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.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Celebrating 5 Years of Marriage

No Other Guy I'd Rather Be With
Where did the last five years go?  Time sure flies when you're having fun! 

Let's be real. I don't know a single marriage that is perfect, but I can say I'm truly happy with ours (at this moment in time...he, he!). I will be honest, a happy marriage takes work EVERY SINGLE DAY, but most of the time I feel lucky to have Karl and all that we get to experience together.
At Minnehaha Falls. Walked around and talked and ENJOYED! WE EVEN HELD HANDS:) 

The hardest part for us in the past five years? The transition into parenthood. Jackson has been SUCH a blessing, but becoming parents and balancing jobs and friends and our families and our own time was a HUGE HUGE challenge for our marriage. But I feel like we're in a really good place right now. Like I said, marriage takes SERIOUS work. SERIOUS communication. SERIOUS teamwork.

One thing I KNOW we need to work on is making more time for date nights and each other. To remember who we were before our son came along. Why did we fall in love? Why did we enjoy being around each other so much? What did we talk about? What made us laugh our heads off? What made us smile? What made us take the time to compliment one another? What made us PAY ATTENTION?

We've been away from Jackson ONE night (he's almost 2.5 years old) and that was when we moved into our new house. So we decided to plan a night out away from our son. Holy smokes. We needed that. It was LONG LONG overdue. So we're going to work on that from here on out because life is ONLY going to get crazier with two.

We had SUCH a fun night out that I had to share in photos!!

Wise Acre Eatery. SO GOOD. All ORGANIC FARM FRESH foods from a farm in Plato, Minnesota

Enjoying the food!!!

Healthy Eats!

Homemade basil chocolate chip custard. YUM!

A bonfire in our new backyard to end the evening!!!!!! SO FUN!

My beautiful flowers!!!!!!

Happy Anniversary, Karl! I love you!!!!! Here's to five more years (times infinity).

Thursday, August 21, 2014

31-Weeks Pregnant

31 weeks (August 21, 2014)

This week, your baby measures over 16 inches long. He weighs about 3 1/3 pounds (about the size of a coconut) and is heading into a growth spurt. He can turn his head from side to side, and his arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath his skin. He's probably moving a lot, too, so you may have trouble sleeping because your baby's kicks and somersaults keep you up. Take comfort: All this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy.

I just received an email that asked me if my hospital bags are packed. What? I don't even have the nursery set up!!! I feel really behind on things with this babe. TWO MORE MONTHS TO GO! I mean, I probably should HANG SOME CLOTHES up and set up a changing table, or something... Right??

Time is flying. (Like usual.) I'm feeling GREAT though. I honestly don't have anything to complain about. I did have a couple days of bad leg cramps, but they didn't stick around as long as they did when I was pregnant with Jackson. Whew.

I noticed that rash on my cheek MIGHT be coming back!!! Oh boy. It went away for maybe a month, and now it might be coming back...

NEXT WEEK is our BIG ultrasound. Just checking out that nuchal fold again. I've been praying EVERY night for a HEALTHY baby. I'm trusting God and putting faith in his plans for us. I have to. It helps me tons. I just can't sit and dwell about this. I can't let my head go there.

Next up is searching for daycare. We do LOVE the center Jackson goes to twice a week, BUT the commute STINKS now that we have moved. I'm going the complete opposite way from work. Doesn't make a lick of sense. AND they don't have any infant openings. I'm not totally excited about putting a 3-month old in a center and I'm not excited about having two kids in two different places, so I'm starting to ask around the neighborhood and see what I can come up with. I never like this part. AGAIN, been praying HARD about this. I pray every night that God puts the RIGHT people in our life at the RIGHT time.

God is SO good.

Have a SUPER week!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Five-Day Clean Eating Group and What it Did for Us

Wow. Eating Clean and LIVING Healthy REALLY DOES WORK!

Karl (my hubby) and I did our first 5-day Clean Eating Group and were shocked to see the results. No magic pills. NO fake food (fat-free/sugar-free) crap. No starving. No meal replacements.


Karl - Down 6 pounds (imagine if fitness was added to this!! That's coming next. Karl can't wait! He, he.)
Christie - Down 3 pounds (I also was doing PiYo and stair stepper)

My goal has ALWAYS been to get stronger during this pregnancy and to find more ENERGY. I need ALL the energy I can get. I hate feeling sluggish. HATE IT (hate is a strong word for me!). I'm just NOT myself. Nothing gets accomplished. I'm bumming out. Then everyone else in my family is out of sorts too.

