Monday, December 28, 2009

3 years - What I've Learned So Far

I am your parent, you are my child
I am your quiet place, you are my wild

I am your calm face, you are my giggle
I am your wait, you are my wiggle



I am your audience, you are my clown
I am your London Bridge, you are my falling down

I am your carrot sticks, you are my licorice
I am your dandelion, you are my first wish



I am your water wings, you are my deep
I am your open arms, you are my running leap

I am your way home, you are my new path
I am your dry towel, you are my wet bath



I am your dinner, you are my chocolate cake
I am your bedtime, you are my wide awake

I am your finish line, you are my race
I am your praying hands, you are my saving grace



I am your favorite book, you are my new lines
I am your nightlight, you are my sunshine

I am your lullaby, you are my peek-a-boo
I am your kiss goodnight, you are my "I love you"


(all excerpts from the book "You Are My 'I Love You'" by Maryann K Cusimano and Satomi Ichikawa)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Come & Receive

If I'm honest, I'll admit that growing up, my Christmas was about 98% Santa and about 2% Nativity.

Make that 99%, 1%.

Between chocolate-filled advent calendars, the latest Toys R Us ads, and wish-lists longer than our fridge, I didn't have much leftover room in my heart or mind for Christ. In fact, the only thoughts I gave Him were selfish/irritated ones that I was born on December 22nd, and wondered why He and I had to share our birthdays so close together.

On Christmas Eve, the classic book we read from was "Twas the Night Before Christmas," and not the chapter of Luke.

The last thing I was thinking about on Christmas morning was a baby in a manger.

**

This may very well be the first year I'm learning to re-orient my mind.

If you've ever found yourself in a similar situation, perhaps I can extend an invitation.

I will be speaking at Lake Sawyer Christian Church this upcoming Friday, December 4th. They have an annual Womens Christmas gathering, and I was honored to be asked to be a part of it this year! A fabulous dinner is included, plus carols and cheesecake.

Most importantly, I'm looking forward to going because this year, I want to have a fresh outlook on this season that we are all so familiar with. I want to see things a little differently than I have in years past. I'm looking for a different kind of joy. Perhaps, together, we can find a new perspective with which to navigate this busy month.

Doors open at 6:15 pm. The theme is "A Gift Worth Giving." Hope to see you there!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Its time for a haircut

I guess you can say I've been a little giveaway happy lately. But with holiday season upon us, can you blame me?

Besides, I think you need a little time to yourself...at Salon Dolche. The name just sounds sweet, doesn't it?

I had my much-needed root touch-up not too long ago at Salon Dolche in Everett and walked away relaxed (and blonde again.) Such a friendly, capable staff.

Plus, I got my husband to go with me and finally get a hair cut. As in finally, I mean I had been asking him for about a month to "please get a haircut" and "would you just get a haircut already" and finally posted on his facebook "Sarah became a fan of Joel getting a haircut" and FINALLY made a dad-gum appointment for him.

So if you win one of these four $25.00 gift cards I'm giving away, then its your choice if you use it for yourself (mmmm, Bumble and Bumble shampoo smells so good...) or someone else in your family who RIDICULOUSLY needs a haircut more than you do.

Enter in the comments section, as always. Drawing is random, as always. I will contact you if you are one of the four winners!

Sarah

PS Salon Dolche is located on Everett Mall Way. www.salondolche.com

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tell Me The Story Again

My first memory of Sunday School must have been around age three. You’re going to think I’m making it up, but the truth of the matter is, the first visual I have was sitting in a circle with other kids my age, watching a kind woman put a piece of felt on a board.

Felt on a board. My first impression of Jesus.

I don’t remember understanding a lick of what this well-intentioned Sunday School teacher said, but I did want to touch the felt.

That was a little church in Bellingham. I don’t have any other memories from that, but I have seen home videos of me dressed up for the Christmas service, singing Jesus songs with a bunch of other kids, up on stage. The home video clearly shows me playing with the boy next to me, who was jumping on the risers, and so I jumped, and then a teacher came to settle us down.

The next memory I have of church came around age 8, when I was in another Sunday School. Because my family did not attend church regularly, my attendance was hit-or-miss. Our neighbor was the one who offered to drive me, and I went because I liked her kids and I liked her family. But once her blue van pulled into the Church parking lot, I felt nervous. We sang songs that I didn’t know, and I sat at a circle table full of kids I didn’t know, listening to a woman talk about verses I didn’t know and didn’t understand. Some kids remembered their Bibles. I did not. Some kids remembered their offering money. I did not. I felt stupid and alone.

I remember thinking my eight-year-old thoughts about God, wondering why He chose to reveal Himself to some people and not to others. How come other 8 year olds knew their Bible verses, and seemed to nod when the teacher spoke? Why did those same kids have more "Awana bucks" than I did to buy candy on Wednesday nights? What was I doing wrong?

**

Now that I am a mother, raising a daughter who is almost of the age where I had my first felt-board memory, I find myself asking God how to introduce Him to Olivia. My hope is that perhaps I can save her from some of those lonely, confused feelings I dealt with as a child when I thought about God.

My main concern is this: How do I differentiate between the stories I tell Olivia about God and Jesus along with stories of Cinderella, Snow White and the Tooth Fairy? How can I help my child grasp that one is fairy tale and the other is absolute Truth? At what age do children understand these things? And if its as early as three, like it was for me, then we are fast approaching that birthday for my daughter and I’m asking God for direction. My prayer sounds like this: “Jesus, how can I introduce You best to her?” When I hear Him whisper back, I hear “model My love.”

**

So, as I consider these things (both here on this blog and alone in my thoughts) I wanted to introduce a Childrens Bible that I’ve heard about from a few different women. Its called The Jesus Storybook Bible and what I like about it is that its not “cutesy.” In other words, there is no felt-board involved. Just clear text that is faithful to the Bible, yet able to capture the attention of children. So far, I’m really enjoying reading it with Olivia at night. Granted, we've only just begun. But this beginning feels good.

And you don’t think I’d tell you about this Bible without giving a few away, do you? Of course not. I have five brand-new Deluxe Edition copies right here at my desk, thanks to Sally Lloyd-Jones, who is a wonderful childrens author and weaves her faith into all her books.

Simply leave a comment (with your contact information) and if you’re one of the five winners, I’ll get a hold of you. I’d love if you’d share in the comments section ways that you are sharing your faith with your children.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bookmark

I go through seasons of inspiration. When this blog first took form, I was a little over a month away from my due date with Olivia. It was my "baby blog" of sorts, and remained that way for the first year. Then I began to talk about things other than Olivia (gasp!) and found my groove with writing. Of course, we all remember my juicing phase... Well, now I'm in my book phase, if you cant tell. I've got a stack of paperbacks and hardcovers near my night stand. Some are downstairs, some are upstairs, and my husband has mentioned the word "Kindle" to me more than once.

I read books of all sorts, depending on what mood I'm in. Currently in rotation (in no particular order) includes the new Nicholas Sparks "The Last Song," Kathy Griffin "Official Book Club Selection," and "The End Of Overeating" by an author whos name I can't recall at the moment and am too lazy to Google.

My favorite over the past month has been Donald Millers "A Million Miles in A Thousand Years." Perhaps you are familiar with one of his first books, Blue Like Jazz. I'd call this new book somewhat of a follow-up to the first one. For some reason, I connect with his writing immensely and find myself wishing my eyes could move faster and drink in more words so I could turn pages at a quicker pace. And when the book is done, I'm ready for more. If you are even the slightest bit interested in starting even one book, I'd suggest this one.

All this to say, sometimes I'm so busy reading that I forget to blog.

And the next post on here will be about books again, so brace yourself. Only this next post might just be about the most important book there ever was and how I'm learning to read that book in a different way.

Sarah

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fearless

Can you remember a moment in your life where you were the most afraid?

