Thursday, June 29, 2017

HIIT/Tabata

At this point in my life, I want to get the very most out of my workouts in a short time, so I have found that high intensity interval training/tabata are the best for getting results quickly. If you’re busy like me, you may struggle to find the time to work out, so this might very well be a solution for you too.

Right now I am going to a boot camp, but you can very easily do them at home in 20-30 minutes (with body weight exercises if you don’t have any equipment) & you’ll definitely feel it if you push yourself. You can also add on a 15-20 minute tabata at the end of a strength training session to really shed some body fat.

If you’re just starting out, you can look up some body weight exercises on Pinterest or even watch a video on Youtube to see correct form. Things like squats, lunges, burpees, mountain climbers, planks, pushups, high knees, butt kicks, wall sits, and jumping jacks are very effective!! I typically go to the gym before the kiddos get up, but even if I can’t make it to the gym, you can get it done during their naps. You can use the FREE Gymboss app on your phone to set up your workout once you’ve decided the exercises.

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Easy peasy to use! Has a timer/buzzers that go off to let you know when to switch exercises, and you can even build in rest periods if you want.

Here’s way more in depth article from Dr. Axe on HIIT (with a great infographic) about why they’re more effective than traditional cardio.

And here’s one of the random workouts I’ve been doing 1-2 times a week when in a time crunch. Sometimes I’ll go through it twice.

OH, and here are all of AdvoCare's CU24 workouts totally free! They are INTENSE. Only 24 minutes & they’ll flat out get it done.

Also, if you’re working out at all (or even if you’re not) and not taking amino acids, you are seriously missing out. Cataylst is one of the products I make sure we never run out of! It helps support muscle tone & enhances strength and energy. For me, I know it helps me power through my workouts and I’ve noticed that I’m more tone & defined when taking it. I have personally taken it every single day for the last 5 years and 3 months & I know Jonathan has too. Amino acids are SO beneficial! (Here is an AdvoCare Performance Elite product training video Jonathan did a while back. I think he covers some of the benefits of amino acids somewhere in there.)

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Now go get yo workout on!

*Always consult with a physician before starting an exercise/supplement program.

Healthy Mom Hacks

Us mamas gotta stick together and share our secrets, right?

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These are a few of my favorite healthy mom hacks! I use these to sneak extra nutrients into our kiddos’ food & wanted to share why/how I use them. You can find them all at your local grocery store, at Costco, or on Amazon.

Organic Bone Broth: I use this in lots of recipes that would call for chicken broth (soups, casseroles, when baking chicken, etc.) and it adds a ton of benefits! Helps boost the immune system among other things. I can drink it warmed up, but the boys won’t do that. I made soup a LOT this winter using this. You can make your own too, but this is the shortcut. There are other great brands on Thrive Market also. (If you haven’t already, click on that post and read about Thrive. Game changer/big savings on many healthy food staples.)

Braggs Nutritional Yeast: I sprinkle this into several recipes too. I use it when I’m making burgers, on veggies, in scrambled eggs, etc. Here are a few of the many benefits from an article written by Dr. Mercola. (I didn’t even know some of this before- glad I read it!)

Pink Himalayan Salt: Salt is not the enemy. Our bodies NEED salt. However, normal table salt is NOT a good choice. We personally like pink Himalyan sea salt when cooking. I also use it in oats the boys eat for breakfast where we also add sliced almonds, chia seeds, and ground flax. It adds the perfect flavor.

Braggs Liquid Aminos or Coconut Aminos: Great alternative for soy sauce when making Asian dishes/stir fry (like the quinoa fried rice bowls). I also use it in place of Dell’s or Worschtershire sauce since it has less sodium. You can opt for the coconut aminos if you’re avoiding or limiting soy.

Organic Ground Chia Seed: Powerful super food. I add into smoothies, oatmeal, healthy muffins, protein bites (no honey for the littles though till they’re older), & even salads.

Amazing Grass Kids Superfood: My boys love chocolate milk, but we don’t drink it at home. Instead, I put a scoop of this into almond milk (so they think they’re getting chocolate milk) but it has greens, several fruits & veggies we don’t eat regularly (or ever), and prebiotics and probiotics which are so important for a healthy gut.