So did I find the energy? YES. Should a HEALTHY pregnant person be losing weight? NOT totally. But, I promise you I've been teetering on the 30 lb weight gain. An average HEALTHY weight gain during a pregnancy is about 20-35 pounds (a 1-pound gain per week). Do not fear - I will easily go above that. I gained 39 pounds with Jackson (my first).

Ready for my honesty? I started to get a little out of control the past couple weeks. I mean, ice cream for my lunch dessert? Sure! Ice cream for my dinner dessert? YES! Chocolate after breakfast? Oh, for a snack too? Why not! Lunch? Another snack? Call the Schwan's Man over to deliver more ice cream? Why not! We're good buddies these days. YIKES! He was bummed when I waved him off the porch on Friday ordering NOTHING. Like I said, I wasn't making the wisest decisions and I think the latest eyebrow raise from the nurse at my 30-week check up was the push and look I needed. My other thought was if I work on ME and get REALLY strong, maybe, just MAYBE I won't have 37.5 hours of long labor this time around.

Worth a try, right?
Exactly. There is no failure except in no longer trying!!! You DESERVE a HEALTHY YOU!!!!

What is this 5-Day Clean Eating Group?
We provide a grocery list of all the clean foods you need to eat for 5 days. And you eat clean. And you're held accountable. THAT IS IT.

I'm a Beachbody Coach. My goal (AND PASSION) is to HELP others GET HEALTHY. That's IT. And that's what being a Beachbody Coach is all about. I have always loved health, fitness and nutrition. I LOVE Beachbody so far. LOVE. I don't remember when I've been this excited and passionate about something in a real long time. I have my OWN business and I absolutely LOVE it. I'm my own boss!!

FYI - I plan on running a FREE 5-Day Clean Eating Group at least a handful of times throughout the year, keeping it to once a month for now. I want to help you ALL. There has been TONS of interest for the next one so another one is coming in September. Keep your eyes open. And remember: it's only 5 days. It's FREE. That's it. Eating CLEAN for five days and feel AWESOME. You can do it. You can at least TRY!

What are "clean" foods?
NOT PROCESSED. Think about the earth and what types of foods it provides for us. What comes naturally from mother earth? Grains. Veggies. Fruits. And YES, meat, fish and some dairy is involved too. Like I said, a grocery list is provided. If you look on the back or side of the item you are consuming right now as you're reading this blog post and there is a list of long-named ingredients, probably NOT clean. Sorry. Stick to items that have 3-5 ingredients MAX in them.

Hardest Part for Us?
For Karl - No alcohol. Again, just 5 days. If HE can do it, YOU can do it. He did. But try going alcohol-free for 10 months!!!!!!!!!!! And in the summer!!!! Akkk. It's OK. You will survive. For me - No cheese. This was TOUGH, but again...survived.. No sweets. Duh. No CHOCOLATE. Sad. No milk...or butter. Unsweetened almond milk becomes your new friend. NO bread. It really is OK.

What I loved? 
The accountability of the group. LOVED this. I knew I was being held accountable the whole time and I knew I needed to snap a photo of my favorite Clean Meal of the day. I was totally motivated! AND, I LOVED how well I was sleeping at night. Being 30-weeks pregnant at the time, I can't say sleep comes easily, but I was sleeping like a ROCK by the second day. The energy was GREAT too. Would do this again, and again and AGAIN! Karl on the other hand was definitely detoxifying. He struggled more with his sleep.

Sound interesting?
I would LOVE for you to hop into my next 5-Day Clean Eating group coming in September. All you need is a Facebook account (don't worry. A closed group is set up so nobody else will see your posts except those in the group) and bring an open mind when it comes to the grocery list! Be ready to see some awesome results.

Like my Facebook page and you'll be notified of the next one! -

OUR CLEAN EATING PLAN for the 5 days (recap)

Breakfast Options:

I always had LOTS of fruit on hand - all chopped and ready to go! Cantaloupe and blueberries here. Being prepared totally HELPS. 

Karl made a HUGE batch of his healthy pancakes over the weekend so we could freeze. Basically he takes ANY pancake recipe and turns the requested 2 cups of flour and mixes up his own natural, healthy grains. The shopping list in the clean group lists all the grains we can consume. So he took raw almonds and blended them. Took oats and blended. Used wheat flour. Used brown rice and blended. Used quinoa and blended. HEALTHY!