I remember one of mine. A cold, dark January night… alone at Childrens Hospital with 1-year-old Olivia in my arms, her tiny head spiking a fever of 104. The doctors had to give her a steroid shot in her leg because her Strider (a deep cough and inflammation) was so bad. They said the shot would most likely help her, but in some cases it actually made things worse…and could restrict her airway completely if she had an adverse reaction. They told me that if this was the case, they had a “crash cart” in the hallway and were prepared to use it.

A crash cart? For my baby?

They looked at me. I was the decision maker. My husband was not there. I was it.

Yes or no to this shot? JESUS WHAT DO I DO? WHAT IS THE RIGHT ANSWER HERE?

Tears poured from my face as I held Olivia and said yes. I prayed over her out loud as they treated her. “Jesus be with her! Jesus help her!” I can’t remember how loud my voice was, but lets just say it was the voice a mother gets when she is going to battle for her child.

***

Looking back, and knowing that Olivia is totally fine, I have a better perspective and the whole scene seems overly dramatic. But in the moment, I was desperate and afraid.

I mention all this to introduce you to a new book by Max Lucado.



There are only a handful of authors whos books I buy every time a new one comes out… And Max Lucado makes the list.

I’ve always felt like he strings words together in a gentle way… kind of like spoon-feeding me the message of Jesus. Its as if Lucado knows I’m fragile, so he treads lightly.

In his latest book, Fearless, Lucado was able to do what he does best: paint a picture with words, back it up with Scripture, and close each chapter with an “atta girl, you can do it!” attitude. I devour his books like a warm casserole out of the oven...comfort food at its best - yet his chapters come with no calories! Win.

One chapter in Fearless is titled “Fear of Not Protecting My Kids.” I’ve needed this chapter for a long time, because I’m an expert worrier. Lucado, a father of three daughters himself, is quick to acknowledge that the “semitruck of parenting comes loaded with fears…” and then he is gentle when he gives us the answer. Its an answer we already know, but it’s the truth none-the-less: Prayer. I guess I just needed him to remind me...again.

Lucado says that “Prayer is the saucer into which parental fears are poured to cool.” I love that image. This is something I CAN do. I can take my worries and ask God to help me shape them into prayers.

“Parents, we can’t protect children from every threat in life, but we can take them to the Source of life.” Pg 61

There are several other chapters in the book, Fearless, that deal with the Fear of Disappointing God, the Fear of Overwhelming Challenges, and the Fear that God Is Not Real.

And every chapter offers the antidote to fear… and that is faith.

Read on, friends.

(This was my first blog review for Thomas Nelson Publishers. You can review books for them, too! They send you a free copy and you post your review on the blog. Give it a try: Click Here.)

Monday, August 10, 2009

I'll run this race for You

I can still remember the wet grass and the fog during early morning PE in Junior High. We got to school just after 6 AM - and put on our red shorts and our grey T-shirts with our names written in black Sharpie and started jogging around the track. I dreaded it.

And I remember 9th grade, when a cute boy I liked joined the Varsity track team.....so I joined the Varsity track team. Literally to chase after him.

Running has never been something I enjoyed while I was doing it...but there was a distinct feeling I remember upon finishing. A feeling of intense accomplishment.

I can't explain how or why I started running again, I just know it was something I was longing to do. And after days (and weeks) of saying "I'll start tomorrow," I finally laced up my shoes and just took off.

And as the air burned in my chest as I slowly made my way around the track, I began to talk to Jesus. Out loud.

Teach me to run.

My friend SarahAnn has been instrumental in getting me started. Perhaps you heard me talking about her on the radio. She runs by my side and provides accountability for the days I don't feel like beginning again. She is the one who got me signed up for my first 5k, along with her husband Josh, and our friend Holly.

Don't let me quit.

About two weeks into our new routine, our co-worker Tina decided to join in. Our duo was now a trio. Because of Tina, I found myself at my old Junior High track again because its close to her house. There was an eery feeling as my now 28-year-old feet hit the clay track where my then 13-year-old feet used to run. I felt like a child again, all self-conscious and unsure of myself. As Tina and I ran that course, I remembered all the insecurity I carried in Junior High, and with each stride I took, I thought about how far God has brought me. I wasn't prepared for what an emotional experience that would be.

A few more weeks went by and two other girls from Spirit 105.3 joined in. We now have a beehive of runners. It reminds me of Fight Club. One turned into two, into three, and now five. Before long, I'm sure we'll have nothing short of a parade of people signing up for these 5k's. I'm still not quite sure how this happened.

I forked over some serious cash and bought BOB, the newest member of our Fight Club. BOB is a kickin' jogging stroller that I purchased for Olivia at REI. She loves riding in it, and below is us finishing our second 5k.


Photo credit: Bright Room
Pictured: Me, Olivia, SarahAnn & Josh (SarahAnn's husband). Tina isn't pictured because she finished ahead of us!!!

Running is quickly becoming a model for life for me. Its hard. Often times, I don't want to do it. I get nervous, afraid to fail. I think "perhaps today is the day I will be disappointed." I pray for strength and tell myself just to start, to worry about the rest later.

Help me go farther.


Jesus brings friends along to run beside me. Their encouragement gets me to the finish line. My favorite part is when we round the final corner, and I see "FINISH" ahead. It seems so close, and yet so far. My legs are like Jell-O, and although they are moving, I don't really feel them. I hear Olivia squeal "I see it! I see the finish line! Lets Go!" and I laugh to myself and think "Easy for you to say, you're being pushed in a stroller!"

When I cross with my daughter, she puts her hands in the air! We smile and cheer and search for water. And in that moment, I think: It was worth it.

2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Free Vegetables

**BUT WAIT - theres more! Although this blog contest is now closed, there is still a chance for you to win a 75.00 Giftcard to www.freggies.com - Tom & I are giving them away all this week in the afternoons. Call around 3pm and we'll put you in the daily drawing - we have 5 cards to give away. Our studio line is 1-877-275-1053.**

**Contest now closed: Congrats to Jessi, Katie & Callie, our 3 Freggies winners.**


Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber would be proud of this post.

For almost a year now, I've been telling you how my health has changed simply by doing something most of you are already doing: Fresh vegetables & fruits. In fact, I want to write a diet book called "How I stopped eating Tator Tots everyday and start eating vegetables and *surprise* lost weight." I think it could be a best seller.

Brilliant, I know, right? It reminds me of the real bestseller called "In Defense of Food" that has my favorite byline ever: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

Remember, I wasn't always this way. I was the girl in preschool that refused to eat my cooked carrots and peas, so the little girl next to me, Lindsey, ate them for me. We are still friends to this day. God bless that little Lindsey. Is it any wonder that that same, sweet kindhearted four year old grew up to be a missionary who travels the globe? Her picture is on my fridge - and even though we are both almost 30 years old, I only see someone who is four.

Back to the veggies: after years of slowly putting on more weight, and feeling sluggish and depressed, well.... I reached a point of despair. I knew if I didn't get this under control now, I would never get it under control.

Thus, cucumbers. Carrots. Celery. Grapefruit. Apples. Pears. Bananas. Kale.

This afternoon I threw some ground flax seed on my yogurt. I laughed out loud as Brandon Heath's song played, "I'm not who I was..." My diet has drastically changed over the past year. I am so thankful. Not to overspiritualize things, but I feel like God did it for me.

Anyway - I love passing along a few of my "finds" to you - in case you find yourself on this journey with me.

Todays find? Freggies.

Freggies is the answer to this question: "How can I get affordable organic produce delivered right to my door?" Freggies!

I found out about Freggies through a friend here at Spirit, because 99% of us are all on a health kick lately. Its good accountability, I'll tell you that much! On days where I want to cave and eat 10 doughnuts, I see someone else walk by with their protein shake, and I head the other direction. Crisis averted.