Organic Live Fit Superfood Blend: It’s packed with antioxidants & lots of real food- like broccoli, blueberries, tomatoes, and vegan protein. This is perfect for smoothies, pancakes, baked goods, homemade bars, etc.

Organic Ground Flaxseed: Powerful source of omega-3s, fiber, and lignans. I add it to oatmeal, smoothies, and anytime I bake anything, like our favorite banana chocolate chip power cake muffins. Omega 3s are SO important for their brain development (especially little boys), and since we don’t eat enough fish (since so much of it is toxic- boo), this is a great way to add it in.

Of course I don’t use them all every day, but I do use at least a couple of them daily. I want my boys to eat healthy, & I do feel like we do a pretty decent job modeling that for them. But the reality is they’re not exactly chompin’ at the bit to get some of my kale salad & could definitely eat better. (Specifically more veggies.) These are a few of my favorite ways to add some quality nutrition into their diets! Anything you guys have found that I need to add in? I’m always open to suggestions!

Taking Ownership

One of the major issues causing problems in America today is that people really struggle to take OWNERSHIP. We are living in a generation where many people displace the blame and do not take personal responsibility. Am I right?

I know this has been an area of personal growth for me & something I’m still working on. I am training myself to start asking “What did I do/not do to get these results?” instead of blaming someone/something else or making excuses. (Because the latter doesn’t lead to anything positive or productive.)

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Yes, I know there are plenty of legitimate reasons people have for how things turn out in certain areas, and I’m not trying to minimize that. But many times, it’s just not helpful to focus on those things.  So I’m suggesting we shift our perspective and take ownership so we can actually accomplish something rather than spending our time blaming, avoiding responsibility, complaining, and making excuses.

We have to draw the line somewhere.

We have to CHOOSE to take OWNERSHIP.

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Honestly, it’s pretty empowering to know that you are RIDICULOUSLY in charge for many of the outcomes in your life.

If we take an inventory of our lives, what are the things we would like to change? If you “begin with the end in mind” and think about how you’d like a certain area of your life to look, you can start making the changes to move in the direction of that desired outcome. In my experience, it has been so much easier to grow in an area when I take ownership first.

Here are a few of the areas we can take inventory.

  • marriage
  • parenting
  • health/fitness
  • finances
  • business
  • faith
  • relationships

Instead of blaming our spouse, focus on what WE are doing to bring God glory in our marriage. After all, we will answer to the Lord some day for our own words and actions. (And our spouse will answer for theirs.)

Instead of blaming our boss, employees, or company, focus on what WE can do to work hard as if working for the Lord to gain influence, improve production, and grow our business.

Instead of focusing on the church, the preacher, “hypocrites,” trials in our life, focus on what WE are doing to draw near to the Lord through studying the Word, obedience, prayer, serving, and bringing others to Christ.

Instead of focusing on our genetics, focus on healthy lifestyle choices WE make daily (more sleep, less stress, healthy eating, exercise, clean water, etc.)to improve our overall health & “turn off” genes.

Instead of losing our patience with our kids, focus on how WE can have self-control and respond in love and patience.

Instead of making excuses for why we can’t keep a clean house, make healthy meals, stay on budget, work out, forgive someone, have a quiet time, give up unhealthy habits, stop watching trash tv or listening to junky music, get out of debt…take ownership and make the choice to practice discipline.

It’s not about perfection, but it is about progress and striving to be the best version of myself. I don’t want to raise entitled children. I want to raise kids who become great adults, so that means I have to teach them to take ownership. And the only way I can do that with integrity is to model it myself.

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Yes, there are some things that are out of our control, like the 10 unchangeables. But we can choose to focus on the things we CAN control- and when we take ownership, we have the ability to make changes for the better. #ownit

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Father’s Day 2017

I am so grateful for these three men & love being able to celebrate them.

Jonathan, my dad (Granddaddy), & Jonathan’s dad (Papa) are some of the best of the best. They are men of character and integrity. Would literally give the shirts off their backs if someone needed it. Some of the hardest workers I know and that’s why they are all three successful business owners.

They love their families fiercely and have demonstrated that through giving their TIME to them. I love watching the precious bond the boys have with their Daddy, Granddaddy, & Papa. It’s priceless & I cherish it for them.

