a week. Outcome: hubby and I both had wheatgrass shots this week.

Goal: oil pull everyday and for 10-20 minutes. Outcome: 5/7 days for an average of 10 minutes.

Goal: probiotic supplement everyday. Outcome: 6/7 days.

Goal: get to bed by 10:30. Outcome: epic failure. I don’t think I was actually in bed once by 10:30.

Goal: detox baths once a week. Outcome: 0 detox baths.

Goal: Dry brushing everyday. Outcome: 5/7 days. 

Oh man, that’s a lot to keep up with but wish me luck as I head into week 2. I need to make this into a pretty chart but I need to figure out how to do that first.

Kristina