The owner of Freggies (Jerrod) has an amazing story of overcoming cancer - and he attributes his recovery to Jesus and a better diet. Sounds like my kinda guy! He and his wife are committed to helping others have a healthier lifestyle - I just love this mission, and I feel myself following in that direction. Jerrod says that starting Freggies was a very spiritual experience for him - he knew how much God had helped him take control over his health and life with fresh nutrition - and he wanted to make a way to BRING that nutrition to others. Literally, to their door.

I logged on to Freggies.com and saw that the prices are extremely affordable, and had my first batch delivered the other day. SO simple, and it was actually really fun because I ordered a few fruits & veggies I don't normally order. Its so convenient - and I find that our family eats healthier. Well, Olivia and I do, anyway. We're still workin' on Joel. Lucky guy can eat whatever in the world he wants and still looks great. He's got some good genes.

And YES - the title of this post is "free veggies" - I spoke with Jerrod and he's agreed to give away THREE $50.00 giftcards to www.freggies.com! So simply leave a comment here - lets do comments that keep us motivated to get (or stay) healthy. Maybe its a quote, or a scripture you know - whatever inspires you, leave it in the comments section and I'll choose three winners. Remember to leave an email address so I can contact you if you win. No email, no freggies. :-)

Sarah

PS I like starting our comments off, here's mine:
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, "I used everything You gave me." Erma Bombeck

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Such Restraint

Anyone remember this post? You know, the one where I basically told you I'd rather meet her than Justin Timberlake?

Well...



I guess I can cross that one off my list now.

Angie came to town with her husband, Todd, and the musical group he's in, Selah. Can I just tell you something? I am a Selah fanatic now. I mean, I always liked their music - we've played their cover of "God Bless The Broken Road" and we've played "Light of The Stable" around Christmas time. But this new record? The one that (plug) comes out August 25th (plug) and is titled "You Deliver Me" (plug) is going to blow you away. I have only heard a handful of the new songs - but its been enough to have me ready to sit at my computer on August 24th and click "refresh" every 10 seconds as midnight approaches so I can get the disc on Amazon.com the second it goes on sale. Whats that? You want to do that, too? You want to preorder it? Ok. Heres the link: Preorder.

The gal in the group is named Amy, and she has a powerhouse of a voice. Its the kind of voice we all pretend to have when we daydream about what we could sound like if we could really sing. Todd and Allen have powerful voices as well - and when all three sing at once in harmony, the music takes you to another place. I've never been to a Selah concert before - until this past week when they stopped by the radio station to play some new music for us. They set up on our conference room here at Spirit - and the room was packed. (Mostly because I invited a few extra people... you know who you are.)

Oh. And afterwards? I got to spend a little more time with Angie. Such a sacrifice, I know. See, they don't have a Nordstrom where Angie lives in Nashville, and she was really hoping to pick up a few things. So, I volunteered to take her. :-) Downtown we went, for a quick little perfume shopping spree. And friends? I showed SUCH restraint. Although everything inside my being wants to smell just like Angie, I did NOT purchase the same fragrance as her. Because that would just be over the line.

Sarah

Friday, July 10, 2009

The number one question


"Where DID she get those curls?"

I have no idea. Both Joel & I both had "baby" curls when we were small, but nothing like this. Shes my little Shirley Temple. I never pictured myself with a curly-top girl, mostly because my hair is stick straight...and I've spent half the better part of my adult life trying to find a hairspray strong enough to help my hair hold curl for at least a half hour.

I love when people ask "Do YOU curl her hair?" and I'm all like, "Yes. I permed it this morning." ;-)

Sometimes I catch my mom delicately twirling each curl around her finger, to make it go 'boing!' I don't know how long she'll have this head of hair, but you better believe I have no plans on her first haircut any time soon.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Turning Pages

Somebody find my seventh grade yearbook, because I'm turning back into that little 13-year-old girl I once was.

A few of you know me from back-in-the-day when I wore overalls to school and did math...for fun...at recess. I also read. A lot.

And I'm proud to say: that girl is back! I may have contacts now - and the braces are gone - but deep in my heart, I'm a student who loves to learn. I was thisclose to being valedictorian (darn you, Callie!). Nevermind the fact that I had to just Google valedictorian in order to spell it correctly. What I'm trying to say is, I'm embracing the inner part of who I am - which is that nerdy little 13 year old whos reflection I still see in the mirror each day. I've tried to outgrow her, but she's persistent, and no matter how hip & trendy I try and be on the outside, I will always be the straight-A-striving, overachieving, book-loving fool I was meant to be. Is no wonder I fell in love with a man who was homeschooled and graduated high-school at the age of 16! My heart nearly burst out of my chest when we started dating: "Hooray, we can do cross-words together!"

But back to the reading. I just signed on to be a Thomas Nelson book-reviewer-blogger-whathaveyou. Have you heard about this? Brilliant! The publishing company, Thomas Nelson, is giving away free books to bloggers to review. Sign up here if the seventh-grader inside you wants to do book reports, too.

So anyway, I figured, as I wait for my first book to arrive, I will choose one of my own favorite books to review just to get started. Upon looking at the back page however, I realized that this book is also indeed a Thomas Nelson book, so go figure.


Sam introduced me to this book a few months ago. She said: "Its like Jesus calls you up each morning and leaves a voicemail..."

The author, Sarah Young, explains that she had read a book years ago that talked about waiting quietly in Gods Presence, pencil and paper in hand, recording what she believed He was saying. This was so refreshing to me, to read someone else who shares this experience, because often this is what I do when I find some time to sit quietly. So the book, Jesus Calling, is written in the first person, as if Jesus were talking.

I was reading todays and thought I'd share:

"As you get out of bed in the morning, be aware of My Presence with you. You may not be thinking clearly yet, but I am. Your early morning thoughts tend to be anxious ones until you get connected with Me. Invite Me into your thoughts by whispering My Name. Suddenly your day brightens and feels more user-friendly. You cannot dread a day that is vibrant with My Presence.

You gain confidence through knowing that I am with you - that you face nothing alone. Anxiety stems from asking the wrong question: "If such and such happens, can I handle it?" The true question is not whether you can cope with whatever happens, but whether you and I together can handle anything that occurs. It is this you-and-I-together factor that gives you confidence to face the day cheerfully."

Psalm 5:3
3 In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation

Friday, June 5, 2009

Across The Street


Its symbolized by a stack of paperwork on the kitchen table that never moves.
A few file folders, a bunch of bills, some school registration forms and maybe a book or two. Lots of Post-Its.

Its often a joke around my parents house – that stack of paper.
If my mom is reading this right now, she’s smiling I’ll bet.

But I want to tell you what it represents.

The other day, I was at my parents house picking up my daughter, and I saw the stack. (It seemed to be growing larger.) Not all of the paperwork is urgent… its just important enough not to toss. It basically represents a long to-do list.

Yet, the other day when I noticed it again, neither my mom nor my step-dad was inside. No one was at the kitchen table working on the stack.

Instead, my step-dad was across the street, helping his neighbor move some furniture. My mom was at the same house; weeding.

But let me step back a moment.

I loved the neighborhood I grew up in. My parents house was at the top of a cul-de-sac, perfect for riding bikes with the neighborhood kids.

We knew our neighbors names. Their kids were my best friends growing up. Sometimes we would have Christmas parties together and put on a little talent show. I enjoyed the neighborhood.

Except for one house.

As a little girl, I was afraid of the man who lived there, because one time I hit a baseball into his garage and he said "Its mine now!" and slammed the door. He and his wife didn’t have small children, so I assumed he didn’t like any children. Therefore, it was the one house I skipped when I sold Girl Scout cookies.

I remember my step-dad telling me a story that years ago, his car wouldn’t start and he desperately needed a ride to the airport. He began knocking on neighbors doors, seeing if anyone was home. When he got to that house, and the man answered, my step-dad humbly asked for a ride. The answer was no, and the door was shut.

Even after all these years, its the one house I ignore when I drive into my parents driveway to visit.

A month ago, my mom called me and sounded serious. She informed me that the man who lived there had just passed away suddenly. He left behind his wife, who was on vacation when he passed.