Jonathan, my dad, and Jimmy are respected by pretty much anyone who knows them, but are respected most by those who know them best. Not many can say that, but these three champion men can. I am so grateful they are all part of our lives and are the role models for our little Butler boys.

Here are their 2017 Father’s Day cards I make them on Shutterfly every year.

Happy Father’s Day to my favorites!!

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We are blessed.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Your Home is your Ministry

Ladies, I just want to encourage YOU today.

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Your home IS your ministry!

What a powerful opportunity we have every single day to serve the Lord...even in what may feel like mundane tasks. I’ve said before “If I’m scrubbing toilets, I’m going to scrub em for Jesus!” May sound lame, but isn’t that what we want to do? And isn't that exciting? Taking care of our homes & families is such an awesome contribution to the Kingdom that we should be proud of and work heartily in! It may not get all the glory now & may seem like a thankless job, but I feel full confidence we are storing crowns in Heaven as we walk out that great calling.

There are a few passages in the Bible that are just for us women, like Titus 2:3-5 that says "the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed." We should study those verses & become passionate about them as we pursue our mission to become more like Christ.

Being a homemaker- to me, that means your best efforts should be inside your own four walls. If your ministry ever becomes so demanding of you that your own home- your family...husband/marriage, children, health, personal walk...begins to suffer, it's time to step back. We can't let our light shine for others if our lights are burned out, and they can even be burned out by doing "good" things like serving/working outside the home. Do I believe both can be done? Yes. But we have to be super cautious to GUARD our hearts, minds, & homes. You have to take care of your own light first, and the bigger the flame, the more it draws others & more you can share. We are not called to be busy, stretched too thin, or too exhausted for our own family. I have no doubt Satan is using this as a tool of destruction & a sneaky method of getting into families...making us busy, making us feel inadequate & like we aren't doing enough in what should be our greatest calling, by keeping us from finding fulfillment in being homemakers, & in having us pursue things that mean some of our own families' needs go unmet.

Let's pursue godliness together by becoming warriors for our own four walls! I get excited at the thought of how we can change the world when our own husbands and children get our most Christ-like efforts.

"I want to be respected most by those who know me best."

Munchkin Murphy Mission

You guys know how precious adoption is to me since I was adopted. I can tell you from the perspective of being adopted, it is an incredible bond and such a gift. I am forever grateful to both my biological mom and my family taking me in and always treating me like blood. I am grateful every day they chose LIFE & that the Lord orchestrated and placed me where he did.

We have some sweet friends – PJ & Kiley Murphy- (they are farmers in Kentucky) getting ready to adopt a precious baby, & they're fundraising with these super cute t-shirts!

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There are lots of colors & options available if you want your own. (I ordered some for Jon & the boys too.) Here’s the link to order shirts: https://www.bonfire.com/mmmlovegrowsfamilies/

(You can read a little more of their story here too.)

If you decide to get one, be sure to post a picture and use the hashtag #murphymunchkinmission . Kiley is making a collage with pictures to put in the baby’s room of everyone who supported the adoption.

Saying a prayer today for all of the families going through the adoption process and all of the precious children waiting for a family to call their own. A sweet friend reminded me to pray for the birth mothers too, and that is so very true & honestly something I didn’t think of. It is such an act of sacrificial love, but I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for those mamas. Praying for them too.

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“For this child I have prayed, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.” – 1 Samuel 1:27

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Kade’s 2nd Birthday

Kade’s official 2nd birthday was on Wednesday, June 14th. We had a fun day at home & Kade loved talking about turning 2 all day. He even helped us sing “Happy Birthday” to himself with his sweet little voice.

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We celebrated his birthday on Saturday, June 17th at INK (Interactive Neighborhood for Kids) in Gainesville. His party was from 12-2 (naptime), and we had Jase’s first little baseball game early that morning. It was busy a busy morning and we were up earlier than normal, so I was hoping he wouldn’t be too tired and would be able to enjoy his party. In true Kade fashion, he didn’t disappoint! He had a blast with all his friends and family.

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He sang with us again and blew his candles right out. He couldn’t wait for some cake!

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That would be his second cupcake. He helped himself to one when we first got there and were setting up. Little stinker!

