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Friday, September 30, 2016

Garrison's 11th Birthday Weekend (Family, Paintball and Baseball)

Garrison's birthday was last Friday and we were so excited Nana and PawPaw (Garrett's parents) were able to come in town.  We had such a good visit with them!  And I'll tell you in advance all photo credit in this post goes to my father-in-law.

Friday night Garrett grilled out steak (Garrison's fav) and I made a cookie cake.  Garrison loved opening his gifts!

"Happy Birthday to you!"...Ethan's face - bahahaha!


Love these sweet brothers!


I had to include this one because it cracked me up that Garrison held the shirt right in front of his brother completely blocking him out of the picture.


I think he was slightly excited about his gift from Nana and PawPaw...


...a guitar!!!  This boy is seriously talented and I can't wait for him to learn to play!


He thought that was all but then we told him we had another gift for him in Daddy's truck.  We opened the tail gate and there was his ping pong table!  He loved it!



The next day we had his birthday party with his entire baseball team.  Every kid except one came.  That made this mama heart SO happy!  (I later learned the kid who didn't come was too scared because his cousin told him how much paintball hurts.  Poor thing.)

He was SO excited!


I took this one and my heart about exploded when I did.  


STOP growing!


This sweet boy...I love him so!


I think they're ready!


I love this shot of Ethan!


I think Garret may have been more excited than Garrison was.


Where's Ethan?!  Bahahaha!


Ethan and Nana...how sweet is this?!


Dirty face...check
Dirty hands...check
Cupcake...check



As if the weekend wasn't eventful enough Garrison had a double header on Sunday.  I am SO glad we found this team!  The kids and parents are incredible and seeing Garrison happy is SO worth the hour and 15 minute drive to practice twice a week.  Yes, for real.  
I love these shots of him doing what he loves!




I also had to add these photos my father-in-law took while he and my hubby were dove hunting a couple weeks ago.  We grilled the dove earlier this week and they were DE.LICIOUS! 


When we started dating I wondered if he would always make me feel the way I did then.  Ya' know, the butterflies in the stomach, the mmm mmm mmm factor.  (I'm sure our family is gagging right now as they read this.)  But he is SO much better than he was 17 years ago!  


~Jewels*

Monday, September 26, 2016

Health Journey, Week 4

I had my weigh in this morning and here is my update:
I lost 3.4 lbs last week!
I am down 12.6 lbs total!

I am pretty happy with the progress I made last week.  And I realized that having ONE cheat meal through the week has actually helped me lose a little more.  I'm not talking a Snuffer's loaded cheese fries downed in ranch followed by a cheeseburger with more fries (not sure where that came from but dang, it sounds good!) cheat meal.  I'm talking about pasta at our local Italian restaurant cheat meal.

Of course I am still on my Plexus Triplex.  This week I am going to add in my Plexus Block.  I have not taken it since I started my new health journey a few weeks ago.  This stuff is amazing - it actually BLOCKS 48% of carbs and sugars.  That being said, my plan is to take it in the evening before I have a little wine and what is usually my biggest meal of the day.
Check it out at www.jewelsplexus.com and then click on Products and Block.

Now, for the recipe.  I made this last week and it was a pretty big hit!  If you have read my blog for any length of time you will notice I don't tend to follow recipes exactly.  I have included my comments/substitutions in the recipe.

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies

INGREDIENTS:
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (I used 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
16 oz baby red potatoes, halved (yep, forgot to half these)
16 oz baby carrots
16 oz green beans, trimmed (I bought the packaged, already washed and trimmed green beans at HEB)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves (didn't have this so didn't use it)

FOR THE SAUCE:
1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup honey (Yeah, so I forgot to buy honey and after a quick Google search I decided to use brown sugar and water)
1/4 cup ketchup
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (I used cayenne pepper instead)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  After looking back over this recipe I realized I did not read the directions clearly because instead of mixing the sauce first and then waiting until the last 30 minutes to add the green beans I literally dumped it all in the crockpot together (below is my before picture).  Hey, it cooked just fine!




