Can you imagine being that woman? I pictured her, on an airplane, knowing when it landed at Sea-Tac that she’d be coming home to an empty house. It broke all of our hearts – so my parents decided to do something about it.

I have watched my parents, over the course of the past month, carry over food, mow her lawn, weed her garden, do her laundry, fix her lightbulbs, feed her cats, and everything else under the sun. What’s more is that they spend time with her. Sometimes at night, when the sun is going down, my parents go over just to watch television with her, so she's not alone. And I know for a fact that its not their choice of programming. They simply sit with her on the couch, and laugh with her at the comedy on television, so that shes not by herself.

So, what does this have to do with the stack of paperwork?

It would be easy for my parents to be too “busy” to do any of these things. They both work, they take care of my daughter in the afternoon when I’m on-air, and they have active lives. Its not like they are sitting around each day looking for something extra to do. Their plate is full. And the stack of papers proves it. Plenty of bills to pay, plenty of decisions to make, plenty of things to get done for the next day.

Yet they prioritize. The paperwork can wait another day.

They choose to walk across the street.

What does God expect of us?


A few days ago, a friend of mine who works at World Vision handed me a copy of this book.

Man, I'm glad he did.

I have not.been.able.to.put.it.down.

Granted, I'm only on chapter 3, but thats already deep enough to pause and tell you about the book.

Its written by the president of World Vision, Richard Stearns. He quickly drew me in by sharing the story of how God brought him to World Vision in the first place. Richard was a very successful businessman at a large fine-tableware company called Lenox. He had previously been the CEO of Parker Brothers (Monopoly, Clue, etc). He was in NO WAY looking to leave his position and join World Vision. He was quite comfortable in his large house, with his Jaguar in the driveway, living comfortably with his wife and 5 children.

I'll let you start the book to find out what happened next.

On a personal note, I've toured the World Vision building. Did you know we are lucky enough to have World Vision headquarters right here in Washington State? I'm sad to say I only realized that a few years ago! Located in Federal Way, the World Vision building is something to behold. I walked through the mail room, where every letter is sorted and sent. I attended one of their chapels, and watched a few employees receive recognition for a number of years of service. I saw pictures lining the hallways, each with a story. I left feeling humbled, and excited, knowing that the more I learn about what is actually going on around the world, the more I want to get involved. My husband and I sponsor a little girl named Juliet through World Vision. She lives in Zambia, Africa, and is the same age as our daughter Olivia. Sometimes when Olivia does something new (new words, new milestones) I think of Juliet, and wonder if she's doing the same.

On to chapter four,
Sarah

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hey Guys? Come get me!


My daughter is a rooster. She wakes up with the first dawn of day. Sometimes earlier.

I haven't used an alarm clock in 2 years and 5 months.

She still sleeps in a crib, and has only ever climbed out once. So most mornings, she stands at the rails and yells "Mama? Daddy? Hey guys! Come get me!"

If we don't go right away, we hear the following:

"Guys? Hey guys? Come get me dressed!"

I can hear blankets hitting the floor, or a "ker-plump" sound of her doll being tossed from the crib.

Its usually at this point that I throw my feet over the side of the bed and stumble into her room. And just when I think to myself "Can't-somebody-teach-this-kid-to-sleep-in-what-do-I-have-to-do-to-get-some-sleep-around-here-sheesh---" I crack open the door and see...

that smile.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Faith, Hope & Lullabies



Like most expecting mothers who daydream about their newborn, I had pictured calm, quiet, and soothing moments in a rocking chair as I held my sleeping baby.

A few weeks after I delivered Olivia, what I actually found were frantic, exhausted moments on the couch downstairs while I tried to let Joel sleep upstairs as I swayed with my crying infant. And when I'd had as much as I could take, I'd hand her off to Joel and he would take his turn.

Picturesque? Not quite. Reality? Absolutely.

A few weeks later, Joel installed one of those wall-hanging CD/Radio players in our bedroom so I could play some soothing music...usually as I cried. It didn't take much for the tears to flow, and there wasn't much that could comfort me except for music that focused my thoughts on God. As soon as I'd push the play button, I would take a huge sigh and let the worship music wash over me. Sometimes I would sit and pray and let the music guide me because I was too tired to think up words for prayers. Ever been that exhausted? Where you can't string a sentence together, so you just hope that the Lord can feel your heart instead and know what you're trying to say?

I love this new CD that just came out - I feel like it would be the perfect compliment to those moments. On the one hand, I was overjoyed at my sweet, healthy newborn in my arms. On the flip side, I had never been more scared in my life. I feel like I've finally found an album that honors both emotions! Its soothing lullabies that your baby would love, mainly instrumental tracks, but your mind hears the familiar comfort of songs like "Voice of Truth," "Cry Out To Jesus," and "How Great Is Our God." If you know someone who is having their very first Mothers Day this weekend, this is a must-have gift.

Here's the best news: I'm giving away 30 copies! That's right, 30! And all I ask is that you leave a verse in the comments section that has encouraged you when you were feeling low and exhausted. I ask this because I remember how helpful scripture was to me when I was a new mother. I was filled with anxiety and panic most of the time, and the only thing that could help me get through the hard moments was praying Gods word, often times out loud, and clinging to His promises.

I'll go first with my scripture: The one that brought me through thick-and-thin was given to me by my co-host, Tom. I think Olivia was about 7 days old, and I told Tom I was really scared. Tom said: "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7 I would recite that over and over, and picture in my mind God replacing all my fears with a sound mind. It really brought me through. Well, that and some medication. :-)

So please leave your scripture in the comments section - and if you are one of my 30 winners I will contact you right away, because I have all the CDs here at my desk.

Happy Mothers Day to you!
Sarah

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Its normal to take pictures in a grocery store, yes?

So last night, I took Olivia to the store with me in search of the magazine.

We went to three stores and couldn't find it. Those poor cashiers must have been like "Why is this woman yelling at me because we don't have the latest copy of Womens World? Man, if she's this into that magazine, she should get a subscription."

So finally the fourth store had it. (Shout out to Fred Meyer)

Please note that I found my magazine, and my daughter found something better.



Here I thought my biggest competition was "O" Magazine, or perhaps Good Housekeeping, or even US Weekly, and rather it was Dora The Explorer.



I can't believe I lost to a cartoon.



So while Olivia made her cover girl choice, I decided to restock the shelves.



And you know this wouldn't be complete without...



Yours,
Sarah

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Take THAT, US Weekly


Well. See? I told the truth - I really DID do a photoshoot and it really DID end up at a checkstand near you! Its still in stores this week, so if you feel the need to spend $1.79 on something, well, have at it. There seems to be a great recipe for cupcakes juice in there.

(and welcome new readers to this blog who have found it through the Spirit 105.3 email update. Enjoy previous juicing stories in blog posts as you scroll down.)

So there it is. My cover. Anyone see who I'm up against this week on US Weekly or People? I haven't actually been to the grocery store yet. Thats my plan tonight after I'm off air - my mom and I are meeting at the store to take a picture of me by the stands. I know, I know. I KNOW. Ridiculous. But we need to document this moment.

So I shall assess my competition. Is it Spencer and Heidi from The Hills? Are they on US Weekly this week? Because I think I can take 'em...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sparkly Water

**UPDATE: Books arrived this morning. If you are one of the 15 winners, I will contact you today.**

On a family trip to Lake Chelan, years ago, my little brother sat in the backseat. From his carseat he chanted a little song: "Spawk-a-wee water, Spawk-a-wee water." Our car had just made the turn off the freeway toward Lake Chelan, and the lake was in view. He was noting the hot sunshine reflecting off the blue lake, and how it twinkled. His song was so content, so happy; our family knew at that moment that our Summer vacation had begun.

Tiny moments like that, just one little 2-year-old quote, stick with me. They stick with my family, too. In fact, if I were to go to my parents house right now, and my 19-year-old brother were in the living room, I would simply look at him and sing "Sparkly water, sparkly water" and he would smile and know EXACTLY what I was talking about.