Some mornings I made Old Fashion oats with unsweeted almond milk. Added NATURAL peanut butter (you get this by grinding peanuts up) and added flaxseed, walnuts, fresh berries and a little honey on top. 

I really love my oatmeal in the morning! 

Two eggs with organic kale, baby bella mushrooms and pork. A side of Karl's healthy pancakes topped with flaxseed, berries and honey instead of butter and maple syrup. 

GO-TO CLEAN Snacks (need to eat every 2-3 hours)

Raw almonds and a nectarine. Lucky that Jackson LOVES this snack. I also consumed 4 bottles of the water bottle seen in this photo per day. Take your weight, divide by two and drink that amount of water in ounces!!!

Tomatoes, a quarter of an avocado and a hard boiled egg with pepper. Cumin tastes really good too! I am a protein girl! It holds me over really well. I get crabby when I'm hungry!

Lunch Options

Lunch was ALWAYS leftovers from the night before. I did have to make lunch for myself on Friday because I'm off on those days. I find that it's MUCH harder to avoid grazing and snacking throughout the day when I'm at home because food is ALWAYS staring at me in the face. That's why cleaning out the pantries of all the crap is the way to go!

Chicken salad with beets and balsamic vinaigrette. A side of watermelon and berries
Sample of leftovers. I couldn't make another tortilla flaxseed shell while at work, so I took the leftover fajitas from a dinner  posted below and made into a salad. Tasted like Chipotle. Dressing was fresh homemade salsa!

GO-TO CLEAN Afternoon Snacks (need to eat every 2-3 hours)
I'd whip up a Shakeology shake from Beachbody. These are AWESOME. Packed with probiotics and vitamins. I'd throw in a bunch of fruits and veggies and we'd be good to go! NOT using as meal replacement because I am pregnant, active and need the calories!

Apple slices with NATURAL Peanut Butter (made from blended peanuts)

LOVE this snack. PLAIN, FULL-FAT Greek yogurt (with three ingredients), frozen organic blueberries, a little bit of honey and ground cinnamon

Celery dipped in either Natural Peanut Butter or Natural Cashew Butter. Can use Almond butter too!

Water consumption is SO important. I kept dressing mine up! NO LEG CRAMPS ALL WEEK!!!!!!!

CLEAN Dinner Options

Day One: Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon with Asparagus and beet salad. Recipe for the beet salad.

Day Two: Steak Fajitas with a homemade flaxseed tortilla shell. Flaxseed Wrap (makes 1 wrap) ~ * 3 tablespoons ground flaxseeds * 1/4 teaspoon baking powder * 1/4 teaspoon onion powder * 1/4 teaspoon paprika * pinch of sea salt or celery salt * 1 tablespoon coconut oil melted (plus extra to grease the dish) * 1 tablespoon water * 1 large egg

Kept our fridge stocked with fresh cut up fruit. 

Day Three: Simple grilled chicken breast with a side of grilled veggies and fresh fruit. SIMPLE and yet, SO GOOD!

Day Four: Chicken Quinoa Salad with black beans and a side of grapes and unsweeted almond milk! I also added mangoes. Recipe for the quinoa salad

Day Five: Tried to make my own Spaghetti. Brown rice and Flaxseed noodles and then tried to follow this recipe without adding cheese! I added mushrooms. (Recipe Here). Served with a side of Greek yogurt and blueberries.

Day Six: I wasn't sure if this was TOTALLY clean, so we went for 6 days! Asparagus with lemon rind, zucchini cooked with coconut oil and delicious steak!
CLEAN Dessert
Energy Balls - no-bake energy bites 1 cup dry oatmeal 1/2 cup chocolate chips 1/2 cup NATURAL peanut butter 1/2 cup ground flaxseed 1/3 cup honey 1 tsp. vanilla. TASTES LIKE COOKIES!!!!


Guess I was feeling rather GOOD on the inside and outside so I took Jackson to the pool IN A BIKINI at 30 weeks pregnant and 30 pounds heavier. I'd normally COVER UP. I mean, I do have veins popping out of my legs right now and there are some softer spots in places AND I see cellulite, but I didn't care. I was in a real good place!  I felt so great. Guess what? WE HAD FUN!!! TONS OF FUN!! And that's what life is about, right?? ENJOYING every MOMENT and being the HEALTHIEST we can be!