So, here are my recommended, non-complicated directions.  Dump it all in the crockpot, cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.  BOOM!

Final Result:
















~Jewels*

Monday, September 19, 2016

Health Journey, Week 3

Happy Monday!

For those of you who missed my video post on Facebook last week, here it is.

https://www.facebook.com/juliana.t.gerber/videos/vb.575945942/10154352513480943/?type=3&theater

As promised I am going to start blogging on the progress of my health journey.  My goal is to get a post up every week to share my progress and a recipe or two along with any other tips/tricks I am finding to be helpful.

For those of you who could care less about my health journey, no offense taken.  I will still blog about other random happenings in life.

I know it is odd I am starting with Week 3 but it is what it is.

Let me rewind a few weeks.  I was sitting on the couch...ahem, IN my workout clothes, watching Fixer Upper, and just finished some nachos for lunch. Yeah.

I sent this picture to my cousin and sister asking them if they wanted to try to get healthy together and hold each other accountable.  They were both all in.  


I realized, as mentioned in my video, that I was no longer using Plexus (www.jewelsplexus.com) as a tool in my weight loss journey.  I lost quite a bit of weight and inches when I first got on it because it reduced my sugar cravings and curbed my hunger.  For the last 15 months I have taken it consistently and I am still finding amazing relief from endometriosis, plantar fasciitis and allergies but after our move to Bandera I started eating and drinking more due to extra downtime.  Plexus is not a diet.  It's not a magic pill.  It's a TOOL on your weight loss journey.  And I have decided to make changes with my diet to allow Plexus to do everything it can for me.  I will eventually get back into an exercise routine but this girl likes to take baby steps.

Update
After just TWO WEEKS I am down a total of 9.2 lbs!  Wooohoooo!  I have a looooooong way to go but I'll get there.  Again, as mentioned in my video, I have never lost that much weight in such a short time, especially in a healthy way.  I know I started eating healthier and drinking more water but I have done this many times before and I certainly give the credit to my Plexus products!

What am I doing? 
I am on the Plexus Triplex which includes three products, Pink Slim, Pro Bio 5 and Bio Cleanse.  Here are some videos I made (a few of which include my adorable little E man) a while back to help explain these better.  (Click on the words below to take you to the videos.)
Plexus Triplex Overview
Plexus Slim aka Pink Drink
Pro Bio 5
Bio Cleanse

I am also eating less and healthier and cut back a little on my wine drinking at night.  Notice I didn't say I cut out all of my wine or all of anything.  It's about balance.  That's seriously all I'm doing, y'all.  No exercise...yet.

Recipe
I wanted to share this ridiculously easy and yummy breakfast recipe with y'all.  It will fill you up but is super low in calories.

Breakfast Sandwich

Ingredients:
Light Whole Wheat English Muffin
1/4 cup egg beaters
1/2 slice of cheese (I use gouda)
1 slice canadian bacon

Directions:
Toast the english muffin
Heat the egg beater in a coffee cup (I grease mine with PAM spray with olive oil) for about 45 seconds in the microwave
Heat the canadian bacon for about 15 seconds in the microwave
Slap it all together and you've got a breakfast sandwich ready in less than 3 minutes!

*Forgive my man hands in this picture.  I seriously thought I had feminine hands until I saw this.  Ha!*



I'll be back next week for another update and recipe.  I am an incredibly open book so if you have questions for me about my journey or Plexus products I am here to answer them!

~Jewels*

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Port A, Round 2

This past weekend we went to Port A with my parents.  We have been to Port A with my parents before but this time seemed to be a little more special now that we live six hours from them.  It was truly a weekend full of laughter (as always) and joy of being able to enjoy each others' company.

I would list out what all we did but honestly we did what we always do when we go to Port A...we go to the beach and RELAX!!! It was heavenly!