Its with that in mind that I introduce you to a new find: My Quotable Kid. Its a new book just coming out, and I am in love with it because of its simplicity.



Its more like a journal of sorts, but in this day and age, I've found it to be exactly what I need. (Its small enough to tote around in your purse.) Each time Olivia coins a phrase that I want to treasure, I grab whatever pen (or crayon) I can find and jot it down. Its like taking a photograph, only with words. I will treasure this book someday when she is grown and I miss my toddler.



The book is available for purchase at Amazon: click here. AND I called the publisher at Chronicle Books (I LOVE CHRONICLE BOOKS!!!) and they are shipping 15 copies in my direction so I can give them away!

So if you want in, leave a quote about your child, or perhaps from your own childhood, in the comments section. Be sure to include a way I can get a hold of you, like an email address, so I can mail you your copy of the book if you win! I'll do the drawing in about a week (once the books arrive from the publisher) and then choose winners at random.

I'm excited to give these away. In a world of email, facebook, blogs, and twitter, I'm just thankful to put a pen to paper sometimes and make a memory. One Sparkly Water story at a time.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

transcript

We all knew this day was coming, didn't we?

Behold the official transcript from last nights conversation.

7:34pm.

Olivia: "Mama, what doing?"
Me: "Taking my contacts out, Olivia."
Olivia: "Why?"
Me: "Because I want to put my glasses on."
Olivia: "Why?"
Me: "Because they're more comfortable."
Olivia: "Why?"
Me: "Because I don't have anything on my eye anymore."
Olivia: "Oh."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Thumbs-UPdate

Um, yeah.

In case you haven't seen it yet, I'd like to inform you of two facts about the current issue of Womens World Magazine, on stands now.

1. Oprah is on the cover
2. She is giving a big thumbs-up!

Thanks to my friend Angie for filling me in on this very important fact!

Still waiting to find out what picture of mine they choose... I wont know until you know - we all see it together on April 27th. But I'm feeling better knowing the past TWO covers have featured the thumbs-up and perhaps they won't want to run too many in a row. Yes?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Daddy Do

Amazing how a little perspective makes an old routine new again.

See, I make it a point to get as much time as I can in with Olivia when I get done with work. Its a short window of time from when I get home to when she goes to bed. I do my best to squeeze in a little dinner or playtime before we start the bedtime routine... but sometimes I'm flat-out tired, so I skip a few pages in the book I'm reading her, and I cut a few lullabies short, if you catch my drift. I'd hurry her along, because once she went to bed, I could finally relax.

Well, about a week and a half ago, when I came down with that nasty cold, Joel had to become "Mr. Mom" around here. He was doing ALL the cooking and cleaning and taking care of Olivia. We jokingly dubbed him the "Primary Caregiver" as he bounced between sick ol' me and energetic little Olivia.

Once I got well, and was ready to take back some of my evening responsibilities, a strange thing happened.

Opposition.

From a two-year-old who liked her new routine.

Olivia was enjoying her daddy time... she liked having daddy do dinner, daddy do bath, daddy do books, daddy get jammies, and "daddy put in crib."

I was trying to put her to bed last week, which is my favorite time, because we sing songs and cuddle. Instead, I got stiff-armed, with a "no no mama, daddy do."

At first, it was cute. Joel and I laughed, and he strutted up the stairs with his daughter in tow, a little too proud of himself.

A few nights later, I stopped laughing and started to feel sad! I kept waiting for the night where I was requested by Olivia, and it never happened! All I heard was "daddy do." And although I was glad they were getting this sweet, quality time together, I couldn't help by think: "Hey guys... I want in this club!"

So last night, as bedtime was approaching, I started in on our routine. Normally Joel gives Olivia a bath, but he seemed busy with projects, so I started in. I thought he'd come up and help, but time passed and before I knew it, I'd bathed her and dried her hair, and we'd picked out pajamas and a few books. When we went downstairs, Joel was no where to be found, but I could hear some things in the garage. So I started reading...and then I thought to myself.... he's doing this on purpose! I smiled. I knew he was making himself scarce so that I could have my Dee Dee time again.

Sure enough, 8:00 came around, and because daddy was nowhere to be seen, Olivia accepted me as Primary Caregiver. I know I don't do songs the same way he does, but she seemed not to mind. With her sweet-smelling head resting on my shoulder, we walked upstairs. And I found myself breathing her in with a new found thankfulness, just because of something so simple as a small shift in routine. I had taken for granted putting my baby to bed. But not last night.

When I tip-toed out her door, I went down to the garage. Joel looked up from his project and grinned.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Can you give me a thumbs-up?

Oh, the glitz and the glamour. Are you ready for it!?!?

**To be honest, I would have written about this a week ago, but I got a horrible cold (thanks to the airplane? or Tom?) and it knocked me out for the majority of last week. So sorry for the delay.**

So heres how it went:

The night before I was nervous, just about flying and arriving and everything so I tried to go to bed early, but pretty much tossed and turned. My phone went off at 3:45 am and I had new respect for what Scott & Sam do every morning. They wake up in the middle of the night in order to provide you with morning entertainment! God bless them. Send them an email. Let them know that you appreciate the fact that their alarm goes off every day in the middle of the night... and they don't hit snooze. WOW. I could never do a morning show.

4 am: Off to the airport. Pouring down rain. Gas tank on empty. Why did I not prepare for this? Do I have my license? How long is the security line going to be? Am I going to be in the middle seat?

5 am: Arrive at Sea-Tac. Park. Security. Wait in line.

5:30 am: Board flight. Middle Seat.

Normally I'm a pretty good flyer, but for some reason (early, empty stomach, nervous) I felt just awful as I sat down. The jet took off and I was thinking I was going to be one of those passengers that needs to use the little bag in the front pocket. I silently prayed with my eyes shut that Jesus would help me. Just then, the man to my right offered to get me a blanket because I looked cold. We struck up a conversation and it turns out he was a pastor on his way to a big conference in Los Angeles. We talked for the majority of the flight about ministry, his family, and God. He asked me what I was going to California for and he laughed out loud when I told him Womens World. He told me he and his wife would be on the lookout for my cover debut.

8:45 am: LAX. I've secretly always wanted to have one of those guys waiting for me with a little sign that says "Taylor,S." meaning my car is waiting. This was the first time I've ever gotten one of those! Score. When I got in the car, there were three bottled waters waiting for me. Its like the driver read my mind.

Its like God kept answering my teeny, tiny prayers. "Jesus, I don't feel good." Then here, have someone kind to talk to on the flight. "Jesus, I'm thirsty." Then here, have three free bottled waters.

I was still really nervous at this point, so I was texting my husband and my mom back and forth, asking them to pray for me. I was also still very nauseous from the flight, and praying tremendously that God would help me through the day.

10:00 am: Arrive at studio. I was so thankful that I was greeted by smiling faces. There was about 7 people there. The main camera guy, a few assistants, a hair guy, a make-up guy, and a stylist lady. They were all so friendly.

The best part? My friend from high school, Angela, moved to California a few years ago. I miss her so much, and rarely get to see her. Isn't it just great that she just happened to live 15 minutes from the studio and she just happened to have that Monday off work and all the crew just happened to say it was totally fine that she come to join me??? It was SO nice to have a familiar face there! Seeing her totally put me at ease.

They dressed me up in a few different lime green tops, and a pair of dark wash Citizens (WHICH I GOT TO KEEP), plus jewelry. Oh, and Spanx. Do you know Spanx? LOVE them. They suck you in and make you look a size smaller - getting rid of any lumps and bumps. I got to keep those, too. That was probably my favorite part. I went home and Joel was like "how was it?" and I burst out "I got to keep the Spanx."

