Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Word To The Wise / A Question Of Advice To The Wise

Good Morning / Afternoon Readers! 

Disclaimer: Usually we (try to) schedule our posts far in advance. They're usually thought-out, mulled over, and sometimes even researched. This one however, is not. I was going to provide a few pictures of our Army family Memorial Day weekend and I realized I had much more to write. If you're not interested in random Post-Memorial-Day-ramblings this post is not for you. We will resume normal natural health posting tomorrow, but for today thanks for indulging me and please scroll down to the bottom where I ask your advice and give your thoughts and wisdom. Thanks in advance. 

Have you seen the giveaway we are doing yet? If not you should! It isn't a sponsored giveaway, and what we are giving away has been purchased by us. We are that excited about this chai and we wanted a lucky reader to get to experience the taste and the medicinal benefits as well. So, be sure to check that out and will you please oh please "like us" and "share us" on your facebooks? We would be so grateful. I'm writing this post today from the waiting room of my chiropractor. I'm leaving today for New Orleans, as Dr. Shumway is coming in town this weekend to see clients and patients. It's going to be a very busy week. I had to sneak in a chiropractic visit before I leave. Tomorrow you will get to hear a little more about chiropractors as Laura's mom (and dad) is one and we will be interviewing her. I absolutely adore my chiropractor and I really can't imagine my life without him. Sometimes I'm not sure if my dad comes all the way from New Orleans to see our boxer Lucy, to get adjusted by my chiropractor or to see me. My chiropractor here has become my dad's favorite chiropractor of all time, and that's surely saying a lot. I have definitely seen differences in my health since seeing him and I feel strongly that just going in for visits when I'm able to helps keep anxiety/stress levels low for me. Before a full week such as this one ahead where the days will be long and full, and there may be late nights and early mornings and lots of visiting and working and friend-seeing, I always like to take some time and moments to care for my body and go see my chiropractor. It always seems to help release tension in my body and keep me centered and structured for the week ahead. I'm definitely excited to read Laura's mom's interview tomorrow. I know it will be a good one. 

How was ya'lls weekend? 

Ours' was definitely so good and so restful. Ben and I have had a lot of busy weeks and weekends the past few months. We've traveled a lot and worked a lot too. It was so nice to just have a restful weekend getting some chores done that have been long forgotten and necessary and just be able to spend some time at our actual house-- such a novel concept for us recently! We actually did travel just a bit to North Carolina for a few hours. It was just long enough to stop by one of our most favorite places on this beautiful Earth-- Old Edwards Inn. Ben and I got married there and it continues to be one of our most favorite places. Somehow you feel like you're in the countryside of Europe when you're staying there. We also can't help but adore the people who are staff there. They have some of the sweetest spirits and hearts and Ben and I think of them almost even as family now. We're not quite sure how one of the most gorgeous, lavish and professional places can also be a place filled with the sweetest and heart-felt staff? Staying at Old Edwards is more than a restful vacation-- it's almost even a spiritual experience. I am still pondering over and being affected by something one of our favorites said to Ben in passing while we were there for not even thirty minutes this weekend. It may have been the most deeply heartfelt and profound thing someone has said to me in the past month, or even year. They truly never cease to amaze and we were happy just to spend an hour walking around this beautiful place, even though we didn't stay for the night this trip. 

The pond behind our house

Ben showing me the "silk tree" growing by our house.
This is good for getting a good nights rest and
for any insomnia.
Ben and I have been really struck by a lot of concepts lately and one of those has been to practice being in the present moment without adding to it or detracting from it-- to sit and think about your body, how it's working, and to just be aware that you're alive. I know when we do this for a few minutes, you start to feel the blood pumping in your veins and the mere thought that you're alive in turns makes you feel so-- alive. We spent a good chunk of time during this weekend just enjoying the Army post on which we live.  It really is a beautiful place filled with rich colors as deep as the culture that embodies it. Ben and I live in the same neighborhood, just a few houses down from the same houses that his dad and grandfather ( and even President Eisenhower ) lived in. This weekend Ben and I went for a "herb walk" not even a block from our house and were completely stopped by all of the lush beauty growing wildly around us. I almost felt for a minute as if we were in Hawaii when I had passed these same streets numerous times without even noticing the herbs, wild lettuce, berries, and flowers that were beautifully growing.  I thought about all of the wild animals we see by our house almost daily that just eat off of this beautiful, fresh, organic produce as their food and sustenance. How amazing of a concept that their food is doubly provided for them and for us as well. Ben gathered a whole basket full of blackberries I used to make into tiny tartlets for Memorial Day. Beautiful fresh blackberries just growing, given to us to enjoy-- for free!  Sometimes I forget ( or fail to see ) the beauty around us. 

I had leftover pie crust from the batch I made for the Strawberry Pie.
It made for a great little "basket" for the blackberries Ben picked
right near our house. 

