Travel Often

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” — Rosalia de Castro

Love Deeply, but Laugh Along the Way

"Happiness is only real when shared." - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

View Marriage as an Adventure

"Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage." ~Finnish Proverb

Fuel your body with GOOD (It's the only one you get)

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. - Arabian Proverb

Open your Soul to Motherhood

A Grand Adventure is About to Begin - Winnie the Pooh

A New Kind of Love is Born

Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

He Who Has Hope Has Everything

Are You Living in the Moment?
A while ago I had a couple people message me asking what my secret was when it came to losing my baby weight and maintaining. They asked to share my top three tips. But honestly there weren’t tips or a grand plan, other than I truly value my health. I’ve made it my mission in life to live as healthy and happy as possible and share that lifestyle with others.
He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.” - Thomas Carlyle
I love this quote. I do. Hope is magical.
This week is Thanksgiving (Happy Thanksgiving to All!) – a time to be incredibly thankful and grateful. I’ve reflected a lot on my life this past week, to the point where I scared myself. I think about all the different stages and phases in my life and how they’ve come and gone, fast. How the things that seemed to matter then don’t really matter that much at all now.
And how worry is such a waste of time. Same with anger and stress and negativity.
I think everything that has happened in my life has shaped me into who I am. But I can’t help and wonder if I'm truly living in the moment? Are you?
There are mixed emotions growing inside me right now. I know the moment I’m in right now (as much as I try to be mindful and enjoy) will soon be an awesome, but distant memory. Jackson is going to be a big guy sooner than later – I can’t stop it. I want to hold on to him. Forever. I want to hold on to my husband. I want to hold on to my parents. My brothers. My in-laws. Every single one of my friends. I love them all. So. Much. I want things to stay the same forever.
I get mad that they can’t, but at the same time I’m excited for the future too. The next “big” thing is coming! My mind took off and all of a sudden I was 40, then 50 and then this 90-year-old woman who thinking about her next stage in her retired life, knowing very well what that was…
There wouldn’t be a next phase [on earth]. That scared me.
What would I be thinking then as a 90 year old? I did all I could? Would I wish I did things differently? Would I think everything worked out exactly how it should have?
I was lucky I was envisioning myself as a 90-year-old. What about someone fighting for their life? All the thoughts and feelings and questions and heartbreak. Why them? Why then? What happened? Why? Why? Why?
For example, one of my dear friends (one of the sweetest people I have ever met in my life) lost her dad suddenly to a heart attack last week. Why? A friend from church recently married and was on his way out the door to his honeymoon and his new mother-in-law passed away four weeks after her pancreatic diagnoses. What? How? Friends from high school are losing their parents. A past coworker of mine has a brain tumor. And out of the blue I received an email from a woman sharing her story. Three months after giving birth to her daughter, doctors told her she had 15 months to live. NO!! I can’t even imagine. I can’t. Heather was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma – her dad’s work clothes soaked up asbestos and she was exposed. She was diagnosed in November, making every November tough to face – a constant reminder of that diagnoses. But her mission is to make sure we all take a moment to value life and the value of gratitude. Read her incredible story here.
With all that said, on my drive in to work this morning I was overcome with gratitude for my health, my husband’s, my son’s. It is the greatest gift.
So, answer the above question - how did I lose the baby weight and keep it off? I let go. I started trusting God. I forgave. I stopped pointing fingers and looked deep within myself. I loved who I am, who I’m becoming, who I will be. I fueled my body with good – natural, real ingredients. I treated my body with respect. I danced. I ran. I jumped. I played. I sang. I had fun. I prayed. I shared my world with others. I let God shine through me. I let myself light up the world. I spread my wings. I laughed. I talked. I listened. I hugged. And I LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.
God is a loving God. He would never allow us to love this much and take it all away for good. Something grander beyond our wildest dreams is out there, waiting for us. This is where hope comes in. Enjoy this life and your journey. We don’t know when it will end but we do know how to make the best of it and the worst of it.
We get to make the choice.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Month in Review - 19 Months

Fun Times at The Koester's

So much for those "weeks in review"! This past month has been a whirlwind - but a good one. Below you'll see what's been going on. My goal is to find super fun things to do, but not spend money. Most everything you see below was FREE - minus the open gym.

And I can tell you right now the temperature outside is closer to zero than it is to freezing. BURRRR. This is why I have my famous Split Pea soup cooking in the crock - to keep us warm. Thankfully the sun is out. Oh, and we've been fighting off colds - a lot of them. Tis the season.

I can't believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner... Can I just say the holidays start taking on a new meaning when little people are involved? Like...I'm right back to that six-year-old girl who couldn't sleep at night because I loved Christmas so much! LOVE IT.

Jackson was able to see the calves getting fed at a market up the street from us! So cute!

Checked out all the big pumpkins and haunted house at the market too! Too scared to go in house!

Picked raspberries

Good picker!

Like I said, Good Picker!

Kittens on the Deno Farm in Gaylord!

On the farm with Snoop Daddy Dad!

Great Grandma Deno and Great Grandpa Deno

Picking on to take home (or so he thought)

The start of Halloween

Date Night at Surly Darkness Days!

Got GIRL TIME in too!!!

Cleaning the stinky can!

Doctor Koester!

Went to two houses this year!

Papa and Glama brought gifts!!! Cool ones!

Always wanting to help!

Another cool toy! Power tools!!!

Wheelin around with Glama!

Mama and Glama wine tasting 60 wines!!

Dada on-call so Papa gives baths! NICE!

First snowfall!! Commute to work!

I love my Fridays off!! At the Minnesota Zoo with our friends Katie and Grace!

Fell at the zoo.

Peek a boo

First time he's fallen asleep before bedtime outside the crib!

Fish lips!!!

More Friday fun! Open gym!!!!

Our favorite family to hang with!

Fixing up the car!

Mowing snow!

Three Wines I'm Loving

Good Wine

I love when I find a good wine. And I found three of them! One of wine being local!

From what I read, one glass of wine a night is good for our health. I have maybe half a glass a couple nights in a row and then I forget about it until the weekend. And I'll have MAYBE a full glass. (Not too much now.) Basically I know I can't afford to feel gross from drinking so I just don't get all crazy.

Anyway, I love trying new flavors. When I find one that I really like, I make note of it.

Here are my faves in no particular order:

What wine are you totally loving right now?