My hair was done up like Miss Texas, and I had a load of make-up on. I didn't really recognize my reflection... so who knows what the cover is going to actually look like. Some interesting rendition of someone who sort of resembles me, I'm guessing. I had fun talking with the hair guy and the make-up guy, though. They asked me how I lost the weight and I said: "I stopped eating Tator Tots everyday and started drinking fresh juice." They thought that was about the most honest, funny thing they'd ever heard and started affectionately calling me "Tator-Tot girl."

The kicker: During the actual photoshoot, which was basically in front of a plain blue background, they asked for some very specific things:

1. Big eyes!
2. Big smile! Can I see a space between your teeth? Give me a big laugh!
3. Can I get a thumbs up?

Wait.

No.

I am not going to be that girl who has a big thumbs up on the cover. (If you are reading this today, and you go to the grocery store, notice the current copy of Womens World because there is a lady on there with a lime green shirt and a THUMBS UP).

I sooooo didn't want to give them a thumbs up, because I knew that even if they took 400 pictures, in the end, they'd end up using the one where I put my thumb up, like a nerd. But then I thought - you know what? I'm already here, in California. I'm already dressed in a lime green top. I'm already done up like Miss Texas (no offence, Texas cousins. I love you. But you must admit... your hair IS big.) Since I'm already allllll these things, what more is a little thumbs up?

In any event, the magazine comes out on April 27th, I believe. Go tell your grandma. (Wait, no, she probably already has a subscription.) It was fun to do, but I do NOT recommend flying into and out of LAX in the same day. Too much travel for me - I was flat out exhausted, and 99.9% sure its the reason I got sick. I sponsored my flight home by Dramamene. Best decision I ever made.

I was so thankful to be home that evening, just in time to tuck Olivia into bed. I still had all my Texas makeup on and my Texas hair, and I think she was a little startled! I was like "Dee Dee, it's Mama, I promise!" Ironically, when I got home, I was too tired to juice. So I just washed off all that makeup, put some sweatpants on and crawled into bed. And THAT, friends, is the real glamorous life.

:-)
Sarah

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Urgh. And a few other things.

Frustration. I wrote a brilliant piece two days ago about the Academy Awards and went to hit "publish post" and........ gone. Drat!

I was so mad that I shunned Blogger for two days.

And now I'm back and I'm over it. (Almost).

Sooooo - the juicing books arrived from the publisher today! That means I'm closing off the drawing at 7pm tonight (Pacific) and all you have to do is leave a comment and you'll be in the drawing. I'll contact you tomorrow if you win.

And now.........for the special juicing announcement that will most likely make you laugh. This is so embarrassing, but I'm telling you anyway, because thats what I do.

Theres a magazine called Womens World and I'm gonna be on the cover in a few weeks. Cherie Calbom (the Juice Lady) wrote a piece on juicing and used me as one of her examples, and the magazine picked up the story. And since I go along with the story...well, I'm flying to LA for a little photo shoot on Monday.

I'm all kinds of nervous. I've never done anything like this before! But I just knew that I had to say yes when they offered because I don't want to be the girl who turned down the chance to be on a magazine. I mean, my mom is gonna be so proud! She'll save it in a little box with all my report cards from elementary school or something. And my Texas cousins can see it because its a National magazine. I think I'm gonna keep it a secret from most of them, and see if they do a double-take next time they're in the checkout line at the grocery store. Like "My that girl looks a lot like Sarah - wait a minute..."

I told one of my friends about this and she said "Womens World! That transports me right to my Grandmothers couch!" I laughed and laughed. Told her I'd autograph her Grandmas copy if she liked.

I'd never heard of Womens World before this - but now I see it everywhere. I was at Walmart the other day and it was right at the front check stand next to People and US Weekly. So I guess I'll be competing with Brangelina in a month or so.

The magazine comes out in late March I think - I'm sure I'll learn more on Monday. I'll tell you all about the shoot, too, if you're interested. I know I'd be interested if it was happening to someone else! Sounds so glamorous! Wardrobe, makeup, the whole 9. If you are thinking about following me on Twitter, now would be a good time, because I update that a lot more often than the blog.

Ok. Thats all. I'm done now.
Sarah

Friday, February 13, 2009

Will it give me gas?

Ha!

I'm sorry, I just had to give it that title.

See, its still Question and Answer time about Juicing, and as long as the questions keep pouring in, I'll keep answering them.

And Beatriz asked the million dollar question. Will it give me gas?

Yes.

Next question. :-)

Seriously, though, yes. But a little gas is fine, when you're in your skinny jeans, right? And getting fewer colds! And feeling better!

Catherine asks: "Do you juice in the morning or evening or...."


I'm an evening girl. I do this for a few reasons.

1. I'm lazy in the morning.
2. I like coffee first thing.
3. I tend to eat junk mainly in the evening, while watching TV. So having juice first thing when I get home "curbs" the mindless eating.

Heres why. This is key to weight loss: Our bodies are smart. They know when we are giving them empty calories. Our bodies will continue to give us the "hunger" signal until they feel like we've given them enough nutrition. (Kind of why a Lean Cuisine seems like a good idea for dinner until you're hungry 10 minutes later.) The juice is amazing this way. You give yourself 12 oz of fresh carrot, cucumber, beet, celery and apple (plus a little snap of fresh ginger and lemon) and VIOLA - you feel full. Your mind says "satisfied! Thanks for the nutrition!" Plus, since there is very little sugar in the juice (I use a Granny Smith apple - lowest sugar) - it helps curb other sugary/carby cravings.

Dana wanted to know: "For weight loss, did you replace one of your meals with the juice? Or did you just add it to your regular diet?"

Such a good question, and the answer is complicated. Remember how desperate I was at that point? Stuck in a rut feeling like there was no way out? I was in a depression, to be completely honest. And in a depression, not only can you not see a way out, but you almost don't even care anymore. That was me.

So, I wasn't really into the whole "pull myself up by my bootstraps" kind of thing. I was not getting a plan together involving diet and exercise. The idea of the gym made me nervous. I thought to myself "I need to be in shape to go to the gym!" and had no plan to put on sweatpants and make a fool of myself on the treadmill.

The ONLY thing I could think to do was dig out that juicer from under the counter and plug it in. I could only handle one thing at a time, or I knew I would get overwhelmed and give up. So heres how the timeline went.

1. put juicer on counter
2. made juice
3. felt full (and a little queasy. it was day one, after all.)
4. didn't eat much else that night
5. woke up next morning, thought "just make the juice at one point today. thats all."
6. made juice that evening
7. felt full. felt proud Id done it two days in a row. Hated taste. Gulped it down.
8. didn't really feel like dinner that evening.
9. woke up next morning and hated my new routine. Thought "just do it one more day."
10. made juice that evening.

the only change between then and now is this: eventually I quit resenting the fact that I was making the juice. Then I began to actually enjoy it.

So to answer your question Dana, yes, at first I replaced dinner. But not on purpose. It was because I felt full. Had I been hungry, I would have had a little something. But usually (and my other juicing friends agree with me on this) the juice is a wonderful meal in-and-of itself.

Last question for today goes to Eva who wants a specific recipe for my favorite drink:

4 large carrots, well scrubbed
1 cucumber
1/2 beet (with greens if you're brave! tons of magnesium in there!)
3-4 stalks of celery
1 Granny Smith Apple
1 lemon, pealed
tiny amount of ginger

That is what I make (or my husband makes) everyday. I drink one full glass, and theres usually enough for my husband to have 1/2 a glass.

Hope I got all the previous questions answered. Did I miss you? Leave it in the comments and I'll get to you again.

And for those of you who are saying "Enough already! No more juice!" well, I'll try and mix it up on here in the next few days. I need something else to post about though....

How about:

1. Our plans for Valentines Day (trick question, we have none)
2. How is Tom doing with the fact that he's gonna be a dad in 5 months?
3. Joaquin Phoenix on David Letterman
4. More embarrassing things about me so you can know my life isn't perfect!

Your choice makes the next blog entry... let me know!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Question & Answer Time


Well. Color me surprised.