As much as Memorial Day is about the food ( how can we Americans not swoon over the strawberry pies and meat this day comes along with -- and we will definitely talk about the food! ) and the patriotic decor (when else do we have an excuse to pull out our 4th of July decorations), we all know it's centered around something much more. My husband is in the Army and I've had the privilege of seeing what life in the Army world is like. Before we were married I never knew. I honestly had no idea. I was completely naive to what men and women ( oh the families! ) sacrifice on a daily basis for the sake of the whole country's freedom. I've seen a lot. I know a lot more-- even more than I would like to know, that's for sure. I can't help but be deeply grateful. If any of you are spiritual and God-believing in the least, you can't help but notice how parallel the example of giving one's life for freedom is to what Jesus did for the world. I've known, personally now, a lot who have done this and I am deeply grateful for the men and women who go and for the women (and men) who stay behind. I will never, ever cease to be thankful for the families who stay behind. Their struggle is beyond any I've seen on this Earth to date. It's a daily gut-wrenching and heart-pulling reality that is often silently and most humbly carried. It tugs at the core of who you are and makes you daily have to decide upfront who it is you really are and who you want to be. When I was a new Army wife I felt it was my duty to help others understand what these military families go through, since I had been so naive all those years. I felt it was wrong that so many Army families sacrifice so much unbeknownst to so many. I became a little bit, er, passionate to help people understand for the sake of these amazing families who go through so much. Word to the wise-- I quickly realized that my initial approach was not a lovely one-- as one who comments long lengthy (slightly angry) posts on Facebook ( about any subject really )  to other people is not a pretty look for anyone.  I quickly realized that frustration ( no matter how warranted or how good the cause ) is not a good foundation for helping others understand, or even for advocacy. Is not love, peace, and hope the best foundation of everything anyway? I know for me coming from that foundation has changed my life in amazing ways, as I know for certain that there is so much Hope within us and to be given out through us in this world.  I know I want to be one who gives that out more than anything. 

I can't write this post without talking about the food we ate and were blessed with yesterday. I don't know about ya'll, but even with as long as I've been cooking I'm still impressed ( sometimes even shocked ) with any food that comes out tasting yummy and also looks half way presentable. Ben always says he loves the face I make when I'm proud of myself-- and it's true, I do make a certain face when I'm proud of myself. I love food and I absolutely adore sharing it with others, so when I'm able to do that and others enjoy it and it is half-way presentable, I'm happily proud of myself. We had a friend from church over yesterday, who also brought some delicious brownies that were yummy to add to our not very extensive menu. Ben juiced a big juicy watermelon to have fresh watermelon/strawberry juice with some freshly picked blackberry juice drizzled in. 

We also did hamburgers with Riverview Farms meat-- love that Riverview Farms! Their bacon is some of the best I've ever had in my life. I also made the kale salad ( with  beautiful multi-colored carrots ) that is posted on here with a few variations-- I just can't help myself with sticking to/ or not sticking to recipes. We made a Strawberry pie with fresh Strawberries from D & A Farms and a homemade pie crust-- pie crusts sound daunting but they are one of the easiest things to make. If you don't know how to make a pie crust, I will teach you soon, I promise! 

P/C: Pinterest 

After a long productive and full day with a wonderful friend, as Ben and I were getting in to bed for the night I began to tell him a few of the ideas/concepts I had been pondering in my heart over this week especially.  I love those talks and they've become one of my favorite things. I began to tell my husband that I see so much greatness within so many of my friends it's almost insane. I was telling him that often times one ( me ) can read quotes such as the one above and think where are all those kind of people in my life that should be lined up ready to tell me how much greatness they see in me? I can sometimes read things and all I see are the holes or vacancies in my life, leading me to feel discontent with high expectations of others to fulfill. That's a really sad life to live in most cases and only breeds more wants and vacancies I've found. I've been there far too often in my life, but I can say it's definitely 100% worth it to move past those negative thoughts as there's a free and truly happier life awaiting for me and for every single one of us on this beautiful Earth. I know I want to be a life-giver and not a drain in this amazing world. This week when I read this quote, my mind did not go down those yucky paths, thankfully. Instead, this time, when I read this quote above I was reminded of all of my dear friends that I see so much greatness within-- all of my incredible, genius, creative friends from Laura who I write this blog with, to my friend Lauren, to my other friend Asharae. Just typing their three names makes me think of how insanely amazing each of them are and how talented and gifted they are in such unique ways.  ( If I didn't mention you in that sentence it's just because I am trying to give shout outs to the wonderful blogs these specific friends write. It's not because you're not loved, believe me. ) I marvel sometimes at who all of my friends are today and what I know they will also be one day. Yet, I've wondered this week in thinking about all of this if my friends know that I see them that way and what I see that in them. Do they know I see greatness within them? Do they know I truly think the world of them and see such potential for them to do amazing things today and every day of their lives? I'm not sure if they know that, and more importantly I'm not sure if I communicate that to them adequately. Would they know I stand in their lines to cheer them on? Would they know that they are known and that I see them and know their greatness? I don't know, but it surely has been interesting to think about. I don't want to be the kind of friend that sees those things and does not communicate that for whatever reason. I want to ask you dear readers how do you communicate that to your friends, loved ones, and even parents and spouses? Please give me your seasoned, tried and true wisdom on this. I have come to realize that I can fall short in the communicating area at times, and I want your help in how you have found ways to communicate that clearly to the people you see greatness in? Let me learn from you! Even if I didn't write a blog, I would be asking this question to people. This blog just makes it easier to do so. I truly am wondering as it's something that has been on my mind and heart heavily. I want to be better at communicating that, and I would love to know your experience with that if you feel so inclined. 
Thank you for bearing with my random ramblings today.

Sincerely and Gratefully, 

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