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He got some great gifts- a cute outfit, a bike, some blocks & outside toys,sunglasses, learning cupcakes, and a grocery cart with food. He was so sweet and told everyone “taint tou” for the presents. He spent most of his time playing with the trains by Papa and Granddaddy while all the big kids explored the museum. All of the kiddos had a blast!

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I was trying to keep an eye on the boys, talk to everyone, and hold Baby Beau, so I didn’t get to take as many pictures as I would have liked. But I am so grateful to everyone who was able to come celebrate our sweet Kade with us! (And we missed you guys who couldn’t make it!)

He is so precious and makes life so much fun. He has the sweetest little smile and dimples and the funniest personality. He loves to make us laugh and is so friendly! You have added so much FUN & JOY to our lives over these past two years,and we are so thankful you are ours.

Kade- You are truly a GIFT from the Lord and I just love being your mama! You have added so much FUN & JOY to our lives over these past two years, and we are so thankful you are ours!! Keep shining, sweet boy.

Guests: Mom, Dad, Jase, Beau, Papa, “Jimmy,” Baby Kayton, Uncle RicYou have added so much FUN & JOY to our lives over these past two years,and we are so thankful you are ours.hard & Aunt Jean, Grammy & Granddaddy, Tammie, Zach, & Morgen, Dustin, Amie, DJ, Baby Ellie, Gracie, Chloe, Carsyn, Presley, Colette, Harbor Kate, Laura, Braylon, Baby Mayson, Megan, Levi, Selah

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Feelings Follow Obedience

I think there are some times in life we just have to make the choice to obey first, and then our feelings will “catch up.” If we try to wait on our feelings first before we do what we know is right, that may not ever happen. And the Bible says when we know what is right and don’t do it, that is sin.

“Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” –James 4:17

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I’ve heard people teach that partial obedience or delayed obedience is the same thing as disobedience.  My initial reaction is to argue that or get defensive about it, but when you think about some practical examples, it helps you understand how that is truth. I know with my kiddos for example, I want them to obey immediately. This is not a power trip thing….it’s about THEIR protection. If I ask one of my boys to put his shoes on so we can leave and it takes him 10 minutes and me asking him 3 different times, that sounds like no big deal, right? It’s not life or death. But what if we are on the sidewalk in the front yard and he starts running after a ball into the street? If I yell at him to stop, he must stop immediately! We don’t have time to wait around for 10 minutes and for me to tell him 3 times. It IS life or death if a car is speeding by. Sometimes we don’t consider that, but there is no way to teach a young child that there are times delayed or partial obedience are okay and times it’s not. We have to teach them to obey immediately, every time….and that means we must live that out in our own lives. I know our Heavenly Father doesn’t expect any less from us, and we have to trust that our obedience will ultimately lead to our protection.

I can think of many people whose lives have been ruined because of ONE bad choice, can’t you? One choice to disobey can lead to “death,” both figurative and literal.

Anyway, I was thinking about a few (less serious) examples of times I have had to choose to just do it, and eventually the feelings started catching up. This is encouraging me to step out in other areas, when I know I should (or shouldn’t) be doing something, to be obedient in that area. Without questioning, delaying, or hesitating…

So here are the examples.

*Cooking. I did not know how to cook when I went off to college. I lived off of cereal, salad, frozen veggies, sandwiches, and burnt fish/chicken on the Foreman grill (lol! I’m sure my roommates loved me for that!). I remember my friend Beth telling me how to brown meat because I didn’t know. Seriously…it was bad. And because of that, I didn’t like cooking. Or at least, that’s what I told myself. When I got married, I knew that I was the “nutritional gatekeeper” of our home, and I wanted to eat/feed our family healthy and nutritious homemade meals. That meant I was going to have to learn to cook. So even though I didn’t really want to, and I didn’t really enjoy it (at first), I started cooking. I became a student. I looked up recipes, practiced, made a few #epicfails in the kitchen. But eventually I got better! And I even started to enjoy it. My feelings followed my obedience, and now I love to cook and can be found spending lots of time in the kitchen every day. (I wrote a blog post about this a while back.)