I had no idea you would be so passionate about this juicing thing. Seriously, I’ve actually been trying not to talk about it, so as not to sound like an infomercial. But now I’m realizing that you actually care… so here you go. Answers to your questions.

**OH! And the contest for the 10 free books is still open. I'll draw 10 names random from the comments from the last post, and this post as well. I'll do the drawing when the books arrive from the publisher, in about a week. **

Ok, question time.

What kind of juicer do you use?

Lots of you are mentioning your old juicer in the garage that you got for a wedding gift or from your grandpa. And I certainly don’t want to discourage you from using it. That being said, I must tell you that starting with a GOOD juicer is key here.

I use the Juice Man Pro. Cherie recommended it, and I love it because its powerful AND Dishwasher Safe. I never would have stuck with juicing this long if I had to wash by hand. Also, the feed-tube-thingy (technical term, I know) is large and so I don’t have to cut all the produce into minuscule pieces.

Malerie, this ones for you. Is it expensive?

Not at all. First of all, if you have a good juicer, then it doesn’t take much produce to get a lot of juice. So you’re not buying a whole bushel of apples. My friend Callie gets all her produce at Costco. I buy mine at my local grocery store and I try to buy organic when possible. Plus, we are just getting into Spring – when all the local produce stands open up! Also, try co-ops, Farmers Markets, and best of all – growing your own veggies.

Tara asks: Once you make a drink how long is it good for? Do I need to drink it right away?

Good question, Tara. I’m a big fan of drinking the juice immediately, because of all the healthy enzymes. Think of your fruits and vegetables as live foods – once you cut into them, the enzymes immediately start dying. The sooner you drink it, the more live enzymes you have which helps you digest. That said, you can refrigerate the juice for up to 24 hours if need be. You’ll know if it spoils.

Now for the questions that weren’t asked, but you might be thinking:

Why not just eat a carrot?

If you’re like me, then you have a hard time getting your daily dose of fruits and vegetables in. I was hardly getting anything! If you can eat 5 carrots, 5 stalks of celery, 1 Cucumber, ½ a beet, 1 apple and some ginger, then do it. But for me, I NEVER would have taken the time to sit down and eat all that. Juicing worked for me.

Aren’t I juicing out all the fiber?

Nope. Soluble fiber remains.

Why go to all the trouble of using a juicer? Can’t I just drink an Odwalla?

I’ll let Cherie handle this one. Fresh juice is a live food, like I mentioned earlier. Its full of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, enzymes and that living ingredient --light energy-- that revitalizes the body. You feel different when you drink raw juice! In contrast, commercially processed canned, bottled, frozen, or packaged juices have been pasteurized, which means the juice has been heated to high temperatures, and many of the vitamins and enzymes have been killed or removed. And the light energy is virtually gone.

Did I miss your question? Leave it in comments and I'll get to it.

And yes, the special juicing announcement is still forthcoming. It will make you laugh. And you will be able to see it at your local grocery store. Wait for it…….

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Juice, part three.


You ask, I deliver. A comment came in about another post on juicing, so here you go.

I think I'm going to go a little deeper into my story this time... mostly because I've been inspired by other women (see the Sonbreak post below) to share the truth, even when it's hard.

So lets try and keep the judgement to a minimum, ok? ;-)

I started talking about juicing last Summer when I was completely fed up with my weight. Picture me, if you will, 30 pounds heavier, eating junk for dinner, sitting on the sofa, wondering why on earth I felt tired and depressed.

And here is the tiny part I'm going to add, which I may regret later, but its the truth and I want you to know.

Along with eating junk for dinner (fast food, pasta, lots of dessert) I was also unwinding at the end of the day with a beer or a glass of wine. I had developed a habit of coming home and using that to de-stress. I didn't remember when exactly the pattern began. Like most things in my life, something starts really small and really quiet, and then after a few days turn into a few weeks which turn into some months, I find myself in a habit that I don't know how to break.

Interestingly enough, the beer/wine habit wasn't making me feel any better (or more relaxed) - in fact, it was doing the opposite. I was becoming more depressed, more tired... and my pants were fitting worse.

This is where God stepped in and did for me what I could not do for myself. I'm so thankful that God is patient enough with me to deal with me sometimes as if I am a small child. He knew that I needed a "replacement" instead of just saying "no more wine" - and through the encouragement of my friends Channah and Amy, I bought a juicer. Sure enough, the very first day I made the juice, I thought "Well, I don't really want to drink a glass of wine" because I didn't want to undo all the work I'd just done to get some health and nutrition into my body. Thus, the fresh juice replaced my bad habit.

Now, I'm not just talking about throwing some apples in a juicer. I used a very specific recipe of mostly vegetables. And yes, at first I hated the taste. But it was only because my taste buds were used to junk. Believe me when I say it only takes a few days to begin to crave this fresh juice. And if you already like vegetables, well, then you are light years ahead of me.

Once I got the juicer on the counter, and my husband willingly would go to the store and help stock the fridge, I found myself little-by-little beginning to look forward to the time of day when I would juice.

A few days turned into a week which turned into a month, and before I knew it, my bad habit was now a good habit. The side benefit was that my pants were fitting better, but the real benefit was that my mind was clearer, the depression was lifting, and I felt healthier.

After a few months, I was shopping one day and a sales gal said to me "you need some new pants, those are practically falling off of you." She offered me a pair of jeans that were two sizes smaller that what I was accustomed to wearing. I said "thanks, but I will not fit into those." She said try and so I did. They fit.

I walked out of that store in prayer. I was so thankful to God that He was moving me along a path of health. I was not doing it on my own. He was doing it for me.

Here we are, 8 months later, and I am wearing those same jeans today as I type. Thats another milestone for me - losing weight and not instantly gaining it back. And I believe the reason for that is that I'm no longer in this about weight loss.I'm in it to be a healthy person, because I don't want to be back in that slump where I was. Now that I'm out of the depression, and up off the couch, and my mind is no longer in a fog, I realize that I don't want to go back.

So... I just spoke with Cherie Calbom, author of Juicing, Fasting, and Detoxing For Life and she says "Lets give away some more books!" So you can feel free to leave a comment in the comments section (as long as it has a way I can get a hold of you, like an email or a link to your blog) and I'm gonna give away 10 more books, just like last time. I love Cheries books. She is a believer with a master of science degree in nutrition from Bastyr University - and her lifes mission is to help women regain their lives through proper nutrition. She and I both agree that when we have a clear mind and a healthy body, we are better able to serve God and love others!

Oh, and one more thing: I have another special juicing announcement coming soon that might make you laugh, but I will post more about it when it's 100% official.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

For Tara

Its so close I know you can almost taste it.

He will be home before you know it.

And he'll scoop up Hunter and Dylan in his arms, and your family will be together again.

I love you.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Pancakes & Pigtails


Saturday mornings are usually met with cartoons and pancakes a la daddy.

This weekend was extra special because Olivia let me put pigtails in her hair. This is nothing short of amazing that she let me 1)come near her hair and 2)put something in it.

Perhaps the syrup served as a distraction?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pregnant!!!

HA! Did I get you with the subject?

Not me, friends. Not me.

My co-host, Tom and his wife Celeste, are pregnant! That was the big announcement today on Spirit. The secret I've been wanting to tell. I love Tom and Celeste so much, and have just been waiting and waiting and waiting for them to finally start a family. No pressure, right? :-)

I think Celestes Dad said it best at the Thanksgiving table when the announcement was made to their family: "Its about time!"

So congrats to Tom. And congrats Celeste. I look forward to watching the belly grow over these next few months, I look forward to your Seafair baby as the Blue Angels fly (Celeste is due around the beginning of August) and I look forward to snuggling new baby Pettijohn when he or she makes his or her debut.

The Big News

Its almost time! It's almost time!!!

The big news will be revealed on-air today at 3:21 PM. We are so excited.

