Monday, February 28, 2011

Dinner Success...

I like to try new things for dinner. Admittingly, sometimes they bomb. However, every once in a while, I'll actually make a good one - one that not only do I like, but Paul likes too!! Tonight happened to be one of those successful nights!
On the menu: Meatless (or almost meatless) Monday
Vegan quinoa stuffed peppers (Paul's had sausage), steamed green beans, croissant for Paul, Ezekiel Bread for Whit, and a side salad.

The quinoa stuffed pepper recipe I found at a great vegan blog, Peas and Thank You, that I now love! It's super cute and she's an excellent writer and cook. While I'm not a vegan, I don't eat a lot of dairy, so I like to get ideas from vegan blogs. And the recipes are easy to modify for my "non-vegetarian" husband. Here's the link to the recipe: Quinoa Stuffed Peppers . I added black beans, omitted the chili pepper, and you HAVE to make the guacamole to put on top! It adds so much goodness!! :)

For those who have never had quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), it's actually a seed, and is a powerhouse super food. Not only is a complete protein, but it's also gluten free, low in carbohydrates, and contains healthy fats, fiber, phosphorus, calcium, and is high in iron. What wouldn't you love about this stuff?! It's got a nutty taste to it, and can be served savory for dinner - like tonight with onions, peppers, etc., or sweet for breakfast with milk (I use Almond milk and love it!), fresh fruits and a little added natural sweetness (i.e. Stevia, unrefined sugar, honey, etc). Try it!

God Bless.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunny Sundays

Today was a BEAUTIFUL day - actually, all weekend has been beautiful! I can't believe it's the end of February and we have 75 degree weather, blue skies, and warm sun! I'm loving this. :) Paul and I went for a nice walk today with Vance. We have a tried and true loop that's just about 3 miles that we like to walk. I love taking long walks with my husband. It gives us time to have uninterrupted conversations (no phones allowed) and enjoy the beauty God has created around us.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pink is not always my favorite color

Most of the time, yes, I love pink!

But NOT when it's my eye.

Yep! I have pink eye AGAIN. I had 5-8 kids out every day last week with the flu and stomach bugs. Did I get either of those? No. And I didn't even get a flu shot this year. We haven't had any kids out this week, and I wake up this morning with a sore, crusty, pink eye. Where did this come from?! This will be the third eye sickness I've had in the past 4 months. Luckily, I still have drops left over from my last battle with this junk, so I don't have to go to the doctor again.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A few random thoughts...

1. I don't like "light up" shoes! My little girls have them, and they purposefully stomp around everywhere just to light them up. For example let's stomp: in the hallway (just in case the 5th graders on the other hall at the other end of the building couldn't hear us otherwise), on the learning carpet (instead of learning, let's watch my shoes light up), during nap time (anyone want a night light?), during centers (I want to jump and play, not sit and play).

2. My new favorite song: "This is the stuff" by Francesca Battistelli - this is so me!

3. My new favorite snack: fresh ground peanut butter. Like literally, watch the peanuts being ground into peanut butter and enjoy! I've gotten in from Whole Foods and Boone Hall Plantation. Both are good, but Boone Hall's is AMAZING! Forget ice cream being my comfort food - bring on the peanut butter. It's different from store bought - even the natural kinds that are now available. It's coarse, it doesn't have any added sugars, so it isn't sweet, it's stickier, and just plain better! Some day, I'm going to try making my own in my food processor. I can't wait!

4. Jillian Michaels kicked my butt yesterday. Note to self - there is a big difference between physical endurance and physical fitness. Yes, I can run 13.1 miles in 2 hours without stopping. No, I cannot do a complete circuit set from her book that should take only 45 minutes. I did this 30 day challenge last year, and it worked. After 30 days I could tell I was physically stronger. That was last year. I'm starting ALL over again. YIKES!

5. Oh yeah - only 65 days left of school left! :)

God Bless.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Thank you for all your prayers! Today could not have been a more perfect day for a run! The weather was wonderful, the sun came up beautifully, and there was just a hint of a breeze! :)
The race went well. I started off running with 3 other people from my TNT chapter (one being my coach!). We were able to run together for the first 8 miles at about a 9 - 9.30 pace. Around the 8 mile mark, the two other runners needed to slow down a bit, so my coach went with them, and I continued on with some people from the Greenville chapter. One of the guys was actually the dad of a "sponsored hero" (a special patient with a blood disease), so I enjoyed listening to his daughter's story and hearing about how they live with the disease (she's 7 and just finished treatment, fyi). So then he kept going on the marathon track, and I veered off onto the half marathon track. Very glad they had labeled well! There were plenty of people directing traffic and looking at bibs - yellow bibs were marathoners, green bibs were half marathoners. By that point I caught up with another TNT person - thank goodness for those bright purple jerseys! - and we were able to finish. By mile 11, I knew I had to slow down. I had only been training at a 10 pace, so I was really pushing myself the first 11 miles, and after that, I knew I slow down, which I was okay with. I knew I had done well for the majority of the race, so I had no qualms about slowing down and making sure I just finished the race. When I crossed the finish line and saw that I had finished with a 2:01:02 time, I was more than pleased!! I really didn't think I would be able to do that well after my not so fast training runs. But I was able to run with good pace setters, there were plenty of people cheering from the side lines, and the adrenaline of just being in the midst of runners was enough to keep me going - plus Power-aid/water stations and 2 Hammer gel packs (those things are a whole nother story!!).
And then as I came up on the final turn, there they were! The two most important men in my life - my wonderful husband, who was up with me at 4:45 and walked me to the start line and all!, and my amazing dad, who left Charleston at 6:00am just so he could see me cross the finish line! I was so excited to see them there, taking pictures, and cheering me on, that I decided to sprint to the finish line and finish strong! Thank you Paul and Daddy!
Final thoughts - I am amazed at how much support I had, and honored by all the prayers. I couldn't have done this with out y'all. Will I do another race?! I don't know. I want to keep running, that's for sure. I have some new shoes that I've been waiting to test out - they're Newtons and they're forefront foot running shoes and you actually have to retrain your legs and feet to run in them, which takes time and lots of pain! So, we'll just have to see what the future holds and if I want to race again.