*Exercising. I have always been active and love to work out! But have you ever taken some time off for any reason? Or started a new-to-you workout regimen? At first, it can be pretty miserable. Let’s be honest…it is NOT fun getting back in it when you’re not in shape. But over time, you get better, get stronger, recover faster, have more endurance, and it gets easier. It gets more enjoyable. (And then you can push yourself harder!) I know being active helps me be as healthy as possible (*sitting is the new smoking*), so I do it…even when I don’t feel like it. I always feel better afterwards. So again, those feelings follow obedience.

*Forgiving someone. Whew! This one is a hard one. There have been a few times I’ve had to make the choice (and still have to make the choice- unfortunately it’s not always a once a done) to forgive someone. To forgive someone who didn’t deserve it, or didn’t even ask for my forgiveness for that matter. But when I forgive that person, I feel better. It allows me to let go of anger, hurt, bitterness, and resentment…which means I can replace those feelings with JOY, peace, happiness, & love. It feels really good to be able to forgive and even love (in a Christlike way) those who have hurt you (even if there isn’t a relationship). Your feelings follow the obedience.

But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. –Luke 6:27-28

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”- john 14:23

If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. –Deut 28:1

Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess. –Deut 5:33

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. – James 1:22

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Beau: 3 Months

Baby Beau turned 3 months on May 23rd

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Weight/Height: He is super long & lean. He may end up being our tallest boy yet. He was around 14 lbs the last time I weighed him, and I’ve even put him in a few 9 month/12 month onsies! They were a little big of course, but I have a feeling he’s going to be a tall guy.

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Health: Sweet baby is healthy & growing. He is such a happy, laid back baby & has the best demeanor! This sounds gross but he gets some crusty skin stuff behind his ears like every day. I gently scrub them with one of his little washcloths & then use coconut oil, but it pops back up in a day or two.

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I bought some “natural” diapers that caused him to have a rash. We just went back to Pampers & it’s clearing up already. Nothing a little coconut oil and breastmilk can’t cure!

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Sleep: Beau is a great sleeper. He takes really great naps and wakes up one or two times during the night. He is definitely going to be a tummy sleeper. We only swaddle his legs now since he can roll over front to back and back to front. We still use our Snuza & Angel Care monitor.

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(For the record, when they are fastened in their infant seat, the chest strap should be much tighter than this. We loosened it a little because we were at a restaurant, but you shouldn’t have any slack like that.)

What Beau is up to: rolling front to back & back to front, drooling & blowing bubbles, laughing out loud, getting a million kisses, stealing hearts

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Nursing: Nursing is going well. He nurses about 10-15 min, except at night and it’s much longer for that final feeding. He definitely has a side preference, & sometimes I have to nurse one side to get the other ide to let down. Thankfully we haven’t had any issue though! I haven’t really been pumping at all since our extra freezer is in storage& we don’t really have the space.

He’s obviously not missing any meals! (Those aren’t really his size 6 diapers. He’s in a 2/3. We just needed one and had to borrow one of Kade’s.)

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Post-Partum: I feel good. Still sweating all.the.time! I am always hot now which is so unlike me- I’m normally always freezing. Started working out at Fit Body Boot Camp and a few Orange Theory workouts and I feel like I’m really getting back to my normal strength and endurance. I’ve also been doing more research and we are trying to move to a little bit more of a plant-based diet, so shooting for 2 days a week of meatless meals. Still probably need to be getting more sleep, but I’m doing my best to take good care of myself. Growing a lot spiritually. Missing teaching, but try to get my fix through random FB Live videos. Also trying to take better care of my teeth and skin.

Big Brothers Jase & Kade: The boys LOVE their little brother & they take great care of him. They are very sweet and gentle with him and always let me know if he needs something.

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He has his little birth marks in the exact same place Kade does. I feel like he has Kade’s head shape and similar marks, and even some dimples (just not as pronounced as Kade’s), but looks more like Jase with his eyes & coloring.

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Thoughts: Baby Beau, you are my sweet, precious boy and my heart is so full loving you!! You have added so much JOY to our family & you’re the perfect Butler brother to add to the mix. I’m  already loving watching you grow and can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for you. I have no doubt it’s BIG….because you are special. And oh so very loved! Thanks for being such a sweet babe. And for not crying in the car anymore. Winking smileLove being your mama.

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