Of course, if you miss it, I will post it on here after the show.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sonbreak


It was more refreshing than a day at the spa.
Truly, it was. I'd take a day like this over a hot stone massage any day. (I sound crazy.)
The Sonbreak Womens Conference at Overlake Christian Church was last Saturday, and I was honored to be a part of it.

Pam Tebow was first up. If you haven't heard of her before, shes the mother of a very fabulous college football player named Tim Tebow. Or Timmy, as she refers to him. Pam spoke to us about hope - and shared so many scriptures that she knew from memory! I was in awe of how much she had memorized - and how cute she was doing it. She said "what's remembered in song...is remembered long..." and she put a little tune to each scripture in order to memorize. LOVED it.

Lisa Whelchel came next. Or "Blair" as you may remember her from the Facts Of Life. She was delightful, just as you would imagine her to be, sharing a hilarious story of how she fell for her husband. They have three teenagers now and Lisa has several books about motherhood that I've found quite helpful. I was walking by her green room back stage eating a brownie, and she said "aren't you on in a second?" and I looked at the clock and went running. She saved my bacon.

Ruth Graham knocked it out of the park, did she not? Stepping onto the stage and letting us know that it was not because of her last name that she was qualified to speak, but rather because she was a "sinner saved by grace, thats all." And if you hear me at all, hear me on this: "The people who think they have all the answers don't even know what the questions are."

Oh, Chonda. Chonda Chonda Chonda.
I'd never seen her perform before. She is amazing. I love this new found freedom she spoke of having. She didn't hold back on the jokes, did she? I gave her free range to say whatever she wanted about me when we were backstage :-) I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. And then, after all the jokes, came her story. I was in awe of her. She shared some of the hardest parts of her life. So brave. So strong. So beautiful.

It was a good day. If you were there, I'd love to know what you thought and how you were impacted. I keep thinking about everything these women spoke of. I feel refreshed. Now if we could only combine the spa with the conference...

Sarah

PS Special thanks to Community Ministry Productions (Billy & Daphne!) for all their hard work, and to Robert Forbes for the pictures. And to whoever made those coconut brownies backstage.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Falling Asleep

We play a group called Mercy Me. Think I Can Only Imagine.

Lead singer Bart Millard has some cute kids. And I love this.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Fourth Jonas Brother?


I had to post it.

Last Sunday night, Michael W. Smith joined the Jonas Brothers in a sold-out show at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Michael W. Smith and the Jonas Brothers performed Smitty’s 1991 hit "Place in This World."

Man, what I would have given to see that! How cute!!!

Priorities

Can you tell I'm on the New Years Resolution train and its full speed ahead?

Yesterday it was about money.Today, its about priorities.

And wouldn't you know it (totally the way God speaks to me) this morning my friend Cindy sent an email with the following...

A person was presented an empty jar, several golf balls, pebbles, and sand by a professor. He was asked to figure out how all the objects would fit into the jar. The man told the professor that it’s impossible to fit all of the items into the small jar; "There's not enough room," he said.

The professor began to show how to fit them all in. First, lace the golf balls into the jar, then add the pebbles and then pour the sand over top of the golf balls and pebbles. As the sand cascaded over the balls and pebbles inside the jar it became clear to the man that all of the items WILL FIT if approached in the right order.

The professor enlightened the man even further by asking the man to imagine the jar as his life with the golf balls representing the most important elements in his life (family/friends/church). Then, imagine the pebbles as the next most important elements (work/projects outside the home). Finally, imagine the sand as all the other items in our life that "get in the way"; the items that we feel or believe are as important as the golf balls and pebbles.

Amazing that if you take care of the golf balls first and then make time for the pebbles, the sand will find a place – a way - to settle into your life.


I wonder how my husband and Olivia feel about being compared to a golf ball. :-)

I think I'm going to start speaking in this language. I picture myself in a meeting later this afternoon, saying something to the effect of: "I don't have time for that sand right now - I've got a pebble to deal with." ;-)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Money. I'm savin' it.

A few years ago, I was teaching Sunday School and we were singing a song with the kids that went like this:

A penny in my pocket
a dollar in my shoe
when I give them all to Jesus
Theres nothing he can't doooooo......

Picture a class of 2nd graders, clapping along.

Its a cute little song, but what really made me laugh was the version coming from my friend Randy who was sitting off to the side. Randy is very insightful, and very funny. I had to hold in my laughter as I hear him sing along to the same tune with a theologically more accurate version of this kid-song:

A penny in my pocket
A dollar in my shoe
when I give them all to Jesus
it doesn't really matter because they were all His in the first place.....

:-)

Lately, I've been singing Randy's version in my head. One of my big goals for 2009 is to be debt free - and I believe that starts with getting my mind right with the way God views money.

I'm a Dave Ramsey fan. He's a financial straight shooter. He doesn't mince words and he tells you like it is. I need that. He's sort of like a personal trainer for money.

Daves main rule: No debt; no credit cards. Eesh. Thats a tough one for me, but he has "baby steps" to get me to where I need to be. Joel and I have both listened to his "Total Money Makeover" audio books, and we agree this is the way for us to live life financially. Its common sense, and sometimes Dave yells it, and we like it. My goal for 2009? Debt free.

My other goal, which is actually more important, is to tithe regularly. This is me being totally transparent here. I got my statement from my church in the mail that showed last years giving and I was so sad. It was a minuscule amount. What does that say about me in relationship to how I trust God?

I wasn't embarrassed about it. I was saddened by it.

So there lies my motivation to change.

I've taken a look at our major spending: Mortgage, Utilities, etc. and got things squared away. Now I'm taking a look at all our daily spending. For example, I go to Starbucks each morning...and thats something I enjoy and would like to make room in my budget for. So now, I am doing it smarter! First off, I signed up for their Starbucks Gold card, which gets you 10% off each purchase. Thats a savings for me of about .38 cents a day. Granted, they have you pay a 1-year $25.00 membership fee to begin, but I know I'll make that back in spades. Plus, have you found out that Costco sells five $20.00 Starbucks Gift Cards for only $80.00? Just doing that once paid for my Starbucks Gold membership! I'm never paying retail again.

I also order things online quite often - just to save time. Amazon.com is my friend with their free super-shipper savings. And I'm learning that I can always Google promo codes before hitting "check out" to see if I can find discounts. Just yesterday, I ordered custom invitations for my friend Amy's bridal shower, and before I hit "check out" I googled the name of the website I was at and I found a promo code for "SAVE 10" - and I saved 10% off my order. So simple.

My next step: packing a lunch each day. I know I need to do this the night before, because I'll never do it in the morning. Not only is it healthier, but I'll save a ton of cash.

Joel and I decided last night to cut down on our cable bill...that thing is ridiculous. How (and WHY) are we paying so much each month for television? I feel foolish. But no more.

These are just a few of my "little ways" to save a penny - what are yours? (And yes, Mom, I know you read my blog and I'm just bracing myself for your essay in the comments section, you thrifty little thing. *wink)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Zip my lip

OH!

Oh man!

I'm so excited.

First of all, never tell me secrets. I can't keep them. You hear me? Do not tell me secrets.

That being said, someone told me one and it's all I can do not to say anything. I'm like Kristin Wigg's character on Saturday Night Live. Have you seen that? She can't contain herself when someone tells her something good.

I digress.

I know a secret. And I get to tell it to you really soon. How soon? Before the month is over.

Oh no. Have I said too much?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Aquarium Fun

For Olivias 2nd Birthday, Joel and I took her to the Seattle Aquarium.

She loved the fishies - and wanted to get IN the tanks with them. The glass frustrated her - she kept saying "touch water? touch water?"

Those poor starfish. She poked them... a lot.

Here she is, again, trying to get in. I'm also posting this picture because of my kickin' new handbag. :-)

Jellyfish Olivia

Uncle Neal and Aunt Amy came too!

Here she is, captivated by otters. She called them wet dogs. Close enough!

Family Photo

The classic ending picture to a busy, fun-filled day.


Happy Birthday to my sweet, sweet girl. You're two!