Thanks again!
God Bless.
Running towards the finish line!

Picture with Paul after the race. I got a flip flop metal! :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ahh!! 1 day and counting!

Last...August/September/sometime...I signed up with Team In Training to run the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon. I ran the Nashville Country Music Half Marathon in 2009, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to start running again, to meet new people, and to raise money for a good cause (in support for the LLS). Well, I did start running again, I met a couple new people, and I raised over $3,000 for the LLS. Other than that, honestly, I'll be glad when this is over. Training has been tough due to lack of time and energy - trust me, by 3:30 in the afternoon, after being up since 5:00am, and spending 7 hours with 20 very hyper and active 4 and 5 year olds, energy is at a low. So I really couldn't train like I wanted, and needed, to. I did what I could, when I could, relying mainly on my weekend long runs. And now, here I am, T-Minus 1 day till the race. And I'm...scared, anxious, nervous, ready, excited, ____ (insert other similar adjectives here)____. We, the SC team, are meeting at 5:00am Saturday morning for one last team meeting. And then Paul and I will walk over to the start line for the 6:30 start time. (On a side note, isn't my hubby wonderful to be getting up so early on a Saturday morning to see me off!!? Gotta love him!) Most likely, by the time y'all wake up Saturday morning, around 8:30 or 9:00, like most normal people in the country, I will have already run and completed my half marathon. And hopefully, I can take a breath of fresh air and accomplishment.
Please pray me through it - or at least Friday night before you go to bed. I am a little worried about running 13.1 miles. The most I've done is 12.6, which, granted, isn't that far off, but it was a struggle. Hopefully adrenaline, and the cheers of the crowd, and knowledge that Paul will be waiting for me at the finish line, will all get me through it. I'll post pictures and results when I can!

God Bless!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


My parents host a small group bible study at their house every other Sunday, so this week I offered to make dessert for them. For Christmas, my parents had gotten me all sorts of baking things - rolling pin, pastry cutter, pie pan, pie weights, flour sifter, etc - and this great Baking book. However, I haven't been able to really use any of it yet - that all changed today!! Actually it started yesterday as I had to make the puff pastry ahead of time. I made fruit puff pastry tartlets with hazelnut frangipane. It was a long process, but worth it! My parents said they turned out great and tasted wonderful. Here's what they looked like: (I didn't actually get to see the finished product)

Experiencing God

Over the years, I have read numerous Bible Studies, workbooks, and general Christian books. One of my favorite authors is Beth Moore - and she has so many good studies on a variety of topics, many that have truly touched my heart. However, a couple months ago, my parents gave me Henry Blackaby's Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God. It is the best workbook that I have ever read. It has really challenged me to think about my life and how I view it and live it. Am I living in the will of God? Or in the will of Whitney? When I think about my future, am I planning and preparing what I want? Or am I seeking God's plans and His will? I've learned that God wants to be able to work through me - to spread His Kingdom, to share His love, to reveal Himself to the people. But I'm focused on what I want from life and what I want to do, then He can't work through me. It's a very thought provoking and paradigm shifting book. I would highly recommend it.

Here's the thing though - you have to go to Amazon and get the original workbook. There is now a revised edition that doesn't lead you through all the questions that the original did. I'm sure the revised edition is just as good as the older one, but I've heard it's more of a book and not as much of a workbook.
This is the revised edition:
This is the original version that I have LOVED!
Like I said before - there are many AMAZING workbooks and books out there about Christianity and faith and God. This is just one of my favorites that I would recommend if anyone is looking for a Bible Study Workbook.
God Bless!

Friday, February 11, 2011

The start of something new

Welcome to our blog!

I wanted to start writing this blog for a number of reasons. I enjoy reading the blogs of friends and family, plus seeing their pictures; and I enjoy reading blogs on healthy cooking and fitness. So I thought I might give it a try. Plus, Paul and I are about to hit a "transitional" phase in our life as we get ready to move to Birmingham and then live there for a year. Hopefully this will be one way we can communicate and share what's going on.

When I decided to create this blog, I wanted to make sure I had the right title. I spent quite a bit of time creating titles, thinking about what I wanted it to be, what it would mean to me, you, and others. Finally I came up with "Dedicated". Simple, yet complex, and meaningful. So what are we dedicated to:
  1. The LORD - He is the author and giver of life, and our Savior
  2. Each other - we have been together since 2004, and married since 2008!!
  3. Family - we both come from strong, close families and no amount of distance will ever change that
  4. Healthy, nourishing eating - this is a work in progress as we've just started this diet, but I am dedicated to cooking real whole foods that are nourishing for my family
  5. Our interests - whether it's running, reading, time with friends, hunting, being outdoors, or baking, we both have things we love and enjoy
Thanks for being a part of our lives as we move forward. Hopefully this blog will be a success!