Who's with me? Want more information?? Like my Facebook Page or email me! Would LOVE to hear from you! Also, ask about my 30-Day Challenges where we pair FITNESS and NUTRITION together for AMAZING results!! SO much fun!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Two Weekends (in Review)

I LOVE SUMMER! I know I say that a lot. It's true!

We've had a LOT of family time lately. A lot! BUT the BEST NEWS OF ALL is Karl has started a NEW JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't even EXPRESS how HAPPY this makes me. NO more on-call. NO MORE weekends! No more LATE NIGHTS!!! Thank you, Lord. THANK YOU! I feel like I can breathe a little more!!! Only FIVE years of a NUTSO schedule. 
In Roscoe! Headed back to Minnesota!

In-between jobs, Karl and I took some time off and drove down to see my parents (Jackson was a CHAMP in the car!!! 5 hours down and about 8.5 on the way back. We both had to pee a lot!). We were planning on visiting my grandparents for a full day and night, but my grandpa hasn't been feeling the greatest. That made me super sad. I talked to him on the phone and he acted like he wanted nothing to do with seeing us. I get it though. Who wants visitors when you're feeling punk? I was a bit out of sorts after hanging up the phone with him, but tried to coach myself through the emotions. 
Karl LOVES Lego's. Yes, I said Karl. Can you tell? 

Eleanor and Jackson getting ready for a sweet bike ride!

All safe!

LOVE this lady!!!! Eleanor (just turned 3), Jenna and Jackson. GREAT PEOPLE!!!!! We spent a friend morning and afternoon together. Jenna always makes me SO HAPPY.

Papa and Jackson on a tractor ride!!!

Popsicle time on the deck with grandma!


Wait a second, this is mommy's water!!!!

Being silly!

At Kid's World in Roscoe! When I was little, I helped build this fun playground!!!

Picking up sticks after the storm!

Riding Great Grandpa Harry's COOL tractor

Great Grandpa Harry, Jackson and dad on a cart ride. Pretty good for an 87-year-old who has a brain bleed... We did get the news that it has stopped bleeding!!!!!!! YESSSSSSSSS!

Sweet hugs for Great Grandma Anne

Jackson LOVED visiting these two. They couldn't believe his energy. 

Climbing trees!

Instead of fast food, we stopped at a grocery store for dinner and picked up healthy eats!

Back home! Jackson getting adjusted! He crawls right up on the table like a champ.

Going for a bike ride!

Jackson met Stephy J! We went to Greece with Stephy and she flew in with my brother for the weekend. She works at John Deere and Jackson was able to watch COOL TRACTOR videos. He liked Stephy VERY much!

Kisses from Grandma!

Park fun!

Grocery shopping trip!

We were able to visit my brother Mike at his killer job at MillerCoors. All employees get to go to the private bar after 4 with the FRESHEST beer and they are invited to bring a few friends from the outside world (us). Can I say, SWEET!??! It was VERY hard not to drink, but it was fun to see my brother and Karl in all their glory. I kind of felt like I was back in college because we went on the Lakefront tour (THE BEST BEER TOUR EVER) AND hit up two bars after. I WAS TIRED the next day. I still managed to have fun, but not the greatest place to be when you're pregnant!
MillerCoors PRIVATE employee bar

We were also able to fit in a quick trip to see my college bestie, She-Dawg!!! That was SO wonderful!!!!!! I miss her so much! I was able to see her in action and play with her three AWESOME kids. She is SUCH a great mom and inspiration! 
Me, She-Dawg and Carter (6 months old)
On our way back home to Minnesota, I called my grandparents one more time. I was scared. Sometimes it's easier to avoid when you're not sure what you're going to get.... I knew my gpa was going in for a brain scan earlier that day to see how his brain bleed was doing. The doctor cancelled due to emergency surgery, but we decided to stop in anyway. SO GLAD we DID!!!!!!!!! I did cry with my gma on the phone because we talked about not knowing if this could be the last time or not. I tried to keep it together, but I'm hormonal and it makes me sad to think about life without my grandpa. BUT, Karl was adamant about going even if it was an extra 2 hours added to our commute home. This is why I love Karl. He follows his heart. He loves me.

Love to all of you!