Garrett grilled steaks the first night.  Due to a lack of steak knives Mama decided to use a butcher knife.  Only this woman could still look proper and graceful holding a butcher knife.  Ha!


Ethan "playing chess" with Papa.  He has his own rules.


Okay, normally all of my goofy pictures are of Daddy but this was too good not to share.  She CRACKS me up!

Have y'all seen Notting Hill?  Remember the guy with the goggles?


Mama and I thought of him every time we saw Ethan in these goggles.


So glad my mom got all of these adorable close ups of E playing in the sand.  I mean...bestill my heart!!!



And this guy...sheesh!  No wonder he already has about 7 girls at school that like him.  He is starting to get annoyed with this by the way.  I told him I am more than happy to buy him a shirt that says "I'm unavailable, ladies.  School comes first.  If you have a problem with it take it up with my Mama."...or something to that effect.  



My guys in the waves...I know they look like little dots but this was just such a great view!


I love how they love each other!


Sigh... <3 


This boy has a huge chunk of my heart....HUGE!!!


My man!


So, this brave boy tried oysters and he actually liked them (despite the fourth picture).  He even ate two!  GROSS!



Port A sunset...no filter.  No words for this beauty!


This mama is missing the beach already...until next time, Port A!



~Jewels* 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

If I would have left him...

Marriage has been heavy on my heart lately and I honestly do not know why.  But I know this.  When something tugs on my heart I write about it.  I don't know if someone needs to hear this or it is just something I want documented in my blog to be able to read back and reflect on some day but either way, here it goes...

I often wonder what my life would be like if I would have left my husband when it felt like the best, right, easiest thing to do.  I had one foot out the door several times in the first 8 years of our almost 14 year marriage but God always brought me back (more on that later).  And I don't just wonder about my life.  I wonder what his life would be like.  And I wonder what our boys' lives would be like. 

If I would have left him...

I would not have grown into the woman I am.

I would not have had the joy of watching him grow into the father he is.

I would most certainly not be the mother I am today.

I would have missed many years of someone to laugh with, share my sorrows with and share my dreams with.

I would not be as brave as I am today.  I certainly would not have been able to move 6 hours away from all of my family.

I would have missed out on watching God transform his heart and grow him into a better man.

I would not have Ethan.  I would not have experienced the beautiful gift of adoption.

And I would not have been able to experience God's redeeming grace or watch how he can turn brokenness and grief into beauty and life.  He literally can transform our hearts and minds to love like He loves.


About six years ago I gave God complete control of my marriage, my feelings, my happiness and my future.  I remember it vividly - sitting on my closet floor, sobbing, and telling him I give up.  Over the next couple of days, through prayer, scripture and song, God told me to stay.  He asked me to trust Him.  He asked me to give Him time to change Garrett, to change me, to change our relationship with Him. 

I love looking back at parts of my life and seeing how God was at work.  Sometimes it is so hard to understand why things are happening in our life but I have finally learned to TRUST and PRAISE Him in all circumstances.  He has a plan that is SO much bigger than one I could ever imagine.  See, God had been planting seeds of desire for adoption in both mine and Garrett's hearts all throughout our marriage.  Had I given into my own selfish desires to leave my husband and not been obedient to God's calling we would not have Ethan, our little Christmas day miracle who has literally changed all of our lives.

Maybe your marriage is strong and built on a solid foundation of Christ.  Maybe not.  If you find yourself in a place of doubt, hopelessness or just a want for more in your marriage, listen to me - THERE IS HOPE!  God is so much bigger than you.  God is so much bigger than your spouse.  God is so much bigger than your daily problems and struggles.  He sees you.  He loves you.  He wants more for you.  Today I encourage you to give up control - control of your marriage, your parenting, your future to the One who created you.  He's SO got this!  TRUST Him!

I wanted to leave y'all with some pictures of me and my love.  Looking back at these stages of our marriage I see constant growth.  We are certainly not perfect and God is continuing to grow us both daily.  And I am grateful.





 
















~Jewels*